Are you landing a plane or eating your meal?

I have a friend who is one of the most annoying people to eat a meal with. He shall remain nameless to protect his feelings; his very annoying, irritating, stupid feelings.

Eating with this friend has become an exercise in patience and self-restraint. I don’t think he is trying to be annoying, it just comes naturally to him. For some reason he seems to engage in a lot of needless and obnoxious behaviors that make me want to pour a drink in his lap and tell him to forget my number.

The first vexing behavior is with the complimentary bread. He seems to be incapable of simply taking a small piece of bread and gently placing it in his mouth. He leans his head back slightly and does a weird mini-throw into his mouth, as though he was a show seal that was self-feeding. He, inevitably, misses his mouth and has to catch the piece of bread and attempt yet another close range throw.

Then comes the salad and the movements increase. There is so much needless fork waving over the salad as though he was conducting a lettuce symphony. You know how you look at a salad and decide whether to pierce the cucumber or the tomato wedge, and then do it? Well he has this debate over the actual salad.

He gesticulates his fork over the cucumber for a second, then over the tomato wedge, and finally forks a piece of lettuce. The torture does not end there. That piece of lettuce is almost always too big and ends up sticking out of his mouth where he proceeds to lean his head back once again and take a few bites until it is in his mouth (à la show seal).

God forbid we eat something delicious because he starts nodding his head, raising the fork in the air in one hand, and pointing with the other hand to inform me of what he is enjoying so much. He always tries to speak right after he has shoved food into his mouth and unavoidably spits something in my direction.

Between plates there is a lot of leg shaking, I mean a lot. He is continuously shifting his body and adjusting his seat until the arrival of the main dish. When he orders meat, which is more often than not, I cringe. He is one of those people that place the fork on one edge of the meat, the knife on the on the opposite side and attempt to cut the meat by dragging them towards each other.

“You are not cutting butter, pierce the meat with your fork and use a sawing motion with the knife to cut it, you absolute imbecile,” is what I want to shout at his face. But I simply try to look away while he attempts to shred the meat apart.

One of the nicest parts of any meal is at the end when I can sit back and just linger, talking, finishing up my drink calmly. Before he has swallowed his last bite he has already ask for the check.

As I said earlier, he is not trying to be annoying, he just naturally is. As I watch him chew with his mouth open, blissfully unaware of his infuriating behavior, I end up wondering to myself why I agree to dine with him. Well it turns out that my love of food beats out my love of sanity every time.

We all have that annoying friend that has table ADD, doesn’t share his food, and eats too quickly. If you don’t have one, it is probably you.