Monday, January 16, 2012

Pet Peeve

I took several months off blogging with my friends over at Gbe2. But I'm back and so excited about this week's topic: pet peeves. There are many that have faded in and out of my ever-changing life. But there is one pet peeve that has remained constant, unfortunately: chewing gum.
There are so many aspects of this experience that annoy me, but this picture should give you a good visual. First of all, the sound - you can just imagine the sound.


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.


Gene Pool Diva said...

Oh yeah. Mom always told we looked like we were chewing our cud, so we don't.
And every gum popper out there? I am so coming over the seats to get you!

MB said...

I'm so happy you're doing the topics again, after all I wouldn't be part of GBE if it weren't for you! :)

Yes! Chewing gum can be SO obnoxious. I hate when people chew with their mouth open and you hear the saliva - EW :P

Claudia Moser said...

I can understand!

November Rain - k~ said...

My mother made such a rule in our home when I was a kid. My father used to sneak off with me in the truck, and give me a whole bag of bubble gum, tell me that I could chew it, blow bubbles, and enjoy it, as long as I was with him. Guess who won? ;-)

ElaineLK said...

Yes, this can be really annoying, but I have to speak in defense of the person on the plane. It's possible she was chewing gum because of pressure in her ears. I have this problem on planes and it was suggested that chewing gum could help. Nothing really did help me till I found Earplanes, but maybe it did help this person.

Weissdorn said...

I am reminded of the sage lyrics of Roald Dahl from "Charlie & Chocolate Factory"

Mojo Writin' said...

A lot of people I know, myself included chew gum for a reason. It helps me concentrate (I have no idea why!) and it also helps keep my mouth hydrated (I suffer from an incredibly dry mouth), so I'm sorry, Maggie, I'm gonna continue to chew, but I promise not to do it in your presence *grin*
Second thing that sprang to mind - not sure banning anything ever works. Ban something, it becomes instantly more desirable. Your idea of restricting may work, but I suspect it will just add to the allure. I hope not, for your sake!

Maggie said...

I love all these comments! I edited the post to clarify what really peeves me about this. :P The noise!

BritB said...

LOL. In high school Josh wrote an essay about his #1 pet peeve which is also gum chewing! I just read your blog to him and he says, "Hell yeah. We must be related." However Josh is also bugged by the smell. Sometimes I will sneak gum when we are apart, but he always knows.... :)

Angie said...

The smell bothers me, especially if the kids have some watermelon flavored gum, I HATE that smell! I can't stand to do any gum chewing myself because it tends to make me hungry. Something about all that flavor in my mouth, makes my belly want the actual stuff. :)

Word Nerd said...

I have a rule about gum at my house and at the daycare: no gum for those under four. Because of that rule, I often give a gumball machine and a stock of gum for daycare kids' 4th birthdays.

Last year, I had one mom specifically request that I not give her child the traditional gift because she can't stand gum chewing. :O)

Oh, and I remember seeing Oprah say once that she has a thing about gum chewing. So much so that once when a dinner guest at her house removed a piece of gum from his (Her? I don't remember.) mouth and set in on his plate before he started his meal, she later threw the plate in the trash because she was so grossed out.

Brenda Stevens said...

oh and chewing with mouth open