Portrait of an eternal romantic

MISOPHONIAFor people with a condition that some scientists call misophonia, mealtime can be torture. The sounds of other people eating — chewing, chomping, slurping, gurgling — can send them into an instantaneous, blood-boiling rage. – The New York Times

Bryan and I are in the living room, watching TV. I’m eating a salad.

Bryan sighs heavily and shifts uncomfortably in his couch seat. He sighs again, glancing sideways at me and casually covering his ears. “Are you almost finished with that?” he asks.

I stare back at him. “With the salad? It’s my dinner.”

“I know,” he says. “Why do you always have to pick the crunchiest dinners? You know I have mesothelioma.”

“That’s not what it’s called,” I chuckle. He doesn’t laugh. “Fine, I’ll try to chew more quietly, but that’s kind of hard to do with a bowl of romaine lettuce and carrots.”

Bryan thanks me. There’s a brief moment of silence (at least, to me), and then he pipes up again. “You know, one of the first things you ever told me about yourself was that you always chew gum.”

“I did?” I ask, surprised.

“Yes,” he replies. “You said it the very first day we ever spent time together.”

“Wow,” I smile. “Well, that’s true. I do love gum!”

“And I remember being overcome with the feeling of total dread,” he continues somberly, “because I didn’t think there was any way I’d be able to see you again if it meant I’d have to put up with all of that chewing.”

What Bryan’s trying to say: “I am really, honestly bothered by sounds of chewing and crunching.”

What the Eternal Romantic hears: “I was enamored with you from the moment I met you, Sweet Angel Jillian. Even on our first date, I knew you were The One. I remember every word you said to me on that day, even your casual comment about gum. I have loved you so wholeheartedly that I’ve chosen to cast my misophonia aside just to be with you. So what if I have to put up with a little crunching? It’s a small price to pay if it means I can spend the rest of my life with you by my side.”

I stare at him, my face now resembling a heart-eyes emoji, and smile. “I love you,” I say dreamily.

He looks at me, confused. “I love you, too. So, are you almost finished with your salad?”

“Oh Bryan,” I giggle, tousling my hair. “We have the best time together!”

64 thoughts on “Portrait of an eternal romantic

  1. This is ironic to me because Dan recently told me I chew loudly, and no one has ever told me that in my lifetime! I asked Mom if it was true and she said she didn’t think so. I wonder if we all do it, though, and poor Bryan has to eat with all of us at once!

  2. I only suffer from this with certain people. Is that weird? I feel like if someone is already grating on my nerves, then the sound of their chewing/crunching/slurping will drive me to distraction. Luckily, I know that it’s me and my sensitive hearing and not them chewing obnoxiously loudly, so I usually pretend to ignore it or I make an excuse and leave the room. I’m glad to say that Scrubs chewing has never annoyed me!

    …..But we are about to eat dinner so I may have just jinxed myself……

  3. I have never heard of misophonia before but now that I think about it, there are certain sounds that definitely make me feel enraged as well. I didn’t know the feeling actually had a name so I’ve learned something new today! It’s definitely chewing and kiss sounds that get to me. It’s ironic really because I also experience ASMR so I am a bit of a fuss pot when it comes to which ones I listen to.

    Loved the different interpretations of the statement at the end there :D

  4. Speaking from the crunchee point of view, I only dream that my boyfriend has such blind-optimism. I really do feel bad, because I know it’s all me. It’s not as if I don’t make noise when I chew. In our case, he can’t mis-hear what I say because I’m usually giving him the ‘hairy-eyeball’ (a scowl for those who aren’t sure). It’s kind of hard to misunderstand the hairy-eyeball :). – Like the others who mention it though, the more tense I am the worse it is. Great post!

  5. I never heard of misophonia before. Just realized I don’t like the sound of forks and spoona hitting each other or plates etc. Weird. Thanks, had a good read. Hey Brian! Haha

  6. Such a cute story! Beautiful! Glad to see I’m not the only one getting called out for eating aloud!
    But that’s the end you need to that situation. Love you back and forth haha

  7. Wow! Absolutely wonderful. I have always believed that keeping things simple is the way to go and yet it is the hardest thing to achieve. You have done so much using so few words. Made my decision to get up at 3.30 and read blogs totally worth it!

  8. Re:” Public” nail clipping—–The next time you’re on a bus and you notice this happening, take a “public” survey of the bus, loudly asking (so the “clipper” can hear), “Is there anyone else on this bus who gets agitated with people who clip their fingernails in public? Please respond by saying, ‘Yes!'” Even if no one joins you, the “clipper” will know that YOU don’t like it, and will probably stop and crawl under their seat . . .

  9. That was hilarious! I can totally relate to you – it’s like I miss the whole meaning behind the story by focusing on the small things (like how he remembered you always chew gum). This entry made my day. I shared it with my sister and we both laughed more. Loved it! Thank you!

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  11. I suffer terribly with this – to the point that I have to sit by my youngest daughter at the dinner table, as she eats the most quietly! If my husband is eating cereal, I can’t be in the same room. I can’t describe the feelings that loud mucnhing/chewing invoke, but pleased to know I’m not the only one :)

  12. Oh, dear Lord! THAT’S WHAT IT’S CALLED??!!! It apparently comes from my mother’s side of the family–she and her two brothers can’t stand chewing noises, and I can’t either. I also have problems with high-pitches (TVs, the phone charger currently making me insane), mouse/pen clicks, various keyboards (there aren’t many silent ones out there!) and probably a million other things. This wouldn’t be so bad…IF I didn’t get an ear infection due to overuse of earplugs! Now I get to hear the joys of NOISE!!!! while at work (and even worse!) riding the train home.

    It is nice to know my “insanity” has a name!

  13. This was absolutely fantastic to read. I loved every single word. I am both a sufferer and an eternal heart-emoji eternal romantic, so I was connecting on every level. Awesome post!

  14. This made me chuckle. But I have similar frustrations not with my lover however but with my sister. I get so frustrated and mad and I have to somehow blast music or leave the room to avoid wanting to rip her soul apart. It’s so uncontrollable it’s almost embarrassing and sad. I’ve gotten a little better with dealing with my little issue.

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