"People who force their toddlers on others in enclosed public spaces like fine restaurants (and airplanes) are even more selfish than those who insist on talking on cell phones in such places,"I am very happy that you have successfully managed to swim upstream and spawn. It is the efforts of you, and those like you, that ensure that the human race will continue on this globe, at least for the next threescore and ten. Were it not for people like you, I wouldn't be here.
Further, I understand that you cannot get a sitter every time you need groceries, and that it is occasionally necessary to transport your sprog by airplane, bus, or train; to visit grandma, for example.
However, when I am enjoying my rare solo steak dinner in a moderately classy dead cow eatery, and your loin fruit is performing her air raid siren impersonation while doing a Jimmy Lee Sudduth with her mashed potatoes on the tablecloth, it kinda harshes my mellow, you know?
Look, I like children. I earned my book money in high school by babysitting children. I enjoy seeing children in public places. But there are places that grownups sometimes want to go and enjoy an absence of children. Movie theaters that aren't showing Shrek, for instance. When I pay money to go sit in the dark and watch grownup people act out grownup situations in grownup ways, I don't appreciate doing so to the accompaniment of ululations from a peanut gallery too young to grasp the concept of "inside voice".
I understand you couldn't get a sitter and that this is the only night the two of you could tear away to Steakhouse L'expensif and the 8:15 showing of Robin Hood, but that's not the rest of society's problem, okay? You should have thought about that before you laid off the Ortho-Novum.
Perhaps we could come up with some societally agreed-upon rules of thumb. For instance, if a restaurant has any two of the four following:
- Table coverings made of actual cloth that are not checkered.
- Candles on the tables that do not require batteries.
- An average entree price over, say, twenty bucks.
- Some faux foreign word in the name.