Last night my father and I decided to go out for dinner. And, being that we are in Allentown, our choices were limited to big box chain restaurants. We went in, were greeted half a dozen times by very friendly teenagers and taken to a booth in the bar area.
Seated in the booth behind me was a family -- not really surprising since most of these big box places cater to families. Standing on the bench that shared a divider with me was a little girl, just as cute as can be, blowing raspberries, and screaming and acting as a child that is bored and wants to do something else.
I tried to ignore it. I really did.
Then the child started reaching over the divider for my phone screaming to her mom, “Mommy, what’s that? Mommy, what’s that?”
My smile tightened.
My father was watching the baseball game.
Then the child was standing behind me, blowing raspberries and the thought that her spit was ending up in my hair made me grimace.
The mother continued talking to her friends. My father continued to watch baseball.
Then the child took her toy off the table and started banging it on the divider and then her mother’s head.
The banging got my dad’s attention. He rolled his eyes as I sighed, “seriously?”
The mother, who either heard my not so subtle “Seriously?” or was annoyed by the banging on her head told her daughter to turn around and sit down.
The little girl didn’t and the mother continued her conversation.
I ordered a beer.
If we were in a nicer place, I would have asked the hostess to move us somewhere quieter. However, there was no where quieter in this restaurant. I sighed again, longing for the days when people were allowed to smoke in places like this. Even when I wasn’t smoking, I would always ask for the smoking section -- because the smoking section was always blessedly free of children.
But now that smoking was banned in all public places -- screaming toddlers are everywhere: even at happy hour -- but that is a subject for another blog all together.
Still, this longing for a smoking section got me thinking. What if restaurants started offering a no children section? They could house people like me (with low annoyance tolerances) in the smaller, secluded sections that used to house their smokers. The rest of the place could welcome people that don’t mind screaming kids or mothers and fathers that have the ability to tune out their children.
Now, the Duchess is always talking about our great idea that will make us millions. Well, I am not sure this idea could make me millions, but it is at least as great as the Snuggie -- and so I am sharing it with all of you. Hopefully some courageous restaurateur will read this and start the trend.