As it turns out, I'm really bad at lunch. Most days I eat some sort of sadness lunch that involves the words "Lean" or "Smart" and usually some variation of the word "zesty". Gross. I know. I'm just not good at thinking up anything original, I really like microwaving things for six minutes, and I find cold lunch meat absolutely repugnant.
I love my family though and do not enjoy their suffering, so today we went out to lunch.
Nothing fancy, just Zaxby's. The restaurant was fairly full so while Jason finished paying the children and I sought out a booth toward the back. There was a family of three (mom, dad, and maybe four year old daughter) sitting in the booth directly in front of us, and as we slid into our seats the mom turned around. I smiled at her. With her perfectly formed eyebrows gave us the ugliest, most hateful look I have ever seen anyone give. Ever. (Which is saying a lot as I used to have an ex-husband and I've been to court with him) She then very dramatically sighed, as though our mere presence was somehow going to make the designer labels fall off her huge, very expensive handbag. She said something to her Ken-Doll husband and they both made a face that looked similar to the face I make when I smell milk that has gone bad.
As Jason slid into the booth I said, maybe a little more loudly than I should because I was just so horrified, "That lady gave us the ugliest look I've ever seen!"
He considered what I said for a moment and then remarked, "Maybe she's just ugly?"
I didn't say anything else. She wasn't ugly, facially anyway, and I do understand that sometimes people really hate teenagers for no reason other the fact that they are teenagers. Hell, I hate lots and lots of teenagers once I get to know them. She has no idea that my kids are nice and not jerkfaces. That my daughter loves kids and would have been very friendly and sweet to her little girl. That we had to wait for my husband to get to the table so we could pray before we ate, because my children are just not going to start eating until they pray. She doesn't know us. I just really hate when people make snap judgements.
The very first time I took my daughter to a salon to get her haircut, three of the hairdressers went into the back so they could avoid cutting a little girls hair. We waited for over twenty minutes in an empty salon for the one lady who was willing to cut her hair. I understand that sometimes kids are bratty in hair salons. I do. But my daughter sat perfectly straight, made charming conversation with the stylist and then very sweetly thanked her when she was done. I gave her a $5 tip on a $9 haircut, thanked her very much for being willing to cut my daughters hair, told her that I realized that no one else there did, and never went back there again.
About halfway through our meal the little girl, who was apparently starting to get restless, began to wail. Then? She began to shriek.
I began to smile. Maybe just to myself.
Her shrieks then became flat-out screams and quickly progressed to a full-blown, ear-piercing tantrum, during which she shouted, "NO! NO! NO! YOU DON'T TELL ME WHAT TO DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I DON'T CARE! YOU DON'T TELL ME WHAT TO DO! NO! NO! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!"
Ken-Doll got up and left the table. I don't even know where he went. The mother, who under normal circumstances I probably would have felt sorry for, was left alone to endure the stares and whispers of everyone in the restaurant. Pretty much everyone turned around in their seats to see what was up with that shrieking kid. Except for me and my family. We just kept eating our lunch.
The little girl began to fail her arms and kick at her mother, who got up and left the table, dragging the child behind her. She left so quickly she probably didn't hear what I was saying to my children about karma.
It's a shame, really. It was a good story.