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!