I hate the sound of you eating
Teenager standing next to me in a long queue cracking gum in my ear the entire time? I hate you.
Man with a popcorn bucket the size of a wheat silo sitting directly behind me and shoveling handfuls in his mouth at a constant rate for the duration of a three hour movie? I hate you.
Small child hoovering an icy pole at 220 air watts? I hate you, too.
I don't mean to hate any of you. I really don't. The warmer, fuzzier side of my personality, the liberal-thinking, more accepting part of me wishes you well in life. Truly. But if you are going to insist on eating nuts with your mouth open in a deadly quiet room while I'm trying to concentrate even on the smallest task, I'm sorry but I will want to slap you.
As long as I can remember, I've been afflicted with sound sensitivity, particularly with eating noises. I have changed seats a thousand times on the bus because someone was eating near me. I have watched a hundred films slumped in my seat so I can stick my fingers in my ears because someone was eating loudly behind me. I have cast a trillion dirty glances at the person at the next table in the restaurant slurping their soup.
The only way to describe how eating noises make me feel is that they hurt me. They feel like a cheese grater against my brain, fingernails on the chalkboard of my soul. They make me want to introduce the world to my very good friends Cagney (my right fist) and Lacey (my left fist). Of course, I know it's entirely unreasonable. When I'm able to stand back and look at it objectively, I can say to myself "It's just a noise! It's not going to kill me! This person has a right to eat!" but then the red mist descends nonetheless.
For many years, nobody knew about this "thing" of mine, save my family and maybe a one close friend. I was embarrassed about its irrationality and how little control I had over it. But then along came the magic of the Interwebs, to show me I am not on my own. A quick Google of the words "I hate eating noises" reveals that there are thousands, maybe millions, who also suffer from misophonia and share my desire to see the world fed by intravenous drip. Of course, that doesn't make the sound of someone smacking their lips any less annoying.
So the next time you're eating popcorn at the movies or chewing gum with your mouth open on the train and there's a middle-aged women glowering at you, I suggest you move away. You just might be about to meet some very good friends of hers...