First and foremost, let me celebrate the fact that Jeffers gave me back the pair of sunglasses he took last week. Saturday night, I was settling in to bed, chit-chatting a wee bit with Leo who was still up reading after I'd turned off my light. As we talked, he suddenly started pointing behind my head. I didn't catch on at first, so his eyes got bigger, and he pointed even harder, if that's even possible. So I sat up, and looked behind me to find my sunglasses set neatly on my pillow, pretty similarly to the way our remote control had been when Jeffers took that a couple of months ago. I wonder how he decides when to balance shit in a weird place, and when to put them on my pillow instead? Oh, to get inside the mind of a ghost for a day. (Not one of the crazy ones...a normal one, like Jeffers. The crazy ones scare my ass.)
But now the true subject of this post. It's a "favorite" of mine, by which I mean it's activity that needs to stop, so I'll keep on posting about it until it does, goddammit.
On Saturday Leo and I did our normal thing and went to the Moose for drinks, conversation, and random tomfoolery. For some ungodly, random, fucked up reason, at about 6:15-ish, a large group came in and sat themselves down at two high-tops in the bar area. This wouldn't have been all that note-worthy had it not been a party of, oh, 13 - 14 people...and only 4 of them were over the age of 12.
That's right. I'm totally not kidding when I say that these idiots had 9 - 10 children with them (I lost count after the first 5 wandered past my bar stool, to be honest), and the youngest was one of those screechy 2 year old types. His dad tried to pull up a mutherfucking high chair to their table for him to sit in, for some reason. Apparently, it took him putting the child into the chair and then pushing it up to the table for him to realize the kid's head was under the table at that height. ::palmface:: Really???
The servers in the area were not pleased with this turn of events. Not sure how the two that were on duty decided who would wind up being blessed with the funness (flipped a coin, maybe?), but it wound up falling on a cocktailer named Katie who is generally one of the more awesome servers that works at the Moose. She has kids herself, so she's no kid-hater like me. But still...that kind of party was ridiculously STUPID to take into the bar, and she wasn't looking forward to it.
I managed to ignore the party for the most part, until I heard the shitty music on the sound system kind of fade out, and I realized that there was a child punching in songs in the juke box. (And yep, she picked country music. ::rage::) I continued to try to ignore them all, and then the 2 year old started screeching, so I couldn't help but turn my disgusted face in their direction, and one of the adults made eye contact with me. The screeching somehow stopped, so that was good. But apparently, the children were also:
- climbing on the tables that were empty (waiting for a party that had reserved them for 8 p.m.)
- spinning around in circles out in between the tables, almost causing a busser to drop a bunch of dishes on them at one point (which I wouldn't have minded, to be honest)
- running between tables playing a modified game of "tag"
The server eventually asked the adults at the table to please corrale their children, since crawling on tables is generally a frowned-upon activity in most public locations. And while spinning in circles can be very fun, the servers and other patrons around them didn't exactly appreciate the improvised obstacle course it created around the tables. (She didn't use those words...she simply pointed out the child that was *on top of* the table next to them, and said that for safety purposes, if the children could be redirected back to their seats, it'd be great. I just like my way of saying it better, is all. ::grins::)
So what did they do in response? They complained to the manager. That's right! THEY complained. Told her that Katie was a "snotty bitch" and that they always came in to the Moose for dinner without an problems, and would never come back again after what she said to them. (Side note: um, halleluia, you fucking idiots. BUH-BYE.)
The restaurant side of the Moose had no wait when this group came in. I'm sure that had they just been patient, they could've pulled together a couple of normal tables in the more family-friendly area within a 10 minute period.
Better yet, this group needed to go someplace like a fucking Chuck E. Cheese. Or to go over to a friends' house that had a basement they could all let loose in. It made no sense for 4 adults to think they could have an enjoyable time out with 9 -10 children to monitor. Had they been focussing on the kids completely, it might've been a different story. But lets face it: that's not why they were out. They were out to hang out with their grown up friends.
I've seen this sort of thing before, with my own family actually. I have a total of 9 nieces and nephews of varying ages, so going out as a family just isn't the best option when we're together, we've found. (And we've tried...because we crazy!) Even at home, it's hard for the grown ups to all sit together for any extended period of time...it's just not going to happen. The kids finish their food, and then they have renewed energy to bounce off of whatever wall might be suitable for the job, and then a parent needs to hop up to run and see what's making one of them cry, or someone draws something that they want to show to another parent, or 3 of the kids are leaving 1 of the kids out of their whispering and that one decides they want to go home...
It's just a cacophany of silly. Which is totally acceptable and understandable and I actually like the crazy of my own family when I'm in the middle of it! (Within reason, of course. I am the Evil Childless Aunt, after all! I have a reputation to maintain, here!)
But that's why we don't tend to take it out of the house much anymore. And when we did all go out, we most certainly didn't sit in the damned bar portion of a restaurant!
The thing is, what can you do about this sort of situation? Should the management of the restaurant/bar step in and suggest that they might be more comfortable in the family-friendly area of their establishment? (*coughcoughYEScough*) Is it better that the server speak up like Katie did, and suffer the possible consequences of Facing Up to an Embarrassed/Idiot Adult?
The overall question, though, is how do we get people like that to realize how silly they're being by wanting to take their brood out for dinner...in a bar?