When we were younger, my sisters and I were taught the elements of how to eat popcorn the correct way:
Quantity: Take a small number of pieces out of the bag/bowl/bucket. Preferable amount is 5-7 pieces, without butter, duh: it’s messy AND fattening. Deplorable.
Speed: Grab your pieces of popcorn as quickly as possible.
Noise: Make as little noise as possible while pecking for popcorn, so help you God.
Agility: Place all selected pieces of popcorn into your mouth and close your lips BEFORE chewing. This element is crucial.
Minimal Disturbance: Chew slowly and quietly with your mouth closed.
Repetition: Repeat until you mess up any of the above 5 elements. Then your popcorn will be taken away from you.
People do not follow the popcorn rules! How could they not know?!
It was then that I realized that the popcorn rules weren’t as widely accepted as, say, turning off your cellphone during a movie, or holding doors open for old people, or washing your hands after going to the bathroom. Yes, people break these rules, but they all get the stink eye for them. If you cut in line, everyone will judge you. If you eat popcorn loudly in a movie theater, only I will judge you. And even though I know that it’s not normal to be annoyed by people who eat popcorn the wrong way, it still bugs the hell out of me. I know I have problems.
I also can’t help pointing out the wrong-popcorn-eaters to my husband on the rare occasion that he actually takes me out in public. He never notices it until I point it out to him by saying, Do you hear that guy two rows back chomping on his popcorn? It’s so loud I think my ears are bleeding! And then we trade seats and it’s another 12 months before I get to go to the movies again. The last one we saw together in theaters was Inception, and before that it was Slumdog Millionaire. In my dream movie theater, everyone gets to wear noise-cancelling headphones with adjustable volume. But then I’d be complaining about people who text during movies, and…well, what’s the point. That’s why I have Netflix.