The Speed at Which You Eat

We all eat at different speeds. Me? I wolf down my food a lot like my dad does, though I try to slow myself down. When my friend Diana eats dessert, she savors each bite like one of those people on chewing diets who count their chews 25 times before they can swallow. Craig, generally speaking, eats at a normal speed, unless he’s talking in which case his food might sit there in front of him getting colder and colder as he enthuses about the trailer for the new Alfonso Cuaron movie or the injustice of getting older. When this happens, I make sculptures with pieces of straw paper and balance chopsticks on little plastic containers.

Is it rude to make the slower eater feel like a slow eater by rolling your eyes and taking pictures for a Comic Book post on your blog? Or is it rude for a slow eater to eat slowly when he knows you finished your food 15 minutes ago and you’re anxious to get home to watch Project Runway?

Most of the time, this isn’t a problem. I think when people eat together they tend to match each other’s pace, whether consciously or unconsciously. If I’m tearing into my meatloaf and I see my dinner date is gingerly eating their salad, I’ll take a pause so we can recalibrate. It’s only when things go really off–like in the scene above–that the pace issue becomes noticeable.

How fast do you eat? How fast does your partner eat? Is it a problem? I’ll be sure to read your comments the next time I’m hovering at dinner, waiting for a certain someone to finish up.

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