As I sit in the middle of my beautiful kitchen, perched up high on one of my gorgeous leather island stools, I can’t help but be abundantly grateful for all the blessings in my life. I have a wonderful husband, Bruce, and three sons who I could not love any more than I do. My oldest son, Bruce Robert, is named after his father and is just a joy to be around. He is married to Lauren, an amazing and wonderful young lady who is the kind of girl all mothers dream of having as a daughter in law. My younger two sons, Scott and Brian, make us very proud and are incredible young men.
I look around me and I think to myself, yes, I have so much. A beautiful home, a wonderful family and a job I love. My eyes travel around the room and I say a silent prayer of thanks for all that I have been given. My eyes travel over the beautiful granite counters and past the high end appliances when suddenly they stop on my husband, who is standing at the end of the counter eating what looks to be the biggest ham sandwich I’ve ever seen. I just sit there and stare at him, wondering how any human can take a bite that big out of a sandwich without choking. As he conquers the monster bite, I notice he has a little mayonnaise on the corner of his mouth.
He heads for the snack cabinet and starts to rustle around for something crunchy to eat with his gargantuan sandwich. Ut oh, I hear the crinkling of a loud foil bag and see him grabbing for the Frito’s. This is a pet peeve of mine. Pet peeves are funny and we all have them. They can be something as little and insignificant as the way someone taps their fingers annoyingly on a table or as big as your tax bill increase each year.
Mine happens to be loud, noisy chewing. It would be easy to just ignore my husbands superhuman ability to crunch at decibels that seem impossible to achieve, but the harder I try to focus on something else, the louder it becomes. I become completely and solely in tuned to the noise.
“Margaret, I’m going to have some chips.” That’s my cue to either move to the adjoining room and turn the volume of our theater size television up full blast, or to remove myself from the situation for the sake of harmony by going to the furthest corner of our house in the opposite direction of the kitchen. This is the course I usually take. As I sit in my room, which is on the 2nd floor, I wonder to myself how in the world I can possibly still be hearing him. Is this some kind of bad karma or latent punishment? Was I a loud chewer in a previous life?
Two flights down I can still hear the freakishly loud chewing going on. “chomp chomp chomp” I start to question myself. Am I being obsessive about something so trivial? Am I a loud chewer and don’t realize it? I wonder if other people can hear me chew a salad? No! I chew with my mouth closed, and I tend to do it quietly. Hmmph! Why can’t men chew quietly like women do?
As I sit upstairs working so hard to ignore the thunderous chewing of food that’s drifting into my room, I notice that the loud crunching starts to slow down and eventually comes to a stop. I can feel my irritation start to lift. I start to look around my lovely bedroom. I notice the beautiful bedspread and coordinating drapes. I look adoringly at the two matching chairs that sit in front of the big window and think of how nice it is to sit there and look outside at my neighborhood. And Just like that, my pet peeve goes back into hiding and I start to feel generously blessed again. I have such a good life and have been given so much. I have been especially blessed with an amazing husband who is giving and thoughtful and loving. Yes, pet peeves are odd.