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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"? 

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
Jen July 12, 2009, 9:42 PM

I’m calling BS on this article. I really find it hard to believe that someone got snippy over a kid laughing. Either this is totally fictional or the kid was doing more than just laughing.

Kelly July 14, 2009, 8:34 AM

I love when children are allowed to be children (not monsters). I can be having a horrible day, at work, the local eatery/coffee house, grocery store or anywhere, and a childs laughter will cheer me up, a sick childs moan or even whine will make me feel bad, but a spoiled child screaming, whining or crying will do the exact opposite. If your child is unable to behave in public, it’s your fault, and should be dealt with. If they are having fun, it’s also your fault, and should be enjoyed. If you don’t enjoy the sound of happiness, stay home and curse at the TV, don’t turn a good day bad for everyone else.

Rikki July 14, 2009, 11:14 AM

To “A MOM MYSELF” and “stephanie” and any of you other idiots- Pull your head out of your @ss. Have you ever run errands to the bank, post office, or even the gorcery store with your children in tow? If you have, then you have no right to tell this couple that they should not have their child in Starbucks. Your children also have no need for a bank, sending letters, nor do they have their own money to buy groceries, so leave your kids at home whenever you leave the house too, okay? Because it would be so much better for the baby to be at home by himself than for a family to try to enjoy a day out.
You are an ignorant person to say their child has no business being in a public place when they went in to get their baby out of the RAIN. You probably would have had an opinion if they had stayed out in the rain with their child too…I can hear it now-“What horrible parents-they should have taken the baby inside somewhere”.
The baby was laughing, not throwing a fit. Sorry that laughter upsets you. Go back to your little hole and leave the rest of us alone.

Get real July 14, 2009, 11:19 PM

Rikki, I have read every post. None of them, not one reads that children have no buisness in public places.

It is my opinion that people who get this upset over others “opinions” do so, because they know that the other people are right.

Most of the times it is never the childs fault, but their incredibly self-centered parents who value their old way of life, not the knew one they have taken on AS PARENTS.


Jill July 15, 2009, 10:09 PM

If a cranky adult in Starbucks is so unpleasant for these poor oppressed parents that they feel compelled to whine in cyberspace, they have it pretty easy. They should suck it up.

Rikki July 16, 2009, 2:36 AM

Get Real-Umm…last I checked Starbucks is a public place-and plenty of people said that it is not a place for children.
I do agree that if you plan on hanging out for quite some time, that you should probably try to do it on your own without your kids. But this family was trying to get out of the rain for a little bit-that was the whole point of the article-he said they were waiting for the summer storm to pass. If people can’t have compassion about that then I think they are pretty ignorant.

Rachelle July 16, 2009, 2:01 PM

I agree with you 110% Rikki!!!

j. July 17, 2009, 8:45 AM

I don’t mind a lauging, parent-minded child, but I DO mind the parent like the author of this article who is so self important as to state “If you wanted “peace” and quiet, STAY HOME” UM, no, if you and your special little snowflake needed to step out of the rain I’m sure there were more appropriate places than an adult coffee shop. OR perhaps, like me and my friends, you could teach your child to act appropriately in adult settings. Yes, Starbucks does sell chocolate milk, but that does not indicate that it is a playground. I get the feeling that the author’s child was not simply “giggling” or “laughing” but probably shrill and running about. Sorry sweetie, most adults like to chill out at starbucks, not listen to some kid scream.

Get over yourself July 17, 2009, 4:52 PM

Rikki, Rachelle and all the other pretentious mom’s who feel that their litte bundle of gifted joy never is loud or annoying to anyone else. Please adhear to this advice. Stay home. Go to your Mommie and Me classes. Go to the Park. Go to the Library.

Just please let me (and everyone else) have their starbucks in peace. What you could once do as a childless callege student, you can’t now. Except this. Move on. Your life (at least for the next few years) is not a relaxed, big comfy chair, laptop kinda day.

So please don’t resent those of us who can do this.

Anonymous July 17, 2009, 6:20 PM

Wow Paul, you sure know how to start a comment war! lol I personally loved your letter. As a mom AND a student, I wouldn’t care if there was a laughing baby in there. The Starbucks right near my university campus is usually 99% students - and any time I’ve been in, there’s the occasional person studying, but it’s also loud enough that I for one would go elsewhere to do my studying. That’s why we have so many libraries and quiet rooms on campus. The Student needs to get a life. Maybe he can go study at the Mean Lady’s house?! I bet it’s nice and quiet there!

Starbucks mom July 29, 2009, 5:03 PM

wow! controversial issue. newsflash: Grownups in Starbucks can be just as annoying as a crying or laughing or running kid. Some grownups talk too loud, laugh too loud…take FOREVER to order a single cup of coffee, stink up the bathrooms… how come I always see grownups waiting in line to use the Starbucks restroom? what’s that all about? Can’t they use their own bathroom at home?

I don’t think Starbucks had a vision that people would come to spend $3 and thne sit for 4 hours listending to their itunes.

Starbucks has made it a point to be a family friendly place —- most parents with their kids in tow spend more money and get out as quickly as possible —-which is an ideal customer rather than single babyfree folks…and really WHY are you there for so long? It’s Starbucks… why aren’t you outside enjoying life? Why glare at kids when really we should be glaring at you- the dork sitting in starbucks all day while life passes you by.

It’s STARBUCKS not Le Cordon Bleu.

For the folks who think parents need to seclude themselves from the public sector - you are idiots. Know that your parents took you to public places and one day you will have kids and want to take them out in public too.

WOW October 24, 2009, 2:53 PM

WOW. I just can’t believe the number of people here who are treating STARBUCKS like some sort of shrine. It is a STARBUCKS! A public place that serves coffee.It is open to everyone. There is no need for anyone to be nasty.At Starbucks or here on this comment board.

WOW October 24, 2009, 2:56 PM

WOW. I just can’t believe the number of people here who are treating STARBUCKS like some sort of shrine. It is a STARBUCKS! A public place that serves coffee.It is open to everyone. There is no need for anyone to be nasty.At Starbucks or here on this comment board.

Sam October 24, 2009, 3:01 PM

hahahaha go starbuck yourself

jojo October 24, 2009, 3:07 PM

Fair enough. But at the last line “laughter of a child” is a bit misleading. It’s not all breathy giggles. Sometimes, as you said yourself, they shriek. Piercingly and loudly.

Eeyore October 24, 2009, 3:17 PM

While it sounds like the author of this story just had a happy child, Mom2two had a nuisance. Not only wasn’t she removing her child from the mcdonald’s, but she was upset with her mother for trying to make the child stop. Other shoppers have the right to not have to listen to a screaming brat even if it is just a walmart mcdonald’s.
-mom to 3

Troy October 24, 2009, 3:19 PM

So basically, the woman in your story should have been driven out of the Starbucks by the behavior of your child? You honestly don’t see any fault on your part? If your child is bothering other people, it’s your role as a parent to deal with it, not expect everyone else in the world to do so for you.

Bene October 24, 2009, 3:21 PM

Just because someone doesn’t enjoy the shriek of a one year old, doesn’t make them mean and friendless. Maybe the sound if fine to you, but it’s not necessarily pleasant to everyone else. It’s obnoxious to assume that everyone is going to be ok with it.

Shanaynae October 28, 2009, 10:40 AM

Ah the Church of Starbucks. Cheap a-holes milking their over-priced, crap tasting coffee for HOURS on end, passing judgement to others just to make themselves feel better about their wastefull lives.
I’ll be DAMNED the day someone tells me to stay home just because I am a mother. Go F yourself.

Lady Latte November 21, 2009, 8:41 AM

I have to agree that Starbuck’s is not baby friendly. Kid friendly, yes, but not baby friendly. They don’t even have changing tables in the restrooms!! I have three children under 4 and I still go to coffee shops! My husband and I have our coffees while our children have milks or hot cocoas. We don’t go to Starbuck’s unless we are traveling because of the lack of a changing table. As for the people who go to coffee shops for peace and quiet they must be nuts, because if it’s not children laughing then there are people talking loudly on cell phones, or teenagers squealing from one thing or another, not to mention some of the profanity one can overhear from grown people’s conversation!! I’ll take a child’s laughter over any of the other coffee shop noise! Being a former coffee shop manager, I think you people who sit for hours needing “peace and quiet” should buy more than one cup of coffee for the hours that you sit there!Don’t forget to tip your baristas, they only make minimum wage. If you can’t afford it then make coffee at home and enjoy the “peace and quiet” of your home!


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