The other day I went to the movies with a friend. I was settling into my seat when a couple sat down right next to us. To my horror, the woman pulled out a carton of Chinese food and started eating it, filling the area with a pungent smell.
Noticing my discomfort, my friend suggested we move over one more seat, which was as far as we could go. Even still, the strong smell of the woman’s food lingered. When she finished her meal, she put the empty carton in a plastic bag and left it on the floor, right by my seat. I pretty much had to hold my hand over my nose throughout the entire film.
I know lots of people sneak food into movie theaters, but bringing in a full meal, particularly one with an overpowering odor, shows a lack of consideration for your fellow theater patrons. Frankly, I’m surprised that an usher didn’t catch her in the act.
I’ve also seen people digging into soups and curries on public transportation, such as the subway in New York. Once, I even saw a man tear into a Big Mac while he was waiting in line at the bank, spilling crumbs as he ate. I know we all live in a busy society and time is precious, but do we really need to abandon our manners in order to squeeze in a quick meal?
If you really must eat on the go, choose a meal that isn’t messy, doesn’t require loud slurping or chewing, and doesn’t have a pungent odor. Or, take a few minutes to eat your meal at a park, in your car, or in a fast food restaurant so you won’t disturb others.