Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Family and Children => Topic started by: amylouky on December 05, 2013, 02:59:24 PM

Title: Rude woman at restaurant and my kids
Post by: amylouky on December 05, 2013, 02:59:24 PM
Last night DH and I, and the boys, went to the local Crimson Crustacean seafood place for dinner. I drove straight from work, and he met me there with our boys, who are 4 and 6.
I was seated for about 10 minutes before they got there, and about 5 minutes in, a table of two ladies was seated in the booth right behind us. They were talking somewhat loudly, and one lady had a really obnoxious, grating voice.
Anyway, DH and the boys come walking around the corner to our table, and the lady immediately groaned loudly, said, "Oh, GREAT." and picked up her drink and menu and walked to another table halfway across the restaurant, shooting us dirty looks the whole time.
Let me be clear, I am not one of those moms who thinks everything my boys do is pweshus and can't bear to tell them no. I do my best to keep them in line in public, and they are usually pretty well behaved, age considered. That being said, I understand the desire for a quiet kid-free atmosphere at dinner.. heck, I long for it myself sometimes. So it didn't offend me that she wanted to move to a quieter table, but it really bothered me that she made the reason and her disdain for the boys so glaringly obvious. She didn't even give them a chance to misbehave (which they didn't) before deciding they would ruin her dinner.
Is  there anything that I could have said, or is this a case of "don't engage the crazy"?
Title: Re: Rude woman at restaurant and my kids
Post by: alice on December 05, 2013, 03:04:10 PM
I wouldn't have said anything to her.  She didn't really talk to you directly.  It was obvious what she meant with her remark.  Thank you lucky stars that your dinner was more enjoyable because you didn't have to worry at all that you children were annoying her with every little sound they made.  She would have ruined your dinner.
Title: Re: Rude woman at restaurant and my kids
Post by: cicero on December 05, 2013, 03:09:51 PM

Is  there anything that I could have said, or is this a case of "don't engage the crazy"?
A case of don't engage. And actually- just ignore. She was being PA , that's her issue.
Title: Re: Rude woman at restaurant and my kids
Post by: turnip on December 05, 2013, 03:15:26 PM

Is  there anything that I could have said, or is this a case of "don't engage the crazy"?
A case of don't engage. And actually- just ignore. She was being PA , that's her issue.

I actually think groaning "Oh Great" is pretty much just being 'A', but I agree overall.  I would have just laughed at her.
Title: Re: Rude woman at restaurant and my kids
Post by: Goosey on December 05, 2013, 03:15:40 PM
Sounds like someone who resents that children exist. Good idea for her to go to a family-friendly restaurant in that case, eh?

I don't think there's anything you could have said to her. She was rude.

I do tend to give people like this big, happy smiles though. I don't know why. Maybe to poke at their grumpiness.
Title: Re: Rude woman at restaurant and my kids
Post by: veronaz on December 05, 2013, 03:16:37 PM
Itís possible she and her friend moved to another table because whatever they were talking about wasnít for young ears.  You said they were loud.

 
Title: Re: Rude woman at restaurant and my kids
Post by: Twik on December 05, 2013, 03:24:14 PM
Well, of course, they were disgruntled. Everyone knows that Crimson Crustacean is an upscale, romantic venue for trysts, as well as power players making billion-dollar deals. No one would expect children to be seen there!

Actually, it's a family restaurant, and I can't imagine why anyone would be horrified to see a 4 and 6 year old walk in the door.
Title: Re: Rude woman at restaurant and my kids
Post by: kategillian on December 05, 2013, 03:24:25 PM
Well, their rudeness turned out to be good for you! You didn't have to sit there for the entire meal listening to their loud obnoxious voices! I would put this in the win column. And really, to say something to them, you would have had to chase them across the restaurant, right?
Title: Re: Rude woman at restaurant and my kids
Post by: Julsie on December 05, 2013, 03:24:59 PM
I'm sorry that happened to you.  I know it's hurtful.  The same thing happened to me once.

There are just some nasty biddies in the world.  Anyone who sees a child and immediately gets a bad attitude has something wrong with them.

The only thing we can do is let it go and hope that their hearts will grow three sizes this holiday season.
Title: Re: Rude woman at restaurant and my kids
Post by: Roe on December 05, 2013, 03:25:56 PM
Be grateful she moved and if there is a next time, just smile sweetly.  Or even laugh out loud, if it fits the situation. 

I've had the same thing happen, btw.  Those types of people are quite rude and yet, they don't realize it.
Title: Re: Rude woman at restaurant and my kids
Post by: nuit93 on December 05, 2013, 03:30:07 PM
Itís possible she and her friend moved to another table because whatever they were talking about wasnít for young ears.  You said they were loud.

Which, if that were the case, was probably the more polite thing to do even if they had to start it out with a PA remark.
Title: Re: Rude woman at restaurant and my kids
Post by: Twik on December 05, 2013, 03:33:56 PM
Itís possible she and her friend moved to another table because whatever they were talking about wasnít for young ears.  You said they were loud.

Which, if that were the case, was probably the more polite thing to do even if they had to start it out with a PA remark.

Yes, but it's Crimson Crustacean. It's not the sort of place you go to if you're going to be loudly discussing either your scrabble life, your medical results or your assassination plans. If it wasn't fit for "young ears," I imagine a lot of adults would not like to have it proclaimed near their tables either.
Title: Re: Rude woman at restaurant and my kids
Post by: EllenS on December 05, 2013, 03:34:21 PM
If she moved without making a production of it, not rude, just her business.

The obvious effort to make sure you noticed was PA and rude.

However, you have no reason to feel insulted by a "rejection" from a perfect stranger.  Don't engage the crazy.
Title: Re: Rude woman at restaurant and my kids
Post by: veronaz on December 05, 2013, 03:34:57 PM
Itís possible she and her friend moved to another table because whatever they were talking about wasnít for young ears.  You said they were loud.

Which, if that were the case, was probably the more polite thing to do even if they had to start it out with a PA remark.

Yes, but even if the women had gotten up and moved without saying/doing anything some people would automatically be offended  on behalf of their well-behaved kids.
Title: Re: Rude woman at restaurant and my kids
Post by: kategillian on December 05, 2013, 03:50:57 PM
But they wouldn't know at the time they were moving whether or not the children were well behaved. I think if you were meaning to have a nice quiet conversation or romantic dinner, asking to be moved away from potentially rambunctious kids would be fine, as long as you did that quietly and tactfully
Title: Re: Rude woman at restaurant and my kids
Post by: Julsie on December 05, 2013, 03:52:31 PM
Quote
Yes, but even if the women had gotten up and moved without saying/doing anything some people would automatically be offended  on behalf of their well-behaved kids.

Chances are, parents wouldn't even notice if someone switched tables quietly and unobtrusively.  For all I know, my family may cause a dining parting of the Red Sea when we arrive at restaurants and I've never noticed.

But I still remember the old biddy who huffed and puffed and glared as she switched tables.  We hadn't even sat down yet!
Title: Re: Rude woman at restaurant and my kids
Post by: Rohanna on December 05, 2013, 03:59:33 PM
I think some folk forget that just because one is young doesn't mean one isn't a person- it's pretty rude and offensive to make loud comments like that about someone.
Title: Re: Rude woman at restaurant and my kids
Post by: Eeep! on December 05, 2013, 04:01:08 PM
Quote
Yes, but even if the women had gotten up and moved without saying/doing anything some people would automatically be offended  on behalf of their well-behaved kids.

Chances are, parents wouldn't even notice if someone switched tables quietly and unobtrusively.  For all I know, my family may cause a dining parting of the Red Sea when we arrive at restaurants and I've never noticed.

But I still remember the old biddy who huffed and puffed and glared as she switched tables.  We hadn't even sat down yet!

I totally agree.  Personally, even if I did notice, as long as they weren't making a *thing* about it, I wouldn't be offended.  I would assume the people had had some bad experiences in the past that made them wary.  I would mostly just hope (and pray - ha!) that my boys would show them (even from afar) that kiddos can be good.  But since my youngest is currently 1 1/2, realistically I might actually be wishing I could move with them.  >:D

Edited to add: I do not let my boys misbehave at the table or disturb other people, but with the youngest my husband and I often spend a good portion of the meal walking around the restaurant or outside to aid in that endeavor.
Title: Re: Rude woman at restaurant and my kids
Post by: rose red on December 05, 2013, 04:26:01 PM
Don't engage.  They were rude, but all they did was give a dirty look and moved.  Saying something might provoke them into something worse.  You probably won't ever see them again so nothing can be gained.  And you had a nice dinner without having to hear their loud grating voices ;D
Title: Re: Rude woman at restaurant and my kids
Post by: TootsNYC on December 05, 2013, 04:28:33 PM
Ooh, too bad you didn't say, "Oh, good!" in a greatly relieved tone of voice with a big smile.


Because that's how I'd feel--that goodness those people weren't going to be near you, making snide little remarks, and sighing, and maybe even admonishing your kids.

AND you didn't have to listen to them being loud and obnoxious themselves.
Title: Re: Rude woman at restaurant and my kids
Post by: Figgie on December 05, 2013, 04:40:21 PM
I wouldn't ever try to say anything to people with a chip on their shoulders about children being present in the world.  You aren't going to change their minds.

I would also urge parents to not assume that every couple that moves when they are seated next to children are doing so because they expect the children to behave badly.  A few weeks ago, we ended up being seated directly underneath an air duct that was blowing cold air right on the top of my head. 

We had mentioned it to the waitress and asked to be moved.  While she was checking with one of the hostesses, another hostess sat a couple with two young children at the table next to us.  Our waitress came back and told us to follow her. As we got up, the woman at the table said:  "I think it is extremely rude to move just because we have children."

I looked blankly at her and said:  "We are moving because the air duct was blowing cold air and had requested to move before anyone else was seated."  She didn't say anything else, and we were moved to the other side of the restaurant, well away from the air duct.
Title: Re: Rude woman at restaurant and my kids
Post by: Hmmmmm on December 05, 2013, 05:02:35 PM
Quote
Yes, but even if the women had gotten up and moved without saying/doing anything some people would automatically be offended  on behalf of their well-behaved kids.

Chances are, parents wouldn't even notice if someone switched tables quietly and unobtrusively.  For all I know, my family may cause a dining parting of the Red Sea when we arrive at restaurants and I've never noticed.

But I still remember the old biddy who huffed and puffed and glared as she switched tables.  We hadn't even sat down yet!

I agree with this. Primarily because when my kids were little I never really encountered anyone who seemed to have an issue with them existing. But after hearing so many stories I'm sure at some point someone re-arrange their activities to avoid us and our kids.

Had I noticed someone moving tables sitting around us I would have assumed it was because they didn't like the table or there was a draft. It would have never crossed my mind it was because they saw my kids approaching. But because the woman made the comment as the kid's arrived, she was acting out and wanted her opnion known.

Personally because she was loud and with an annoying voice, I'd probably have done a little jig that they were moving and told my kids to order the biggest dessert on the menu as a thank you.
Title: Re: Rude woman at restaurant and my kids
Post by: Secret on December 05, 2013, 06:39:24 PM
I still remember incidents of being treated poorly  just because I was a kid.  My parents had taught me manners and how to behave in public.  My parents told me that some people just prefer to treat all children a certain way- a prejudice that all kids are little hellions I guess.  I learned that lesson and tried not to take it personally.

Roll your eyes and let the annoying person go.  It is much better than PA comments throughout dinner.  She did you a favor by moving.

Title: Re: Rude woman at restaurant and my kids
Post by: Katana_Geldar on December 05, 2013, 07:31:00 PM
I would have thought "What's her problem?" And then felt thankful she had rid us of her presence.

I hate it when people assume kids are always going to misbehave in a restaurant. A lot do, but good months ones that don't. Recently, DH and I were in our favourite restaurant and there were kids nearby, including a baby. I said how great it was they were no more loud than a regular group, and DH said he didn't know there were children after all.
Title: Re: Rude woman at restaurant and my kids
Post by: scansons on December 05, 2013, 07:52:12 PM
I've had this sort of thing happen on airplanes too.  All the sighing and the eye rolling as we walk to our seats with our sons.  Who actually are really good flyers.  I will say when it get's bad, I try and remember the guy on the flight where the eye rolling was the worst.   He got on after us.  So it was the boys and I in the front row, and DH with two strangers behind us.  About 75% of the way through the flight, my oldest turned around to ask his dad something.  They guy next to DH stands up and looks over the seats before exclaiming "There are little kids up there!  I had no idea!  You are some really well behaved boys!"  Then he sat down and said to DH "How do you get them to do that?"  To which DH replied "They've got a really good mother." 

I had to laugh.  I often wish flight guy could just follow us around announcing "These are really good children!" to the world.   But he's never there when you really need him.  Restaurants.  Grocery stores. I think we all could use our own flight guy from time to time. 
Title: Re: Rude woman at restaurant and my kids
Post by: cabbagegirl28 on December 05, 2013, 08:08:02 PM
I've had this sort of thing happen on airplanes too.  All the sighing and the eye rolling as we walk to our seats with our sons.  Who actually are really good flyers.  I will say when it get's bad, I try and remember the guy on the flight where the eye rolling was the worst.   He got on after us.  So it was the boys and I in the front row, and DH with two strangers behind us.  About 75% of the way through the flight, my oldest turned around to ask his dad something.  They guy next to DH stands up and looks over the seats before exclaiming "There are little kids up there!  I had no idea!  You are some really well behaved boys!"  Then he sat down and said to DH "How do you get them to do that?"  To which DH replied "They've got a really good mother." 

I had to laugh.  I often wish flight guy could just follow us around announcing "These are really good children!" to the world.   But he's never there when you really need him.  Restaurants.  Grocery stores. I think we all could use our own flight guy from time to time.

OT, but awww!  :) That's really sweet.
Title: Re: Rude woman at restaurant and my kids
Post by: esposita on December 05, 2013, 08:16:40 PM
I think you did good to leave it alone. The very very most that my husband or I might do would be to quietly and calmly ask "Is there a problem?" or "Is something wrong?" immediately after her exclamation. But that would just be engaging the crazy...so it might be best not to! And it would probably take a few seconds for it to dawn on us that she was even referring to us, so the moment would be over before we had a chance!
Title: Re: Rude woman at restaurant and my kids
Post by: Softly Spoken on December 05, 2013, 10:57:26 PM
I would have thought "What's her problem?" And then felt thankful she had rid us of her presence.

*snip*

This.
OP, I think your "Mama Bear" instincts were tweaked a little because you saw Ms. Loud n' Rude's actions as an 'attack' on your kids - not a real threat but an attack on their character. All she really did was show her own shortcomings - that she is judgmental, impatient, and self-centered.
If you felt compelled to do anything, I would have suggested a lovely smile at her bitterly retreating form. How nice of her to leave your family to enjoy your meal in peace. ;)
Let people like that be nothing more than a breeze through your hair - you are obviously living on different worlds anyway. ::)
Title: Re: Rude woman at restaurant and my kids
Post by: Katana_Geldar on December 05, 2013, 11:08:18 PM
The best revenge is living well.
Title: Re: Rude woman at restaurant and my kids
Post by: Bookgirl on December 06, 2013, 11:12:02 AM
Quote
Yes, but even if the women had gotten up and moved without saying/doing anything some people would automatically be offended  on behalf of their well-behaved kids.

Chances are, parents wouldn't even notice if someone switched tables quietly and unobtrusively.  For all I know, my family may cause a dining parting of the Red Sea when we arrive at restaurants and I've never noticed.

But I still remember the old biddy who huffed and puffed and glared as she switched tables.  We hadn't even sat down yet!

Yep, I agree.  I'm sure it's happened to us but the only time I ever noticed was when we were seated next to a group at Joe's Crab Shack (hmm, maybe is a seafood thing).  The waves of resentment from the other table started hitting us before we even got to the table.  There were sighs, glares and murmurs along the lines of "Kids!" It made me extremely uncomfortable and I knew that I wouldn't be able to enjoy my dinner because of all the resentment for having breathing children.  When the waitress came to take our drink order, we asked to be moved. 
Title: Re: Rude woman at restaurant and my kids
Post by: Twik on December 06, 2013, 11:17:17 AM
(headdesk)

People at Joe's Crab Shack are above sitting near children? Are they afraid they won't know the words when the servers start singing "YMCA"?
Title: Re: Rude woman at restaurant and my kids
Post by: Bookgirl on December 06, 2013, 11:29:11 AM
(headdesk)

People at Joe's Crab Shack are above sitting near children? Are they afraid they won't know the words when the servers start singing "YMCA"?

I know!  There have been times that we've been there and it's been so loud that I couldn't hear the kids talking to me and I'm at the same table as them!  I got the feeling that all 4 of the other people were just people who resent kids no matter what. 
Title: Re: Rude woman at restaurant and my kids
Post by: Venus193 on December 06, 2013, 11:32:57 AM
Better that they moved when they did rather than after being served any food.  That would have subjected you to P/A remarks and the sounds of moving plates, glasses, flatware, etc.
Title: Re: Rude woman at restaurant and my kids
Post by: Elfmama on December 06, 2013, 06:19:24 PM
She didn't say anything else, and we were moved to the other side of the restaurant, well away from the air duct.
:o :o :o Where do you live, Figgie?  I will move there IMMEDIATELY!!!!!!  Every  restaurant in Maryland has its cold air ducts fiendishly placed so that no matter WHERE you sit, it blows cold air either down your neck or in your face.  And DH won't move more than once.   >:(   I keep a hoodie in the car all summer, just so that I can be comfortable indoors in a public place.
Title: Re: Rude woman at restaurant and my kids
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on December 06, 2013, 07:13:33 PM
Ooh, too bad you didn't say, "Oh, good!" in a greatly relieved tone of voice with a big smile.


Because that's how I'd feel--that goodness those people weren't going to be near you, making snide little remarks, and sighing, and maybe even admonishing your kids.

AND you didn't have to listen to them being loud and obnoxious themselves.

POD.  Our boys are generally very well behaved in public, often better behaved in restaurants than at home actually.  Were we to run into a woman like this I would have possibly shook my head, shrugged and decided they were doing us a favor, most likely.
Title: Re: Rude woman at restaurant and my kids
Post by: --- on December 07, 2013, 07:06:27 PM
This is just odd and weird that she did that. Maybe she did have bad experience previously with other kids who disrupted her meal, but that really is on her. Not all kids misbehave, the majority of kids that I've encountered have had very good manners when seated in a restaurant.
Title: Re: Rude woman at restaurant and my kids
Post by: Venus193 on December 08, 2013, 07:56:39 AM
This is just odd and weird that she did that. Maybe she did have bad experience previously with other kids who disrupted her meal, but that really is on her. Not all kids misbehave, the majority of kids that I've encountered have had very good manners when seated in a restaurant.

I think we all need to note when kids are well-behaved.  I was in a diner one Saturday morning near a table with a father and two kids who were about 8 or 9 years old.  They said "Please" and "Thank you" to the waitress without prompting, spoke in whole sentences, and were polite to each other.  They also displayed no impatience while waiting for their food, even deciding to spend the waiting time by making up a ghost story.  The father exchanged greetings with a couple of people and one of the kids commented "Dad's always talking to everybody" but didn't say this in a rude way.

Before I left I complimented the father on raising such polite and intelligent kids.  I think that made his day.
Title: Re: Rude woman at restaurant and my kids
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on December 08, 2013, 01:30:11 PM
It certainly made our day when we once took our elder two out for dinner (before the littlest came along) and a retired school teacher came over our table to tell us we had some of the best behaved children she'd had the pleasure of sitting near. :)

It certainly does the parents and the kids a world of good..
Title: Re: Rude woman at restaurant and my kids
Post by: ettiquit on December 08, 2013, 02:30:54 PM
I think everyone has a right to sit where they'll feel most comfortable, when possible (obviously, airplanes make that difficult). With the OP's situation, I would be more amused than offended, since my DS is pretty good in restaurants. He sometimes has a tendency to talk louder than necessary, but we always correct him on that. If the women in the OP's story hadn't moved, I likely would have, considering how loud they were.

I also applaud the poster who moved away from the grumblers at Joe's Crab Shack. They moved to where they would feel more comfortable, and there's nothing wrong with that. We're not dining with the other patrons at a restaurant, so we have no obligation to stay sitting near someone who makes us uncomfortable. In the OP, the ladies moved because they assumed the kids would be annoying. Wrong or not, they certainly had the right to move. The "Oh great" comment and dirty looks were definitely rude, but not worth engaging.

I've occasionally had strangers comment on how well-behaved my kid is, and it definitely makes my day.

We should all do that more often.  :)
Title: Re: Rude woman at restaurant and my kids
Post by: lorelai on December 08, 2013, 03:16:47 PM
I've been guilty of doing this but not so blatantly rude. On airplanes I have a tough time with motion sickness so I try very hard to fall asleep, which can be hard to do with loud or crying kids. I also have back issues and have had bad luck with kids kicking my seat. I've had bad luck getting kicking to stop in the past, even with intervention from flight attendants. Most parents grin and say "what can we do, they're kids!" which is frustrating. Even if kids are well behaved, sometimes they just tend to talk/scream loudly in order to be heard, and that doesn't work for me either. I do use earplugs but with really rambunctious kids, they don't seem to help.

I usually fly Southwest so I have a choice where I sit, and I try to sit in front of adults and away from children. I don't make a big deal about it, but if someone with a child ends up sitting directly behind me I do get up and move. I don't make rude gestures or faces, I don't say anything at all. In restaurants, I think it's a little different because you're not in an enclosed space, and I've noticed that kids tend to be a little more well behaved in non-enclosed spaces. So I give everyone a chance. If anyone, adult or child, is doing something that is so outrageous that it interferes with our enjoyment of our meal, then I think it's perfectly alright to request to move elsewhere. (As long as you're discreet).

I've always tried to have compassion for parents dealing with difficult children - my father taught me that a long time ago and reminded me that we were also young once. With my first little one on the way, I'm interested to see how my behavior changes!
Title: Re: Rude woman at restaurant and my kids
Post by: catrunning on December 09, 2013, 11:34:38 AM
I confess that I will usually try to get a restaurant/airplane seat as far away from infants and young children as possible.    That is because so many young ones do cause considerable disturbance and can be grossly messy with their food.   Unfortunately there are many parents out there either don't care or even encourage the obnoxious behavior because they think it's cute.    That said, I always do it very discretely so as not to offend those parents out there who really are concerned how their kids behave in public and who really try to teach them well.   The problem is you cannot always tell in advance.

And yes, when I go to family-type restaurants, I do expect to hear  "child noise".    But even at child-friendly restaurants, patrons should not have to endure ear-splitting screeching that goes on forever, they should not have to endure having their chair or booth constantly kicked,  they should not have to endure the sight and smell of  diaper changes at the next table,  they should not have to endure getting drooled on by the toddler leaning over from the booth behind them,  etc.    Family restaurants do not equate to "anything goes."
Title: Re: Rude woman at restaurant and my kids
Post by: Allyson on December 09, 2013, 12:46:31 PM
I don't think it's rude to move because there's a draft, or because there's kids, or any other reason really. It's just rude to make a whole production and drama out of it. What huffing and sighing is supposed to accomplish I will never know, especially since they're already getting what they want and being seated elsewhere! That goes both ways; if you see people moving, and think it might be because of your table, no need to make an issue of it.