Yesterday, I had the great pleasure of spending an afternoon with 40 middle schoolers. I am being genuine when I say it was a pleasure—I’m coaching a team this year (don’t worry, NO SPORTS, all academics!) and we had our first meeting. Though it will certainly add about a billion hours of work, I’m really looking forward to getting to know these kids and helping them prep for competition, my all-time favorite hobby!
When we gather after school, we all meet together and have a school-provided snack and chat before getting started. Anyways, there was just one issue: the snack served was cereal. WITH MILK.
Have you ever been in a roomful of middle school students eating anything?! The open-mouths, smacking, slurping and general sloppy eating are enough to drive me over the effing edge. Have you ever been around ANYONE eating cereal? Basically, unless you are totally silent, don’t slurp your milk, smack it into your mouth or drink your milk after finish your bowl, I want to punch you in the face. The combination of middle schoolers eating cereal sounded exactly like I envision hell to sound, except with less vomiting.
See, loud chewing is my biggest pet peeve. No jokes. Andrew is not the world’s most graceful chewer, and let me tell you, it’s a HUGE point of contention (read: fight starter) in our house. Loud chewing is horrifying to me.
So, if I ruled the world, I’d institute a few rules:
1) If you’re eating, SHUT UP. No talking with your mouth full.
2) Chew with your mouth shut. I don’t understand how people go through life without someone commenting on this. While you’re eating, chew your food with your mouth completely closed.
3) Small bites, please. I don’t like watching you do mouth stretches while you struggle to shovel an ungodly amount of food into your mouth. If your jaw is popping, the bite is too big. THANKS.
4) No smacking. No slurping. Basically, I don’t want to know that you are chewing if I’m not watching you eat.
5) Napkins are provided by most institutions. USE THEM. No licking!
6) Please, for the love of all things holy, do not close the meal by picking your teeth or reaching into your mouth to retrieve food. Seriously, excuse yourself to the restroom.
7) Burping, belching, hiccupping, etc. should be taken care of privately.
All of these things were taught to me when I was a child, by my lovely mother, who is just as grossed out by nasty eating as I am. I only wish every child had been fortunate enough to receive the same food education. If I ran the world, these rules would be required learning for everyone.