Chewing should be a quiet affair.
Done with small bites taken in slowly, one after the other, pausing to lay down one’s fork and take a noiseless sip of water.
Alas, the gentlemen masticates like a beast, jaws working furiously, to work the overloaded fork’s offering into something he can swallow without choking.
The lady attempts polite dinner conversation, “How was your day?”
“Nothing interesting,” is his answer in between the fork’s rotation between plate and face.
The lady gracefully entertains him with funny anecdotes of her day while eating without ever making a sound.
And most astonishingly, the lady manages not to admonish the beast for his loud chewing even though the sound of it is louder than the her own voice in her ears as she suggests how nice it would be to have a Victrola to play through dinner.
Anything would help, she thinks desperately, through her polite smile and dainty forkful of food on its silent journey to her mouth.