This post is not going to be nice!  This post is not going to be kind!  It is not going to be mean…but it will be honest.

I am writing this on my IPad, sitting in a doctor’s office in Birmingham, waiting on Pop to see the eye doctor.  (All is well with him.)  It is not easy to write this on the IPad, but I am so mad, that if I don’t write it right now…I am going to go over to that women sitting behind me and yank her hair out…piece by piece!  She is driving me crazy…and it’s not that long of a trip!

GUM SMACKING!!!!!  I hate it!  GUM POPPING!!! I hate it!  GUM CRACKING!!!  I hate it!  The sound of it just jumps in my ear and slides right on down to my next-to-the-last nerve and starts dancing right on top of it!  And, it is not the kind of dancing that make me happy, either.  It GRINDS!  It GRATES!  It POUNDS!  It then jumps from my next-to-the-last nerve to my VERY LAST NERVE!  And there it begins to pulverize that nerve until it totally disintegrates into spasms of severe and utter DELIRIOUS PAIN!  This, my friends, is a very, very unhappy place to be.  It makes my eye twitch.  It makes my hair start to curl.  It makes my right leg start jumping uncontrollably!

All this because someone chooses to smack, blow, pop, crack, bang and snap their gum directly into the ear of those of us who believe in the theory that such ‘obvious enjoyment’ should take place in the privacy of one’s own home or car…..or at the very least in the company of another smacker!  Is that too much to ask?

Since when have doctor’s office waiting rooms become such places of bad behavior?  Is there no decorum anymore?  If there is not a gum smacker in the room, you can be sure there is someone there with young children they are letting run wildly around the room, tearing magazines and shouting across the room with abandon to his brother and picking a fight with his sister which Mom has no intentions of refereeing.  She’s reading a magazine, don’t ya know?   If not this young family, you can be sure there will be a cell phone user who thinks this is the perfect place to catch up on the weeks news with Mama…complete with ‘who did what, to whom and why they should/should not have done it and what needs to be done about it and by whom and exactly when it needs to be done!’  Because I can tell you some very interesting conversations I have heard lately.  But, I won’t.  Because that’s not what is yanking my chain at the moment.  It’s that woman over there with her hair in a braid down her back…chewing, gnawing, masticating, ruminating, chomping on her gum.  It is green.  I know this because SHE HAS HER MOUTH OPEN…and ALL the sound escapes!

I moved away from her.  As kindly as I knew how.  I went as far away from her as I could and put my books on the seat next to me and pretended I needed the extra space to balance my IPad on my knee.  I didn’t want her to think I had moved away from her.  It might hurt her feelings.  It might make her feel bad.  So, I went through the charade to spare her feelings.  HAH!  Because I care about offending or bothering others when we are forced to share close quarters.  I do not want to intrude upon their space nor do I want them to intrude upon mine.  GUM CHOMPING  is an INTRUSION!

I just saw her get up and go to the magazine rack….it is very close to where I am sitting.

Am I being punished for something?  Have I done something to deserve this?

She is standing there now…back against the magazine rack which is on the wall…her mouth again close enough for me to hear what’s going on inside.  And, she is casually flipping the pages of the magazines waiting for something to catch her attention.  First one magazine…then another…and another.  All the while working on that gum for all she’s worth.  Would it be rude if I stick my fingers in my ears?  Can I just scream now and get it over with?

There she goes…back to her seat.  I didn’t glare.  I didn’t tell her to ‘zip it!’  I didn’t act unkindly in any way.

But, if she and I happen to get in the elevator together…just the two of us…all bets are off!