Blogs by Linda Lange
A QUIET DINNER
9/8/2012 1:22:00 PM
Ever wish you had a "mute" button for the whole world?
It had been a long day, and all we wanted was a quiet dinner.
My husband Scott, an announcer, had gotten up at 5:30 to drive to an out-of-town job. Once home, he’d spent the afternoon wrangling on the phone with a difficult producer. I’d put in a thirteen-hour day at an animal shelter, where a beautiful kitten in my care succumbed to a virus. It was the Day from Hell. Good food, mutual sympathy, and adult beverages would help us unwind.
Not the ideal dinner companion (from dreamstime.com)
But soon after we got our booth at a neighborhood restaurant, another party was seated across the aisle. Although it was after 8:00, the group included two small boys. The younger was two or three, and he was the problem. Obviously overtired, he broke into periodic bouts of wailing. Our heads pounded. Finally my husband couldn’t take it anymore. He loudly blurted, “SHUT … UP!”
The child’s father glared at us. When his meal was done, he walked over, leaned into our booth, and informed Scott in so many words that he would have punched him if he hadn’t been of such advanced age. (My husband is 66, with white hair and beard.)
So who was rude, us or the young dad? Have standards of politeness changed so much? If, as a child, I had behaved that way in a restaurant, my parents would have warned me to stop or risk a spanking. When our son was small, we’d walk him outside, where he wouldn’t bother the other patrons while we calmed him down. But these people didn’t take their kid out or even make much effort to shush him, other than to hand him a toy or two. Is this the new order? Are we just supposed to put up with it—or stay home?
In another restaurant a few weeks earlier, we encountered a large and lubricated party at the other end of the room. They were calling out and laughing loudly. Scott asked the hostess if she’d approach them and ask them to be a little less raucous. She declined, perhaps on the grounds that they were spending a lot more money there than we were. So he got up and—politely—did it himself. The group apologized. But the hostess was furious. She stopped just short of asking us to leave.
Is it impossible to have a quiet dinner in a restaurant these days? Are we out of step? After all, we live in a world where loud cell-phone conversations in store aisles are commonplace. At the shelter, I’ve motioned to people to quiet down because our manager was on the phone in the same room, and received bewildered looks. Nobody uses their “inside voices” anymore.
On the upside, it’s clear that although Scott and I are over sixty, we’re not losing our hearing.
But I’d really like to know. By today’s standards, who was inconsiderate—us or the young family? Have we become curmudgeons? What do you think?
Post a Comment new!
More Blogs by Linda Lange
HALLOWEEN AS IT USED TO BE - Tuesday, October 29, 2013
IT'S HER BODY, BUT ... - Tuesday, October 22, 2013
ARE OLD LADIES CUTE? - Tuesday, October 01, 2013
NONE OF MY BUSINESS - Tuesday, September 24, 2013
TOM BROWNING SAVED MY LIFE - Tuesday, September 10, 2013
SOCIAL SECURITY? ME? - Saturday, August 17, 2013
THE TOUGHEST LOVE - Saturday, July 27, 2013
GET OVER IT? - Wednesday, July 17, 2013
EULOGY FOR A SUPPER CLUB - Tuesday, July 02, 2013
I DON'T LIKE TO SEE MY HEROES HURTING - Sunday, June 23, 2013
MEMORIES IN A BOTTLE - Sunday, June 09, 2013
CULTURE SHOCK IN A '13 CIVIC - Saturday, May 25, 2013
BAMBI GO HOME - Saturday, May 04, 2013
WHAT FAMILY DOES - Monday, April 29, 2013
THE TALK - Tuesday, April 09, 2013
I SAID "NO"! - Tuesday, April 02, 2013
BOOMER LIT - Tuesday, March 05, 2013
A PIECE OF MY LIFE, ON STAGE - Sunday, February 24, 2013
I MISS NEWSPAPERS! - Tuesday, February 12, 2013
SOMETHING TO HOLD ONTO - Tuesday, February 05, 2013
SNOW DAY - Sunday, January 27, 2013
KAEPERNICKING, OR YOU GOTTA HAVE A GIMMICK - Thursday, January 17, 2013
STILL SO INTO THIS - Monday, January 14, 2013
A NEW START FOR LILY AND ELLIE - Sunday, January 06, 2013
REFLECTING ON MY 2012 - Monday, December 31, 2012
HONEY, HAVE THE STEINBERGS PUT UP THEIR LIGHTS? - Thursday, December 20, 2012
REQUIEM FOR TWO SPORTS BARS - Saturday, December 08, 2012
THE YEAR WE WERE REALLY THANKFUL - Tuesday, November 20, 2012
MY CREATIVE FOUNTAIN IS A CHLORINATED POOL - Sunday, November 18, 2012
CIVIC DUTY? - Monday, November 05, 2012
FOOTBALL FASHION - Monday, October 29, 2012
GREEN TOMATOES - Sunday, October 21, 2012
THIS BIG ONE DOESN'T NECESSARILY BITE - Sunday, October 14, 2012
THE KNEECAP - Saturday, October 06, 2012
THE ROAD NOT TAKEN - Sunday, September 23, 2012
EDUCATION OF A NEWBIE AUTHOR: LUNCHEON SPEAKER - Sunday, September 16, 2012
A QUIET DINNER - Saturday, September 08, 2012
BATIK AND OLIVER COME HOME - Sunday, September 02, 2012
ARTSTREET AND HOMETOWN PRIDE - Thursday, August 30, 2012
OF FOOD, AND LOVE, AND LOVING FOOD - Sunday, August 19, 2012
NEW BABY/NO PETS? - Sunday, August 05, 2012
I HOPE I'LL KNOW - Sunday, July 29, 2012
CONFESSIONS OF AN INTERNET JUNKIE - Sunday, July 15, 2012
SECONDHAND SMOKE - Saturday, July 07, 2012
BAY BEACH MEMORIES - Monday, July 02, 2012
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, TITLE IX! - Sunday, June 24, 2012
THE CHAPTER MY HUSBAND MUSTN'T READ - Sunday, June 17, 2012
JUNE, MOON, BRIDES AND ALL THAT - Sunday, June 03, 2012
JESSE WHITTENTON RODE IN MY CAR - Thursday, May 24, 2012
THE PACKERS HERITAGE TRAIL AND ME - Sunday, May 20, 2012
THE HARDEST THING I'VE EVER HAD TO DO - Monday, May 14, 2012