Talking with your mouth full


Bringing my warm cup of coffee to the breakfast table, I eased into my chair opposite my friend’s nine year old daughter before taking a sip. I was visiting them in California for a few weeks and this was my first day there. Still being on East Coast time, I was an early riser. So was her daughter, since it was also a school day.

Her daughter was busy scooping cereal from her bowl to her mouth when she started talking to me about her day so far. I stared at her face in total horror. Sitting across from me was her gaping mouth filled with masticated Captain Crunchberries and slime. I almost upchucked my coffee.  

Now granted, she’s nine, so I cut her some slack. I made a mental note to ask her mom about table manners though. She was definitely old enough to be taught how to chew with your mouth closed.

My friend ambled in and popped a pastry into the microwave. The bell dinged just as she leveled off her own coffee cup and she took a seat next to her daughter, directly across from me. After stuffing her face with half of the nuked pastry, she proceeded to tell me about the upcoming daily events.

I once again stared back in horror. How was I supposed to sit there and have an adult conversation with a cow chewing her cud? Bits of pastry covered in slimy spit being gnashed between  her teeth while she spat out unintelligible words meant to inform me of the plans for the afternoon. I couldn’t understand what she was telling me because I couldn’t get past this washing machine of chunky chewed grind that used to actually be something edible.

No wonder the nine year old dined like a sow. Her mother was just as bad, if not worse! There would be no lessons in table manners happening here that day.

(these guys crack me up!!)

It wasn’t long after this I noticed that table manners, and manners in general, had taken a backseat to just about everything else in life. Being taught the simplest thing, like crossing your legs or not talking with your mouth full of food, were things of the past. People just do not seem to care much anymore about how offensive and truly disgusting their grooming and simple social graces have become.

On an airplane recently I sat next to a grown women and had to endure listening to her literally smack her lips and lick her hands as she devoured (not an exaggeration) a McDonald’s hamburger. It made me want to gag! It certainly dulled my own appetite.

Hey!  Perhaps this could all be a great new diet aide!

Behind me on this same flight, a young mother satisfied a screaming kid by giving him a wad of bubblegum. He proceeded to smack and crack his gum for the last hour of the ride. Looking around at my close quartered neighbors I could see the rolling eyes and the stink-eye being directed at this immature family. I wasn’t alone with my murderous thoughts. I wanted to scream at him and then decided it might have been more prudent to scream at the mother. That’s just bad parenting.

No one seems to have even the most common of manners these days. I’m not sure when that memo went out, but I missed it. I think simple manners are not too much to expect from your fellow man and I vote for bringing them back!

  1. Keep your elbows off of the table.
  2. Don’t spit food in your napkin and then leave for some unsuspecting person to find it later.
  3. Chew your food with your mouth closed.
  4. Don’t talk to people at the table when your mouth is full of chewed up food that needs to be swallowed.
  5. Don’t reach across the table.
  6. Put your napkin in your lap and use it to dab sauce off your face occasionally.

Seriously…learn these simple manners and you’ll go far in life.


About Madeline Scribes

A writer with a sense of humor. If anyone can laugh at life, it's me.
This entry was posted in All kinds of Advice and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Talking with your mouth full

  1. Tejaswi says:

    It might seem a little odd for me to vehemently support this because I have been a rebel all my life and I am probably known for breaking all the rules. What people don’t know about me is that these things matter to me more than anything else. So, while it sounds a little hypocritical for me to defend your statements, I would like to tell you that I feel that same kind of nausea that you feel when I see kids these days. You know, even your movies and television series show this kind of abominable behaviour. Somewhere during the 80s or 90s this brashness in culture appeared and now it has become a part of the mainstream. It is “cute” to be insouciant, “normal” to be disrespectful or bohemian. You know what I regret most? I am such a bad example to the youngsters, not in these matters, but they tend to dwell on my rebelliousness rather than the finer points. I broke the rules to defy certain systems, not by being ill-mannered, but by being militant and defying conventions that were never meant to be.
    So it is complete irony, today, when I agree with all your listed points.
    1. This is something that I cannot believe has become normal. Elbows off, I tell youngsters and even their parents are offended.
    2. Why would you spit in a napkin and leave it there? In this country, it is even worse. Barbarians.. lumpen dolts and louts go to a restaurant and drop the bones on the table, or wash their hands with the water from their drinking tumbler and pour the dirty water on the plates. Enough to make you wince and shrivel.
    3. Oh, what is the use!!! I cannot even get my daughter to follow this. And I have been doing it since she could chew.. miming the action to show her to close her mouth as she ate.. This cow phenomenon is something that came with the chewing gum mutants.. Ok, so you want to be Shrek… go ahead.. not going to stop you.. keep chewing the cud and talk while you do so, for extra points.
    4. Same as above.
    5. Oh, nuclear families.. you ruined this one.. a common table where everyone is equal etc.. so this happens to raise eyebrows if you even mention this as a rule.
    6. Duh… well, no.. you have to be a slob… all the while.. either extremes.. never use it.. or use it like some garage mechanics rag.. horrible..

    and if I may add to this list, even though this comment is beginning to suspiciously look like a post of its own. And I am going to be pilloried for this one in these modern times where everything is about PC behaviour and unisex manners.
    7. Help a lady sit in her chair at the table. It might look quaint, but it will show that you are not a barbarian. Your outrage at my sexist behaviour notwithstanding. It even pays to open the door for a lady, to offer a seat to a lady when you are traveling and you see her standing. Ok, I am an old fashioned dinosaur.
    8. This will probably gets jeers and hoots. But, ill-mannered louts, stand up when a lady comes to the table or leaves it. It is common courtesy..

    (You must forgive me for my interminable rant.. gosh, this is bad manners too… )

    Liked by 1 person

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