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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

What’s Worse In Restaurants – Small Children or Mean Women?

Let’s face it, loud obnoxious children can ruin a meal.  Your meal.   Which is why we try to take our kids to “family friendly” restaurants. 

On a recent family vacation, my husband and I walked into a poolside grill (highly rated by Trip Advisor) and noticed a sign that read:

“Unattended children will be given free espresso and a puppy.”

Bingo.  Just our kind of place.  Good food and kid friendly.  We crowded around a small table with our three kids and ordered drinks.

Then I saw her.

Evil Eye Woman who obviously can’t stand children. 

I’m used to a few stares, some eye rolling, even a glare or two.  But this was different.  If looks could kill, we’d all be dead.

I quickly concluded several things about Evil Eye Woman.  First, it wasn’t just my kids she didn’t like.  She didn’t like kids period.  She didn’t like people period.  She’s just one of those people who is just plain miserable.

I know, I shouldn’t judge Evil Eye Woman.  But she was really starting to get under my skin.  When my 7-year-old daughter, Anna, scooted her chair and almost bumped into her, Evil Eye Woman even snarled.  At my lovely daughter!

How could I avoid an encounter?  I thought through the possibilities of what I might say. 
  • “What’s your problem lady, this is a kid-friendly restaurant, if you don’t like it, leave!”
  • “I noticed that you seem pretty miserable, did you know that God loves you and offers a wonderful plan for your life?”
  • “Excuse me, you seem pretty uncomfortable sitting by my children, would you mind if I asked the waitress to put you at a new table?”
None of these options seemed quite right.  Then, it dawned on me.  She didn’t have to ruin my meal.  I could have the last word.

I turned to my husband and said, “Here’s the good news about dinner.  This woman has inspired me to write a blog!”

He just rolled his eyes.  


Laura@OutnumberedMom said...

Way to turn those moments into teachable ones for all of us, Susan! Yeah, I get that eye-rolling, too...

Emily said...

I have, on more than one occasion, had people say, "Your kids were so much better than I thought they would be." I wonder what they thought the kids were going to do...

Richard Mabry said...

We're past the "our kids" and well into the "our grandkids" stage, and although there are times I'd sell them for a nickel and give change, I still get ticked off if anyone else frowns at them.
Thanks for sharing this great story (and a wonderful sign).

Kendal said...

bad coffee trumps mean evil eye women, but they are a close second!

Unpolished Parenting said...

That's really hard to let something like that go, but I think you did the right thing. I remember when I was little, my family was out eating - there were 4 of us kids and my parents. An older man came up and said he was impressed with how well we were behaved. We thought that was the coolest thing ever lol

Amy Sullivan said...

Ha! How funny would it be if the Evil Eye Woman found out she made your blog. . .that makes me giggle.

Erin MacPherson said...

Hi Susan! Ha! I know those people... my sisters and I have five kids under 5 between us and we went into a restaurant like that the other day and I cringed when "evil hates children" couple sat beside us. Every time one of the kids made a peep, we got a look. What do you expect?!