Wednesday, March 28, 2007

A Tale of Two Families.

My husband is on Spring Break this week, so we've actually SEEN each other a little bit. Today, we met for lunch at Arby's. I had coupons but I left them in the car.

Inside, it was packed. Spring Break. Fast food restaurants must really pack in the big bucks at lunchtime during Spring Break, that's all I'm sayin.'

In most restaurants we frequent, we have Our Table. Today, at Arby's, a couple of women and about ten thousand small wild children were sitting at Our Table. We took that as our cue to sit as far away from Our Table as was physically possible.

Not far from us sat another family. Actually, my friend Debbie's daughter, her husband and two small children, and an older lady who was probably a grandmother. Then again, she might have been my age, hell, who can tell these days? No, seriously, this lady was old.

Our Table's family was a pack of wild animals. The two women talked loudly, laughed loudly, gestured wildly, talked loudly some more, and totally ignored the ten thousand small children who were running all over the restaurant. One older little boy was trying to corral them all, poor thing.

Debbie's daughter's family was like a picture postcard. Her tiny little children sat politely, ate their food with a minimum of mess (there was a little bit of mess; they couldn't have been more than two and four years old) talked with their polite inside voices, giggled those hushed sweet toddler giggles that melt me like a grilled cheese sammich, talked in those serious little hushed toddler voices about how much they loved their toy and their food and 'this fwench fwy in my HAND wight here' (soooo cute) and my main point here is that they never once ran through the restaurant like a crazed baboon or climbed on the tables and chairs or threw food (or anything else) or annoyed other diners or vandalized the salt shakers or SCREAMED or SQUEALED LIKE A STUCK PIG and that their little asses stayed glued to their chairs the entire time they were in the restaurant, until they had permission from their mother to move them.

When Our Table's family left the restaurant, they left behind a disgusting mess.

When Debbie's daughter's family left, they first cleaned up their entire mess, picked up the big crumbs from the floor, put one of their tables back where they got it, and the two tiny children were in charge of pushing each chair back under the table. Before they walked out of the restaurant, Debbie's daughter picked up her son and asked him to check the tabletop to make sure it was clean for the next people who came there to eat lunch, and he took this very seriously. Only after he pronounced their area clean enough for other people did they leave. It was obvious that this was routine for them. It was also obvious that leaving behind a gross mess was routine for the other family.

I guess my question is, what made these two families so different?

Could it be. . . . . ."Parents who required proper behavior in public?" <--I vote for that one.

Thank you, Debbie, for doing such a good job with Marci so that she is doing such a good job with her children. I bet these children will be good students and good citizens. Marci was a joy to have in class because of Debbie, and Marci's children will be a joy because of Marci. And so on, and so on, and so it goes.

Nice job, Our Table family. Thanks a lot. I bet these children are and will be the same wild animals in school that they are in a public restaurant. Probably both mothers were brats in school, too. These people are the way they are because they were allowed to be so by their parents. And so on, and so on, and so it goes.

Could this sort of thing be coincidence? I think not.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 9:31 PM | |


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