Lucifer and Fine Dining Establishments
Posted by kitkat37
There has been quite a bit of dispute lately regarding children in public places. The latest that I’ve seen was certain airlines choosing to put screaming children in the back of the plane, with the media referring to these areas as “baby ghettos.” Parents feel they are being discriminated against, and adults without children are pleased that they won’t have to sit next to someone else’s rugrat.
I think the issue here is clarity. It’s not that all children are to be placed in the back of the plane and forced to wear scarlet “M”s on their shirts for “Munchkin.” It’s that if your child is screaming, kicking, throwing things, and generally channeling Lucifer in the seat next to me, I’m sorry – either calm El Diablo or I’m drop-kicking him onto the wing. I don’t hate kids. I have quite a few “nieces and nephews” that I absolutely adore and fully believe they will run the world someday in the awesome manner that their Aunt Cat has begun. And you know what? Darden and Connor and Lily and the rest of this wonderful brood sit there like the perfect little angels they are whenever I am around them. They can go to a restaurant, hang out at the mall, chill at my place, and not shriek and whirl around like a berserk hyena the entire time. Therein lies the difference. It’s not all children that AWKs (Adults Without Kids) hate. It’s the hyenas.
You know which ones I’m referring to. That child who thinks spaghetti would make great performance art – all over the table next to him. The spawn of Satan who thinks the people of Botswana need to know – at an ear-piercing volume – that some child in Brookhaven, GA doesn’t want to shop anymore while her apparently deaf parent drags her around the sale racks at Dillard’s, obliviously chatting on the iPhone. The future soccer player who’s practicing for her World Cup 2025 tryouts on the back of my seat while I’m trying to read the latest “Creative Loafing” on Flight 147 to Denver. (I have no problem ruining that tryout, FYI, by “forgetting” there’s someone behind me and “accidentally” letting my seat go backwards a little quickly.)
These little banshees’ parents feel they are being discriminated against because they have children. That’s not true. They’re being discriminated against because they have the disciplining skills of a pile of bark chips. If your child behaves like a functioning member of society in public, that’s fine. Feel free to sit next to me and please share the crayons. If your child’s head is rotating and he is proclaiming the impending doom of everyone in the restaurant by shrieking in tongues and flinging pizza at hapless victims, then I have no shame telling you that you should perhaps choose an alternate family outing on this fine evening. Such as your local voodoo priestess.
I chose not to have kids yet. Someday I shall, as I owe it to my enemies to spawn at least once. But for right now, it is my choice to not have rugrats and keep my exposure minimized to small doses. My father has always told me, “We are a product of the choices we make.” As an adolescent, this phrase sent me into insane tailspins – you mean I have to take responsibility for the fact that I accidentally bleached my hair to an alien orange tint and totaled the family Nova? I think his saying applies well here. I made the choice not add a permanent high-strung member to my daily existence at this time. As such, I make the choice not to go to Cici’s Pizza because if I do, I know I will emerge temporarily deaf with an eye twitch, tattered clothing, and pepperoni clinging to what’s left of my pulled-out hair. I make the choice not to attend a Build-A-Bear workshop, as much as I would love a custom purple bear with fabulous accessories, because I don’t want to have someone’s brat yank my super-amazing bear out of my hands, screaming “MINE MINE MINE” while her mom just smiles fondly as if to say, “Isn’t that adorable? She’s learning how to be a politician.”
Point being, I don’t frequent kid-friendly establishments because I know what’s in store. Wait for it….KIDS. Funny how that works. So please don’t bring your Four Horsemen into the five-star restaurant my boyfriend is treating me to for our anniversary and think I’m going to be okay when they decide to test the velocity of a filet mignon. Or when the entire city and parts of eastern Alabama get to hear their displeasure at being denied a second slice of tiramisu. It’s an adult establishment. If I walk into a Chuck E. Cheese and set up shop complete with a white tablecloth and three-piece jazz ensemble, feel free to bitch about my inappropriateness as well.
It’s all about respecting each other’s time and space. If you have raised your children to be respectful and not kick me and throw applesauce on my Prada bag, then awesome. I won’t drop my fettucine into your child’s diaper bag. But if your brood is behaving like a flock of future Gary Buseys infused with Charlie Sheen Brand Tiger Blood, don’t act shocked when I politely turn around in my seat and ask you to please take the spectacle to the back of the plane. It’s not that I, as a card-carrying AWK member, hate kids. I don’t hate kids. It’s that I hate yours.