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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

I'd like a side of advice, please.



Dear Dowager at Panera,

Was I asking for your advice? Did I look like I wanted some advice? Do you have a shortwave receptor to my brainwaves to detect I was in need of advice? Was I wearing a T-shirt pronouncing, "Go ahead, give me your opinion?" Um, no on all counts.

What exactly made you think that I was interested in your unsolicited advice?

Do I give a shit that you have eight grandchildren and raised four children? The act of simply having 'em does not qualify you to dole out advice, lady. Let me see some SAT scores, job evaluations, eHarmony profiles, psychiatric evaluations, sperm donor applications, and resumes before I choose to take advice from you. For all I know those kids of yours are whack job Neo-cons who actually think Bush has done a great job in office. For all I know those grandkids torment preschoolers on the playground and sneak weed from their parents' sock drawer. For all I know those kids eat applesauce with their fingers because they never mastered those fine motor skills that their parents deem overrated.

I am not interested in talking to you. Especially about my children. Sure, if you want to chat about the weather or how busy the parking lot is, I'm all ears. I'll at least grant you smile and head nod like I do when I hear "Hey Mommy" for the 1400th time in a day. But don't come to my table and inquire about what my kids are eating. And do not park yourself next to us and wince, groan, or sigh every so often when you look our way. If it wasn't such a pain to make two kids move, carry three trays, and keep track of a teddy bear, I would have switched tables. Oh, but then I wouldn't have blog fodder, would I?

For the record, my kids have astoundingly great eating habits. A grilled cheese panini on wheat bread with some fruit and an organic yogurt is a perfectly acceptable, healthy even, meal. Have you checked out the sales of Lunchables lately, woman? I assure you that crap will never make its way into my shopping cart. So what if Bird and Deal had a chocolate milk treat? Don't assume that they belly up to an Ovaltine tap at home every night. And seriously, you're hung up on cheese? First of all their dad is from Wisconsin so there's no in hell we're giving up cheese. Secondly, cheese represents truth in advertising because it really does make everything better. Thirdly, did I mention it's not your business? Um, as I recall, I wasn't talking to you and was avoiding eye contact at all costs.

Bird and Deal exhibited excellent table manners that day. For a 3 and 4 year old, they exercised amazing restraint, sitting quietly while I happily munched away on my salad. They actually ate half of my salad. Did you notice that? Oh, I suppose not. You were probably scouting your next victim. Your snorting and omigoshing made way more noise than my kids did. And yeah, we totally noticed you were eavesdropping on our conversation. That's why we talked in our super special, ultra secret spy inside voices.

You should be ashamed and embarrassed. Did you realize that all the other people in our vicinity were staring at you aghast and giving me consoling looks of sympathy (and glad they weren't your prey)? Of course not. You were too busy being self-righteous. Here's a tip, next time you feel the urge to inflict your opinions on a mother, leave. Walk out. Go to your car and talk to yourself. People will be more forgiving if you're busted talking to yourself than if you're chastising a mom who's just trying to get her kids fed before nap time.

By the way, when we got back in the car, away from your creepy watchful eye, my kids asked, "Mommy, who WAS that old lady and why was she talking to us?"

My sentiments exactly.

Signed,

A Bad Mom Trying
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5 comments:

chris said...

You really showed some manners by sticking around to listen. WOW!

Caroline said...

WOW. She'll get hers someday. Horrid horrid woman. And a "Bad mom trying"? Trying yes, bad, c'mon - no. Be good to yourself. Applause all around for getting out to eat with your boys - and they were good! (Please please tell me how you tricked them to like salad.) Perhaps your sig might read "A real mom trying not to hit that lady" instead?

Dr. Pepper said...

I so hear you on this!

All I can offer are the mundane, unoriginal and patronizing yet completely truthful: Amen girl!!!! Right on!!!

I could never in a million years have said this as funny and perfect as you did.

Shannon said...

Seriously??? At Panera (we don't have them here but I love to visit when I'm across the border)??? What is this world coming to? How sad and pathetic her life must be to have time to criticize a mother in a restaurant.

Now that the shock has worn off after reading that, I can focus on the fact that I am SO envious your boys are such fabulous eaters. Kudos to you.

And I really can't stop laughing at:
"those kids of yours are whack job Neo-cons who actually think Bush has done a great job in office"

:-)

Caroline said...

Oh I forgot to say... GREAT choice on the pic btw. Having a good laugh at that over here.