Headline, July 12 2020/ ''' '' HAPPY UNTAMED HOURS '' '''


HOURS '' '''

SINCE THE PANDEMIC LOCKDOWN BEGAN, Marianne Andrews, Jonathan Miller and their two teenagers have been eating dinner together every night, and sometimes lunch.
It's been a bit...........fraught.

Ms. Andrews is forthright about her distress, ''Jonathan's eating habits have irritated me for years anyway and have only been exacerbated during the last six or seven weeks of him working from home,'' said Ms. Andrews, 53, a stay-at-home parent who lives in Surrey, England.

Where to begin? Oh, let's start with breakfast. The problem, Ms. Andrews said, is that her beloved, to whom she has been married for more than two decades, inhales his morning coffee. The brew is ''too hot to sip, so it just gets sucked up,'' she said. ''Not gulping, more of a sucking sound.''

Then there's the matter of the molar implant that Mr. Miller, 55, the head of English, at an international school in London, has been awaiting. Because of the lockdown, his appointment has been canceled, so he's been forced to chew his food in a lopsided fashion, which has terrorized his wife.

But the most egregious transgression, at least in her opinion, is the post-prandial habit of chomping and crunching on nuts.

''We will be sitting down to watch TV and he'd come in with a bowl full of cashews or worse still, pistachios, which he kind of Hoovers up from their shells with a smacking sound,'' Ms. Andrews said. ''Despite years of remonstrance on my part, he still commits this offense.''

Similar for his chocolate consumption. ''He will make a small square of chocolate last a very long time,'' she said. She hears him ''slowly masticating.'' This displeases her.

The state of epicurean unrest in the Andrews-Miller household brings to mind Glennon Doyle, the author of the recently published ''Untamed'' and wife of the soccer star Abby Wambach.

In a recent Instagram post, Ms. Doyle waxed somewhat despairing about Ms. Wambach's assault on popcorn. The two women had been sitting on the couch when Ms. Doyle ''looked at her with rage and contempt and scorn and fury,'' Ms. Doyle wrote.

''Abby was scared and surprised, because we've only known each other for four years and I've been pretending to be nice that whole time. So Abby asked me to apologize for trying to kill her with my eyeballs.

These issues can be even more pronounced when you're living in isolation, eating three meals a day together, sometimes for the first time in years.

''Food can bring us together, but it can also be a real source of anxiety between people and a source of conflict,'' said Abby Langer, a registered dietitian in Toronto who has worked with couples and families.

''If one partner is following a certain diet and the other isn't this can be a source of conflict, especially during quarantine.''

This also doesn't take into account the crunches, lip smacks, scrapes and sated aahs so many people find so excruciating. But in many instances, the complainers are not just being ornery.

They could have a condition called misophonia, in which one experiences strong negative feelings to specify sounds like the proverbial nails on the chalkboard.

This is something Alex Olins is grappling with, not on her end, but on her husband's.

The director of an employment and citizenship programs at a large nonprofit organization in Seattle, Ms. Olins, 49, is often on the receiving end of her husband;s ire. Specifically, as it relates to her chewing. ''I don't think I chew loudly,'' she said. ''No one else has ever mentioned this to me.'' Except him.

Her husband, John, was never found to have misophonia, but Ms. Olins believes he could have it. ''It seems to me to justify or at least explain his irritability and sensitivity about this issue,'' she said.

Since they began quarantining and eating three meals together on a daily basis, the tension has worsened. In the past, the couple could tune out the irritating things about each other - especially, the food - related ones.

''By not eating all our meals together due to work, school and sports schedules, and being out and about in the world and living our lives freely,'' Ms. Olins said. But it's different now. Any annoyance is intensified.

The Honor and Serving of the Latest Global Operational Research on Society and Quarantines, continues. The World Students Society thanks author Abby Ellin

With respectful dedication to couples ''Dining Together'', Grandparents, Parents, Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See Ya all prepare and register for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society and Twitter - !E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011:

''' Times - Those '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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