Is there something that you just cannot stand? A sound. An image. That weird garden gnome on your neighbor’s lawn. Well for me it is the sound of people chewing. I know I am not alone but I will get into that a little later. The sound of people chewing, gum or food alike, is one of the most irritating things in the world to me. Sadly, just like that garden gnome, it just cannot be solved by telling someone to get rid of it.
Thing is, this didn’t always bother me. I remember a little before the beginning of my freshman year in high school I started to realize that my father chewed his food rather loud. I tried to ignore it but that proved to be impossible. My dad, despite his fit figure, always seems to be eating. When he does I try to go into a different room, like I did just moments before getting on the computer to write this. Other times, if I am lucky enough, I will have my iPod on me and just listen to music. However I cannot always do this. If we are watching TV I will lean on a pillow (or pallow as I pronounce it, according to my brother) and cover my open ear with my finger. I miss a lot of what is being said on TV that way. During dinnertime I try to hide my cringing. When this first started to bother me I would eat as fast as possible and then leave the kitchen like I had to escape for my life, which I now know is extremely rude. In the mornings on weekends I will stay in my bed until 11:30am, despite the fact that I woke up around 8 in the morning, because 9 times out of 10 he has finished eating breakfast at that point. My dad isn’t the only one who bothers me when they eat, my mom has her moments too but thankfully it is not with everything she eats. My brother can also eat rather loudly but he is away at college for a majority of the year. Now this may sound like an obnoxious teenage girl complaining about her family, and it may be, but luckily this is the only thing I have to complain about any of them. Not everyone is perfect.
You would think in school I can avoid this because people only eat in the cafeteria and the background noise will block out the chewing, right? Wrong. Actually, lunch time isn’t that bad at all. However, despite the fact that my school has a “no gum chewing” rule, so many people are chomping away all day. Many of them are good at hiding it from teachers and claim that they chew quietly. Well, they can never elude me. Give me one minute in a classroom and I can pick out everyone who is chewing gum and for the next 41 minutes of the period that will be the only thing I am focusing on, not the lesson. My friends all know that this bothers me and most of the respect me enough to not chew gum, although a couple of them always seem to “forget” (I don’t know how they can when I mention it every time more annoyingly than Sheldon Cooper scolds someone for sitting in his spot). In most of my classes you can find me with one or both of my fingers in my ears to block out the chewing sounds.
Now I also work in a library. A library. You would think of all places I can find solace in, a building meant for silence is that place. Again, wrong. That little garden gnome follows me everywhere. My manager, a lady who is very nice and funny, chews gum almost everyday. But not only chewing, but snapping and popping. And there are patrons who also do that. What is the point of gum anyway? Chewing something that you’re not going to actually ingest and get something out of. What a pointless invention that makes me dream of something like Revolution (My most favorite TV show and one that everyone should watch) to happen just so gum will no longer be produced.
This brings me to the title of my post. Misophonia, aka the hatred of sound. Now it isn’t referring to every sound. I do love metal music and the cheers of all those who worship me (let me have my moments) but as you have read in these past three paragraphs I cannot stand hearing people chew. A look on this website you can learn all about misophonia. A few months ago I learned of this term and I liked a Facebook page and found out that so many other people have the same exact problem as me. I do not believe there is a cure, I would pay out of pocket, screw insurance, if there was. If I tell people they chew too loudly they will probably look at me as if I have five heads so sadly I have to put up with this every day, just like you always have to walk past that garden gnome. Maybe one day we will overcome our little problems, but for now just keep jogging to your car and hope nobody asks questions while I do my best to tune out everyone else.
Only if you don’t chew gum around me