good behavior, good manners, haPPY, thankful

little dark secret

Yesterday, while listening to a radio talk show, the host wanted people to call in about a “hot” topic in our area.  To put it in a nice little nutshell…mom comes into a restaurant with a toddler, toddler is unruly and disrupts every single patron, owner finally asks them to leave, mom leaves (leaving behind a huge mess), owner posts pictures on face book, upset, mom demands an apology(?)…………..radio talk show host is giddy with the number of calls and calls waiting this has generated.

Today, I read a quick article regarding restaurants and growing policies across our nation, here is an example:  somewhere back east………..ever notice how people on the west coast always say, oh somewhere back east?   “after a growing number of customers complained about rambunctious kids in the restaurant, the owner announced they would no longer allow parents to bring children under the age of 9 after 7 p.m. “We are a family friendly restaurant, and we also respect all of our customers so we introduce this new policy to the restaurant. Thanks for your understanding,”

If you are a radio talk show host then listen up, this is a HOT topic.  Jump on it quick like a chicken running for fresh blueberries!   Did you notice that no one asked for MY opinion?  Great news, I have my own blog, so I get to share my very own opinion.

Now, speaking as a person who likes children, a mom of two grown boys, who spent many hours teaching them how to behave in public, , excellent table manners, proper behavior of young gentlemen….grandma of two of the most adorable, well-behaved, perfect grandgirlies across the land…wife of a highly intelligent, polite, well mannered, polished gentleman you will come across…and the very woman who has been criticized in public as well as private for raising “little soldiers” who won’t end up with any creativity or imagination or anything free spirit about them……………..

I was once, one of “those” patrons.  Yes, time to reveal a little dark secret hiding in my past.  Picture this, 1984, Alaska, I was 22 years old, married with one small baby.   We were going out to dinner.  At that time, going out to dinner was a special occasion and a treat.  It was our anniversary.  We chose a seafood place (weird how I can’t remember what we had for dinner four nights ago, yet I can remember this scenario in minute detail that happened 29 years ago).  Believe it or not, at that time, I was not comfortable with my own opinion.  If I wanted something, I was not yet old enough to bravely ask.  Seems strange that I had trouble standing up for myself.  We went out to dinner ONCE A YEAR.  Yes, you read that correctly.  This was a huge deal to us.

We anticipated, saved up, dressed and were super excited about going out to a special treat dinner.  I already knew what I was going to order.  I had been day dreaming of Alaskan King Crab Legs.  Yes, you don’t need to ask, I spilled a little on my cream-colored sweater.  dang, I would remember that part.  Gee, my legs sort of feel like jelly just typing this……….weird, nervous all over again.    We were seated, very nice.  The waiter came over to take our drink order, very fancy and very nice.  We were so, so, excited and happy.  I was NOT.  When the waiter, came back with our drinks, I very nervously & politely, scared out of my wits, very quietly asked to see the manager.  Mr. Right was shocked and upset, he grabbed my hand and wanted to know if everything was perfect.  I couldn’t answer him.  I knew I would start crying.  I had to hold it in.  ……………………………..the well dressed manager came over quick like a hummingbird looking for supper…………was there a problem?  He looked at Mr. Right.  Mr. Right looked at me.  I took a deep breath and said in a very quiet whisper………..it is our anniversary.  We have saved up for this.  We saved up and paid for a babysitter, which we never do.  We got all dressed up and we were so looking forward to this special night.  Could we, maybe, please, if there is anyway, (tears in eyes), could we please, if there is another table somewhere, ……….could we please move tables so we can have this one meal in quiet, like grown ups …and not spoken aloud but spoken via strong ESP……. not have to sit next to that family with the unruly children and the yelling and mess?

tableThe manager was more than gracious.  He made it look like he was asking us if we didn’t mind, changing tables.  He said there was a problem with a shaky, unstable table.  He made me feel like, it was his fault that we were seated at a less than perfect table.  We changed places, and got all settled.  Mr. Right just smiled at me. We were thankful and relieved all rolled into one.   We didn’t say a word about it or discuss it at all.   We pretended like it never happened.  We didn’t want anything or anyone to ruin our special night out.  We, so much wanted a really nice evening out.  We wanted to enjoy a grown up meal and pretend to be grown up adults bathing in the moment of having a really lovely meal in a restaurant.  Yes, we talked about our only son at the time.  We worried if the sitter would be able to handle it, if he woke up.  We only called home once during the meal.  Yes, Mr. Right walked out to the lobby and used a pay phone to call and check.  (you see kids, cell phones were not invented yet)

To answer your other question, because of my earnest request, did Mr. Right leave a really big tip?  No, he left the proper amount of money as a tip.  We did not have $1.00 extra to give as a tip in those days.  We had to figure out everything to the penny.

So, there you have it.  I don’t have to call into the radio station to give my opinion.  I just gave it.

“The hardest job kids face today is learning good manners without seeing any.”  Fred Astaire

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2 thoughts on “little dark secret”

  1. Hey! What’s wrong with soldiers???? LOL
    Felt like I was right there with you…once again being brave and making it a night to remember with Mr. Right! 🙂

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