Keep Your Brats At Home!
People should learn to control their children for their own safety! I have seen two terrible accidents.
Once, a child left to run loose around a busy restaurant was accidentally kicked by a server carrying a heavy tray of dinners. The child ended up with a nasty bump on his head - if that tray had fallen it could have been second degree burns!
Another time at one of my own tables, the parents were oblivious to the fact that their infant was flirting danger by trying to grab at items on a tray full of drinks. They thought it was cute! I couldn't spin around fast enough to avoid his quick little hands, and junior ended up with an orange soda spilled on his head. Thankfully neither of these incidents ended with serious injury. The moral here is watch your children. You wouldn't let them play unsupervised on a busy street would you? Smarten up for your own good!
Here's another one on idiotic parents. My husband and I were at our favorite Thai restaurant when we saw a child (two or three years old) playing happily on the floor -- about one foot in front of the large, heavy, opaque swinging door which led to the kitchen. Mama, of course, was yakking obliviously at the bar.
I had visions of my favorite restaurant being shut down because the door opened suddenly and tossed the brat into the middle of next week. So I took it upon myself to say, loudly, "I REALLY DON'T THINK THAT CHILD IS SAFE THERE."
Mama gave me the Look of Death (which I tried to return with interest), but she did move her brat out of the way of the door. Heaven forfend parents should actually be *responsible* for their kids.
The 40ish, well-to-do couple in my station had their baby with them, and since they were my only table, I lavished attention upon them, which obviously pleased the beaming parents. The mother ordered a glass of milk, warmed in the microwave to the proper temperature by me, and an applesauce for the baby, which I brought promptly. The meal went smoothly, and afterwards, the parents chatted with me and thanked me for the good service.
As I picked up the check, I noticed an abysmally small tip, almost nothing, and the scowling mama asked to see a manager. I wondered if I was going nuts, since there could not have been anything for them to complain about. I found out from the manager that the woman was scandalized that I charged them for the milk and applesauce (both full portions, which added up to about $2), claiming that she had never before been charged for baby's portions.
I indignantly pointed out to the manager that I was not about to steal food for customers, baby or not, since I didn't want to lose my job (malarkey really, since I regularly stole food for myself). For once, the manager agreed with me; I was delighted to find that she hadn't removed the offending items from the patron's check. It didn't get me my tip back though. The next time those parents came in, my boyfriend, also a waiter at this establishment, waited on them. My boyfriend is very loyal to me. You can guess the rest.
—Michelle K., Salem, MA
I am sick of parents allowing their brats to pig up an unusually large public area. I now get a secret joy in never, ever cleaning off a high chair after it has been used, no matter how much drool, mashed potatoes, or whatever else drips from the child's mouth or nose is on it. I just put the slimy thing back the way the proud parents left it. The hostesses are too lazy to wipe off the high chairs when they take them to a table, so now parents get to experience how others feel about the messes their spawn create.
Here is another way I torture clueless parents: where I work, we are not allowed to place high chairs at the ends of booths, because they obstruct the walkways and pose a danger to the child—someone could easily knock the chair over, trip over it, or drop something on the kid. Even when we explain these safety factors to the parents, however, they still insist that we put the high chair there for their kid. Sometimes I will lean over furtively and make veiled references to a "huge lawsuit" against our restaurant that resulted in the current high chair rules, one in which "a poor little baby was injured horribly, right in front of all the guests, but I am not allowed to say what happened to him." I warn them that I could get in big trouble for mentioning this case and ask them to please not tell anyone.
I was never a waitress, but I had one of the worst jobs in food service possible: a dishwasher at a college near my house. During the school year, I had to put up with lousy college students who ate like pigs and left gross combinations of food on their plates. But during the summer, sports camps for children here held at this college. One day, a girl stupidly left her retainer wrapped in a napkin and left it on her tray. She came into the kitchen and demanded I find her retainer. Not wanting to get into trouble with the Gestapo-like woman manager who was in the office, I started to dig through the trash. And amidst corn dogs and soppingly sticky rice, I found her retainer. She looked at it, and commanded, "Wash it off!" which I did. I handed her the retainer and she huffed off without saying thanks..my thanks turned out to be the HUGE pile of dishes that had accumulated while I was hunting for that little brat's retainer.
Good Parent/Bad Parent
The bad: I worked at a "greasy spoon" breakfast place that was super popular. We had a couple that came in for several years, and continued to come in after they had a baby. Before the boy was born, they were easy to take care of, left great tips, etc. Afterwards, they ran your ass off, requested tons of substitutions, left a huge, nasty scrambled egg mess, and quit tipping. (If you can't afford to eat out and have children; choose one or the other!) Anyway, after several months of dealing with this, they came in for their (final) Sunday Brunch. My friend, Mimi, was patiently waiting on them. At the end of their meal, the mother, realizing their son had spread food from one end of the booth to the other, started picking up assorted pieces of egg, toast, applesauce, etc. We were pretty excited; this was the first time they had acknowledged what a sty their table was. Then, as Mimi comes over to pre-bus, the mother looks straight at Mimi and says, "Gee, I don't know what I'm doing, this is YOUR job", and proceeds to toss the handful of food she had picked up back onto the floor! Needless to say, Mimi wigged, and told them to never come back. The owner of the restaurant came out of the kitchen, and when they tried to complain to him, he agreed with Mimi and said he didn't want their business. What a great boss.
The good story: Fast forward 10 years later. I'm working at a BBQ place to put myself through grad school. A family with 3 kids under the age of 5 come in. The waitress, Linda, takes their order, and as she is serving the last plate, the child knocks it out of her hand, sending a grilled cheese and fries everywhere. As Linda apologizes and sends me to the kitchen for another grilled cheese on the fly, the mother calmly picks up the sandwich from underneath the booth and says, "No problem, he's eaten worse. We don't need another one." She left Linda a great tip, and cleaned up what she could before she left. If everyone was like that, I'd still be waiting tables!
I work at Denny's in Pennsylvania. As most of you might know, we have a Kids Eat Free night on Tuesdays. Of course, you can imagine the mess that need to be cleaned up at the end of my shift. On one particular Tuesday night, we were short staffed and a little busier than usual. I was running around trying to take the best care of my tables as possible. Finally I came to my newest table. It was a family of six, two adults and four children. And let me tell you, they couldn't get any cheaper or trashier. They all ordered their drinks, and I brought them out. As I'm taking the order, two of the kids slurp down their drinks and throw their cups at me and say "We need more." I just stood there in awe waiting for the parents to reprimand them. But to my surprise, the mother looked at me and said, "You can get those for them right away." I was just really angry and surprised at that point. So, I finish taking their order, and I put it into the kitchen. I filled their drinks and brought them back out. Now, Denny's is really about kids right now for some reason and they give the kids these little zoob toys for them to play with. As I'm bringing their refills out to them, I get ambushed. Three of the four kids nailed me in the head with four or five of those stupid zoob toys. That was were I drew the line. I politely said to the mother that I didn't appreciate being treated this way and I would like for her children to behave and treat me with a little respect. The woman looked at me like I was crazy and told me that if I can't handle working with kids then maybe I should find another job where I can handle it. I couldn't believe she would say such a thing to me, so I told her that I would be right back. Needless to say I took that table their food and left them their check. I wasn't about to go above and beyond the call of duty for this table. As far as I'm concerned Kids Eat Free night at Denny's sucks.
—Kathy, Cranberry, PA
No Kids Please
Here's a "keep your brats at home" tip:
To restaurant owners: Get rid of the high chairs and booster seats!! Don't even offer them! It works! I live in Atlanta, and there's a local woman who owns a couple of Italian restaurants. One of them was in a trendy part of town that had a combination of young couples, gays, and yuppie couples with kids. The third group with kids, took over this one restaurant during the weekend nights, and many complaints were coming in from other customers about loud children, kids running around, etc. Of course, every time she went to the tables to tell the couple, "Control your child or I'll have to ask you to leave" (rare here for any manager or owner to do that), she was literally threatened with a lawsuit of "discrimination against people with children".
Her answer? She removed all but one booster seat, and took out ALL of the high chairs. Reports are that at first, tons of the yuppies with kids couples went crazy, and complained. Business dropped 50% the first month after. However, in the months that followed, the story got out what she had done...
People who had stopped going because of the kids came back. New patrons who wanted to avoid kids, began to eat there. Rumor has it she now enjoys about 30% MORE business on the weekends than she did when she catered to kids.
Now, Federal law these days (sadly) says you cannot post a sign that says, "No children allowed", in a restaurant. But I'm not at all aware of any laws that require you to have any amount of boosters, high chairs, kid menus, etc.
So, a note to restaurant owners: You know that a lot (not all of course, but a lot) of people who bring young kids into a restaurant are inconsiderate. You know that a lot of them are on tight budgets because of the kids, so spend less money. You know they're going to leave a much larger mess behind to clean up. You know in general, they demand more from the server, but tip less. So please, as a business owner... show some business SENSE, and dump the kid-catering devices and menus. Make it an adult-friendly atmosphere. Stick it out the first month or two after, and watch your loyal ADULT patrons reward you.
Greg H., Atlanta, GA
An Open Letter to Parents
I've read your "Keep the Brats at Home" department with a lot of sympathy. Can you guys make a special splotch on the Apron in the form of an admonishment from a former busboy and frequent diner?
To the parent(s) who bring(s) their small children out to eat:
When you decided to have children, it was you who gave up your leisurely meals out, not me. I've seen you try to have it both ways, sipping your coffee, oblivious as your children squawk, splash and run amok through the restaurant. It seems some parents regard the restaurant as a place where the rigors of parenting are suspended. You should know that staff and fellow diners alike resent paying the price for your ill-conceived vacation. Parents who try to control the proceedings become equally odious, threatening a bored and fidgeting young child with spankings if they don't settle down while Mommy and/or Daddy try to pretend they're still just a couple out on the town. Find me a three-year-old, any three-year-old, who can sit quietly through an hour-plus, sit-down dinner and I'll show you a Southern Baptist who tips 25%. What parental delusion tries to evoke polished table manners from a kid who's obviously too young to absorb the lesson? Now your fellow diners get to hear your shouting in addition to your child's. It's abominable — unfair to your kids, taxing for you, and unpleasant to everyone within earshot. If you won't shell out for a babysitter, stick to the hose-it-and-close-it kind of joint where your kids' top-decibel screeching, flying food, and hide-and-seek under the booths will go unnoticed. Or just wait until they're older. Although if they're depending on you for guidance in matters of etiquette, they will probably be yoked evermore to the same oafish lack of awareness you exercised in bringing them to a nice restaurant, where the rest of the diners wonder what they did to deserve your family's intrusive floor show.
—Hector B., Denver, CO
Kids and Bars
Children do not belong in cocktail bars!!!
And so what we used to do was to offer inconsiderate parents a "complimentary drink" to their bratty offspring. With a big, gushy smile, course. We would then mix up a "post-mix" lemonade and increase the amount of syrup (this is done by applying a half-flush pressure to the button on the soda-gun dispenser. Then we would add oodles and oodles of red cordial. Garnish would be at least three maraschino cherries. All that sugar is a guarantee of a hyperactive brat long after the family has vacated the bar area!!!
But the best thing was, after 10pm, to smugly pull out a copy of our liquor license and tell these people that it was
illegal for their offspring to stay.
Sandra, Queensland, Australia
Love your site. Second time e-mailer to ya!
As a former waitperson (pre-marriage, pre-children), I was horrified by the experience we suffered through the other night.
I have 4-year old twins. They are well behaved in restaurants. To the point that they tell US when other kids are doing "bad things" in restaurants.
Anyway, we were at Don P's you know, the Mexican place with the fountain in the middle. And this little kid is climbing doing the balance beam routine all over the edges. My girls are repeatedly saying "he shouldn't be doing that" "that's rude" and the like.
Of course, Tweedledum and Tweedledee (oh, I guess that should be mom and dad) immediately get PO'd at MANAGEMENT!! IDIOTS!! They doing this whole what's in it for us routine and how tables shouldn't be so close BS. We were in awe of some people's stupidity. It's your kid. You're responsible. Idiots. Not sure what they got out of it, but our waitress was pissed. And yes, we did leave a good tip that night.
Twinzmommy, Dallas, TX
A mom and her young daughter sat down at my table. As soon as I aproached them, before I could even say "Hello," the little girl shouts at me, "GIMMIE FRENCH FRIES!!"
I step back, and look over at the mom, expecting her to say something to her rude child, or at least apologize to me.
She looks and me and shouts "GIMMIE SALMON!!!"
Anonymous, Washington, D.C.
Child From Hell
I started a new job serving at a restaurant/ upscale deli in a brand new hoity-toity mall in Northern California. I had a tiny section (two tables, back dining room. coming from my lunch shift i got the shaft and a crappy section.) My pathetic section was the only one in the place with no air conditioning. (besides the patio) It was 83 degrees in there when I got in to buff the area, and the best improvement in temp I could make was to 82. Bad News, right there. It took about an hour before I was seated, no one wanted to sit in there. Who the hell could blame them? But they kept the room open....Finally we had some takers. A yuppie looking couple, and their children, a girl of about 11 and boy of maybe 9. when I greeted the table the young man at the table greeted me with "I want something to drink! Do you have root beer? Mom do they have root beer? Can I have root beer?" I shit you not, the kid managed to fray my nerves in 3 seconds. Mom asks if there is any specials. Boy cuts me off with: "Can I have some root beer?" I look at mom, with amusement. "Aren't children lovely?" says mom and I ask her if I can bring them something to drink, seeing as how it is really hot. "Yes, please, two KIDS root beers." (We have those friggin' tiny cups for kids drinks that they wolf right down the second you come to the table with it.) Mom and dad order a bottle of wine. I am thinking cool, this is my only table I am gonna' pamper the shit out of these people no matter how bad the asshole kid's attention deficit disorder is. I jam from the table to put that in and grab the kids root beers bread basket etc. I arrive at the table with these items, set them down and ask about an appetizer order. It went like this:
"Did..." I started.
"Mom" says the boy, I pause so he can say what he has to say. She ignores him. I follow her lead, once again:
"Did you see an..."
"...appetizer you like?"
"MOM MOM MOM MOM " I am thinking, shut the FUCK up! She still pretends like this brat isn't jumping up and down in his chair.
"I need root beer mom." Yes, just as I thought, the little shit snarfed it down. Still ignoring brat boy, she orders potato skins as an app, and tells me that they are going to just take their time since they had the room to themselves (yay! my section is a daycare now). I repeat the order, and tell her I would refill brat boys root beer.
Back to the table, I take another root beer, and the wine. I assume that the kid got a talking to or something because miraculously he didn't interrupt me during the wine service. With that out of the way, I see that it seems they are ready to order. Dad orders, mom orders, brat boy drinks his root beer down again. I go to sissy and he starts again...
"What can i get you little miss?" I say to the girl.
"Excuse me" says brat boy, I ignore him.
"Excuse me, excuse me, excuse me."
"Grilled cheese sandwich please" says sissy.
"Would you like french fries or applesauce?" I ask.
"French fries please" sis replies.
"EXCUSE ME! " (Why is it that children think that just because you say excuse me, it is ok to go ahead and interrupt an adult when they are speaking? And why doesn't this mother and father see that this is unacceptable behavior?) Whatever. It was his turn so I screwed a smile on my face and said: "What would you like?"
"ROOT BEER!" I think a puff of smoke escaped my ears. His mother finally speaks up...
"She means, what do you want to eat honey."
"Hotdogs, and I don't want those black lines on them." Grill marks. This kid is a shit. He can't sit still. As soon as he has ordered he is up bouncing off the walls. Let's fast forward a tad. Meal, almost done; wine, gone. Root beer, well that kid put down four cups of it to his sisters one.
Sissy cleared her plate, and it is our restaurants' policy to give them a little sundae for doing so. So I ask if they would like to order dessert, and you can tell mom and dad we ready to do just that. BB was jumping around the room. then he stopped in the doorway to the main dining room and looked over his shoulder at me, turned back towards the dining room and blew chunks all over the floor. he is just standing there now, looking at us when mom says "Couldn't you have done that on your plate?" which by the way he barely touched.
"Wow, that was neat." was all I could manage right about then and I got the manager, who sent a busboy over to clean it up immediately (you know I made $20 in tips that night; my busser got $10). I just couldn't believe it. They were in a private room for christsakes! He couldn't have done that somewhere where the other 120 people, eating their dinner couldn't see him? Dad takes the little shit to the bathroom.
"I am guessing you probably want your check now." I say with a smile and a laugh. Mom was mortified. She was apologizing, I was cool with it, shit happens etc. I bring the check, it came out to like 70 bucks. Mom asks me to wrap juniors food. No problem. I come back with the box, Dad is no where to be found, and thankfully neither is the brat. However, mom looks as if she is disturbed by something. I ask if everything is ok with the check.
"Well you would think that the manager would do something about it." she says in kind of a hurt voice. I look stupid. So she says, "well I don't think he would have thrown up if it wasn't so terribly hot in here." So I say, kind of jokingly but not, "the 4 glasses of root beer and jumping around didn't help any either I am sure."
"He wasn't jumping around at all, and that shouldn't have happened. I know we knew how hot it was when we sat down, but I just don't think we should have to pay for all of this." OK I am not even going to argue with this, I must have been seeing things when I saw him do a cartwheel in the back of the room, and the tumbling he and his sister were doing on the floor.
I take the check to the same manager who helped me out with the vomit, and gave him the run down. He was shocked to say the least, but gave them like 50% off of the check. I take it back. Mom is happy, but peeved that we made her son hurl (fucking brat). Of course as I am sure everyone is guessing, she tips on the discounted bill—$8.00 FUCKING LOVELY! YOUR SON LAYS WASTE TO OUR STORE AND YOU HAVE THE BALLS TO TIP LIKE THAT!?
When I say 'lays waste' I mean this: Later that night I find out that Brat Boy came running out of the bathroom hallway and slammed into one of the managers who was carrying a tray of sodas, drenching the poor guy, (kid didn't even pause either), and he kicked the bathroom door open so hard it slammed into one of our bussers who was putting away a booster seat, knocking him down completely.
I cant think of a moral to this story, but a statement screams in my head:
and then of course there is: people always want something for nothing.
I don't know if this is advice to parents or just a general kids suck story. The restaurant that I work at is located in a mall in Chicago and we're the only sit down and get served place available. The mall has a food court (you know, all the fast food junk) and inevitably we get parents whose children would rather have a happy meal than something off our menu.
The polite parents will sometimes ask if they can bring something from the food-court for the child and the rude ones will just bring it with them, sometimes surprising the server by pulling the food out of a shopping bag after they've been seated and ordered drinks. All are astonished when they are informed that they can't bring food from another restaurant into ours. Many of them leave in a huff and a lot of them get angry and complain about us not catering to children. Some of them have even accused us of adhering to pointless "corporate policy" and ignoring the needs of the customer.
What planet are these parents from? Set aside for a moment the legality of food service licensing, the very idea is just ridiculous. If you can't control your brat and make him order off our menu, then you'll just have to resign yourself to eating in restaurants where the food comes in paper boxes with clowns on the bag until you send young Dakota or (insert your own yuppie kid name here) off to Illinois State. Or better yet, just cough up for a baby sitter and leave the snot factory at home. Everyone will be happier, not least of all your server, and you'll enjoy a nice meal with superb service.
Like Father, Like Son
I was waiting on a party of 5... Mom, Dad, Grandma, and 2 kids approx between age 8-10. They had their dinner and the older of the 2 kids was Mr. Get me another root beer, I need more of this, I need more of that. You know the kind of kid who you totally want to wrap your hands around his neck and choke him! So they were done with their dinner and I asked if anyone would like dessert. The boy wanted chocolate ice cream. When I told him that we don't have that flavor he told me that " I was a god damn liar and I better get my ass in the kitchen and get him some." I looked at mom and dad and they didn't seem at all shocked or surprised that their son would talk to me that way. So again I told him that we don't have and never did have chocolate ice cream. He then told me again that I was "a liar" and if I didn't go get it for him that I would "pay for it". Well the last thing I'm gonna do is let a little snot-nosed brat get to me.
So I dropped their check and the kid stands up... Storms INTO the kitchen and screams "SOMEBODY better get me chocolate ice cream NOW!" So I had to practically drag this little shit out of the kitchen and brought him to his parents... They gave me the look like how DARE I not get their child what he wants. Long story short, they ended up walking out on their bill. The next night I was out to dinner with my boss and a couple other servers and who do I bump into but the same charming family! My boss went up to them and said that if they didn't pay for the bill right then he was gonna call the cops. After much protest they finally did! But they insisted on not tipping me cause their son never got his dessert!
Kids really do learn from example!
Keep your brat on a leash! I was watching as a little four or five year old boy was running around in my restaurant while it was packed. I warned the servers and they were steering well clear of him. I asked the parents if they would mind keeping little Johnny at the table because he could get stepped on or something hot could get dropped on him. The parents were aghast that my sit down restaurant was not the Playland at fucking McDonald's.
Ten minutes later I'm following a waitress out with a tray of food for a big order. I see little Johnny screaming towards me looking the other way. I brace myself and his forehead bounces off my kneecap and he hits the floor. I put the tray on a tray jack and lean down so I'm right next to his face. In the lowest bass voice I can muster I say, "YOU NEED TO FIND MOMMY, NOW!!!" He runs to his table wailing. The irate parents ask to speak to the manager because "this is bullshit." I tell them, "You are currently swearing at the manager. What can I do for you?" "I can't believe you yelled at my son." "He ran into me while I was carrying a tray of hot food after I asked you to keep him in his chair. If I hadn't seen him coming fifty pounds of plates and hot food would have crushed his skull." "But that gives you no right to yell at my child." An older gentleman nearby walks over. "If you knew how to discipline your children, this man wouldn't have to yell at your child." "And who are you? Do you work here?" "No, I'm a customer who's meal has been ruined because of you fucking brat!" They couple paid quietly and left with little Johnny. The older gentleman and his party got a round of drinks from me.
—Jervis Tetch, Colorado High Country
I'm working one night and these four women come in with a young boy. Obviously, this is "girls night out" but one of them is stuck with a kid. Okay, I'll deal. After all, it's only one child, right?
I go over to the table. This kid's eyes are everywhere. He orders a ginger ale. Everyone else orders. I have to get the ginger ale from the bar, so it comes in a different glass than the other sodas. He wolfs it down in about two seconds and demands another. This time, "In a glass that says 'Bud Lite' with no scratches.' " I had a lovely time explaining that one to the bartender. I bring soda 2. The kid looks at the glass and says, "There is a scratch, bring it back!"
Finally, they order food. It's Friday night and the place is hopping. While they're waiting for their food, I get another party of five next to them. I go to take their order and the kid hollers, "YOU CAN'T WAIT ON THEM! YOU'RE OUR WAITRESS!" and proceeds to scream the entire time I'm trying to wait on these people. (Who were real nice, BTW)
Finally I bring out the food. Part of the kid's order has chicken wings on it. I leave. I return a couple minutes later to do a check back. The kid looks up at me and says, "I know these wings. These are the wings they give kids to get them hooked on marijuana. You're trying to get me hooked on drugs!" I'm standing there, gaping at the kid. The mother kinda shrugs, and tells the kid he's wrong, but doesn't tell him to keep his voice down. I offer to get more wings if there is something wrong with those and he keeps going on about pot in his chicken wings.
It took everything I had not to say, "No, no, child, it isn't pot in the chicken wings. It's crack." But I'm pretty sure that joke won't go over well.
He asks for another ginger ale. I go and get it (Bud Lite glass, absolutely no scratches, etc.) I return with it. He looks at me and says, in a loud, booming voice. "You're not a very good waitress!"
I had enough. I leaned over so my face was inches from him and say, "Well, sweetheart, you're not a very good customer, so I guess we're even now."
He looks at his mother, waiting for her to give me a piece of her mind. She shrugs and says, "You deserved it."
Later, mom and the gals want to chat and the kid is running around in the isles, making rude comments to diners and being a general brat. As they are leaving, the mother says, "I hope his medication kicks in soon so I won't have to deal with this much longer."
Gee, I guess we've become babysitters for people with disturbed children. God forbid you wait till your child's medication kicks in before you go out to eat.
Anonymous, Small Town USA
The New Non-section:
A few years ago, a group of us were at Bertucci's in Nashua, NH, having a
very late dinner. Seated at a booth near us was a family - Mother, Father,
Little Boy, Baby.
Little Boy was running around the restaurant all through their meal, getting in everyone's way, bumping into customers and servers, with parents totally ignoring him.
As they reached the end of their meal, Little Boy decided to take Baby with him on one of his jaunts. Little Boy grabs Baby around the chest and is carrying him through the aisles, jouncing him up and down.
Just as Little Boy & Baby are passing our table, Baby projective vomits...all over the back of my friend's hair and white linen suit.
The servers & I rush her into the kitchen where they did their very best to clean her up, apologizing profusely (although it certainly wasn't THEIR fault.)
Mother sticks her head in the kitchen, TOTALLY unconcerned. She said, "Well, it's not like you're going out later, or anything." My friend said, "I AM out!!"
The restaurant staff couldn't have been nicer or more helpful. They offered to pay her dry cleaning bill, comped our coffee and desserts, etc. And all for something that was in no way their fault.
The parents just left. They could not have cared less.
Ergo, every time she & I go out, when the hostess asks if we'd prefer smoking or non-smoking, we look at each other and say, "NON-CHILDREN!"
—Mrs. Deb, New Hampshire