BitterSweet

An Obsession with All Things Handmade and Home-Cooked

Eating Like an Animal

26 Comments

Most people would never bat an eye over chowing down in a restaurant, or big dinner party, but eating in public places is awkward for me. Simply put, table manners perplex and overwhelm me, driving me to eat in solitude so as not to accidentally offend those around me. Admittedly an odd character quirk on my part, any member of my family who is so unfortunate to have dined regularly with me would understand- Talking with my mouth full, elbows on the table, picking at food with my fingers, I am no where near a master of eating etiquette. These bad habits can obviously be suppressed with conscious effort, but needless to say, I’m just not comfortable seated in one of my university’s many dining halls. Surrounded by a couple hundred unknown students, each with their own set of cultural norms and taboos, I fear that each bite I take may be seen as more appalling than the last.

Doing my best to speed through another self-conscious breakfast, hiding in the corner with my head buried in a text book, I was startled by the sudden sounds of noshing even more violent and untamed than my own. Craning around to find the source, I saw the exact image that I fear others might project onto me; Snout rooting about in a mountainous bowl of cereal, this guy was an absolute pig!

No, seriously, he was a pig!

Watching crumbs fly though the air as this voracious animal tore through those crunchy wheat squares, I instantly felt better about my own unsavory behavior. As out of place as I may feel, I’m fairly confident that my manners aren’t nearly so conspicuous as his!

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Author: Hannah Kaminsky

Author of My Sweet Vegan, Vegan Desserts, Vegan a la Mode, and Easy as Vegan Pie.

26 thoughts on “Eating Like an Animal

  1. ohhhhh! so adorable!!! *falls over with cuteness* heehee, and he even likes corn bran, I love that stuff!

    I know exactly what you mean about the eating, too. I kinda see eating with other people as a huge discomfort, at least if it’s something messy (my favourite kind of thing to eat). Sandwiches are the worst! Fillings dropping out everywhere, and the only thing I can do is inhale it – messily – to make the ordeal shorter. *sigh*. If it’s knife+fork food it’s a bit better, then I turn into miss manners, cutting everything into tiny pieces. But in general? Give me the time and the solitude to get my fingers into my food! I hate eating at school…

  2. You’re not alone, I completely understand your situation. I even dislike eating with my family. I feel like everyone is watching me, waiting for something to go wrong, anything! Eating is such a personal thing, but we make it so communal. I’m also a bit critical myself of how people eat, for example, when I see someone eat with their mouth open, I cringe. So I fear others are thinking the same of anything that I’m doing.

    Your piggie is so cute!

  3. Awwwwwwww, piggy!!!!!!!!! *squeeing with delight*

  4. Aww how adorable!! YES i BET that he was noisy too!
    At least enjoying his food! LOL!
    I too am a messy eater and even am compelled to wear a dishtowel as a bib(lol) when eating (not in company though) as I CONSTANTLY drip food on myself.
    Eating alone IS easier..

  5. LOL! And what a cute pig he is!

  6. I’m with you Liz, something so much more indulgent about messy food, but yes, slightly embarassing. I suppose I am better than that pig though!

  7. Aww – your little pig is very cute!

    I love the wee wonderfuls blog – so many lovely things – and one day I too will get around to making my own little pig :-)

  8. Cute little piggy! Are those Puffins he is enjoying? They look good too. ;)

  9. What an adorable piggy! I really do love your blog. It’s always a fun place to visit.

  10. once again, Hannah, you and I are quite alike – I prefer to eat in solitude, since it’s awkward trying to figure out if you’re chewing too loudly or where to place your elbows, etc.; and oh my goodness people in class and in the student lounge are so disgusting with how they eat snacks during lectures!! ick!! I’m so glad that I have pretty good eating manners, haha :0D

  11. P.S. the piggy looks like the one you made for my mom :0D

  12. It is so sweet and cute ( ^ (●●)^)

  13. Hey, he may be a pig, but it looks like he has good taste in cereal! I want some of what he’s having…if it’s not already gone! :)

    Your craftiness and photography skills continue to impress me. And I eat alone a lot too – I’m not sure whether I chomp down my food with my mouth open, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I did. I’m a fast eater. My family usually stops talking when the food comes, and then resumes conversation after the food is gone, haha. That’s what I’m used to. So it’s the corner for the both of us in the dining hall, then.

  14. I think your pig is too cute and I’m very familiar with those Puffins! It’s so important to be an individual and know what makes you the unique person you are (and you seem to be very unique), but oh how wonderful it is to share a meal with the people you love….eating can be such a meaningful interaction with other people because you immediately have something in common….on the other hand, if you have unresolved issues with food, eating, etc. then a social meal is a nightmare and something to avoid at all costs. To those of you who may be in the latter group, I challenge you to confront those insecurities knowing we all have sources of discomfort….and cherish sharing those times with the people who care about you with a laugh and a big spoon full of something yummy!

  15. Well, at least he’s handsome! Makes up for the very bad table manners!

  16. LOL…..too cute Hannah. What a cutie this piggie is!!!! :)

  17. He is such an adorable little pig!!

  18. That’s a heck of cute pig! I think it would be nice to have one that small for a pet.

    Eating in public. I was so paralyzed on my first dinner date with DH that I’m surprised that he stayed interested in me. My mother taught all of us elegant English manners, as she learned them from her Dad, ruthlessly enforced by OUR dad. I was afraid to eat a salad, and cut it into tiny pieces with my knife.

    Hope that your eating in public can become less stressful, as mine eventually did. I can swill wine, make big gestures, and stuff pasta in my mouth with the best of ‘em now.

  19. hehehehhe . . . . . sometimes the food is so awesome delicious, I shut everyone else (imagine no one around), I eat the way I want, even to an extend, “eat like a pig”! lol!

  20. I used to feel that way about eating around other people, but I guess I grew out of it, so maybe you will, too! I think it helped to have a good friend whose table manners were worse than mine… :) I became much less self-conscious after that.

  21. I am in love with that pig….it is too cute! LOVE it.
    I was forced to take a manners class and so I don’t feel so subconcious about eating out in public. Though maybe I should.

  22. A little piggie after my own heart! Chow time!

  23. Aw, what a cute piggy! Hey, eating messily and without manners is the way nature intended. It just makes food taste that much better, no?

  24. Aw- how adorable! That little piggy has very good taste in cereal by the way (I’m eating Puffins right now!)

  25. This is too cute! I literally just “LOL”d while sitting alone at my computer… I love Puffins, too! Piggy & I think alike.

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