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IceAlisa
07-13-2011, 10:08 PM
I am all for it. I have a 6 year old and the fanciest restaurant I've taken him to is California Pizza Kitchen. One time there was an adult birthday party scheduled for 8 pm. Mini Ice was expressly invited and the restaurant said they'd make him an off the menu kiddie meal. The problem was Mini Ice was 2.5 at the time and just not old enough to stay up so late in a kid unfriendly environment. And while he is a generally well-behaved kid, a 2.5 year old up at 10 pm with nothing to do is asking for trouble. So I stayed home with Mini and hubby went to dinner. I really don't think little kids belong in haute cuisine places.

Aceon6
07-13-2011, 10:27 PM
As I think about this, one thing different today is the relative rarity of a formal meal at home. I had context for my first restaurant experiences as my mother could relate it to Sunday dinner when the good china was on the table and we were all expected to dress up and be on our absolute best behavior. Those teachable moments are a lot less frequent today.

Prancer
07-13-2011, 10:45 PM
Yeah, again, they can leave.

And thus my evening is ruined, just as it would be if there was a crying kid involved that drove me out of the restaurant.

So what's the difference? You can argue that the parents were out of line to complain on behalf of their kids, but.....


I think context is important, and in this context, those parents were completely out-of-line.

I ask again--what if I didn't have kids with me and it was bugging ME? Is it acceptable for ME to tell them to knock it off because *I* don't appreciate hearing it?

I once quoted someone else's nasty comment at an overly crowded Panera and was overheard by the next table; those people were really offended. I consider myself in the wrong there, even though I was literally bumping knees with those people and they were going to hear every word I said loud enough to be heard by the people I was having lunch with. I knew that; I should have been more considerate of the fact that a lot of people are offended by some language and topics, regardless of their ages.

JJH
07-13-2011, 10:56 PM
Foam earplugs are a godsend. I rarely find other patrons' (regardless of age) behavior disturbing. However, overamplified music is everywhere.

FigureSpins
07-13-2011, 11:18 PM
I use foam earplugs a lot, too - I carry a pair in my purse. They're a blessing on bus trips or airplanes. I was at an event last weekend where they had a very-loud DJ. I thought about putting in my earplugs, but then I'd be able to hear even less of the difficult conversation.


As I think about this, one thing different today is the relative rarity of a formal meal at home. I had context for my first restaurant experiences as my mother could relate it to Sunday dinner when the good china was on the table and we were all expected to dress up and be on our absolute best behavior. Those teachable moments are a lot less frequent today.
We felt the same way, so for birthdays and New Year's Eve, we have a fussy, dress-up dinner at home. (Harry Potter midnight events are usually less formal, or eaten out near the theatre/bookstore.)

When we planned a cruise a few years ago, we had a few dinners at home beforehand where everyone used their best table manners. DH's family always went to the second seating dinner on cruises, so we did the same. The cruise line matched us up with a couple that also had three girls! The ages ranged from 3 to 17, without any incidents. Table manners were excellent all around for each dinner, even with the late hour. (Although no one would try escargot. DH loved it. *shudders*)

hydro
07-14-2011, 12:26 AM
I ask again--what if I didn't have kids with me and it was bugging ME? Is it acceptable for ME to tell them to knock it off because *I* don't appreciate hearing it?

No, I don't think it's acceptable. If you don't want to deal with other people in society, then don't go out. If someone is out having a good time with their friends in context of a bar/restaurant with their friends, talking, laughing, at 10pm, the context is a very social setting. If you don't like it, leave.

agalisgv
07-14-2011, 12:29 AM
I pointed out very specifically in my post that we were NOT being loud. If you're "cutting it up" enough to the point where neighbors can follow the content of your conversations and politely ask you to keep it down, you are being too loud. When you knowingly choose to eat in a restaurant that has close seating, you adjust your tone and behavior accordingly. I've been to many such restaurants, and no one has ever had to ask me to keep it down.

Like someone else said, when you are drinking in a situation like that to the point where it is affecting your behavior (which you admitted when you claimed it was "liquid courage" that made you snap back at the neighboring table), you have no sense how much you are imposing your poor behavior on those around you.

hydro
07-14-2011, 12:38 AM
If you're "cutting it up" enough to the point where neighbors can follow the content of your conversations and politely ask you to keep it down, you are being too loud. When you knowingly choose to eat in a restaurant that has close seating, you adjust your tone and behavior accordingly. I've been to many such restaurants, and no one has ever had to ask me to keep it down.

Like someone else said, when you are drinking in a situation like that to the point where it is affecting your behavior (which you admitted when you claimed it was "liquid courage" that made you snap back at the neighboring table), you have no sense how much you are imposing your poor behavior on those around you.

Liquid courage is a euphemism, kind of like saying, "Ironic, huh?" about stuff that isn't really ironic.

The poor behavior is not emitting from a group of people minding their own business having a conversation. It's from a busy-body who decided it was up to them to correct someone's behavior because they were being inconvenienced. That is the epitome of entitlement. If they didn't like the rowdiness of the situation, they should have left. They started it by confronting someone else.

If as you say, the group was being that loud and obnoxious, it's up to the restaurant manager to do something about it, not another patron of the restaurant who can't mind their own business.

agalisgv
07-14-2011, 12:40 AM
If you don't want to deal with other people in society, then don't go out. Unless those other people in society are kids--then they and their families should be the ones to leave (remember that this child wasn't misbehaving in any way).

And that's the rub--many assume social norms are to be imposed on others but not themselves. So they get all indignant about their rights being infringed upon while justifying their own infringing on the rights of others.

hydro
07-14-2011, 12:43 AM
Unless those other people in society are kids--then they and their families should be the ones to leave (remember that this child wasn't misbehaving in any way).

And that's the rub--many assume social norms are to be imposed on others but not themselves. So they get all indignant about their rights being infringed upon while justifying their own infringing on the rights of others.

Huh? The parents were the one making an issue out of it. They are the ones who took it upon themselves to interrupt people minding their own business.

agalisgv
07-14-2011, 12:49 AM
Liquid courage is a euphemism, kind of like saying, "Ironic, huh?" about stuff that isn't really ironic. Uh, no. Liquid courage means someone did something under the influence of alcohol they wouldn't have had the nerve to do otherwise.
If as you say, the group was being that loud and obnoxious, it's up to the restaurant manager to do something about it, not another patron of the restaurant who can't mind their own business. Applying that logic, if the parents of children who are being loud and obnoxious aren't told by restaurant managers to leave, then no one else has the right to say anything and should just leave the restaurant if they don't like it.

Is that your position? If so that's interesting bc in none of the examples thus far provided of misbehaving children were any asked by restaurant managers to leave.

hydro
07-14-2011, 12:58 AM
Uh, no. Liquid courage means someone did something under the influence of alcohol they wouldn't have had the nerve to do otherwise. Applying that logic, if the parents of children who are being loud and obnoxious aren't told by restaurant managers to leave, then no one else has the right to say anything and should just leave the restaurant if they don't like it.

Is that your position? If so that's interesting bc in none of the examples thus far provided of misbehaving children were any asked by restaurant managers to leave.

Yeah, that's exactly my position. The original poster didn't tell the parents to put their kid to bed until that parent decided upon themselves to make an issue about their children. They were minding their own business until the parent interrupted them.

And yes, it is up to the restaurant owner to ask the parents of loud children to keep them quiet, not another patron of the restaurant. Perhaps the restaurant in question kept having to do that which is why they now have a rule of no kids under 6?

Prancer
07-14-2011, 12:58 AM
No, I don't think it's acceptable. If you don't want to deal with other people in society, then don't go out. If someone is out having a good time with their friends in context of a bar/restaurant with their friends, talking, laughing, at 10pm, the context is a very social setting. If you don't like it, leave.

They were not in a bar. They were in a restaurant that was, and I quote, "a rather nice place." No one objected to their drinking or to their having a good time. It was their language that drew criticism. I don't know about you, but I don't make it a practice to swear audibly in public areas, as it needlessly offends people, and I certainly don't do it is "rather nice" places.

I still don't get what is magical about 10 pm. Is there some rule I'm not aware of that says you can swear audibly in the presence of strangers in rather nice places after that hour, but not before?

I'm also not aware of any rule that says kids have to be in bed by 10, either. The issue with kids is not what time they go to bed, but how much sleep they get.

But I digress, as I don't think this has anything to do with kids.


The poor behavior is not emitting from a group of people minding their own business having a conversation. It's from a busy-body who decided it was up to them to correct someone's behavior because they were being inconvenienced. That is the epitome of entitlement.

I think expecting other people to just suck it up and deal or stay home is the epitome of entitlement myself. If you don't want to deal with people reacting to your public behavior, then don't go out. You can behave any way you please in your own place. But when you go out, you should moderate your behavior based on the people around you.

hydro
07-14-2011, 01:08 AM
They were not in a bar. They were in a restaurant that was, and I quote, "a rather nice place." No one objected to their drinking or to their having a good time. It was their language that drew criticism. I don't know about you, but I don't make it a practice to swear audibly in public areas, as it needlessly offends people, and I certainly don't do it is "rather nice" places.

I still don't get what is magical about 10 pm. Is there some rule I'm not aware of that says you can swear audibly in the presence of strangers in rather nice places after that hour, but not before?

I'm also not aware of any rule that says kids have to be in bed by 10, either. The issue with kids is not what time they go to bed, but how much sleep they get.

But I digress, as I don't think this has anything to do with kids.


I guess not, but 10pm is not exactly a kid-friendly hour, either. Societal norms and all. Again, I think it's about context.

I agree with you about language, but at the same time, I wouldn't go out of my way to say someone is being offensive. I'd just ignore them and mind my own business.




I think expecting other people to just suck it up and deal or stay home is the epitome of entitlement myself. If you don't want to deal with people reacting to your public behavior, then don't go out. You can behave any way you please in your own place. But when you go out, you should moderate your behavior based on the people around you.

I'll agree with you, I think loud cursing, crude language that is extreme can be rude. There's nothing wrong with being mindful of the context you're in. But I think it's equally rude to interrupt a group because you happen to be offended.

Sparks
07-14-2011, 01:09 AM
My parents had 5 daughters. We had to sit down at the table every night, put our napkins in our laps, behave, no elbows on the table, no talking with full mouths. We had to ask to be excused when we were finished. Our parents could take us anywhere. On vacations we went to fancy restaurants. One never complained about the food or the servings...nothing. Frankly, I don't expect that from kids, but I do expect decent behavior from adults in a restaurant. There are a few people I refuse to eat with. I can't handle negativity while I'm eating. I feel that its bad for one's body and soul.

As a child-free adult, I do get annoyed with some kids in adult places.
If it gets to loud, or the kid is running around uncontrolled, is it wrong for me to politely ask the parent(s) to do something, up to and including removing their child until he/she simmers down?