Author Topic: Rude to eat in public?  (Read 8936 times)

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Knitterly

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Rude to eat in public?
« on: March 03, 2013, 12:43:06 PM »
Interesting scenario happened today.  I'm not sure what to make of it.  It would not have occurred to me that this could be rude, but I walked away wondering if maybe I was asking for trouble?

I went to a big box store with Little Knit.  I had a bunch of stuff to get, and as an afterthought, I took a peek in the toy department for a birthday gift.

Because of the timing, I stopped and grabbed a muffin and some french fries for her to eat.  Mainly, I knew it was lunchtime and wanted to take my time browsing without LK melting from starvation (she's at that age where hungry=torturous starvation).  The store has a fast food restaurant inside the front entrance and taking food into the store is generally accepted.  I have asked an employee before if I am allowed to take my food in with me and the answer has always been "Absolutely" or some other positive variation thereof.  I mention this so no one thinks I was breaking store rules.

No one paid us any mind (except one older employee who stopped to tell LK what a good girl she was when she heard her little "mo' peesh") until I got to the toy department (which was, as mentioned, an afterthought).  As we were walking down the aisle and LK asked for "mo' peesh", I handed her a fry.  This was done as I was passing another woman with a toddler in a cart.  Her toddler Lost! His! Mind!!!!  He wanted one, too.  And boy, did he want one.  Really wanted one! And so he howled to the 'gods of food and unfairness' about how badly he wanted a fry.

I gave the mom an encouraging smile and whispered a quiet "sorry" to her.  She turned on me.
Apparently I should have known better than to bring french fries into the toy aisle.  Apparently I was very rude in doing so.  I should know that every child would want one.  It was unfair to them.  It was unfair to the mothers who had to deal with the screaming.  And it was rude.  Very! Very! Rude!

I didn't say anything in response.  I just ducked out of there as fast as I could.

But it left me wondering...  did she have a point?

Although it's generally accepted that one may bring one's lunch into the store, is it rude to bring such a desirable item into an area where there are kids?

I doubt I'll do that again - I'd rather not deal with that sort of reaction again.

SPuck

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Re: Rude to eat in public?
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2013, 12:50:41 PM »
Although it's generally accepted that one may bring one's lunch into the store, is it rude to bring such a desirable item into an area where there are kids?

Quick Answer: NO!

Long Answer: You checked with store employees and they said you can bring food into other parts of the store. This lady having no control over her kid doesn't have any bearing on you. Her son can stay at home, and she with him, until he learns that sometimes in life people are going to have stuff you don't.

mmswm

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Re: Rude to eat in public?
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2013, 12:52:28 PM »
The other mother was out of line.  It's not your job to parent her kid.  It's her job to teach her kid that life isn't fair and you don't always get everything you want, at the exact time you want it. 
Some people lift weights.  I lift measures.  It's a far more esoteric workout. - (Quoted from a personal friend)

Sharnita

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Re: Rude to eat in public?
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2013, 12:55:08 PM »
The little guy might have thrown a fit if he saw LK getting a toy he wanted, too. Unfortunate but not your fault.

Venus193

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Re: Rude to eat in public?
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2013, 01:02:30 PM »
The quick answer is No.  The store permitted you to do so and that should be the last word on the matter. Having said that, I have to say that I have mixed feelings about people eating food in public. 

In NYC there has been talk about making it a fine-able offense to eat on public transportation.  People enter the subway all the time with take-out coffee and sometimes with stuff that requires chewing, but I would draw the line at anything that requires a clamshell container and/or a utensil.  I'm not offended by most food aromas and seeing someone eat a sandwich or a cookie doesn't bother me, but the idea of anyone eating take-out Chinese or pasta on the subway only makes me worry about the risk of it becoming a mess.

citadelle

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Re: Rude to eat in public?
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2013, 01:03:56 PM »
You are of course under no obligation to do so, but I might have asked the mom if it was ok to offer the little guy a french fry.

daisy1679

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Re: Rude to eat in public?
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2013, 01:10:59 PM »
I not only think you didn't do anything wrong, I think this is incredibly common. As a matter of fact, my youngest, Outlaw, does it regularly. He's a slow eater, and usually has to bring his breakfast when we take Cowboy to the bus stop, and if I'm hitting the store that morning, breakfast goes as well (sometimes he's still eating when we get home - s l o w eater in the morning:P). Yes, that includes to the toy aisle (both my boys like at least one pass, even if we're not buying. We also have to check out the cakes every time. I let them, because they know not to throw fits over not getting everything they want).

Not only has no-one ever said anything to me, I also regularly see other kids eating in the store. I think you just ran up against a mother who can't be bothered to teach her child that he can't have everything he sees, and thinks everyone else should make sure not to upset her child by giving theirs something he might want. I have to agree with Sharnita, you would have got that response if you were letting LK pick out a toy he wanted, or anything else.

Knitterly

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Re: Rude to eat in public?
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2013, 01:28:12 PM »
The little guy might have thrown a fit if he saw LK getting a toy he wanted, too. Unfortunate but not your fault.

To be honest, if LK had seen the little boy with the french fry, it is likely she would have had the same reaction.  I think it's something to do with the age.  (Ever read "The Honest Toddler" blog?  Some days I swear my kid writes it when I'm not looking.)  But it wouldn't have occurred to me to chastise the other mom for it.

As I walked away, though, I will admit that part of me wondered if the rudeness was in going into the toy aisle where there are so many other kids, knowing that most toddlers would want a fry if they saw it.  It hadn't occurred to me going in, but coming out, as I realized LK very likely would have had the same reaction, I wondered about it.

Thanks for the reassurances that it wasn't rude.

SiotehCat

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Re: Rude to eat in public?
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2013, 01:31:30 PM »
I don't think it was rude, but I don't think I would do it. It just doesn't seem "nice" to me. Kinda like drinking an ice cold water around a bunch of really thirsty people.

Also, I don't think it matters whether the store allowed it or not. Stores allow a lot of things that are rude. I was under the impression that rude was rude. I am not saying the OP was rude, because I don't believe she was rude. I just don't think its because the store allows it.

Betelnut

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Re: Rude to eat in public?
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2013, 01:37:30 PM »
I wonder what the woman would have done if you picked up a toy and put it in your shopping basket?  "How dare you buy a toy in front of my kid!?!?!"

The woman was totally out of line and you weren't.
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Asharah

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Re: Rude to eat in public?
« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2013, 01:38:21 PM »
I think it would be alot ruder for OP to let her kid have a loud meltdown because she was hungry.
Kinda reminds me of a post where the OP was scolded by another mother at her daughters preschool for making and bringing a fancy decorated cake for her daughter's birthday. Other mom felt every mom should just bring cupcakes. And plain cupcakes with just icing and no sprinkles or icing flowers or anything fancy. Because it WASN'T FAIR that one kid had better birthday treats than another.  ::)
« Last Edit: March 03, 2013, 01:43:40 PM by Asharah »
Asharah

WillyNilly

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Re: Rude to eat in public?
« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2013, 01:42:10 PM »
I can't help but assume the other toddler is also "at that age where hungry=torturous starvation" and the mom was more upset at the situation and herself, and exhausted by a toddler then seriously blaming you.

snowdragon

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Re: Rude to eat in public?
« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2013, 01:48:45 PM »
You were not rude and the other mother would.  Nor would I let that mom have that much control over where I went and what I took with me. 

citadelle

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Re: Rude to eat in public?
« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2013, 02:01:35 PM »
I can't help but assume the other toddler is also "at that age where hungry=torturous starvation" and the mom was more upset at the situation and herself, and exhausted by a toddler then seriously blaming you.

Right. I had the same thought.

sunnygirl

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Re: Rude to eat in public?
« Reply #14 on: March 03, 2013, 02:56:31 PM »
The other mother was rude. I POD those who wondered if she'd have had the same reaction to her child wanting the OP's child's toy.

Personally, I wouldn't offer/ask if it was okay to offer unless I could do it discreetly without the child hearing. Because many parents don't let their children eat junk food or put restrictions on how much junk food they're allowed, "Even though the person offered you it, you still can't have it." I know part of being a parent is saying no, I just wouldn't want to create that situation for another parent, of having to say, "Even though she offered it to you, you still can't have it."

I don't care for people eating in shops, public transport, etc. (non-smelly snacks are fine, but hot, smelly meals are another thing) but if the store said it's okay then it is. But as a customer I might choose not to shop there - depending on how many people were eating and what they were eating. I don't think I've witnessed people eating in shops before, but I hate when people eat smelly takeaways on the tube. But kids have to eat. So no, it's not rude to eat if the store says it's okay, and certainly not rude to eat a child-desirable item.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2013, 03:04:48 PM by sunnygirl »