After all these years, I have an explanation for why I absolutely can’t stand listening to someone eat an apple.
It’s misophonia — and apparently the loathing of hearing someone eat an apple is one of the most common expressions of the syndrome.
Not all crunching sounds drive me up a wall. There’s just something about the crunch and rasp of an apple being eaten that that makes me want to run away, scream, etcetera. With every bite, I have a corresponding flinch and grimace. Or at least I used to — I’ve gotten much better about keeping the distress on the inside and not showing it.
In any event, apparently I’m one of the last people on the planet to have encountered this concept… There’re GAZILLIONS of articles on the Web on the subject.
For example: https://www.bbc.com/news/stories-46193709
Fortunately, I have it at a mild level. There are people who fly into a rage when they are forced to hear certain sounds. The pain is just that severe.
Apples are definitely my bête noire, but are by no means the only thing that gets on my nerves. I hate being stuck in a roomful of people eating too. Especially if it’s a confined conference room or other otherwise quiet space — there’s nothing to mask or drown out all the slurping and chomping and gulping and rustling of wrappers and everything else that goes along with it.
I just about always skip lunch when I’m working; I’m often onsite at a corporate office and I typically just keep on working during a lunch break during a day-long meeting. If the people I am meeting with go somewhere else to eat, I’m happy. If they bring the food back to the room I’m in, I am, um, on edge.
The sound of a bunch of people who went out and brought lunch back and are smacking and slurping and chewing through it drives me up a wall. I sit there with a blank half-smile on my face, evidently without a care in the world… but if I can find an excuse to go run an errand or go to another room and “check messages” or something, I do. I don’t mind eating in a restaurant where there’s enough background noise that I’m not forced to listen to every munch, crunch, slobber and slurp. It’s not bad when it’s just me and Carole either. What makes the Conference Room Lunch Break Torture so horrible is that there’s absolutely nothing to drown it out; conference rooms are quiet places and so for the half hour or so it takes to get people fed you basically hear nothing BUT
rustle rustle of sandwich wrapper
lather rinse repeat
Again… I can control my outward reaction. I don’t sit there shaking with rage or anything. But inside, behind the cool, relaxed exterior, there’s a Jay that’s going “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH.” 🙂