Thursday, July 30, 2009

A DOSE OF OUR OWN MEDICINE

I have previously mentioned that my support group often takes over a restaurant and can be a bit boisterous. Usually it is not a problem for we are often relegated to a back room. When not isolated, we are often looked upon patiently by the other patrons, or so we assumed.

People will often good-naturedly stop by our tables and ask what our group is, saying we are having too much fun. When they discover we are a cancer support group, we get high fives, thumbs up and congratulations. I do believe we got spoiled into thinking everyone loved us and would forgive us anything. Then we got a glimpse of ourselves.


At our last meeting , we were again placed in the back room but the room was divided into two areas. Ours was fairly open, then there was a room adjacent to ours that had doors. In that room was a birthday party for a darling year old boy. They brought him out to our tables and we all sang Happy Birthday to him. He looked confused and a bit frightened by all the fuss. Of course it could have been our singing. They left the doors open for there was quite a crowd.


We are a dry county so there was no drinking but the birthday party escalated like drinking parties do. The longer it went on, the louder it got. Soon they were shouting to one another to be heard. These were all adults except for cutie pie one year old. Only one person in our group was getting upset. I am pretty sure the rest of us saw the parallel all too clearly. They were just like us, only magnified. The one who was upset left abruptly while the rest of us tried to continue our conversations. Speaking was now limited to those directly next to us.


It was getting to be a strain so we slowly broke up. Iva and I were walking out together when the hostess began to apologize profusely. We just laughed and said that it was usually us that she had to apologize for and there was no problem. I mean, how in the world could we complain? I think we all realized that day that world didn't revolve around us and that people might actually go to a restaurant to enjoy their own conversations.


The last ladies to leave again received apologies from the hostess. She insisted on giving us a gift certificate for our whole group for dinner on the house. They tried to refuse but the hostess insisted. The only difference I could see between the birthday party and us was that there were more of them so the volume was louder.


So was our own medicine bitter? Not bitter exactly, but it was definitely an eye opener. We may resort to more pot lucks at some one's house so we can be as rowdy as we want. As for the future meetings in restaurants, I believe we will still laugh and enjoy each other but I am convinced we will keep it down a LOT more.

That one year old's party taught us a valuable lesson. Have you ever been a victim of or been guilty of improper restaurant etiquette?

12 comments :

  1. Why do people get rowdy or louder when together in a crowd other than to be heard while someone next to them is laughing, or shouting or something. I often wonder about that. I remember at Rotary meetings the place is quite so you cold hear a pin drop and hit the carpet when the person rises to speak and then, minutes into the speech, people are talking to each other, and nobody is really listening to the speaker and the world goes on and everyone applauds the speaker is finished.

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  2. Both. I used to sit in church by a lady (come to think of it, two different ladies ) who talked, not whispered, all through the service.
    When my half sister visited me for the ist time, I had a "girl's night out" in a nice restaurant here. We were put in a corner,--you know why, but that wasn't enough. We received a lot of dirty looks. Only one person was drinking...I was a tad embarrassed--didn't say anything--, but we were all adults. I thought we each were in charge of ourselves. The one drinking was not the loudest. And I contributed myself, so shame on me.

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  3. Hi Patti,

    Yes, I have had the same experience you and your friends had.

    Our family uses any excuse to get together and have fun. One of my nieces has her 4 children in piano lessons and their concert (?) last year was followed by a family dinner in a small restaurant.

    We were all having such a good time teasing each other and laughing and I didn't realize how loud we were until I looked over at another table and a young couple were sitting there trying to have a nice romantic dinner together.Then it hit me!

    If my husband and I were out for our anniversary or birthday together and had gotten all dressed up, hired a baby sitter and had driven miles to this little country restaurant, I would be very disappointed that our mood and enjoyment was being spoiled by these raucous people.

    That's when I suggested that in the future we should entertain in our homes rather than at a restaurant....Or else hold our party down to a noise level that only WE could hear each other...

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  4. I've been guilty of overcooking my family! I just needed to figure out the right ingredients for my family mixing bowl!

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  5. In the late 70's and 80's, mr. kenju worked for a large computer co. (not IBM). His sales partner was a great guy, but he always had to be the center of attention and louder than everyone else. We would go out to dinner, either as couples or with a crowd, and he would literally drive other patrons from the restaurant. This was a time when money was no object to all of us and we are not talking fast-food here - they were expensive, classy places. I noticed the looks we were getting from other diners, and I would shrug and raise my hands in a "what are you gonna' do" attitude, but I was really embarrassed!! It happened in Hawaii more than once, and I was happy when finally, at 2am, his drinking caught up with him and he shut down and didn't say another word. After that, I always wanted him to drink too much so that he would shut down earlier in the evening.

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  6. Why...just the other night at my birthday dinner. I didn't think we were that loud but then again I may not hear as well as I once did. My daughter said she caught a glaring look from a woman at another table. I guess I need to be more aware the next time my crazy family goes out together. We are loud but funny....at least I think so anyway.

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  7. I think that particular restaurant appreciates you all --and wants you back. It's good that they do have a back room. If I'm in a regular restaurant with tables close by each other, we expect some noise--but not too much. Loud groups should go to a different place in any restaurant I think.

    What bothers me more than loud groups is unruly, undisciplined kids and screaming/crying babies/kids... That is definitely bothersome.

    BUT--I'n glad your group has such a good time---and everyone I'm sure doesn't begrudge your group all of the fun you deserve.

    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  8. I meet with a group of 8-12 women at a local diner once a month for breakfast, in our home town...We all went to grade school together and we do laugh quite a bit, but so far we've not disturbed anyone. It's a very small town...everyone knows each other, so I guess we are lucky in that respect. You are right...I couldn't imagine doing what we do at a large busy restaurant!

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  9. Abe,
    I think in a nutshell, people just don't think of others like they should.

    Nitwit,
    Something about a group brings about the cloak of anonymity. We tend to think that because we are a group, our own individual behavior won't be noticed.

    Nancy,
    Your excellent example about the couple on a date sums up why we really must be more considerate. I know I will try.

    Cheffie mom
    I was hoping to get a restaurant owners opinion. Good luck finding the right recipe for your family. Let us know when you do.

    kenju
    I'll bet you just dreaded those evenings. Think I would have bought him doubles. Such a shame to spoil Hawaii. I mean really.

    oklhdan,
    It is so easy to step over the line and not realize it. I have been guilty so many times. We are having fun but are they?

    Betsy,
    I guess we were the lesser of the two evils that day. Still I am glad it happened for it has made me aware of being more considerate. I still plan to laugh, just tone it down a lot.

    Wanda,
    Being local helps you all for they know you and probably join in. We are a tourist town so there are a lot who don't know us.

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  10. I like the idea of moving from house to house, and using the resturant when you can have a private room. A group having fun (not drunk), and laughing has never bothered me. We all need to let loose once in a while.

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  11. I am sure that when we went to a restaurant we were cheerful too, only we never had a larger company than ten and we weren't too boisterous. Why not? It's good to enjoy the company! I hope you are doing well, Patti? You are all so brave!

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  12. Brighid
    You are right.Think the meetings in homes will be the best. We always have the most fun then for we are not confined to a long table.

    Reader Wil
    Thank you Wil, We will just practice a bit more moderation and consideration. Compromise is good.

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