meditations from the restaurant table

We at tbti apologize for the lack of new posts but we were deeply engaged in a silent meditation retreat training our ovaries to be sterile. After prayer circles and shadow puppet dead baby jokes, we have return, renewed, refreshed, and blissfully barren to the greatest gift of all from loyal tbti operative Penny Royaltea. Penny writes:

The scene: a semi-fancy restaurant

The problem: Just after we order our food, in walks the trashiest looking couple pushing a baby stroller. Now let me stress: THIS IS NOT A RESTAURANT FOR CHILDREN. I mean, yeah, we’ve established that parents bring their kids EVERYWHERE now, but it seems most of the time, they have the good sense to know when a restaurant is just way too fancy.

We think: Oh, maybe it’ll be one of those QUIET BABIES

But no:  It’s one of those babies who have just discovered their mouths make noises.
So all through dinner, we are treated to a round of delighted screams, interwoven with lip-buzzing noises and cooing NOT TO MENTION the couple has parked their baby just close enough to their table that it can KICK THE TABLE when it moves its feet making not only the entire table shake, but also all of the silverware and plates bang against the table.

As you can imagine, we clench our fists and jaws and bare it for well over an hour. And then my grandmother says: “inappropriate” just a little too loud

Immediately after:  The mother and father got up and carried the baby out
and for the rest of the night, we were treated to straight out glares from everyone at their table as they took “shifts” so that one of them could sit with the baby in the alcove of the restaurant.

You might think it was cool, but listen to what happens next: One of the women–who i have to add, was dressed like the most white-trash bimbo tramp from the 80’s i have ever seen, with tight tapered jeans and a low-cut top–was feeding the baby from a bottle with the another woman. As I walk past her, she says in a New Jersey accent very audibly, “some people should really mind their own business”

I: stop in my tracks and say matter-of-factly: fuck you!

As i head into the bathroom, she retorts: well! you have quite the little mouth on you don’t you!

As I leave, she repeats again: you know, some people can’t mind their own business

I’m thinking how dumb can this woman be if she can’t come up with anything better than that, and I say: well you know, when SOME PEOPLE bring a baby to a restaurant like this one, their business becomes EVERYONE ELSE’S business, whether everyone else wants it to or not!

She waves her hand at me like the bimbo she is and says (sarcastically): have a nice night!

I’m again thinking i’m glad her mannerisms equal her choice of clothing, and say: well actually, thanks to you, I HAVEN’T

She is getting visibly and audibly irritated but still unwilling to use the word “fuck” in her ANGELIC BABY’S presence) her final retort: why don’t you frickin’ go FRICK yourself!



4 responses to “meditations from the restaurant table

  1. my favorite comment to people who are assholes is: go shit in a hat!

  2. I have been in similar situations to this, and I have found the Clair Huxtable approach to be the most effective way to disarm sanctimommies. You speak calmly without raising your voice, emphasize the right words, and insert slight pauses for dramatic effect. Think “Theo: Do YOU think … that I was born yesterday?”

    This is the most recent situation I was in, in a neighborhood bar:

    Sanctimommy: Can you watch your language? :::nods toward child:::

    Me: It is not MY job … to censor … YOUR child. This is a bar … an establishment where ADULTS come to engage in ADULT conversations with other … ADULTS. If you feel that THIS environment is not appropriate for YOUR child … then YOU need to visit an establishment that is child-friendly, or leave him at home with a babysitter.

    If you don’t yell, they don’t know what to do. And the dramatic pauses tell them you mean business. This is also an effective way to deal with apathetic retail employees and technical support.

  3. Recently I went to an evening showing of American Gangster, which opens with a man being set on fire, and doesn’t get any more child-friendly than that. A kid I’d estimate was three-to-four years old sat directly in front of me throughout the movie. I actually watched his little profile freeze and stare repeatedly at the violence.

    I could have smacked the parents. If you decide to have kids, then you decide to give up certain adult entertainment, or to spend a lot on babysitters. I can deal with kids in places they belong in — family restaurants, family movies, etc. But when parents show up at clearly adult venues with tots in tow, they deserve to end up with the little future axe murderers they’re rearing.

  4. exactly the same thing happened in enidd’s last night on mexican soil (recent holiday). american parents took two toddlers to a very posh restaurant, and then were surprised that people were annoyed with the incessant up-and-down, dance, go to the toilet, blare on about having “a little bit more spaghetti” etc. etc.

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