Thursday, January 04, 2007

Babies being seen, heard


Namely, in my and Pearl's favorite Thai restaurant.

We like to joke that it's like our second home because we eat there so frequently, and we have a good rapport with the waitstaff who love us as much as we love them. So when we walked in this Tuesday, I sang out "We're hoo-oooome!"

We were seated in a new and exciting location, a table not yet conquered, partially surrounded by bamboo shoots. What atmosphere! The usual Thai-style elevator music was passively leaking from hidden speakers, and we had just settled on fresh rolls and crab rangoon as our appetizers when I caught the eye of a nearby toddler.

It smiled in a way that toddlers generally don't when looking at me, so I gave it a toothy grin in return and turned my attention back to the menu. Shortly thereafter, the toddler started to "talk" loudly. I re-evaluated their table and saw that it was a large party, approximately 7 people. Meet them!

Dad: Definitely a doctor, most likely with a sleazy family practice who sleeps with [only blonde] pharmaceutical representatives.

Mom: Drab, spent most of the time with the 4 year old daughter in the bathroom.

Grandma and Grandpa: Wealthy-looking, cute sweaters, tasteful hair-dos, definitely summer on the Cape. Possibly have owned horses during lifetime.

13 year-old daughter: Spoiled, spoiled, spoiled. Maybe sexually abused in subtle ways by Dr. Dad. Wearing a faux-velvet headband.

4 year old daughter: Mostly in bathroom but when not was kind of prancing around the table, saying things that no one even pretended to be interested in. Doomed.

Toddler: Named Kennedy, moods very dependent on degree of Dr. Dad's bestowed attention. Smiles at strangers too much.

Now imagine them all talking about dumb crap in a super-audible way. Imagine Dr. Dad speaking gibberish to the toddler, louder than the toddler had begun to scream. Imagine Dr. Dad abruptly switching his tone of voice to speak rudely to the waiter. And, finally, imagine the mother reappearing in the restaurant with a bag of Christmas presents.

With the children wandering around near the table, falling over stuff, clinging to pant legs, they distributed and opened gifts. They oooh-ed and aaah-ed over the boxes from Crate and Barrel for the grandparents, a pearl necklace for the 13 year old, Winnie the Pooh toys for the younger children. Pearl and I felt so bad-- we hadn't brought them anything!

After Dr. Dad boomed over the squealing toddler that his 13 year old daughter should wear the pearl necklace "that way! Yeah, the way it twists in front makes it looks like there's a cloud of pearls floating around your neck," Pearl and I decided that we wouldn't be having that cup of post-prandial tea after all. We payed, tipped, and left.

On the sidewalk we made all sorts of horrible noises and wondered how on Earth people could display and justify such behavior.

"Maybe their house burned down? On Christmas?"

"Yeah, well..."

"Yeah. Then they should be crying somewhere else, quietly."

"Yeah. Like on Cape Cod. With their ponies."

"Yeah. Eating them, not Thai food."

"Yeah."

3 comments:

Mackenzie said...

Yay! I love making up stories about people's horrendous lives too!

BabsTheBun said...

Nothing causes more distress to me than the distant, faint sound of a baby "winding up" (that whimper they make before they're about to really wail) in between bites at a restaurant.
I usually think, "Wars, disease, the futility of life, Dunking Donuts, and now THIS!?"

jenovus said...

At first I thought you were reading too much into these horrible people's lives, but then I realized: you are a SCIENTIST. If I were exposed to this family, I am certain I could duplicate your findings.