12 Things Only Unreptentantly Messy Eaters Understand

When I went off to college, my mother pressed a detergent stick into my palm and told me I was on my own with my laundry. After an entire childhood of running to my mother with my every stain, I'd have to figure it out on my own. She wouldn't be there for me with seltzer water after Italian food happened on my white pants. She wouldn't be there with warm paper towels when juice happened to my blouse. She wouldn't be there to point and laugh when chocolate ice cream happened to my face. After a coddled childhood of a messy eating and a laundry-savant mother, I would have to go into the adult world as an adult messy eater, and find my own way.

The term "raised by wolves" came up often in my household. I was never one to abide by table manners and most of the time, my parents found the fact that I preferred to eat with my fingers and sit pretzel-style at the dinner table endearing. But when we'd have dinner guests or go out in public, they were mortified. They didn't want me to go out into the world looking like I was indeed raised by wolves.

So while they put a lot of effort into some last-minute dinner etiquette training before college, I was happy to forget it the second I arrived on campus. You see, I know how to eat like a normal civilized adult. I choose not to. Because that's part of what being an adult is, choosing what do with your life. So if you're a messy eater and you're sticking with it, too, here are a few things you'll relate to:

Stains On Stains On Stains

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Most of your clothes are going to have food stains. You'll need to find a great dry cleaner for the tough ones and a strong bleach for the day-to-day stains. White clothes just don't work for your lifestyle, the amount of stress wearing white causes you is not worth it. You will not have nice clothes — not because you don't want them, because you can't maintain them.

Fancy Restaurant Discomfort

Restaurants will always makes you uncomfortable. You have a hard time sitting upright with your feet under your chair and the presence of fancy strangers will make you feel nervous. The relentless feeling of being watching and doing things wrong will wear on you. You'll never be able to calm down and enjoy your meal so long as you're in a fancy restaurant.

The Sweet Bliss Of Finger Foods

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If it's socially acceptable to eat it with your fingers, you're stoked. Finger food is always easy to eat and people are generally less judgmental at finger-food events.

The Sweet Salvation Of Spoons

Foods that can be eaten with spoons tend to be easy to eat. You thrive in the spoon department and feel relieved when it's the only utensil on the table. You'll ace it.

The Awkward Thrill Of The Fork Chase

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There's nothing more embarrassing that chasing a piece of food around your plate with a fork that's not sharp enough to grab it. Anything that you have to eat with a fork requires skill and planning.

The Dire Importance Of Napkin Access

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Napkins are not optional for messy eaters. If there's no napkin on the table, the food's not getting touched. When you have access to disposable napkins, you grab as many as you can dispense and pretend you're gathering napkins for an army. You're going to need access to a napkin after every bite — for the good of everyone around you.

The Art Hiding Your Slop Post-Meal

When you're eating in public, you tend to hide your mess. Maybe it's under a napkin, maybe it's under the rim of your plate — it's as far out of sight of your dinner mate's vision as possible. But once the plates start getting cleared, you start getting nervous that your partner will see your hidden pile of crumbs and slop. This is the time to share a juicy secret and use big hand gestures to distract them.

The Fragile Seconds Before You Find A Mirror

After each meal you'll need access to a mirror to assess the damage. You'll definitely need to pick your teeth, gargle, wash the bottom half of your face and your hands and maybe arms.

Table Cloth Guilt

If you're a messy eater, you've probably ruined a few tablecloths and you probably haven't been able to admit to it. It's hard to keep your food on the plate, what can you say?!

Garbage Clothes

Sometimes you stain your clothes so terribly you have to actually toss them. Being a messy eater can be costly. Make sure that you're only buying clothes that have clear washing instructions and can be bleached. Grease is for life.

The Ironic Judging Of Others

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Somehow, despite the fact that you know that you eat like an animal, you make room to judge other people. "Can't she feel like food on her face?" Eventually you'll get to a point where you accept yourself and you'll look at that same girl and say, "You do you, boo."

Images: People's Choice, Dualstar Entertainment, Giphy