Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Adventures in dining out

Last Wednesday the husbeast and I decided we were entirely too tired (or possibly lazy) to cook dinner and opted to go out to eat instead. We try not to eat out too often, but during faire it happens more than I would like to admit. My energy and give-a-damn is often too low to cook on a weeknight.

Eating out is supposed to be a nice relaxing event. I don't have to cook, I don't have to clean, all I have to do is enjoy the food and the company of the husbeast. Of course if you have spent much time dining out in America you know that the experience is often anything but relaxing since you have to deal with humanity while dining out.

I knew the evening was going to be a long one when the hostess seated us in a mostly empty dining room next to the only other occupied table, which had a toddler sitting at it. I don't mind children in restaurants as long as they are not screaming or throwing things. We were at what is a family restaurant so kids are to be expected.

People who have children need to eat too, and deserve to eat out. I do not expect them to hide until their kids can be taught to sit quietly at a dinner table. I do however expect that they will be considerate enough to remove a screaming and disruptive child from a restaurant instead of ignoring or indulging them.

This child was not misbehaving. This child was not screaming and throwing things. This child was simply happy. Unfortunately happy translated into incredibly shrill squeals of glee that caused me to flinch each time it happened.

I was going to simply ask to be moved to a table on the other side of the dining room. The sound was only jarring because it was less than a foot from me. Really the hostess should have thought better than to seat us where she did.

Before I could do anything the husband hopped up and took his happy baby out of the restaurant. I was pleasantly surprised. It is always nice when the parent recognizes that their child is being too loud and takes them for a walk to calm down.

The next thing I know the wife has come over to our table to very earnestly apologize for having disturbed our dinner. We tried to tell her it was alright, but she was insistent that loud children were not acceptable. She told us that before she had a baby she always hated being in a restaurant with people who wouldn't do anything about loud children, and she wasn't going to be that person.

We thanked her for her consideration. It was only then that we realized that the husband had not just taken the kid out for a walk to calm down; they had their meals packed up, paid the bill, and were leaving entirely. I was a little shocked seeing as how they had just been served their food. If I had known that was what they were doing I would have bought their dinner for them.

It was so very nice of them to consider how others meals were being effected by their child. It was refreshing to know that there are parents out there like this. I felt bad that they did not get to enjoy their dinners at the restaurant. There is part of me that feels guilty that they left. At the same time I really am glad they did.

So dinner started out strange, though it did give me a little more faith in humanity.

I should have known that it wasn't going to go uphill from there.

Tune in next time to find out how my new found faith in humanity was dashed by some irreverent youths.

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