Dining at its Finest
Hey you over there! Yeah, you! The complete douche in this restaurant, sitting at a table on his cell phone … you! The guy that is talking so loud I can hear the entire conversation; yeah, you know who you are. I actually feel like we have known each other for years at this point. I’m so sorry to hear that the merger at your all-important company fell through, but I’m elated to hear that your wife is pregnant with twins after three years of unsuccessful attempts to cool down those spermies. Such news must be truly important if it has to occur in such a time, at such a place, and in such a manner as to ruin everyone else’s meal. Across the restaurant there is another guy sitting on his cell phone too – although he is elderly and appears to not realize that cell phone etiquette does exist. Is there a “who can talk on their cell phone the loudest” competition going on that I was made unaware of? Had I known I would have certainly entered it myself by talking for thirty-plus minutes, as loudly and obnoxiously as possible, in this fine establishment, attempting to ruin everyone else’s meals.
Oh look! Your friends came to let their children run wild, screaming and stamping on other people’s feet, while you continue your conversation and just use the loudness of the children as a reason to talk even louder. And I see they’ve brought their baby as well. I suppose this means the baby is going to scream and cry the entire time and spit food all over the place. Maybe (if we’re lucky) its parents will talk about what kind of diaper they changed before coming in; or the mother will accidentally squirt us with her breast milk when she goes to feed the kid as she wolfs down her All-Star Grand Slam breakfast. I tell you that the last time that happened to me (four months ago at a Souplantation), I just really enjoyed tasting my soup and salad return to my mouth at the realization that a complete stranger had squirted breast milk on my hand.
I think you all get the point by now. I don’t know what it is, but almost every time I go out to eat I encounter either one or both of the scenarios above (which is frequent … you all know my policy on slaving in the kitchen, not to mention the sheer reality of the fact that a healthy meal, which is also tasty, is cheaper bought in a restaurant with healthy standards, rather than made at home). Maybe it’s where I’m going, although it seems to happen everywhere. Perhaps the real problem is that people around the country are realizing that the rising cost of groceries and healthy options at a realistic price doesn’t beat all the “kids eat free”/”happy hour” options there are available now.
Or maybe it’s just that the world is full of people that think they are the center of the world; people that feel that they are entitled to have loud cell phone conversations wherever they want. People that really think it is acceptable to talk on the phone while having dinner with you, making you wait while they have their conversation that is so much more important than you. I’ve got one for you, obnoxious cell phone user: how about you have dinner with the person on the phone instead of me, if the conversation is so much more important? Maybe the world is full of people that think the cost of their meal includes daycare, or people that think that because they talk about dirty diapers and breast milk all the time, that must mean that everyone wants to talk about dirty diapers and breast milk all the time.
Here’s the deal: no one wants any of that. When the majority of people go out to eat, it’s for a relaxing time. It is not to be bothered by cell phone calls, to be treated like a cell phone call is more important than their company; it is not to babysit your children or be stepped on or disgusted. It just isn’t any of it. I challenge you all to consider how your dining experience affects others the next time you go out to eat – maybe you won’t let your kid run around wild, or be so quick to answer that all-important phone call. 9.5 out of 10 calls can wait for twenty minutes until you get the bill, anyway.