Wednesday April 23, 2014



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Can't we all just get along?

As I See It
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So it looks like there's some debate about family vs. adult dining going on.

The Province has an article discussing some ire raised over the fact that an Earl's in the Vancouver area doesn't provide high chairs for babies. They have booster seats, but that's it.

The reason? Earls says they are not a "family restaurant."

I'm inclined to agree with them. Earl's is more in the "casual fine dining" category. I wouldn't go there for a quick bite just to fill a physical need. I go to places like that to enjoy high quality food and the atmosphere of a place that doesn't have a ball pit somewhere in the building.

Katie is quite livid over the whole thing, leading to a nice little debate over on Facebook. I thought I'd weigh in with my opinion on the whole thing.

That's why you read this column, after all … right?

Comments have been made that parents should be allowed to take their kids wherever they want to eat, and that it's essentially discrimination towards parents by not having high chairs in higher end restaurants.

But how is making every restaurant "family-friendly" not essentially discriminating towards childless people? Why are we all discriminating against each other?! Can't we all just get along?!

Sigh.

Adults-only places are pubs and bars, apparently. While this is technically true, not every grown up wants to eat at a pub when they go out for a meal.

I usually avoid places that I know usually have an abundance of wee children, but occasionally someone gets the idea to head to one of those places on a weekend and I feel like I've arrived in my own personal purgatory.

Perhaps what is really irksome is the response from all the parents saying "you'll feel differently when you have kids."

What makes you think I'm going to have kids? Or that I even want kids? Maybe I like my childless existence as it is now.

There's so much out there for families. So much that caters to families. I have no family of my own. Maybe I will some day, maybe I won't. But for right now, I don't. Therefore I don't want to have to put up with small children and screaming babies who misbehave in a restaurant.

I can't recall a situation as a child where we were taken to a "casual fine dining" restaurant. Despite the fact that my siblings and I were fairly well-behaved children – in public, at least, shenanigans were not tolerated out in public – it wasn't something we ever did. Maybe once in a while when the grandparents were in town, but that's about it.

For one thing, we couldn't afford it. It's pricey to take three kids out somewhere to eat that's not a fast food joint. And secondly, like my mother wanted to deal being out with three kids at a higher-end place. I mean, really.

If this is such a huge deal, I think that's a sign that people eat out way too much. Buy some groceries and cook your meals at home. Have a "date night" to go out to a nice place and leave the kids at home with a sitter.

I'm not saying this against ALL parents. For the love of everything, don't get all bent out of shape thinking I'm personally attacking you. But you and I both know there are a lot of parents out there that don't actually parent their kids into knowing what is acceptable behavior in public. I had a child once reach over the back of a booth and pull my hair at what is considered a higher-end restaurant. That is not acceptable behavior anywhere, let alone a restaurant. Especially since society says I can't reach over and pull that kid's hair back. Apparently, that sort of reaction is frowned upon and will likely get me in more trouble than the child.

How about this? I'll be respectful of you and yours if you're respectful of me. I'll try not to curse in front of your kids and you shush your kid when they start screaming their head off. Deal?


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