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Open Letter to Mean Lady at Starbucks

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Trust me, we don't love it when Luke makes a scene in public. But you know what? He's a baby. That's what they do.

Dear Cranky Lady,

Open Letter to Mean Lady at Starbucks

This past Saturday afternoon, my wife, 14-month-old son, and I were walking down Montague Street when it started pouring. Not wanting to get soaked, we stopped into our friendly neighborhood Starbucks for a quick cup of coffee while we waited for the summer rainstorm to pass.

To entertain our son, Luke, we gave him a swizzle stick and a packet of Splenda. Yes, both of these are probably dangerous for a toddler to play with, but trust me, that's like the 45th most dangerous thing Luke has had in or near his mouth.

As you may recall, Luke found the swizzle stick hilarious. So hilarious that he shrieked with delight, as one-year-olds are known to do. This didn't seem to bother the other patrons in Starbucks, most of whom had small children.

But Luke's loud laughter did seem to bother you. So much so that you glared at him, sighed, "tsked" audibly, and said, to nobody in particular, "I remember when this place was peaceful." Really? "Peaceful"?á

And although the several patrons in the coffee shop sensed that you were a horrid person, and immediately came to our defense by saying things like "We don't mind at all" or "I guess she was never a baby before" -- there are a few things I'd like to say to you now.

First, this was not a fancy restaurant, or a library, or an office. It was a densely populated Starbucks on a Saturday afternoon in a kid-friendly neghborhood DURING A RAINSTORM. We were in there to dry off, unlike you, who spends your day there nursing your small cup of coffee, reading Us Weekly, and listening to Michael Buble on the Starbucks channel. If you wanted "peace" and quiet, STAY HOME.

Also, trust me, we don't love it when Luke makes a scene in public. But you know what? He's a baby. That's what they do. They don't know that you're 50 and friendless and mean and hate kids. They're just babies.

Anyhow, sorry for ruining your depressing Saturday routine with the laughter of a child. We know better now, and we'll just sit out in the rain in the future.

In the meantime, kindly go starbuck yourself.

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44 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anonymous July 10, 2009, 8:58 AM

too funny. i agree, kids are kids…but some people forget they were kids once! i had to stop at the gas station the other day and as my son (3 yrs old) were standing in line he was happily playing with the lady behind us (she started it) well another woman walked by us to get into line and when he said hi to her she looked down and gave him the most evil look. and just glared at him and the woman behind us the whole time!

Kelly July 10, 2009, 9:10 AM

I think I have run into the same woman, multiple times (odd how it is always a woman, men never give my kids a second thought). I have run into her and her snotty little looks at the department store, grocery store, places like Friendlies restaurants, all places you don’t expext ‘peace and quiet’. I also have to add my three boys are well behaved and not just from a mother’s point of view- they really are good kids. I guess there are just some people in the world that will find a problem no matter where they are or what they are doing.

Mom2two July 10, 2009, 9:41 AM

Ah, brings back the memory of the time I was shopping in Wal-mart with my 2 yr old and my Mother (as if that isn’t stressful enough!), we went into the McDonald’s there and my daughter began to have a temper tantrum for some reason and my mother was only making it worse by telling my daughter she wouldn’t buy her the Barbie doll she’d picked out if she didn’t stop the tantrum! Stress level through the roof now…well, this old woman was having a coffee and reading in the WAL-MART MCDONALDS and gave me that very attitude, dirty looks, tsking, walking out in a huff. Well, as she walked past me I’d had enough and told her that if she wanted peace and quiet that the WALMART MCDONALDS definately WAS NOT the place! I pledge to never be that person when I’m old and gray!

A Mom Myself July 10, 2009, 10:42 AM

Guess What, I have two children…and while Starbucks is not a library or a fancy restaurant, it is in fact…A COFFEE HOUSE. So unless your two yeat old has suddenly taken up a love for Latte’s, keep them at home, or order your drink to go.

Amir's Mom (LC) July 10, 2009, 11:03 AM

I love it!!!…I really dont understand why some people are the way they are but i totally agree with you!!…i had a similar experience with my 20 month old and i just made him laugh so much more louder!!…love the article..keep em coming!!!

mom of 2 July 10, 2009, 11:35 AM

This is for A Mom Myself…you obviously did not read the article closely b/c the author said he and his family stepped in the starbucks to get out of the rain not to have a cup of coffee. I have to agree with everyone else if you want peace and quite do not go to your local starbucks!

Also a Mom July 10, 2009, 11:38 AM

Hey Mom Myself—It IS pretty obvious that they don’t want kids there since they sell chocolate milk, kids sized hot cocoas, apple juice and stuffed animals. Our bad.

Monica July 10, 2009, 1:32 PM

Yeah nothing upsets me more than individuals who think that little babies and children are robots and that they should only make noise when told to. What kind of woman was this? Most women, even men enjoy the laughter of a child. Those are the best sound bites on the planet. Really if the place doesn’t post no children allowed then maybe she should just not come out in public if hearing a child’s laughter makes you upset.

stephanie July 10, 2009, 1:48 PM

What…because the ONLY building within a mile was a starbucks? I bet there was a McDonald’s right next door- you were just selfish people who wanted coffee and didn’t care about the other people around you. When you become a parent, you give up the right to enjoy adult places with your child. That’s why they have family restaurants- so people can avoid your screaming kids. Go get a McMocha next time.

C July 10, 2009, 2:12 PM

Stephanie, you’re wrong. Starbucks sells kids’ drinks to appeal to families. Get off your high horse and order your coffee to go if you can’t be around kids. I will keep going there, with my 2 young children, and sit in the big cushy chairs while we enjoy our yummy treats. I’ve never noticed any dirty looks from other guests. Maybe it’s because I’m having fun with my kids!

Rachelle July 10, 2009, 3:22 PM

I think it’s really funny how these people, who are so bothered by children, demand that parents and families cut themselves off from society. Or at least segregate it down to “Starbucks for Singles” and “Starbucks for Families” ├íla McCoffee. First of all, yes they did come in to get out of the rain, and should they have gone half a block further because Starbucks is for “Peaceful” people only? Give me a f**king break. Secondly, just because I have a child does not mean that I, or my family have to give up the flavor of good coffee or relaxing atmosphere of a Starbucks. Even if our children are with us. If YOU have the problem then YOU can leave, likewise, if I have a problem with you, I will do the same. Face it child haters, you will run into children whereEVER you go. It’s the nature of our species and how the world keeps going. Don’t hate just cause you don’t propogate. (:

Sue July 10, 2009, 4:00 PM

Crying babies don’t bother me. It’s parents who let their kids run wild and won’t discipline them.

Anonymous July 10, 2009, 4:10 PM

I would have just told her to get a life!

Jenna July 10, 2009, 4:12 PM

I think its awful that they were treated that way. I have a very rambunctious 2 year old who often times likes to make sure Im embarassed in public. And as a Mother I can honestly say… you think its bad for you? Think about how it is for US. We’re in a crowd of people, our kid is screaming, we can’t control it, we’re embarassed, and you are just making it worse. People should try having a little compassion for parents who find themselves in these types of situations, instead of making us feel worse for something we cannot control. Granted, in this situation this child was laughing instead of crying, which makes me wonder what the hell this woman’s problem was to begin with. There is nothing more sweet in this world than a child’s laughter.

ame i. July 10, 2009, 6:38 PM

I’ve never walked into the local Starbucks and while it is not an overly loud madhouse, the word “peaceful” doesn’t come to mind.
Even before I had my daughters, I doubt the happy (even if loud) laughter of a child to be making a scene.
I’d like to say it is due to me being the Most Magical Mom of Momville ;)but it is sheer luck that neither of my daughters (now 9 & 11) had public or private tantrums.
Sure, it’s easy to judge other parents when their child is being loud or is having a major melt-down. I’ve always tried to imagine myself in the their shoes; they are not enjoying that moment any more than the people around them.
Luckily, there are plenty of establishments that make it clear that they are not a child-friendly place. People who don’t want to be exposed to loud kids do have other places to go.

The Student July 10, 2009, 7:07 PM

Why would you assume that this woman was friendless and mean? You have no way of knowing that.

A coffeehouse may not be a library or five-star restaurant, but it’s not Chuck-E-Cheese. People go there to study. As a student I spent tons of time studying and writing papers at coffeehouses. Usually it was pretty quiet and a good atmosphere, but I abhorred those times that parents brought noisy kids into the place.

You should have taken your drink to go and headed home or the nearest McDonald’s.

This may come as a shock, but strangers do not think your child is as precious as you do. What may be happy laughter to you is a disruption to them.

littlepeapie July 10, 2009, 10:52 PM

People, remember the author said they stopped in for a FEW minutes during a rainstorm…they didn’t realize they were intruding on a QUIET, PEACEFUL study hall atmosphere.

Rachel July 10, 2009, 11:11 PM

“The Student” could study in a more suitable environment (a library comes to mind) if noise is a disruption.

Rachelle July 11, 2009, 1:12 AM

Hey Student, if you hated the occasional noise of loud kids in a PUBLIC setting, maybe you should have done your schoolwork and studying at home, or in the school library, where doing school work is more appropriate.

I agree with one of the above comments that parents who do not pay attention to their kids, and let them run all over are the problem, not the kids themselves. I am always very concious of what my son is doing, and he is always right by my side when we go out somewhere.

Parents need a reality check July 12, 2009, 4:37 PM

Really??? I TOTALLY agree with those of you who feel the parents should have went SOME WHERE ELSE! You have a one year old. Coffee houses are not for you right now. Also, if you get on your high horse about Starbucks being a “Family” shop…so is Chuck.E.Cheese…but I don’t think alot of us go there to relax,unwind and have a cup.
So if you are going to be completly careless about everyone else around you (not to mention the one year old playing with a wood stick and chemical sweetner) then go somewhere else, and leave the “Grown-up” places for us Grown ups.

And yes…I do have children. A 13 year old and a 17 year old.

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