Make sure your children marry partners who chew with their mouth closed. Here is my rant against any and all on the planet who are human by definition but goatlike by mastication habits. I will be the first to say my table manners are perhaps shy of impeccable. I tend to mess up tablecloths, occasionally use the wrong utentsil, rarely bang the inside of my teacup with my teaspoon, etc., but I do not chew as though I wished all of my dinner companions would have a good view as to the progress of food mashification inside my blasted mouth. Mrs. MM and I were at a rather fancy breakfast in Boracay a few days ago and two tables away there was this male guest of the hotel that was chewing louder than I have EVER heard anyone chew. It’s as if he was receiving pleasure in hearing his own tongue slap his food around in his humongous and cavernous mouth. As his saliva and juice or tea sloshed along with his food, you could hear every frigging action that was occurring in his mouth.
He was almost as loud as our Kitchen Aid heavy duty mixer with the paddle attachment on high. It was the most off-putting thing to sit and listen to while you are staring at your own dish of tapa and fried eggs. I was so stunned by the sound of his open mouth mastication that I actually intentionally STARED at the man for close to a minute to see if he would literally shut up. He didn’t. He had no clue whatsoever that there was anything wrong. He was there with what appeared to be his new bride. I wanted to run over and shake her violently and tell her that the marriage was almost certainly doomed… how could she possibly face a lifetime with someone who created more sound with his mouth (without speaking or shouting) than the loudest toot he could expel from his rear end??? Closing your mouth while chewing has a practical explanation…it prevents your food from falling back out. But closing your mouth also keeps chewing sounds to a minimum. I realize some folks may have valid excuses for an occasional slip of the lips… misaligned jaws, excitement in blurting out a thought or story, or temporary muscle spasms… but chewing with your mouth gaping more than an inch wide 90% of the time is simply not acceptable! Do you think it is genetic? Ethnically linked? Due to blocked nasal passages? Whatever the reason, one of the first things you really have to teach your kids at the table is to CHEW WITH THEIR MOUTHS CLOSED. :)