by Ashley Murphy
I know I'm probably about to ruffle some feathers. In fact, I know I am. Just a warning before you read the article. And to make it known, I do not have children. However, I do have a two and a half year old nephew. But, I do want children of my own one day and when that day comes, I hope I would have the decency to RESPECT the other patrons within a screaming or throwing radius of any child capable of doing so. With that being said, this article is from a point of view for someone, such as myself, who is single, has no children and would love to be able to enjoy a nice relaxing dinner in a decent, sit down, order off the menu restaurant.
I read recently where a restaurant in Pennsylvania had banned children under the age of 6. My first thought, "I wish I lived in Monroeville. I would eat at this restaurant everyday!" I'm all for it. I don't believe every restaurant should enact such a policy, but there are a couple here in Cleveland that would be perfect candidates for such.
Some are highly disgusted that such a thought should even come about. But I guarantee you, if some of the restaurants around here had a similar ban, they would probably get more of my business. If you say that would deter you from going again because it's so preposterous...good! Stay at home with your kids. It doesn't hurt me any. I will get to enjoy a quiet meal, be able to have a decent conversation and not have to worry about picking flying food out of my hair.
A few years ago, I went on a Gatlinburg trip with some friends. One night, we decided to leave the cabin and have dinner at Ruby Tuesdays. There were myself, my boyfriend at the time, the couple we were with and their 2 sons; one only a few months old, the other only a couple of years old. Of course, the hostess would have to seat us in the middle of the dining room with booths around us on all sides, all holding other patrons looking to satisfy their hunger. Well, the oldest decides he's bored in his high chair and wants to entertain himself...by throwing food, silverware, ice, straws, napkins, you name it. But it wasn't just amongst the table, he was throwing them at people sitting at other tables! The mom just kept taking things away and saying, "Stop. That's not nice." To which he started laughing and did it again. This went on throughout the entire meal. He even managed to get the baby crying by throwing stuff on him as the parents continued to eat, just ignoring what was going on with their kids. I swear I could have been cast to Hades with some of the looks our table was receiving. I was completely and utterly mortified.
I think I would be happy if restaurants entertained the idea of having "family" sections for families that dine with children under a certain age. They required smokers to sit in the "smoking" section so as not to disturb other patrons. So why not turn those former smoking sections into the "family section" and let the families annoy each other?