I close my eyes when I brush my teeth because watching people brush their teeth makes me gag. When people talk, either to me or on the TV or in movies, while brushing their teeth, I look away and cover my ears and make some noise so I don’t hear them. Sometimes I run from the room.
There’s a woman at work who always talks with her mouth full. By that I mean she is always eating and she is always talking – through a full mouth of food. Most adults have mastered the art of eating and speaking. They’ll either wait until they’ve swallowed their food before speaking or tuck the food somewhere into the side of their mouth before speaking. Not this woman. All day long I can hear her, loudly, going – blmffllrmtfffflllflrmmm. I can’t eat while she’s doing that. It makes me gag. I can’t sit near her in meetings because I don’t want to get hit by flying food.
I can’t watch people eat. Or listen to people eat. If I’m eating with other people, I like a little background noise to drown out the chewing and slurping and swallowing. And I look around a lot so I don’t accidentally catch them in the act of eating. It makes me gag.
Gum chewing should be banned completely. At least with food you have some hope that the person will eventually swallow and be done with it. Gum just goes on and on. Crackling. Snapping. Churning around in the mouth with spit. (It’s making me gag just writing this). Sometimes gum chewers pretend they’re going to blow bubbles and stick their tongue through the gum out in front of their mouths. Sometimes they actually have bubble gum and push bubbles of gum out of their mouths which pop and then require the chewee to pick gum off their face and re-insert it into their mouths. (Ack). Sometimes gum chewers just let the gum dangle there between their front teeth, glistening with spit. Gum seems always to be chewed with wide open mouths, too. When I’m forced to be near someone chewing gum I want to scream at them to spit it out.
It really makes me gag when people put their fingers in their mouths for purposes of licking food off them or biting their nails. If you get food on your fingers, use a napkin for pity’s sake. There is no good reason for an adult to have their hands in their mouths unless it’s some foreplay thing. Sometimes on the bus a person next to me will be chewing their nails and spitting nail bits out over the entire trip. I move and stand far away from them but I can still hear the pftt, pfft, of the spitting nail bits and sometimes by accident I get a glimpse of them with their fingers in their mouths.
I had a teacher once who always had white scum in the corners of her mouth. I almost failed the class because I couldn’t look at her. Even listening to her made me think of the white scum, so I couldn’t listen to her for long. It made me gag. I have a similar involuntary response when women have lipstick caked randomly in corners or crevices of their mouth. Or when people can’t contain their spit when they talk and it bubbles up around their teeth or bursts out with every dental and alveolar fricative.
Oddly enough, watching people perform oral sex doesn’t make me gag. At all.
Since you’ve been asking, results for the Canadian Blog Awards have been trickling in. Slowly. Ever so slowly. My category is supposed to be posted on December 17th. You can follow the slow trickling in of results HERE.