When I’m enjoying some food, there are certain things I just don’t want to hear.

Now, you may be thinking of some obvious things, like really grotesque topics, and those would fit the bill, too. But, no, what I’m talking about are seemingly innocent topics of conversation that just don’t fit well with when I’m enjoying some yummy food. And here they are, in no particular order:

1. Why You’re Not Eating What I’m Eating

Clearly, I chose the food I’m eating because I thought I’d enjoy it and didn’t take your likes into consideration in this decision. I’d be just fine with you sitting down with me, eating what you chose, and not discussing the “why”s of our dissimilar food choices. Because no reason is one I’m going to want to hear. (Exception: food allergy. If you’re, say, deathly allergic to what I’m about to eat, I do want to know that so I don’t put you in danger or something).

If you’re going to tell me you didn’t choose the food I did due to your current dieting plan, just keep that inside and don’t let it out.

No one wants to hear, “Oh, yeah. Um, I’m not eating THAT because I’m trying to lose weight” or, worse yet, “Do you know how many calories are in that?!” Just save it. It IS possible to sit amongst people and not indulge in their indulgences without mentioning it. I’ve done it plenty of times. You just sit down and don’t draw attention to it. I can sit down in an ice cream place and not eat ice cream and, if I don’t mention it, most people won’t even notice, believe it or not. And if they do notice it, it’s just kind of understood that you don’t make a big deal out of it; if you do, the Eater feels bad about eating, and the NonEater feels awkward about his/her choice.

And I most definitely don’t want to hear how whatever I’ve eating messes with your stomach or whatever. No one wants to discuss G.I. issues when eating. Just, no. Never. Leave it at, “I don’t care for it” and move on.

Also, I just really don’t want to hear about how you think what I’m eating is cruel. If you choose not to partake in cheeseburgers, that’s totally cool with me, and maybe we can even discuss the issues you have with the meat industry. But not now. Not here. Not when I’m about to eat this insulting deliciousness.

2. How the Food Was Made

Some of my earliest memories of the Southern side of my family involve sitting around the table, enjoying a wonderful, and always too large, spread of food. But I remember, even at a young age, being annoyed with the discussion of how the food we were eating was cooked. I remember thinking, “Can’t we just EAT it without discussing the recipe?!,” and I feel the same today. Now, if someone ASKS how it was made, that’s another thing. But to meticulously discuss how you cooked whatever it is we’re eating is really just annoying.

Personally, I believe that cooking for others is about the result, not the process. You want your guests to guiltlessly enjoy the result, not have to show their appreciation for each step that went into the result. Also, if the food discussion continues the whole meal, I feel like it just shows poor conversation skills (this was not the case with my Southern family… they could then move on to talk about traffic like pros – ha!).

And my dislike for discussing how the food was made is especially strong when someone decides to discuss the food making process for shock factor, as in how sausages are made or how big chains make their “meat.” Again, those are discussions for other times.

3. How Other Food Is Made

Worse even than a discussion of how the food I’m eating was made is a discussion of OTHER recipes. Why in the world would I want to eat my pasta dish while hearing the meticulous details of a roast dish, for example? I can’t even concentrate on the flavor of what’s in front of me while you’re discussing some other food altogether. And, again, can’t we have a better conversation than recipes? Ask me about your day and I’ll ask you about yours and we’ll call it “conversation!”

4. Who’s Recently Died

Because, now, I just feel outright guilty for the ability to eat and enjoy food. I can’t sit here and fuel my functioning body while discussing the newest members to the “Who’s Died” list. Unless the meal is part of the funeral proceedings for someone, I just don’t want to sit around and talk about who’s just died. Can’t we do that, like, when we’re filling out our taxes together or something?

5. Anything You’re Going to Say With Food In Your Mouth

If you have food in your mouth just… shhhh. Shush. Tell me in a minute. I’m fine not knowing yet. If there is food in your mouth or hanging off your lip, I don’t care if you’re about to tell me there’s five million dollars waiting for me on the front porch – I’m fine waiting until you’ve swallowed and wiped your mouth. Really. There’s no rush. You just take care of all that food around your mouth area and I’ll just be looking over here, waiting patiently.

Some Things Are Great To Discuss While Eating:
Like dessert. Tell me there’s dessert and what it is, and I’ll be able to save some appetite accordingly.