Wes and I, with Aidan in tow, decided on a spontaneous dinner at a local Mexican restaurant last night. Sometimes you just need some shredded beef, y’know?
We sat down, I handed Aidan a paper napkin to destroy, and we commenced sharing tortilla chips and tales of the day. About five minutes into our relaxing, quiet dinner, we heard a gaggle of what sounded like teenage girls descend on the maître d’. A minute later, they were seated in the booth right next to us.
At first, they were just loud. They harassed the waiter with intentionally poorly spoken Spanish (I refuse to believe anyone could butcher a language that badly except on purpose) and spoke loudly and with great affinity for profanity. Had Aidan been at a speaking age, I would have asked them to watch their language.
Then, they started throwing ice cubes into the aisle of the restaurant, cackling like hyenas all the while. They continued to harangue the waiter and busboy, and the waiter adopted a look of exasperated resignation while dealing with them.
Wes and I tried conversing while we tucked into our food, but the uproar coming from the booth next to us was such that it rendered our conversation useless. Especially when they started wrestling or something and crashing into the back of the booth hard enough to move it. Wes, whose back was against the back of the booth in question, was not amused.
Still they got louder. They were drunk on their own 8th grade fabulousness, and convinced that the world was likewise intoxicated by what I’m sure they thought was their hilarious behavior. Finally, disgusted, Wes and I paid for our food and got up to leave. As we were leaving, they got louder still.
My patience for things like this is not great. I was raised with a strict expectation of civilized behavior in public, and watching these girls ruin both my meal and the meals of those around me vexed me past the point of quiescence.
As they shouted at each other and then dissolved into obnoxious laughter, I said, firmly, “Seriously you guys: SHUT UP.”
Wes, knowing my temper, scuttled out the door with Aidan. I walked over to their table, where I saw four 8th grade girls wearing embarrassed looks (I know they were in 8th grade because I heard them discussing it). I followed up by saying, “Honestly? I’ve seen 5 year olds who were better behaved in restaurants than you are.” Then I left.
There was so much more I wanted to say. I wanted to tell them that wearing shorts that are so short that your butt cheeks hang out the bottom is really just an invitation for skeevy middle-aged men to stare at your jail-bait-backside. I wanted to tell them that fake-baking yourself orange doesn’t make you look thin, it makes you look blind. I wanted to tell them that their behavior was immature, and likely the reason they were all still single.
But I didn’t. I left.
Wes contends that what I said was a very mom thing to say, like telling them I was so disappointed in them. I don’t know if it was a mom thing to do, I’m fairly certain I would have said that pre-baby. But still, something had to be said. Or did it? Would you have made the same call?