Home > City mama, meanness, motherhood > I’m a bad person and I’m okay with that

I’m a bad person and I’m okay with that

This morning, The Child, The Husband, and I all trundled into Starbucks for our usual Saturday morning cuppa. We’d gotten up a little early and we’ve got about 7 inches of snow around here, so the place was nearly empty. I dashed to the bathroom and then came back to relieve The Husband of the child so he could do the same. Since we usually sit for a little while, I put my bag down at our usual table and said, “Child, come here please. Let me unzip your jacket.”

Now, I should describe my local ‘Bucks. It’s huge with big comfy velvety seats, a working fireplace, and a “Friends” style couch. There are lots of tables for general sitting and one large table, very near the door and the bar, with plugs for laptops. Because there’s a lot of empty space around the large computer table, and it’s near the door, and it’s not as tippy as those little cafe tables, we usually sit there. Toddlers and crampy, tippy tables covered with hot drinks are a bad combination and we like the option of a quick getaway if she melts down.
At the computery table was one lady.  I glanced at her right before I called The Child over and thought, “Wow, she looks like Rachel Morgan, she’s really pretty and I love her boots.” So I was looking right at her when I said, “Child, come here please.”

Which meant I got the full effect of her head whipping around, her eyes narrowing as she glared daggers at me. I offered her my best and most cheerful smile — which is a pretty damned bright and cheerful smile. She continued to glared, her face hardening into frown lines. I smiled more brightly and scooped up my beautiful blonde bouncing daughter and sat down. She made an unhappy noise and went back to her paper.

Now, The Child was being quiet and well behaved before I sat down and then we sat and talked to each other for a while, until The Husband returned from the restroom and then we all three sat and chatted, quietly, for a while. We were not being loud or disruptive or difficult. But clearly we were pissing this woman off. She got up after a few minutes, leaving her whole mess, including the paper opened to the middle of an article, and stormed off.

Here’s why I’m a bad person. It was really empty. It wouldn’t have been that big of a deal, once I’d realized that she was going to be pissy,  for us to move to one of the cafe tables. And I think, if she had responded to my smile with even a pained attempt at a grin, or been marginally polite, or even said anything, I would have, happily (probably). Certainly, if she’d said, “Excuse me,” and made to move away to one fo the twenty empty tables, I would have said, “Oh, I’m sorry, are we bothering you? Let me just move our little circus over to there.” But isntead, she offered a silent glare and frigid anger.
So we sat a little longer than we usually do and we had a more animated (though not louder) conversation than we normally would have. Which is what makes me a bad person.

But ‘Bucks, especially that ‘Bucks, especially early on a weekend morning, is a major gathering place for kids and parents. And if she’s going to be that pissed off about every time a kid is in her orbit, she’s going to die young of anger and stress.

Though I wish I could find out where she found those boots before she does.

Categories: City mama, meanness, motherhood
  1. aguane
    February 23, 2008 at 9:21 pm

    I find that I’m the same way – if my child is upsetting someone I’m apt to apologize and move / do what I can to make it more comfortable for everyone involved. Unless of course that someone is an ass. Then I’ve been known to stop doing my best to reign in my child.

  2. February 24, 2008 at 12:28 am

    As someone who has kicked herself more than once for putting the needs, real and imagined, of strangers above what my children have every right to do in a public place, I’m very glad that you did not move. You did nothing wrong. Starbucks is not the quiet-study-only part of the library, after all, and children have as much right to their space on this earth as adults do, particularly if they’re being as well-behaved as the Child was. Boooooooo to the Pretty Lady in the Nice Boots!

  3. February 24, 2008 at 1:14 pm

    let me tell you,i have a dear friend who HATES kids. all kids. thank god she is single and will NEVER gave any. and i have 3, ages 18, 15 and 7. so i have been there. there are a lot of people out there who do not appreciate or RESPECT little people. (or old people for the matter.) i like my alone time a much as the next person, but i have NEVER asked someone to move or glared at them because they have children. i’ve moved because i am ONE and i will be gracious to more than one. you should have dumped scalding coffee on the bitch’s laptop, she wants privacy, she can take a booth.

  4. February 24, 2008 at 3:43 pm

    I wonder if they were Franco Sarto or Vic Matie? With all that snow I’ll stick to Sorel…

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