Parents... no matter how much you love them, or miss them in times of loneliness, or suffer pain when either of them is hurt, or further, yearn for their infinite maternal, paternal warmth...they still have the propensity to irritate, aggravate and in extreme circumstances, repulse you.
The excruciating crunch of a lettuce leaf, the agonising dribble of olive oil down an endlessly wagging chin, the unrelenting shovelling of food into the tireless gaping infinity that is the human gullet. Acres upon acres of swirling harvested crop swilled down with ravenous wide eyed gulps, all with a mouth full of smashed up shrubbery...
the whole family-farmyard-like grazing experience is enough to drive the saintliest of saints completely stir crazy!
These are my personal gripes with my own family life. Trite though they may seem, especially when compared to some of the most awful things that some families have to endure- domestic abuse, divorce, constant arguing, football on the telly etc - none of these qualities (if "quality" is the right word) are those of which you could attribute to my family.
No, to me, my problems are much worse!
To the outsider, my first paragraph might allude you to the conclusion that my parents are nothing but a pair of fat, gluttonous oafs if it weren't for the reference to lettuce and olive oil. No, on the contrary they are quite healthy living, generous, loving and wonderfully supportive people, hellbent on making my life as easy and luxurious as possible. But step into my obscure nonsensical brain at dinner time and they become barbarians, culinary sinners, sloth-like neanderthaulic cretins, dinnertime dunces! I do love them truly, madly and unconditionally though but there is a monster that lingers within me. Something unshakable, unintelligible.. evil even.
I have already concluded long ago that either I am correct in my analysis of my parents eating habits, that they have indeed somehow regressed after teaching me basic table manners as a toddler, or that I am simply 'mentally all-wrong inside' and in need of help (most likely and unwantingly the latter).
There is however, a scientific term for what I have and apparently it's called "Misophonia".
I cannot stand unnecessary noise. Whether it be as simple as the screech of a table leg being dragged along a polished floor or the unforgivable snort and hock of someone overcoming a cold. All of this, some may say, is rather rich coming from a
man (boy) who is constantly plugged into an iPod, iPhone or some other listening device designed to blast noise into his earholes... but before you condemn me to the same accusation, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I protest!!! Im sure you'll understand that this is only in effort to bludgeon the constant irritating din that is the rest if the world!?!?...
Oh you don't understand?
Churlish and unreasonable you say?
By now you will have realised my mental illness, exceeds just the dinner table. It's spilling out into my daily life. Take this anecdote for example:
The last flight I took, I was consumed with rage at an 8 month old baby's screams of terror as the tin can of imprisonment it had found itself in roared angrily into the oncoming shimmering abyss. "How inconsiderate" I thought to myself. "Here I am on my way, flying through the heavens to my awaiting paradise in the sun, and this little fucker is ruining it all! How will I ever get to sleep on this luxurious, low-cost Ryanair, journey of a lifetime now?!?".
I comforted my ego by convincing myself that the rest of the cabin crew were somehow on my side. In my mind exchanging knowing glances with the pretty Spanish air hostess who's eyes seemed to reply with the compassionate words - "Si si, I feel your pain".
The plane landed and after having stuffed my 6' 3 frame into my allocated letterbox sized space between the two seats and awakening from lolling my head back and forth for an hour in a feeble attempt at a mid-flight nap, I had all but forgotten about the little tot...my rage was probably now focused on something probably far more important...probably.
But who am I kidding? I've recently realised (and perhaps known all along) that I spend far too much of my time fussing over life's simplicities. Maybe it's a sub-conscious defence mechanism to stop myself from worrying, or being angry at the things I'm supposed to be paying attention to.
I don't like this part of my personality. I loath it with every inch of my being. I feel like Bruce Banner from The Hulk and that my "green monster" is my incapability to withstand any minor annoyance or sound. Maybe I shouldn't be so worked up about it though, I haven't publicly allowed these annoyances of mine to enter or disturb the consciousness of any other fellow human beings...yet
Until that day comes, I suppose I just have to work on accepting people, situations and 8 month old babies...
I think everyone has their own "green monster". Everyone is a bit Banner-esque at times and like ol' Brucey, I reckon we're all trying to find our own antidote as painstakingly slow and arduous as it may be... I know I am.
So for now, however begrudgingly, I'll see you at the dinner table.