If this is how they talk in a restaurant, they put be impossible to handle in everyday life! What was supposed to be a fun time out to eat resulted in a horrific memory for everyone involved. I feel bad for whoever had to clean up after some of these people, because things got ugly and violent pretty fast. Content has been edited for clarity.
"Way back when, when my daughter was in kindergarten, I would pick her up every Tuesday at noon, and we would go to the nearby Burger King for a special treat, followed by the weekly grocery shopping at Kroger. During one of our Burger King lunches, I noticed another person that I recognized. It was another mother from our neighborhood and her two sons, aged six and four. Also seated near us was another mother I recognized with her son of a similar age, except this child had no arms below the elbow. He was an engaging little guy, and he was feeding himself using his elbows, all while happily chatting with his mom. His movements were seamless, and he never spilled a drop of a crumb. You must know what is coming next.
The two entitled little demons noticed this valiant little man nearby and started screaming, 'Mom! Mom! There is a MONSTER sitting next to us!' Where are his arms?! He is so UGLY, Mom! Why does he get to be here?!'
Then the older of the two gremlins turns to our little hero and demands, 'What are you doing here?! You are a MONSTER! Go away!'
The mother of those two monsters did not react in any sort of way. She didn't correct her sons, nor did she meet my eye, but she continued to sip on her Whopper and drink her Diet Coke. Before I could jump from my seat, my five-year-old daughter did. 'You're mean!' she screamed at the boys, and then she went over to comfort this amazing little boy. I followed her, so unbelievably proud of my little girl. On my way, I strongly suggested to this nasty indifferent mother that she might want to try teaching her children some kindness. She was busy dealing with her aggressive and messy little goblins. In the meantime, my daughter and I had a great time with the mom and her special son, and our daughter tried to use her elbows to eat for the next two weeks."
"Back when I was a server, I witnessed a mother treating her young daughter in a way that was, at best, disturbing. My gut instinct told me that this was clearly psychological abuse. I was their server, so I was fairly certain that they were a mother and a daughter. Throughout the meal, the mother behaved as though she were another child, and she bullied her daughter, as one child would bully another on the playground. After I brought the adult and child drinks, the mother yanked the child's cup out of her daughter's mouth, splashed her with the drink, and sipped on it herself. She put her own large drink in front of the girl, forcing her to stand on the booth seat and lean over to sip, as she was too small to lift that cup. When I brought the food, the mother took all of her daughter's chicken nuggets and fries and ate them herself! She replaced them with nothing but the lettuce from her own sandwich, which she also ate. The child would only get a small pile of lettuce to eat. The mother didn't give her anything else. This monster of a mother even tipped me well!
As they were leaving, the mother pulled a lollipop out of her purse, unwrapped it, and gave it to her daughter, who sucked on it briefly before the mother pulled it away and put it in her own mouth. And this mother pulled hard. That child was crying in pain, rather than anger or sadness. She left that restaurant hungry, thirsty, and possibly with damaged teeth. Now the most offensive thing I heard during this experience was when I told my manager about the two of them. I asked him if we should call anyone, as this woman was clearly abusive. He told me, 'If I ever hear of you calling any authority on any customer, even if you do it off the clock and away from the restaurant, I will fire you immediately. I don't care what you see. We are only here to serve the person who pays the bill!'
It has been years since this experience, but I still regret valuing my job over that poor child."
"My former boyfriend and I had rekindled our relationship after several years apart. We were happy with each other. We lived in a roommate situation with two other people, who were our dear friends. It turns out that living in a small trailer with roommates didn’t give us much alone time. In addition to the roommates, my boyfriend worked in the oilfield. Anyone who has worked the oilfield knows that it comes with insane hours. Consequently, our time alone together was precious and limited. My boyfriend had woken-up, after some much need sleep, after coming off several super long shifts and said, 'Why, don’t we go get some food at Chipotle?'. We both cleaned up, then drove to the restaurant and were waiting to be seated. There are some rowdy oil hands enjoying a meal. We gave them a smile with the cursory head nod of acknowledgment. While we were waiting to be seated, we walked around the small entrance area that had hand-made jewelry and art, it was lovely. That is when the comments started from the rowdy men.
'Looks like he must have found her in a bar. She can’t walk straight!' this was followed with comments of agreement and laughter. I was completely embarrassed. I knew that they were talking about me. I had just been diagnosed with MS. The doctors were trying to find some medications to help with the neurologic issues. Unfortunately, the more upset I become, the more noticeable the shakes and wobbles were to the world. Needless to say, I was now upset. The hostess came to seat us in the only spot available, a table near the rowdy men. I tried to calm myself, I held my boyfriend's hand, then sat down. I didn't want my boyfriend to know that the men had already said something rude. He was the type of man to go over and beat the tar out of all of them. 'Did you see her walk over here? She must have drank a case of stuff before coming here. You all wait and see, she will pass out on the floor before her food gets here!' followed by a string of laughter. My boyfriend did hear that comment. Before I could say a thing, he stood up to take care of the problem. He walked over to the rowdy oilfield hands table, then spoke in a calm, cool tone. 'My wife and I just want to enjoy a nice meal without any nonsense. If you must know, she is sick. I have known her since we were kids and have never seen her drink more than one drink at any event,' my boyfriend responded, then walked back to the table and sat down. It struck me odd that he called me his wife, maybe he wanted to highlight our relationship.
The rude oilfield hands kept making comments, they now included that my boyfriend was an assortment of 'colorful words', trying to goad him into a fight. I was really proud of how my boyfriend handled the escalating situation. He went to the hostess then asked to speak to management. This resulted in management warning the rowdy men they would be removed if they didn’t change their conduct. This didn’t work. Luckily, the management was watching. The manager retrieved the bouncer from the adjacent bar. They then took the rowdy men out of the restaurant. The manager then discounted our meals. The whole night’s meal was odd, our conversation didn’t seem to flow like usual. I decided that the experience with the rowdy oilfield hands had just put an awkward spin on the whole evening. We returned home and were lying in bed.
When my boyfriend spoke out of the silence, he told me, 'You know Mindy, I love you. I have loved you ever since we were kids. I can still see you walking down the street. You walked everywhere.'
I told him, 'Yeah, I was always walking. I had places to go and people to see. You were one of my favorite people to see. I love you too. I fell in love with you when we were kids. I can still see you walking to my house with an algebra book under your arm. I thought you were the full package: good-looking, cool, kind, tough, and smart.'
'I wanted tonight to be different,' he told me.
'There are always going to be losers. Losers are nothing new, I just need to get thicker skin,' I replied.
He turned to me and stated, 'No, I wanted to talk to you about something, now I don’t know how too. I am scared.'
'I have never known you to be scared. Besides, it's you and me back to back against the world. I got your back, don’t be scared,' I reassure him.
'It is something we talked about a few times, I think it is time to act. I think we should get married. I already see you as my wife.' he told her, his hand stroking my face. I am staring at the dark ceiling processing the words. I tell him, 'I think that is a good idea too.' He then jumps out of bed, turns on the lights, then hands me a beautiful handmade choker as an engagement present.
'I noticed you were admiring it every time we went in the Chipotle. We can get a ring later,' he said, with this with huge eyes sparkling with joy. So the rude oil field hands had ruined his planned proposal, but I think it added to the story of our relationship. I think this made our proposal story unique. Thanks, rude oilfield hands for ruining dinner and giving us a great memory."
"On our way back to California from visiting family in New Jersey, my husband and our two children, ages three and five, stopped for dinner at the Fazoli's in town. When we walked inside, the place was packed, and a very nice woman who hardly spoke English seated us. We looked over the menus and pointed to our selection, so the waitress didn't have to stress over whether she understood us correctly. We could tell that she had a million other things to do. While waiting for our food, I noticed that only this woman was waiting on about twenty tables, and it was only her husband in the back, cooking some really tasty Italian meals. I was so impressed with the two of them! Suddenly, three men stroll in. This woman seats them and gives them their menus. Once she walks off, they start in on this poor woman. They are making fun of how she can't speak English, and she shouldn't be working here. They get her to come over to the table and ask her the difference between the meatballs and the sausage. Remember, she can't even understand them, nor really convey to them any response because of the language barrier. They continue to badger her until I absolutely can't take it from them anymore!
I am back to back with one of these gentlemen, and I ask him to give her a break, clearly she can't speak English and is doing her best. He tells me that she should know how speak English! I tell him to get lost, this is the American dream. These two are running this place on a Sunday with no help at all, and all you can do is disrespect them? He spews some profanities back at me. So I scream some profanities back at him. We are now screaming back and forth in this packed restaurant. My poor husband is so used to my outbursts by now, so he just sat and was quietly eating. After I sat back down, the cook came out from the back and told the three men to leave. I cried from exhaustion while I ate. I was so sad that this poor couple had to endure all of this while they were working their butts off. I was so embarrassed by my behavior, but not one other person in that whole packed restaurant was going to stand up for that woman!"
"I was a single mom with two very young children. Naturally, my mornings were immensely stressful. The boys had been awake since four in the morning one day, and I was completely shattered. At seven in the morning, I decided that we would go out for breakfast. We went to the nearby Panera, and there was usually no one eating during this time. My eldest boy was three years old at the time, and he is on the autism spectrum. He wanted to sit at a different table than us, so I let him. He wasn't making any noise, just getting up and sitting in different chairs. An older couple came in and sat at a table on the other side of the room. My son continued to get up and sit in different chairs. There was going to be the possibility of a meltdown if I tried to stop him. The older woman loudly said to her husband, 'What hideous kids! Why would anyone bring such small children to this place?!'
That may not seem like much right now, but that morning I had already been awake since four, and I was mortified. I got up to pay immediately and I was crying a little bit. The server at the till asked me what was wrong, so I told her what the woman had said. On my way out, I gathered my boys and told them that we had to leave, because some people were being very rude to us. A few days later, we were at the Barnes and Noble buying some books. The same server came over to talk to me, and she reassured me that the old couple had been told not to come back, as they couldn't be that rude to other customers. I felt terrible and asked her to let them back into the restaurant. A week or so went by, and I bumped into the couple in town. I apologized to them for getting them temporarily banned from the restaurant. I explained that I was a single mom, and it helped if I could just get out of the house once and not cook a meal before work. They both apologized to me too. They said that they had forgotten what it was like to be around young children. All was well with the world, but I never once took my kids out for breakfast again, not until they were both much older, just to be safe."
"My husband and I took our daughter out to eat at Qdoba. My daughter was two. She was very quiet, and I heard a woman say that she thought kids should be banned from restaurants. This woman is loudly saying how she goes out in order to get away from her own kids, so why would she tolerate someone else's? She went on to say that it takes a toll on the staff to have to clean up after them, takes up time that could be used in seating the next people, and it's just a mess. I also heard that at three, she was going to cry or talk through the meal and probably not even eat anything. My daughter sat quietly, even while waiting for her food. She ate every bite, even of her deep-fried ice cream. The waitress loudly mentioned how she was better behaved than some adults and finished every drop. The woman rolled her eyes and looked away. She was still there when we left. I mentioned that nothing was on the floor. I pictured her kids at home, and they must have been glad that she was gone.
On another occasion, we also went back to Qdoba, but this time I was expecting another baby. My daughter was still three. We were in a celebratory mood. This angry woman was back in the restaurant too. Once again, my daughter was quiet, well-behaved, and ate all of her food. Halfway through the meal, I ordered a strawberry daiquiri without anything boozy in it. The woman got super upset with me. She didn't know that it was totally fine for me to be drinking this, despite me and the waitress telling her otherwise. She got up and loudly announced that she was going to call child protective services on me. The waitress told her manager about the issue, and she said that the manager could also verify that there was nothing boozy in my drink. We all waited, expecting someone to barge in arresting me, but of course no one did. All this woman managed to do was interrupt our dinner."
"I was attending an engineering conference in San Francisco. I decided on dinner in the Applebee's next to the hotel and went down and got a table for one. At the next table was a well-dressed woman, also on her own, but we didn’t speak to each other. We simply nodded. I got my dinner and she got hers. Then a father came in with his daughter and was seated about two or three tables away. I didn’t really pay much attention, as I was using the time to read some of the papers from the conference. The well-dressed woman next to me leaned over and hissed quite loudly, 'Look at that. Isn’t that the most disgusting thing?! People like that shouldn’t be allowed here!'
She was clearly indicating the father and daughter, there was no one else in the restaurant at the time. I didn’t see a single thing that I thought was in any way unusual, except that the father was cutting up the meat for his daughter and she seemed a bit old for that, but what the heck! I was pretty clumsy myself at the girl’s sort of age (about eight), and I would have welcomed having my meat cut for me in order to keep it on the plate. The only thing I can think of was that this woman assumed that the child had what are termed 'learning difficulties', and somehow believed that such people belonged only hidden away in institutions. I’m afraid I was so shocked at what she said that I didn’t respond. Instead, I turned away from her, paid my bill, and left. I regret that now, as I should have challenged her, but I was so shocked that I had no idea how best to respond back then. I hope that the man and his daughter nonetheless had an otherwise good experience of San Francisco. And I hope that that woman at some point in her life came to think differently."
“All of us were at a Chili's about a year ago. MY party included, me, my husband Mike, our son Todd, and my mom, who I'll call Grandmama here. We tend to go to restaurants that have shown an understanding about my son's Autism. We also will go during a restaurant's least busy times, usually Saturday afternoons between one and three, so they will have time to help my son. We always had a good time at this place. Well, until this visit, that is. On this day, Todd was the only child in the restaurant, and he was having a great time. Todd always looked forward to seeing his Grandmama, so he was excited and a bit more loud than usual. Todd was laughing and playing his 'throw everything on the floor' game. I kept picking things up after him. Once I got up to go use the restroom, Todd grew upset and started to whine. My husband and my mom attempted to distract him, but it didn't work. He cried until I got back. I gave him a hug and said, 'Mama is back, it's okay!'
Todd ended up breaking two plates that day, as well as threw his chicken finger lunch, which landed in a woman's purse. I profusely apologized to her, explaining that my son has Autism and he was excited to be out and about. She completely understood, and it turned out her grandson had Autism as well. My husband took Todd out to the car while my mom and I finished up and paid. I made another stop to the bathroom, and as I'm walking by, the older man was speaking loudly ot his wife, 'Can you believe those parents?! They let their son run the show! If that were my kid, he wouldn't be able to sit for a week when I'm through with him! Don't these parents know how to control their kid? This is the problem with parents these days, letting their kid do whatever they want, with absolutely no consequences.'
I have learned a lot in my time as a parent, and one of those lessons was to teach ignorant people about Autism whenever I could. I asked the man, 'Excuse me, are you speaking about that little boy in the green shirt that was over there with me and his family? My son?'
The man definitely wasn't expecting me to say anything. He stammered out, 'Yes, I was!'
Apparently this man had no idea what Autism was. I told him, 'Well, Autism is a disorder that means his brain is wired differently from other children/ He is unable to speak and his ability to comprehend receptive language is a bit delayed as well. He is acting the best that he can in this situation. That's why we pick slow times to come into the restaurant. This is a rare treat for all of us. The next time. you decided to judge a person on their ability to control their child, think about this conversation. Autism isn't something that you can always see, but it is still there!'
The husband and wife were speechless, they had no idea of his condition. They apologized profusely and seemed to really take my words to heart. I do understand that some people will be nasty, but the way to solve it is to take five minutes to help them understand what my child is going through. With as many people that are out there who have an Autism diagnosis, I hope that my lessons can teach people to be kinder to anyone who may be different from them or what they are used to."
"My family, complete with three small children all under the age of eight, had just received our drinks and placed our orders at this Texas Roadhouse. The kids were doodling on their children's menus that the waiter gave us. I noticed the hose leading a couple that was about fifteen or twenty years our senior. The man saw us in the corner booth, said something to the host, and redirected the host to seat them at a different table, about twenty feet further away. Now I'm not telepathic, but I could pretty much guess what he said to the host, and what he thought of children in restaurants, based on the expressions and gestures that he made. I could also faintly hear his angry ramblings from his table. My children, bless their little hearts, were exemplary in their behavior. They ate quietly and spoke gently. It was almost as if they were deliberately messing with me and my husband by being so good. My husband and I didn't want to jinx it by questioning them. After an hour of enjoy our meal and dessert, we paid the check and emptied out of the booth. As we were leaving, I see that the guy was watching us, and we made eye contact. He looked sheepishly at my knowing glance. He knew I watched the older couple coming in, the deviation, and how my children had completely contradicted his expectations. I gave him my most evil grin, then I kept walking out of the door. I think if I had said anything to him, it would have ruined the whole thing. His expression was priceless."
"I met up with a friend of mine, and we decided to try out the T.G.I. Fridays for lunch. I had my daughter, who was seven at the time, along with me. About four booths over were some college kids, and I could tell because they were all wearing shirts from the nearby school. Every other word out of their mouths was so profane. They were so loud and rude. Nobody should have to listen to their foul mouths! My daughter kept staring at me with wide eyes, and I kept apologizing to her. Finally, she asked me, 'What is WRONG with those people? Don't they know they sound like idiots? Are they stupid, Mom?' I told her that I didn't know, but it was very much a possibility. It was more likely that they were trying to sound big and bad around their friends. My daughter told me that they just sounded stupid and rude. I agreed with her.
At that point, someone from the restaurant came over and had a word with them. They all looked mighty embarrassed, and they toned it down. I was offended because instead of a nice meal, I got a string of expletives. I was also shamed for their parents. I'm sure somebody was paying good money for these fools to attend college, but to learn what? How many ways can you use the n word and an f bomb in the same sentence? Even my seven-year-old was amazed by the idiocy. If a seven-year-old is questioning whether you are genuinely stupid or not, you know that you are doing something wrong."
"My parents were deeply hurt by what we overheard. But first, here’s some backstory: Back when I was in high school, my older sister was killed by a wasted driver in a car crash. My sister and two other people were killed because a man that was two times the legal limit ran a red light, going 90 mph in a 45 mph zone. He t-boned the car my sister was in. Of course, I grieved for a long time, but my parents were absolutely inconsolable for months. Our family dynamic and way of life completely shifted. My father didn’t go back to work for months, and I didn’t go back to school until the next semester started, about a month and a half later. My parents and I were home all the time, but we spent less time together as a family than ever. But even after the worst tragedies, things do go back to normal after a while. Or a new normal, at least. It had been a few months after my sister died, and my parents and I decided to go to the Olive Garden close to our house. We had been semi-regulars at that restaurant before my sister left us. Because of that, some of the waitstaff still recognized us, and I guess some had seen my sister on the news after the crash. We were treated especially well. At least it seemed like that in my head.
Anyway, my parents and I were actually having a pretty good time. We were joking around and just felt normal. There was a small group of four particularly loud people seated at the table next to us, but we tried to ignore them as best as we could. Towards the middle of our meal, we can’t help but overhear these people loudly joking about driving under the influence and sharing their stories about recent experiences, where they drove while highly wasted. After a while of listening to this, my parents both got very emotional and my dad had to go and sit in the car without finishing his meal, so he wouldn’t cry in public. My mother was very upset, so I sent her to go wait in the car also, telling her I would cover the bill. Once my parents were out of the restaurant, I flagged down our waiter and asked for a bill. He could tell something was wrong, so he kindly and quickly brought the bill.
Once I had paid, I got up from my seat and walked a few feet over to the table filled with the monsters who had made my parents cry. I loudly told them that they were joking around very loudly about something that had just killed my older sister, and that my sweet old parents had to leave because they we’re overcome with grief. I also mentioned that while they had no way of knowing what had happened to my family, nobody in their right mind should be joking around that loudly about something like that. They should be embarrassed and ashamed of their behavior.
I wasn’t yelling, but I was definitely talking loud enough to catch some of the staffs’ and surrounding tables' attention. Some people were giving me dirty looks for interrupting their meal, but many more were giving dirty looks to the people at that table. And before any of you comment that I was immature with how I handled things, I probably was. I was sixteen at the time, and I would probably handle it much differently now. But I’m proud of myself still for standing up for my parents. Please drive safe y’all."