Walk Away Renee…

I think I suffer from a new disease.

I identify with Misophonia, a little-known syndrome, characterized by strong negative emotional reactions to certain sounds or visual cues.

I love my husband and he is close to perfection, but he does a few things that drive me crazy.

He starts sniffling on every walk in New York City as soon as the weather turns cold.

I quell the rage and offer him a tissue. He always responds that he has one, but blowing his nose does not help (I internally scream, bullshit)  I now wear my old school AM/FM headset and listen to WFAN and avoid conflict.

He hits the side of the bowl or plate with his fork an undetermined amount of times during a meal. I see red.

Moving on from my husband…

Gum chewing, especially during a Broadway show. Once, during the play, The Humans, a woman had a huge wad of gum and did not stop cracking it loudly during the performance.

Controlling my extreme annoyance, I stood up, went across the aisle, put my flat palm to her mouth and silently mouthed, “Spit It Out!”

She did and the play was great from that point on.

Men shaking one leg while eating for the entire meal in restaurants or outdoor patios. Rage!

One time I was at Umami Burger in Santa Monica. Only outside picnic tables were available. We found an empty table, but soon after 6 guys plopped down at the table.  One guy was shaking his leg so violently that the table was noticeably moving.

I “accidentally” knocked over my large drink and it went all over his bouncing appendage. His pants were so wet that the motion halted.

A new off putting emotional reaction goes out to the plethora of people who now walk with their cell on speaker phone. That’s too much sharing which invites tremendous annoyance.

A man had his cell on speaker phone in a tiny sushi bar the other day while he waited for customer service.  We all shared the canned music, the prompts and his whining about his ATM card not working.

Finally, a super hero went up to the Great Annoyer and asked him to take the phone off speaker or he would promptly insert the cell in his butt hole.

I toasted the admirable action with a large sake.

Visual cues…females touching or flipping their hair in restaurants accompanied by the word like. I never carry scissors because my immediate response is to give them a trim.

The reality…Doctors have actually identified various brain regions involved in Misophonia, including the anterior insula, which is involved with processing disgust, fear and anxiety. It’s possible that the brains of people with misophonia are like “hypersensitive alarm systems,” interpreting specific innocuous sounds as threats.

I do not ever feel threatened just plain old disgust and annoyance, bordering on rage.

My cue when home with my loved one…I put on the oldie, Walk Away Renee and head for the closest exit.

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