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To challenge couple in restaurant who judged my DCs?

(337 Posts)
TotesAmazebelle Thu 27-Mar-14 19:38:06

Had dinner out earlier in an Italian restaurant. I agreed that the DCs (11 and 9) could play their Kindle Fires for 10-15 minutes when we got there. This is not sth they do often - they never usually play them in a restaurant or even around the dinner table at home.

Two tables away a couple (mid 60s) were tutting head shaking and he said "the trouble is they lose the art of conversation". I don't think they intended me to hear it, but it came over loud and clear.

I waited until they had finished their starter then approached them. I said in a quiet voice that I was sorry for interrupting them and that I heard what they had said. I said I wanted to let them know that my children had had a busy day at school and the eldest one had just had a one hour language tuition session after school. That I said that they can play for 15 minutes and that it's not sth we would normally do blah blah. They apologised for the comment and said they just think it's a shame when kids have their faces in devices all the time (they said they didn't have children of their own but have noticed it with nephews and neices etc.). I actually agree with this whey is why I don't let mine play at the table etc. and I told them this. We actually had a pleasant conversation about it.

I clearly felt the need to challenge their judgemental view. I was sat there for some time trying to decide whether to say something or not and the saying something clearly got the better of me. I just felt that they know nothing about us and what we would normally do. I didn't want them to go away with an assumption about me/my kids/other kids (am a bit sick of hearing about the downfall of the youth of today from older generations).

But was I being unreasonable? Should I have just ignored them (after 15 minutes kids had put Kindles away and we were chatting amongst ourselves and maybe they'd have seen this).

TeaAndALemonTart Sat 29-Mar-14 22:12:21

If this actually happened I would have told you to sit back fucking down. Then I would have talked really loudly about how rude it is to comment on a private conversation.

But personally I think you're pulling our legs.

UptheChimney Sat 29-Mar-14 22:31:45

I wouldn't really appreciate being reminded of table manners by a childless elderly couple when I'm out at a restaurant

And I wouldn't really appreciate being reminded of table manners by a smug knowitall busybody mummy when I'm out at a restaurant.

IsChippyMintonExDirectory Sun 30-Mar-14 00:55:16

This should go in classics. Any thread about Chinese-learning kindle Fire playing over scheduled kids, a mum who strongly disagrees with children playing gadgets in restaurants and expressing this sentiment while her kids play on gadgets in a restaurant and the mention of Obamas dad swooping in to change the belief of hard core racists simply cannot ever be forgotten about. I've read this whole thread thinking I'm reading a comedy script

limitedperiodonly Sun 30-Mar-14 17:34:13

There was a time when I would have given them both barrels but I've calmed down a lot since then because I realised it made me look insane.

And these days it would be bound to end up on YouTube.

Luckily I learned my lesson before.

BTW since when was 60s elderly? Mick Jagger's 70.

squizita Sun 30-Mar-14 18:44:06

Lots of grown adults here forgetting that it is poor manners not to use 'indoor voices' indoors (especially when saying something which might upset others) loud enough to be heard by diners in a public place. As I've mentioned before - a very British rudeness, relying on everyone else just to sit there quietly and politely for fear of being a 'rude evesdropper' and listen to you slagging them off - lest you tick them off for listening in. Absoutely hypocritical! "I can be rude and loud... but I'll call anyone who objects nosey and rude."

Listening in to your innocent conversation is not the same as being rude about other people in a too-loud voice.

Use that level of volume to say something unkind and your 'dishing it out' so should expect some comment back.

Wurstwitch Sun 30-Mar-14 18:52:54

Aye. Probably deef, them being so old and whatnot. Op Wouldn't have heard if they hadn't had to shout at each other.

Raw nerve much?

squizita Sun 30-Mar-14 19:38:47

Deaf? Raw nerve? Not sure where that came from really.
If they were deaf then it wouldn't be at all what I was talking about - but we've all known of obvious examples in RL if we're honest: the glance up and down of the alternatively dressed person with a 'ooh look at her!'; the rude teens at bus-stops sniggering at someone; the cliquey one talking to her friend loudly about her superior life while glaring eyeballs at the rival. That is not the same as an accident: it is rude and the intention is to flout good manners by saying something rude with EVERY intention that the other person will hear... and then hide behind manners by tutting at their earwigging/forwardness if they come and object.

Nothing to do with age or being deaf. It's a common trope in fiction and movies from Dickens to 'Mean Girls' as well ... the deliberately-slightly-too-loud-arch-comment. The (nicer, polite) person is expected to keep quiet.

Just rather surprised how many people act as if this doesn't exist.

To me, it's actually worse than just being plain rude because it's messing with the 'rules' - twisting them so you can be heard saying something upsetting, without any risk of payback.

I wonder if those who deny it happens find it touches a nerve with them? I'm afraid to say it is something I think most of us - albeit many in a teenage cliquey phase - will have done to a lesser extent. But there do seem to be certain folk who do it all through life - often judgementally and from a sense of the moral highground.

limitedperiodonly Sun 30-Mar-14 22:03:33

Some English people were once very rude about DH and me - mostly DH - in a restaurant in Spain. It was a mixed group of those pissed and braying 40 and 50-something Yachties who infest the Mediterranean in summer like Boden-clad pirates.

I think they presumed we were French, Italian or Spanish - hilarious in itself, isn't it? hmm - from our clothes, which were obviously also hilarious, not being drab tat.

We didn't say anything but it ruined the evening. If we hadn't have been such restrained people we'd have gone over as a tag team and punched them them all until we were shoulder-deep in their blood and then gone quietly back to our dinner.

Looking back I think we should have done. I'm sure that in court, the waiters would have claimed to have been looking the other way.

I've no comment on Kindle Fires or Chinese lessons but some people are very unpleasant and think they can get away with arch comments without comeback.

squizita Mon 31-Mar-14 08:10:48

Limited yep that's exactly the attitude (and dare I say the type of person who sometimes does it - not classwise but drunk/cocky/group wise) ... it's infuriating! So sorry you had to endure it really!

thebody Mon 31-Mar-14 08:14:13

I ha by explained my parenting choices for years. couldn't give a crap what people think.

thebody Mon 31-Mar-14 08:17:29

that should read 'I havnt' grin

limited love your Boden clad pirates.

LaQueenOfTheSpring Mon 31-Mar-14 08:59:34

My Mum is 73, and it's only very recently that's she's acknowledged that she might possibly be middle aged grin

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