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For decades I thought everyone in my family and my spouse had hollow cheeks and steel gears for teeth that made everything they chewed and crunched sound loud, piercing and annoying. Our family dog seemed to chew much quieter. I was always telling them, often rudely, to chew slowly or stop eating so loud or take smaller pieces on at a time, or to take their snack far away onto another room, or to another city. They looked at me like I paranoid and too fussy and anal. I was, and I am, about those sounds. Then I realized at 65 it’s my hang up and not their bad habits. So now I chose not to sit beside the noisy eaters at meal time, or to eat alone, or keep enough space. I can still hear the really noisy chewers and crunchers way down the table or across a room on a restaurant or on an airplane many aisles away. But now I try to pick my isolated seating space and pick my own eating times where I can bring my nerves and edginess down to a decent level and not want to shout expletives out to all those hollow cheek munchers….