Monday, February 27, 2012

Parents Behaving Badly

First, I wanted to thank everyone for stopping by and for the comments.  I'm having a rough month.

Now for my rant:

We had an incident:

We were waiting at a restaurant.  My husband had run to the car and I was sitting on a bench out front.  A very young mother was waiting at a table directly in my line of site with what appeared to me her brother and possible her mother as well as her one year old baby.  All three were smoking.  In fact, I think the brother blew fake smoke rings at the child, but I could have imagined that part.  I was impressed at my ability to hold it together.  I didn't even immediately head down the 'why does she deserve her baby more than me' path that I tend to run for when these type of things happen.

Then they started squabbling about where to sit.  This particular place has a dining room and a bar.  Neither had waits (I was waiting for the husband, they were waiting to finish smoking).  The girls mother was saying they should go sit at the bar so they could have drinks.  The hairs on the back of my neck started to stand up...

So here's my rant, and my stand.  I THINK BARS ARE FOR GROWN UPS ONLY.
I guess I feel like bars are a safe haven for the child free and I take it as a personal insult when the sanctity of my imagined safe place is violated.  I mean there several good reasons for children to not be allowed in bars, some of them legal.  Besides, they could have just as easily had drinks in the dining area, right?

The girl initially said she wasn't sure they were allowed.  Hairs start to settle, but mother insists and 'leads the charge' into the bar.  I sat staring at my phone.  As the brother passes me and is just behind me he nudges the girl and says. "Somebody's awfully bitchy," clearly directed at me.

Seriously?  I turned around and attempted to make eye contact.  If you're brave enough to say it, say it to my face!  He didn't oblige and ducked into the bar.

I sat with steam coming out of my ears for a few minutes.  My husband came and saved them from me approaching them.  What I really wanted was to hand the guy a note.  If I had had a sheet of paper, I would have and I think it would have sounded something like this:

Dear Random Stranger,
Apparently despite the extreme self control I used in not commenting on you and your life, you couldn't stand to leave me alone.  Since it was necessary for you to identify me as bitchy, I think it's only fair that you be told why I'm so bitchy.
Over the last year, I've lost three babies.  All desperately wanted.  My body has betrayed me and it's taken every ounce of strength not to give in to the depression that threatens to overwhelm me.  When I see children happy with their parents, I smile because I'm glad they have each other but the hole in my heart bleeds a little more.   
You are lucky enough to have a beautiful little girl in your life.  And instead of enjoying her, you choose to spend your time poking me because I'm hurting and vulnerable.  
I hope that you never have to understand how broken my heart is, and I hope you can overcome whatever is forcing you to be so catty and mean spirited.

In the end, we sat in the bar and I was happy to discover that they had moved (not sure if it was voluntary or not)

It seems that grief and exhaustion have taken most of the fight out of me, but instead it made me realize that you never know what someone is going through.  I'm not naturally empathetic.  It's not that I'm cruel, but I have a hard time reaching out to people.  Loss, and grief, seem to have also instilled some sensitivity for others in me.

But please people, keep your freaking babies out of bars. Please.  In exchange, we'll keep our sad baby-less selves out of Chucky Cheese.  Fair enough?

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