It’s been a while since I’ve gone off on a rant like this.
Those that know me understand that I have issues with people who have an overdeveloped sense of entitlement. Recently I came across an article on Fark that had a mother spouting off about childfree people who spout off about parents. Clear as mud, right?
Okay, so there’s this website called STFU Parents that details all the Parents Behaving Badly in excruciating detail, and eventually it even spawned into a book apparently (I confess: I don’t frequent the site, and haven’t read the book – Update: I’ve just been reading a few of the entries. Yup, this about covers it.).
One blogger decided to poll her single friends about what it was about parents that drove them crazy, and she compiled a list of 17 Most Annoying Things About Parents (According to People Without Kids).
(A side-note: none of the things that drive me personally crazy about parents’ entitlements, such as the need to legislate anything and everything “for the children,” the ridiculous priority that excuse places above all common sense and sanity, or the fact that parents introduce their 5-year old to me as “J” instead of “Mr.” or “Dr.,” as if we were in the same kindergarden class, were included. Come to think of it, neither was the ridiculous “you’ll think differently when it’s your own,” because no, apparently you won’t)
However, it appears that one such entitlement breeder took offense to this list of off-the-cuff unscientific answers. Apparently, misbehaving children (and parents) should be given a pass, as she writes in an article entitled, creatively enough, STFU, Childless People.
I admit that much of the crap that people complained about in the initial post seemed somewhat trivial. Posting too much on Facebook? Yeah, the apologist has got a point about the childfree and their pets. To me, though that’s a non-issue, and simply picking at the straw-man of the bunch.
But there are a few elements here in her post that really underscored the cluelessness of obnoxious parents (or, at least, this obnoxious parent):
2. Control Your Children in Restaurants
and, its corollary,
2a. The Sheer Mess that Some Kids Make When Out to Eat is Astounding
Here’s where things break down:
Look, if you see a kid at a restaurant, more times than not, it’s because you’ve chosen to go to a “family” restaurant, and “family” often means loud-mouthed litte brats. Parents aren’t taking their kids to nice restaurants because we don’t want to waste our money on something the kid is going to push around his plate, throw at his sister, or complain about. So, if you want to avoid us, go to a nicer damn restaurant or go after the kid’s bedtime.
Apparently our “worldly” parent only goes to Chuck E Cheese for her fine dining establishment of choice. The problem here is that there are many times when parents take their “loud-mouthed little brats” to more upscale places. Let’s face it – if the restaurant serves alcohol, generally speaking it qualifies as not being “family-only.” And yes, “Ruby Tuesday” counts as a place where you need to show an ounce of respect. And beer halls.
Let us assume for the moment that we are talking about restaurants that are not typically the place where kids should be brought, shall we? Restaurants such as these do not stay open 24 hours, and usually stop serving at 9 or 10 p.m.
Now, in order to make this assumption work, we have to concede the point that we should wait until after her precious child’s bedtime before going out to eat. Moreover, assuming that it’s my responsibility to cater to her child’s bedtime, we still run into a major snag:
Most parents have no concept of bedtimes.
They bring their kids with them anywhere and everywhere at all times of the night. They bring 4 and 5 year-olds into 10 p.m. showings of R-rated movies. They take them grocery shopping at 1 a.m. Of course, this means they also take them to restaurants long after those kids should be in bed.
Now, that’s a lot of ‘ifs’ and assumptions. It’s not my responsibility to expect that when I go to places I need to come to expect bad behavior by other patrons. If someone were to be a drunken sot I would be equally as peeved. If someone were shouting at the waitress or throwing food on the floor I would expect the manager to escort them out the door.
There is such a thing called etiquette, and if you can’t come to grips with it then you are just going to have to deal with the pissed off people who will look at you and comment about you like the ignorant cow you are.
Which leads us to…
If I hear one more non-breeder complain about a parents failure to “control their kid” based on that one shitty little brat they saw throwing a tantrum in the middle of Wal-Mart, I’m going to go apoplectic. For every tantrum-throwing little sh*t, there are 300 well-adjusted children who don’t have to be removed from a situation, and yet it is this complaint that is most often cited.
The reason why it’s the most cited is because it’s not “one shitty little brat.” It’s a lot of them. In fact, it’s easy to say that by and large it’s practically a guarantee that every time I go out to eat and there is a family with small children it’s going to happen. Come to think of it, when it doesn’t happen it’s notable enough to make a comment about how there’s a rare moment of peace! [Update: Just found out that it’s so common that some restaurants have actually been giving out discounts for having well-behaved kids because that is so rare!]
The problem is that while this author believes that these things only happen because childfree people go into “family” spaces, this indicates the cluelessness within which she operates. The complaint is that these are “adult” spaces, places of business. Places where you were instructed when you were a child that you better behave. But then again, Parents are also known to be completely bat-shit brain-dead when it comes to how to behave in public restaurants themselves.
Spaces like $15+ entrées and $7 glasses of wine. Spaces like “R”-rated movies after 10 p.m. Spaces like work environments and offices (yes, this happens far more frequently than people realize – cubicle farms are hell on earth without the added joy of screeching kids).
A modicum of decency would indicate that you would respect other people’s things, even if those ‘things’ include places of business, restaurants, etc.
Now, as to the mess they make…
Yeah. That’s why we go out, dumbass.[emphasis added] We just paid $7 plus (a very generous) tip for a crappy grilled cheese sandwich so we wouldn’t have to deal with that mess.
You self-important, overdeveloped entitlement-loving, arrogant, obnoxious, ignorant diva wanna-be. How dare you justify bad behavior based upon how much money you throw at the waitress who must clean up your filth?
What the hell did you think being a parent was going to be like? Did you think the “housemaid fairy” was going to show up at your house every hour on the hour and make sure that your child was going to be as pristine as a household cleaner television commercial? Did you suddenly find yourself unprepared for the fact that this is part and parcel of the territory of having children?
For crying out loud, she actually feels slighted because of the fact that she is responsible (holy crap – alert the media!) for her child’s behavior both inside and outside the home!
“I can’t possibly be expected to live my life according to some element of decorum! I’ll just buy my way out of it. And how dare anyone tell me that I am behaving badly. I deserve it, goddammit!”
Sorry to tell you this, but no, no you don’t. You made a choice to have kids. You deliberately chose to put yourself in a situation where you wanted to bring children into this world, and you do not get the luxury of being able to decide what great stuff you are going to hold on to and cherish and which pieces you pass off to others “with a very generous tip.” (By the way, your idea of ‘generosity’ is heavily diluted by your sense of entitlement because you’re a parent, FYI).
Did it ever occur to you that the waitstaff have no choice but to clean up your disaster area?
I’ll tell you what, you moron. The next time your child makes his mess ask your server this simple question: “I’ll give you an extra 5% tip to clean up this mess, or I’ll give you the standard tip for the work you were only supposed to do if my child had not made the mess and keep the 5% myself. Deal?”
Which do you think they would choose, you sleaze?
I think you’ll come to find that the “very generous tip” that you leave comes nowhere close to the value the waitstaff places on cleaning up your dregs. I bet it’s worth every penny for them to watch you clean up your own mess.
It’s an interesting experiment, but you don’t really give anyone the opportunity to choose, do you? You know you’ve screwed the pooch (or at least just looked like you had) and have to justify your behavior in your own mind.
Do you do that at your friends’ houses, too? Do you wreck their houses and then say to them, “Oh, I can’t be bothered to clean up because I do it all the time at home. Here’s $2.”?
Don’t sit there and claim some sort of moral high ground because you have assuaged your own guilty conscience for treating someone else badly when they can’t defend themselves. Even if you were throwing the Benjamins around you have no right to do this.
But here’s the classic justification for her bad behavior:
Cut us a f***king break and try to remember how you behaved last time you showed up at IHOP at 2 in the morning after 7 Bud lights and asked the waitress if the “no shirt” rule applied to her.
Really? That is the comparison you wish to make?
*sigh* Like shooting fish in a barrel.
Never happened. No, not once. Not ever. In fact, the assholes who have done that sort of thing have – in my fortunately limited experience of observing such behavior – came from parents (fathers, usually) who had gone too far over the edge on a moment outside of the brat and wife. Either that or they are frat boys who, quite frankly, are less concerned about breeding than not becoming a breeder on a Friday night.
But, since that’s not something that I have ever done, and I am childfree, I guess that means that I have every right to throw stones at your messy little glass house. That’s right – I’ve been able to understand the difference even without having to look back upon my life and get shamed into regretting my pre-children exploits because I didn’t do those things.
I, at least, knew enough of a difference between right and wrong to know that I shouldn’t take out my frustrations on others just because I can. That’s called bullying, you dumbass [emphasis very definitely mine].
But the key thing here that’s troublesome is that she uses this lame-brained example of behavior that people should be ashamed about and regret with every fibre of humanity as the reason why she should be able to get away with it!
And of course, finally…
You know what, imaginary person who is annoyed with all of these things you have to deal with by virtue of being friends with the people who choose, for their own happiness, to continue repopulating the Earth: Either stop hanging out with parents, or stop bitching. You know what’s more annoying than complaining parents? People who complain about complaining parents (and people who complain about people that complain about complaining parents are the worst). You chose your path, we chose ours. We’re all annoying or obnoxious in some respects. We all have complaints or gripes or quibbles. It’s called THE HUMAN CONDITION and it is not exclusive to parents, so get the f**k over yourselves.
Here is the ultimate irony. The woman who argues that she made a choice (emphasis hers) is absolutely mortified to find out that she is responsible (emphasis mine) for that choice.
You can claim you’re “repopulating” a planet that, quite frankly, has 7 billion people on it (and doesn’t need your help, thank-you-very-much) as if this is something for which you should be rewarded, but in reality, you’re a… wait for it…
As a general rule, I don’t hang out with parents with their kids. So, by your own admission, I have the standing I need in order to bitch (I’ve chosen the ‘either’ you provided me, though you probably weren’t expecting it).
You don’t teach your kids manners. I’m not sure you know what manners are in the first place. You don’t control your kids when in public. You introduce them to adults as if they were peers. You treat them as if the world owes them (and you, by extension) something just because you have working reproductive organs. You lash out with your frustrations at waitresses who you think should be falling-to-their-knees grateful for your $2 tip for destroying their station.
You’ve had your child and realize it wasn’t the walk in the park all your fantasies said it was going to be. You ignored the warnings and the complaints of your friends when they had theirs. You knew it was going to be hard but not that hard and, by God, you’re going to get some payback now. Because you “deserve” it.
In short, you are the dumbass, you dumbass.
Oh, and maybe you should have seen this ad before you decided to sprog: