Me and Your Mouth


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.


31 responses to “Me and Your Mouth

  1. I love how everyone has their “things.” I never think much about people’s mouths except the public toothpicking, which I find disgusting. I’d rather watch people do all sorts of things to their mouths than have their hair in their face. I have no idea why that irriates me so much.

  2. heh heh. if i ever need to extract secret information from you, i’m going to lock you into a room with my little edie and force to you listen to her eat a banana. it sends me running and stuff like that doesn’t bother me.

  3. Now I’m much too intimidated to have lunch with you as I don’t want to be responsible for you gagging. 😉 Maybe we should just do drinks? It doesn’t bother you to watch someone drinking beer does it?

  4. OMG, those people with the foam in the corners of their mouth? EWEWEWEWEWEWEEWEWEWEW!!!! I have had a boss who had that. Totally gag worthy and revolting. I’m so glad I didn’t have to work closely with him. In other news, watching people vomit makes me vomit. I had to control this response with a titanium force of will with my kids. Baby spit up and bouts of viruses and all the clean up is just hell.

  5. Geewits – Well, that toothpicking is digusting goes without saying. I rarely encounter that, though, thank goodness.

    Stella- Me too. I don’t know how people can have a conversation with other people while everyone is brushing their teeth. They do it after lunch at work all the time – Gaaahhh.

    Meanie – That sounds like a YouTube worthy thing to post on your blog!!

    Alison – No, no, over the years I’ve perfected mealtimes with others so I don’t make direct eye-mouth contact and yet am still engaged in the conversation. Don’t worry. And I only don’t like to watch men with beards or moustaches drink beer (or anything else…or eat) because stuff gets caught in their face hair and then they lick or suck it off their face hair – Blechhh.

    Heidilou – You don’t? Ha ha. It doesn’t have to be a voyeuristic thing…. maybe a one-on-one thing or a movie thing…

    Nylonthread – Vomit is a tough one. I wasn’t too bad with my kid, but anyone else for sure. I think it’s the smell more than anything else. Baby spit-up – no problem

  6. XUP – a well trained moustache need not be in someone’s food. I keep mine very long and well waxed so that I NEVER have food caught in it!

  7. Lebowski – That’s excellent. There’s nothing worse than old food transference during intimate moments

    Missy – I’m moving to Singapore!

    Mo – Good. My work here is done. It’s a nasty, nasty habit.

    Jazz – I know. So many, many unasked questions answered.

  8. Listening to someone brush their teeth sends shivers down my spine. Not in the good way. In the “fingers across the chalkboard” way. Yarg.

  9. i’m with mo. the last sentence kinda hit me. i did not see that coming.

    a friend of mine told me that she worked with a girl who was the most discusting eater ever! this girl would stick a green grape in her mouth, chew chew chew it until out came all of the skin. bloody circus act !

    what about going to the dentist or seeing people at the dentist?

    is that tough for you?

  10. Listening to people eat creeps me out…that must be why people have conversation at dinnertime, it would drive them insane if they did not. My mom says she likes hearing me eat/watching me eat because it ensures that I’m fed, which apparently she is always very worried about.

    How bothered you are by it seems a little extreme, perhaps it was for the dramatic effect, but you got your point across.

    As much as chewing with mouths open is disgusting, I am often annoyed by people who consistently wait until every last bit is out of their mouth before speaking; and as they are shoving food in their face as fast as possible, it makes it impossible to speak to them. Especially when they put up their finger as if saying “one second” for minutes at a time, it really bothers me. You would think they could learn how to take smaller mouthfuls to avoid looking disgusting rather than making the eating time so boring and centered around waiting for them to finish chewing.

  11. Nothing wrong with watching other people perform oral sex.

    … Just sayin’.

    Also, my magic eight ball is saying that dental hygienist is not high on your list of career choices 😛

  12. I have a serious issue with mouth sounds. Please DO NOT make mouth sounds while you are eating. GAG.

    Also? I can’t stand human gum tissue. Including my own. I have very nice teeth which I get faithfully cleaned every four months but I still cannot stand to look at my own gums. Gums are just GROSS. They seem like an unfinished part of the human body. Tissue like that shouldn’t SHOW. Bleccch.

  13. Susan – Oh ya! I must say the electric toothbrush has improved the experience somewhat. It’s not as horrible as the manual. I think because it’s hard to talk while you’re brushing with an electric brush. I don’t know. Still, it should be something done in private, with the door closed and the lights out.

    Bob – Which part, Bob? It was the gum chewing that got you, wasn’t it?

    Raino – Always leave on a high note, I always say. I’m certainly not fond of the dentist, but they do keep the spit factor down by sucking it all away with that little vacuum. The spit factor is one of the biggest things with my mouth issues. So, all in all I’d rather watch someone at the dentist than watch someone eating.

    Aziza – Dinner music, candlelight – not just for romance, but to actually help make people tolerate each other over the dinner table. And ya, I don’t get why people haven’t learned how to eat and chat at the same time without being annoying or disgusting about it. It’s not rocket science.

    Debra – Didn’t you ever go to college? And engage in collegial events? When you live with a bunch of people, stuff happens, privacy goes out the window. Also there are movies – don’t tell me you’ve never watched a porn movie?? And, even if there are only two of you and one of you is performing oral sex, don’t you ever watch?

    The Maven – Thanks Maven…really, how else will you learn, right? And, you’re amazing!! I never once in my life considered dental hygienist as a profession.

    Lesley – Oh. Oh. Oh – you know what’s really, really super creepy? That under your tongue part. Look in the mirror, lift your tongue up and take a gander at that weird veiny, slimy stuff connected by tissue-paper thin strips of skin or something.

    Mo – You may read my answer to Debra. You’ve never, ever watched someone perform oral sex? I feel like such a tramp now.

  14. Pingback: I gag, you gag! « Savanvleck’s Weblog

  15. I definitely relate. My gags are wet hair, a single strand on the sink, and holding pens or anything in my mouth.

    Well, except for that last one, which goes to show that if you are having enough fun, you can forget your phobias.

  16. your last line was funny and will probably cause a nice spike in google hits for you.

    sorry about the mouth/food issue.

    had an ex girlfriend that had a similar issue with noses. literally caused gagging. If you pretended to put you finger up your nose (could be two inches two the side of said nostril) and she’d be retching.

    it haunted her. it was a little funny, but only at first. after a while you’d just feel bad for her as she’d be sounding like a cat with a ten pound hair ball.

    and it was only noses. all other part of anatomy failed to cause anything similar. everyone has their thing.

    George Orwell’s book 1984. Room 101. Yours is filled with mouths chewing and drooling. Yuck.

  17. Wow. I zone out for a few days and BAM! it’s oral sex and…was there any other point to this post? I became distracted with the oral.

    I have to brush my teeth very quickly. Can’t leave the foamy toothpaste in there too long as it makes me gag. (::gag:: just thinking about all that foam, bluck) Doesn’t bother me so much to see the teethbrushing. Just the foam. When pregnant, I often skipped brushing my teeth altogether due to the foam.

    Guess you won’t enjoy my latest post…I spit my soup all over my dinner companion. How would you handle lobster bisque across your face? What if it was a sexual soup encounter? Would it be okay to spit soup in your face then? (i kid)

  18. Savanvleck – Oh ya, people who put pens and pencils in their mouths …GAHHH. The hair doesn’t bother me. I do the regular pulling that wad of slimy hair out of the bathtub drain without blinking. It makes my daughter gag, though.

    LDG – It IS a fixation of sorts. I have no particular phobia about bums. Apparently you missed my hard-hitting feature: Let’s Look at Buttocks.

    Reeky – Noses, eh? Well, I’m not fond of watching people pick their noses either and I make a point of not touching anything they’ve touched. And when it escalates from finger in nose to finger in mouth. Then I gag.

    OTC- I keep telling you that you have to be on the ball in XUP land. I’ll rush over now to get soup spit on me.

  19. Last night I was reminded of another oral thing that probably makes you gag. It makes me gag. Dontcha hate it when people have to lick their fingers before turning a page? ICK!!! Why do they have to put their spit on the pages??? I never have a problem turning pages without licking my fingers first.

  20. CP – riiiiiiggggghhhhhtttt

    Heidi – I have a whole other issue related to that with library books. I may blog about it some time