The squishy chewing and tiny bubbles popping in between teeth. The moisture and chomping. Then there's the look... the lazy look in one's eye when he or she is chewing away. Bored, apathetic, indifferent. Yah, I'm so cool. I can chew my gum.
This pet peeve is so bad, that I might instill a house rule as my children get older. No Gum Chewing In The House When Mom Is Around. (Thankfully, as of now, our house is happily gum-free because the babes are so young.) Back in the day when I dreamed of being a teacher and wrote up imaginary syllabi in my head for each class, the first thing to go on the top of the page would be No Chewing Gum In This Class. When proctoring an SAT test one day (this was real life, not imaginary), I actually asked all the students to throw away their gum because it was distracting. It was awesome finally being in a position of authority to be able to request this! Unlike that flight to NYC years ago when the lady behind me was trying to set a world record for how loud she could chomp her Trident. I sat there, close to tears, wondering how the world could be so horrible.
So my advice to you: pass up on the gum, and grab a mint instead. It could save lives - maybe even yours.
After reading all the comments, I need to do some clarifying! That is my writer's weakness for sure: clarity. So thanks for the push, everyone. :)
1) People may chew gum in my household. I would never be able to enforce a ban, but as long as they chew it away from my hearing range, everyone will be happy! Especially mommy. :)
2) Chewing gum on an airplane for ear-popping-purposes is perfectly fine. Or chewing it for medical reasons, such as quitting smoking, is also awesome. My big thing is, it can be done quietly. By all means, chew away! Just don't let people hear the saliva squishing around too.