Thursday, November 10, 2005

Have seen a couple of interesting posts on parents' rights over the last day or so.

Come on, let's be reasonable: I don't go on benders at Chuck-E-Cheese, so what makes you think that you can turn, say, the 1369 into Romper Room?

Now, I, like most reasonable people without children, am not militantly anti-kid (How could I be? I worked in Child Welfare for years - yes, taking care of kids) or anything, but don't push me or others like me, okay? You have rights, but so do I. You infringe on my rights, I'm not going to be happy. It's not "hating," it's a natural response.


Yogo said...

Funny that someone would call this "hating."

Be said...

Sometimes you hear "Racist!" or "Classist!". Or even "elitist!" Most often you hear "Hater!", though, because it's a generic term to use for anyone you disagree with. Rhetoric being what it is here, and due to the fact that most people don't agree with many of the points I may try to make, I get called it a lot.

Anonymous said...

I just read this yesterday.

I liked the point made, "Part of parenting skills is teaching kids they behave differently in a restaurant than they do on the playground."

When my sister goes out to eat with her two young boys, she picks family restaurants that are prepared to accomodate her. You don't go there without expecting to hear screaming kids. Similarly, I have learned to stay away from matinees. I don't want to hear the 4-year-old behind me narrate the movie, but he has just as much right to go see it, and you can't really control kids 100% of the time. There are family places and there are adult places... we should be respectful and understanding of each.

Nick said...

Happens to me at Starbucks all the time.

I'm trying to do some work, enjoy my coffee, maybe flirt with the barristas... and then suddenly... kids are running around yelling with parents hardly paying attention to them.

Then you have the parents trying to find a table with their SUV strollers taking up the entire sitting area.

It does get bothersome after while.

Neal said...

be, you ever think that there are some parents that wouldn't be caught dead in Chuck E Cheese either? I didn't know that giving birth banned you from ever enjoying a decent cup of coffee. I'm a lover, not a hater.

Be said...

Neal - you miss the point of the post.
I didn't say that being a parent denies the right of coffee. What I did say was that with rights come responsibilities.

Be said...

Anon: I agree. When you have kids, you need to anticipate certain lifestyle changes. What I'm railing against is the notion that we all have to accomodate people who breed and choose not to discipline their kids. Going to a family restaurant, I expect to see kids. I'd like for them to be decently occupied (like I mentioned in a comment at one of the posts I linked to), and understand that meltdowns do occur. I don't, however, have much sympathy for people who decide to show up at a Starbucks during rush hour with a playgroup.

Yogo said...

Come on, aren't we giving Starbucks too many props here? Every Starbucks I've seen is either attached to a B&N, next door to Bed, Bath, & Beyond, inside a grocery store, etc. It's not some exclusive upscale cafe. It's a chain coffee house. Same goes for La Madeleine (is that in Boston now?). The one near me that I had to stop going to is near a high school. I don't want to sit around giggling 17 year olds either.

Be said...

Nick: don't even get me started on those damn SUV
Went out to dinner at an Anna's a week ago (good,
cheap, fast burritos) . It's very close quarters and
always crowded, so you have to be mindful of whose
space you may be invading. Someone (who'd gone AWOL-
we looked for her) took one of those strollers and
blocked off a bunch of tables. Hal just moved it over
by the door (out of the way) and freed up the section.
The woman (who I assume was the stroller owner) came
back eventually, got her order, saw that her stroller
was moved (to a more convenient location for
everyone). She decided to sit across the dining room
from us and shot daggers the rest of our time there.

Be said...

No - we don't have La Madeleine here, yet. Just Starbucks, Seattle's Best, Caribou (only one), Au Bon Pain...and a couple others whose names escape me.

There are a few indy places, too.
Interesting that your B&Ns are attached to Starbucks - the B&Ns here, for a while anyway, always seemed to run their own cafes. Unless they contract it out to Starbucks, now?

I don't much go out to cafes anymore because, well, I'm not a cafe kind of person. If I do, though, it tends to be at the Starbucks in my neighborhood, because of all the options, the first indy is absolutely filthy and the second one is too dark and absolutely a$$-cranks this awful, indy pop music. Can't hear yourself think, much less talk.


More often than not, I go to my local convenience store, where I get into some nice old-style cafe discussions on politics, religion, gardening, etc with the owner and his buddies. Coffee's a lot cheaper than most of the other places ($1 for my travel mug) and the owner knows when I make my way by, so manages to put a couple fresh pots (as I mix decaf w/regular) on before I get there.

Be said...

As for defending Starbucks: Going 'back home' can be a very painful experience for me. It's very comforting to know that I can sit in a little womb-like area nearby the Galleria Mall in Cheek-Cheek-Cheektowaga, NY, drink an orange cappuccino and have it feel like I'm back in a safer place emotionally. My friends in the UK also think Starbucks is a Godsend for bringing them good coffee. (My experiences with coffee outside of France and Italy haven't been the best.)

Yogo said...

Here in the Village, we used to have several indy coffee shops till they got run out by Starbucks. I like the fake artsy fartsy feel of Starbucks--they don't offend me--but I would like more options. The La Madeleine I mentioned is a french bakery/restaurant. The pastries are excellent, coffee good, food terrible. I only go there in the early morning. There's always a newspaper on a table and no kids. Even in the evenings there aren't any kids.

I'll tell them to open a location in Boston...

Be said...

People have worried about Starbucks closing indy places, but from what I've seen in Boston and in Buffalo, this hasn't happened. On the Elmwood Ave Strip (in Buffalo) there's one Starbucks and a number of other cafes (my favorite being Aroma.) There're a few Starbucks in Boston in Hal's neighborhood, but about the same # of independent coffee places. Idem for a few 'key' places in Camb and Somerville.

La Madeleine is a nice name. They're my favorite cookies. I *am* intrigued, however, by this Chez Nappy I've been hearing about.

Yogo said...

If you like french press you'll love it.

Be said...

Chez Nappy does French Press? Funny, so does Che Be.