Perhaps I should have written this while the indignation was still running hot in my veins. I’m not sure I can do the story justice now, several hours after the fact.
A friend of mine visited today—enduring the 2 ½-hour drive to come up to visit for the afternoon. We decided to go to a local "watering hole" for lunch. It’s a cute little brew-pub in a picturesque setting on one of the scenic winding roads through the hills that separate Scappoose from a more populous part of the Portland metro area. The Rock Creek Tavern. Notice and remember the word "tavern." It is important.
Jackie and I don’t get to see each other more than three or four times a year. We are both intelligent, relatively well-educated women (she more so than I). When we get together, the three of us (including my husband in this triumvirate) hold relatively lively historical and political discussions. We share the same political outlook, for the most part, so these mostly consist of analyzing what’s going on in the country today, looking at events from the historical perspective, and wondering why people in the country and/or current administration are so clueless.
We are seated at a table at this little brew-pub. We order our meals, and sit back to enjoy our conversation. About ten minutes into our meal, a young couple, probably late twenties, comes in with their two little boys—one about three years old, and the other more or less a babe in arms…maybe eighteen months. With a choice of just about every other table in the two-story restaurant, they choose the one right next to us. Serendipitously, my seat at our table provides a full view the Perfect Family settling in for their afternoon meal. Shortly after sitting down and ordering, the 3-year-old proceeds to dump his entire glass of milk on the floor. Little mom musically intones "Uh-oh!", chases the glass across the floor, and motions for the waitress, who has to come and mop up the mess. Five minutes later, we hear *clink * "Uh-oh" again, and Mom and waitress are mopping up another mess. I am casually observing these episodes, while engaging in the lively conversation going on at our table…and thinking how glad I am I don’t have little kids, and how I would not be taking them out to lunch at a sit-down restaurant if I did.
The spill-a-thon seemed to come to an end, and I became completely absorbed in the talk at our table. Pretty much forgot about Perfect Family. All of a sudden, Little Perfectly-Coifed Female is standing at our table, and in her best "Concerned Mama" voice, says: "Excuse me, we’re sitting over here at the next table, and we have our two little boys with us. We noticed you are using quite a few naughty words that we really don’t want our boys to hear. I wonder if you could please be a little more careful about what you say… Thank you!" And she takes her little pink-twin-setted self back to her table and sits down.
My husband, after muttering an apologetic, "Oh, okay…" to this unbelievably nervy woman, just keeps talking…he would have been happy to alter his conversational style for her. That’s the way he is. My girlfriend doesn’t really swear, so I’m sure the request was not actually aimed at her (not to mention that she’s just nicer than I am…) But I…I am absolutely incensed. Jackie and Matt keep talking, and I just sit there with my mouth open. "I cannot BELIEVE that woman just came over here and said that to us!"
The more I thought about it, the madder I got. I tried to refocus my attention on whatever topic we were discussing, but I was completely derailed! I kept saying to my dining companions, "Can you believe her? I can’t believe her! Who does she think she is????" Finally—I just can't stop myself. I get up and go over to her table (my husband does not try to physically restrain me, but he is looking to crawl under the table to shelter from the approaching cyclone). And in my sweetest, "Concerned Mama" voice, I say, "Excuse me, but I really can’t believe that you just came over to our table and said that. If you want to hear only G-rated conversation, you need to either stay home or go to McDonald’s or something… You just really irritated me." I guess this was not the most articulate thing to say, but I was still suffering from extreme shock at this babe’s demonstration of sweet, smiling brass cajones. And I turned around and plunked my ass back down at my own table.
Now, many of you out there in J-Land are "Concerned Mamas." But I can’t believe any of you would take your children tolunch at a tavern, and then proceed to lecture the other patrons on the choice of language used in their private conversations. Did I overreact? Did I underreact? Can YOU believe the nerve of this babe? Has anyone else ever been accosted by "Super-mom" at a restaurant? Let me hear from the Journal Community.