Today, I thought that it would be a nice treat if we went out to dinner, as a family. We’ve not been out to dinner in a while, and I have been craving the experience. As soon as my husband got home from work, we loaded the kids into the car, and headed for a Thai place that we’ve been to a couple of times. Each experience had been alright enough, especially given the fact that the first time that we had ever been there was right after receiving horribly rude treatment at another Thai place just down the road.
When we arrived, only a few tables were occupied, and a few others had “reserved” signs on them. For the most part, though, the place was quietly empty. Soon, after arriving, the place filled up. As a result, service was slow, and we even noticed a few tables that had arrived after us, already had their entrees, while we continued to wait. And wait.
Our son, who is just now a year and a half old, was beginning to feel that his patience had been tested. He was growing impatient, and wanted to escape from the confines of the table, and run around. My husband gallantly wrestled him and calmed him down till the food finally arrived. As we were eating, my husband was feeding our son, and I suppose he thought that his Abbu was going too slowly, because he suddenly grabbed a (very hot) potato from the plate. It didn’t take long for the crying and screaming to begin. An employee came over to our table to ask if he was alright (which I thought was rather odd, considering that he was already quieting down). Some time passed, everything was fine, then once again our son grew impatient, and decided to grab what was now a (very hot) carrot from the plate. Cue: crying. Huge buckets of tears, and nearly inconsolable screams. Again, just as he was calming down, another employee came over to check on him. This one, though, came dangerously close to telling us that we needed to take him outside.
A few quiet minutes passed, with us chatting and enjoying our food. Then, something happened (you will have to excuse me, because I cannot recall what exactly happened, due to what happened next serving to eclipse the triggering event), and our son was once again in tears. Really, poor little guy. Well, some man sitting at a table in the middle of the dinning room decided that it was time for him to speak up, quite rudely, and tell us to shut our kid up.
Oh. No. He. Didn’t.
Oh. Yes. He. Did.
Great. Just great. So, now I am attempting to explain to that man that my little boy is not even two years of age, and in comparison, his (advanced) age gives him absolutely no excuse for his outburst. Obviously, it escalated, with the irate man becoming more and more insulting in his behavior. I finally stood up, got my purse, and walked over to the table where he was sitting. I asked him what did he used do when he was out with his kids, and they were crying in a restaurant (he was roughly in his 50s to 60s). Of course, he retorted that he took his kids outside. I really do not recall what I said, but I know that a very audible scoff was involved. I walked away, and he continued his fussing and tantrum throwing.
Meanwhile, the inept restaurant employees did nothing. When they finally walked up, they spoke and acted in a manner that insinuated that we were somehow to blame for all of this. With that, I put my napkin down (yes, I suppose I still had it in my hand all this time), picked up our daughter, and said that we were leaving, never to come back.
As I was walking by the booths, one restaurant patron felt compelled to say over and over to me, “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.” All I could manage to say to her was, “I know. Some people can be so rude.”
It literally broke my hear that this one woman, completely unrelated to the whole incident, felt so utterly bad for me, and must have seen that no one was bothering to say anything to attempt to make me feel better. This one woman felt the need to try to apologize for The Ugly American (who, I am pretty sure watches Fox News round the clock, and will vote for whatever lowbrowed moron Sara Palin tells them to elect). I would love to be able to find this woman, to talk to her about this evening, and to try to get a glimpse of her perspective of the whole thing.
I would also love to tell her “thank you.”
The restaurant, in contrast, never apologized for the bad experience, nor do I wish to say anything more to them.