People watching is such a fun pastime. Sometimes I wonder if this is the reason reality TV is such a hit, we just love when people "share" the real side of themselves. My Dad would often walk the mall for the sole purpose of entertainment.
School starts next week so of course I am cramming all sorts of appointments for the kids into this week. We started with Meg having a long ortho- appointment followed by Patrick's wedding rehearsal all in the same area. So to kill time in-between we went to my favorite little haven...Panera. Both kids had their summer reading books with them; one almost done the other has such a long way to go so everyone could stay busy once done eating. Panera at lunch time is quite the busy place which equals great stories to share LOL.
- I get it that a lot of people choose Panera not only because they have free Wi-Fi but they also provide electrical outlets. Every table doesn't provide access to an outlet so as you can imagine people tend to scope those wanted seats out. One of the primo spots is a little alcove. It offers 4 outlets for 4 tables. (One outlet per table is my thought) The tables are small and I think pretty much designed for you, your food and your laptop. So I had my plan, eat lunch, work on blog, leave Meg at Panera while I run Patrick around the corner to church, return to Panera work some more then pick-up Patrick and head home. Looks good on paper right! Only thing needed was a table by a precious outlet. Happy to find tables open in the alcove this morning the kids and I head over there. Ready to set up my laptop I quickly discover that the woman sitting in the corner table is using 2 of them. One for her laptop and one for her phone. OK I don't need to use my laptop right away and there are people using the other plugs. After an hour (during which she never moved or ate anything) I asked the woman if I could please use one of the outlets. ~~You know where this is going don't you. She actually sighed and checked her devices, thought about it for a moment and said "If you really need to use one I guess so" OH MY GUCCI Really!! First off what phone needs to charge more than an hour, and who knows how long she was there before me. Secondly what makes your electrical needs more important than mine!! So I didn't say any of this and very nicely asked which plug would she like me to disconnect. Again she had to think!! Don't you know that as soon as we left she hopped back up and plugged her phone back in!! I've named her Narcise
- We all view our children through different eyes than we see others, it is a simple parenting fact (if it isn't then it is now). I am my kids’ greatest advocate as well as their harshest critic. I don't believe my kids are perfect ~ how boring that would be. So keeping that in mind let me introduce you to the Carp family. The three generations of females I met today have some serious world-view issues. Grandma Carp was accidentally kicked by a toddler who was being carried. The offending parent quickly apologized for the child's swinging legs. No quicker had the shamed woman left weaving in and out of chairs trying to find a table does Grandma very UNQUIETLY(yes I made that word up) say: maybe you should stop the child from swinging her legs into other people. REALLY ~~ you're right. When that woman carried her child into Panera she was actually participating in a secret game where you get points for every person you can get your child to kick!! However Grandma Carp's little girl is of course an angel. Returning with drinks for the table her sweet granddaughter (maybe 3) quite boldly states I could have done that myself. What does Momma Carp do? Does she tell Little Carp to say thank you to Grandma? No, she says "I'm sorry honey Grandma didn't know!" Then lunch arrives. Since they have sat down both elder Carps have wiped the table clean. After the server puts the three plates they then ask her to please come back and clean the table. While she is doing this the little girl proceeds to open her cup and pour her drink on the table. Instead of jumping to help with the mess like most people would Grandma Carp proudly exclaims to the busy server "Look sweetie she's helping you!” UMMM!! last time I checked Sprite wasn't a cleaning product. This poor girl has to clean around the 3 females holding their plates and drinks and stop the flow of sprite. At this point I offered some napkins to help. During the rest of the meal the Carps kept commenting on other "misbehaved" children in Panera and how other families' kids weren't as smart, pretty or tall as their Carp. This was in-between letting Little Carp to eat cookies and chips before her peanut butter sandwich which wasn't as good as we make at home. And of course a planned trip to the soda fountain.
- The final introduction I'd like to make today is to the Dissimulo Family. This isn't the first time I've met them. In fact I've run into members of this extended family quite frequently. You too I am sure must have met them when you're out and about. It is the family where everyone is texting or talking to someone on the phone while eating dinner together. I don't get it. What is the point of sitting down to a meal if you are not only going to ignore each other but spend that time conversing with Panera others? I'll admit the three of us weren't constantly engaging each other while at Panera but we also weren't being ignored for someone who wasn't present. (maybe throwing around the highlighter wasn't my proudest parenting moment but I only brought one) The rule in my house is NO phones at the table. That applies to everyone even guests. We recently took one of the kids' friends to dinner with us. Despite repeated requests Miss Dissimulo couldn't stop texting ~no more invites for her. One of Meg's teachers had the best comment: Do you really think we don't know you're texting when you keep looking at your lap and smiling?
I am sure that somewhere at some point in time my family and I have been the focus of people watching. If we were ..... I hope we made you laugh :0)