Food fights: How couples are annoying the hell out of each other in quarantine

Illustration for article titled Food fights: How couples are annoying the hell out of each other in quarantine
Photo: Vladimir Vladimirov (Getty Images)

If you’re observing stay-at-home orders with your significant other right now, how’s that been? If you claim that the quarantine has brought the two of you closer together, the rest of us might be slightly skeptical of that rosy appraisal. On the other hand, if the intimate living conditions have spurred you to break up, then perhaps it wasn’t meant to be for the long haul, anyway. But whatever the case, we’re all experiencing conditions and demands that aren’t usually placed on relationships, and seemingly everyone has new complaints about their partner, whom they’re now observing in domestic and workplace situations that they might never have been exposed to before. Vice has compiled some of these complaints into a fascinating roundup, and it will probably come as a shock to no one that many of the gripes involve food habits.

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Deirdre, a 31-year-old from Australia, has a gorgeously specific nitpick: “My boyfriend eats almonds by slowly nibbling on the end of one, then shoving it gently into the side of his cheek until his face is bursting with them like a cartoon squirrel,” she tells Vice. “I hate it! I hate him! It’s driving me insane.” I can barely picture this process. How long does it take to amass a cheekful of half-chewed almonds? Are the contents of the cheek pouch then all chomped down on at once, chewing on several ounces of crunchy nuts like cud? Does Deirdre own some noise-canceling headphones that might save this relationship?

James from New York highlights a classic couple’s quarrel, one that never boils over but always rises to the surface between two people who share an intimate domestic routine: “They love to make themself tea or coffee and then drink a quarter of the cup,” James says of their partner. “Ninety percent of the time, that’s all they drink, and then they let the cup just sit there.” Who here has not been on one side of the “abandoned cups” argument or another at some point in their lives?

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Less related to food, but still painfully relatable as a kitchen behavior, is this gripe shared by Daniel in Pennsylvania: “My boyfriend thinks plastic bags are recyclable. Like, why are there a dozen plastic baggies stuffed around our wine bottles?... How did he go his whole life thinking this was OK?” In defense of Daniel’s boyfriend, there are a whole lot of us out here who squirrel away plastic bags like the precious kitchen commodities they are. Our actions should be celebrated, not condemned!

The full article is well worth a read; maybe after perusing it, you’ll feel better knowing that your significant other’s behavior isn’t quite so unique, and was not, in fact, engineered to invoke maximum irritation.

Marnie Shure is editor in chief of The Takeout.

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DISCUSSION

thiazinred
thiazin red

My BF has a pattern that repeats every single night. Dinner hits the table, I start eating. He gets up and goes to the kitchen, then comes back, then goes back to refill the water glass, then goes to the bathroom again, then finds something that he apparently MUST fart around with for five minutes, then goes someplace else, then maybe the bathroom again, then just one more email, this goes on for over 20 minutes. I have finished dinner by the time he sits down to eat. This happens no matter which of us makes the meal.