I'll try and keep this short.
Hahahahahaaaajustkidding. You know I totally won't.
For my birthday last weekend, we decided to go out for a nice dinner at our favorite local steakhouse, where I happened to have a coupon for a free entree (up to $20.99 or less, and good luck finding a steak for that price). My standing joke at ALL restaurants any more is just, please, don't let there be anyone there wearing a tiara. Which is kind of another post, but picture, if you will--that group of over-done, over-made-up, over-dressed, overly-loud 40-something divorcees who've had that onnnne too many glasses of wine and it's somebody's birthday so WOO-HOOO I'M WEARING A TIARA Y'ALL. *clinks glass*
Yeah. Usually the table next to them is...us.
Anyway, it's gotten so that when I make reservations somewhere, I specifically request to NOT be seated by any large tables or any large parties or anyone wearing a tiara, because just once I'd like to get through a meal without being forced to listen to the above too-loud ladies discussing life at too many decibels and with way too many "woo-hoos", plus the sudden random group of servers who come out, clapping and singing and sometimes wearing sombreros and/or carrying sparklers.
Guys. I just want to enjoy a quiet dinner, k?
So, last weekend's dinner was going great until dessert-menu time. I had actually just mentioned, "Hey...no tiaras so far" and kind of *high-fived* Shane. Then, the servers started unfolding the table extensions at two tables next to us and sliding two smaller tables...together. Uh-oh.
Sure enough, as soon as the tables merged into one big 10-seat table, a pile of gifts and balloons suddenly materialized in the center. Me and Shane started giving each other the side-eye.
The family arrived, comprised of maybe 4 adults and about 300 small children. Ok, it was more like 5 + one in a car seat, but still. Me and Shane started giving them the side-eye.
They got seated and the small boy in the chair closest to our table immediately whips out an iPhone 12.5 or whatever and starts playing a video game, because of course a birthday party with balloons and streamers and gifts isn't nearly interesting enough to hold his attention for 3 minutes. We start hearing pew-pew-pew-pew peeeewwwwwww PEW PEWPEWPEWPEW. Since they were close enough to hear and see our response, I stopped mid-sentence and stared at them and said "REALLY?? HE'S PLAYING A VIDEO GAME? AT A BIRTHDAY PARTY? WITH THE VOLUME ON??" Mom let it go for a minute, but she did start asking Little Boy to turn down his volume. Not OFF, mind you, but...down.
We spent the rest of the meal trying to finish sen-pewpewpew-tences about whether we pewpew wanted to eat desspewpewpewpewPEW-ert or just take it PEWPEWBEEPBOOOAWWP home with us. And of course opted for "to-go please".
Still, though, seriously-- I had to stop talking like five times and give this mom my best "Really?" stare, along with that obvious pantomine of looking around and saying loudly "Is someone seriously watching CARTOONS IN HERE?' before she would try to get him to turn the volume down. Again.
So my question is this: WHAT THE HECK, PEOPLE??? Everywhere we go any more, kids are not expected to be quiet and/or focus on actual reality for more than a few minutes at a time before they freak out and insist on having a phone or an iPad or a TV screen shoved in front of them.
Everywhere. We. GO.
At the grocery store: Kids in the cart are playing on phones.
The car in front of me: TV screens in front of the baby car seats.
In restaurants: They're on a phone or a game, or those *cool* new tabletop notebook screens, in case anyone forgets their phone in the car, or God forbid, wants to actually interact with their family over dinner.
|You're going to the STORE, not across the country. This is ridiculous.|
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