Beady eyed old lady at crappy, greasy, gossiping waitress diner

“The last time I took you guys here, you were little babies. It was one of the first times I took you out to breakfast alone.” I say.

“We were babies” Jack says.

“Yes, and you were crawling and wouldn’t stay still. I tried to put you in high chairs and everyone was looking at us.” I say.

We sit in a far back corner, Alan sits down first. Fiona, Jack, and I all sit on the booth side. Alan keeps telling the babies to be quieter, and reminding me I’m talking loud too. I eat my Huevos Mexicana, cut up Jacks pancakes, get more syrup for the kids. The waitress is standing at a table across from us, there’s mirrors lining both walls, so I can see her face too. She’s telling two men at the tables all about her x-mas.

“Oh, now listen to this, she said she was coming” the waitress says.

“Mmm mm” one man at the booth says, engaged in what the waitress is telling him.

“I was surprised, I mean I know she knows she should just quit because her days here are numbered. Well then, she calls me at 3:00 and tells me she’s not coming. How rude was that? I’ve got the tables set all the food ready, then my aunt calls and asks if they can “Stop By”, the waitress does this in quotation marks. It’s supposed to be a work only thing. “You weren’t supposed to be here for another hour I tell them”, the waitress says.  Later in her story she says they didn’t end up eating dinner till 9:00 and the people didn’t leave until 11:00, and she wanted to kick them out way earlier. The guys sitting at the booth with omelets and hash browns getting cold on their plate because the waitress is telling them this big long story participate slightly, but finally when the waitress leaves they start finishing their breakfast. I hear the whole conversation and I’m all the way on the other side of the room. A couple is sitting beside us, reading the paper. They never make eye contact when I look their way after Jack and Fiona do something super loud, crazy, whiny, annoying, something three-and-a-half-year old’s do. I catch the old man look over several times and ever so slightly shake his head in disapproval. It was most prominent when I ordered a second helping of syrup for my already out of control twins. It was a very noticeable shake. What ever I think, he’ll get over it. Cranky old guy. I know they just want to enjoy a quiet breakfast but so do I. I say to Alan they should have a kid’s section and a non-kids section in restaurants.  

The old lady and man are done, they fold up their San Francisco Chronicles and leave them on the table at Egg Woods. The lady leans in towards me, she leads with “They are really cute kids, she inserts this into her monologue several times. She says, “But you’re really loud and that makes the kids talk loud”. She tells me how that’s the same thing she told her daughter in law, that she was so loud, that she yells all the time and her daughter in law needed to quiet down. She told me her daughter in law had a set of twins as well and one other kid. I said, “She probably has to yell so she can be heard in her house”. The old lady just looked at me. Then I told her, knowing that it’s true, I do have a loud talking voice, and I’ve been told before. Alan tells me to hush constantly, he says you’re talking too loud. Still I responded defensively by saying, which is true, “My daughter has hearing loss, our house is really loud to compensate for that.” She leaned away, didn’t say anything else after my rebuttal.

I started to get mad. I should have said, “Did I ask you your opinion?”  or “I’m sure you do some super annoying thing that someone wants to tell you about”. But I didn’t, just smiled. I started to think about how loud all the other people talked, what about the waitress? I even heard her say the best part of her night when her family was there was when the little kids locked them selves in the dog carrier, she said she wanted to leave them there for the rest of the night. Kids are annoying. I’m annoyed, I was so fucken annoyed by my kids all day. They drive me bananas. When we got home, Jack pooped out side and I just hear him say he wants to smell Fiona’s butt “All Day Long” No ones perfect. But I would never do that to someone, a stranger, tell them something negative about themselves in front of the woman’s husband and kids! Beady eyed old lady at crappy, greasy, gossiping waitress diner.

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Thoughts on Motherhood Through the Eyes of an Artist