Oh, entitled parents, how do I hate thee? Let me count the ways, you self-absorbed time suckers who think that the world revolves around you and your precocious brat who won’t shut the hell up even for one second.
Last week, a five top came in; four adults and one diaper-wearing, needy one year old human who required a high chair. I go to greet them at the front door.
“Hello, how are you tonight? Table for five?”
“My baby is starving. I need bread,” snapped the mother.
Really? That’s how we’re going to start our evening together, by you completely ignoring the (fake ass) pleasantries I am offering you? Is it my fault that you, as a mother, failed to bring a goddamn Ziploc baggie of Goldfish to nourish your child during the long trip from you apartment down the street all the way to the restaurant?
What I said: Alright, let me go get some bread for you and then I can pull some tables together for your party to sit down.
What I thought: I’m sorry, but is your baby from some drought stricken country in Africa and he hasn’t had clean water in days? Is your child one of the 15 million who will die of hunger this year? Is he part of the 50% of all children under five years of age in South Asia and one third of those in sub-Saharan Africa who are are malnourished? Is he one out of the eight children in the United States under the age of twelve who goes to bed hungry every night? Or is it that he’s just a little fussy and now you regret throwing away that banana that he didn’t want twenty minutes ago?
I return with the basket of emergency rations and begin to drag two tables together so they can sit down and eat their dinner now that I have practically saved the life of a child who, had it not been for me, would have surely expired. The group sits down and I notice that the child has taken one bite of bread and is now interested in the battery operated candle that is sitting on the table. Starvation averted! Score one for the war against hunger.
“We have a few specials tonight I can tell you about very quickly. Our soup tonight is a chilled corn soup with a cream base. The corn is grilled and it has a red pepper garnish. Our appetizer of the night is-”
“I’m sorry,” mother interrupts. “Can I go ahead and place his order for mac and cheese? He’s really hungry. But no bacon in it.””
I look down at the “really hungry” baby who is mouthing the plastic candle. Right, we don’t want that baby to eat bacon but by all means let him lick that candle that has remnants of Windex, dust and every germ known to mankind.
“I will do it right this second.” I stop pouring water for everyone and firmly set the metal pitcher on the table and leave them to again do my part to solve world hunger, one baby at a time.
“Please rush. This baby is starving,” I type on the order so that that the cooks knows how utterly important it is to get the food right away. I head to the kitchen deciding to wait there until I can return with the sustenance before doing anything else for the table. Six minutes later, the mac and cheese is ready and I go to the table.
“Sorry I didn’t get a chance to finish pouring water but I know how important it is to get food to a starving baby so I stayed in the kitchen until it was ready.” I pick up the pitcher and continue pouring. “So anyway, our appetizer of the night is a roasted beet salad with goat cheese and balsamic dressing…”
Five minutes and two bites of mac and cheese later, the kid is wandering around the restaurant with its mother. Turns out he wasn’t starving after all. It was just another case of an entitled parent thinking that their child deserved special treatment because no other child in the world can be as important as their own. Snap out of it lady. If you’re fortunate enough to be able to afford to eat out at a restaurant, you’re child is not starving. He’s lucky. Most of us who are reading this are lucky.
I hate entitled parents.