Baby-hater

There is this notorious old lady in town that everybody warns you about, and I finally ran across her today. She’s in her late 70s, I’d say, beautifully dressed, with impeccable makeup and great hair. She haunts family-type restaurants (the ones with “kids eat free” nights, high chairs, and large children’s menus) and approaches moms to tell them something nasty about their kids. We have several child-free restaurants in town but this old broad prefers to drive herself nuts by seeking out kids. 

She prefers to bug women with several kids or women who are out with kids alone. Things she says to them range from “Your son seems retarded. Have you considered having him evaluated?” and “Your kids spoiled my whole evening. These are the rudest, nastiest children in town.” Moms, of course, feel horrible even if they know who she is in advance.

So today we were at Applebee’s, and the town’s baby-hater sat right behind us. It was a super early dinner and the place was almost entirely empty. There was zero reason for her to sit behind the only toddler in the joint. Klara was enjoying herself so much that only a total monster would resist smiling. She wasn’t exceptionally loud or anything. But she’s a toddler who was having a grand old time, so there was running around and happy giggling. 

The baby-hater started giving me dirty looks and rolling her eyes. I was hoping she’d try to say something because boy, did I have a few choice words prepared just for her. But here’s the advantage of being an older mother. Nobody messes with me. So the old hag never dared to say anything.

I understand this is a mentally ill person. But hey, she’s managing to put on eyeliner and mascara every day. She should be capable to control her verbal diarrhea.

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15 thoughts on “Baby-hater”

  1. Mamas are always protective of their young. Decades ago back in Tennessee I had a good friend who took a temporary job as an elementary school teacher in a rural area. One of his students was consistently unruly, so my short (5’6″) friend threatened to spank the boy if he didn’t behave.

    The next day the boy’s mama came to the school. Mama was over 6 feet tall in flat heels and weighed in at about 200 pounds. She told my teacher friend that if he laid a hand on her boy, she’d come back to the school and beat the hell out of him. (The boy never got a spanking).

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  2. If this were a TV movie then it might be called

    After the rain….

    first act
    you hear stories about crazy lazy’
    you’re in Crapplebirds (copryright conceerns) she starts to say something;
    you’d rip her a new one (and suddenly magically the place is full);
    she runs away crying;
    everybody looks at you as if you are a monster

    middle act
    you’ve become (even more of) an outcast in the community;
    people have decided they like and want to support the crazy lady;
    you have another tense public meeting but it culiminates with just a lot of glaring at each other;
    one day, you, by chance, discover her tragic secret and the reason she lashes out;
    you are shaken to the core and consult a variety of religious leaders on how to deal with this, the best answer comes from a kindly black pastor who recalls something his grandmother always said, tears are like rain they wash the old dirt away so that new young things can grow
    crazy lady makes a wrong move in public and loses her newfound acceptance (it is revealed you witness the scene from the sidelines)

    third act
    you reach out to her (she’s at home on her porch while you’re awkwardly taking to her from the sidewalk/lawn);
    you almost tell her you know her secret;
    she rebuffs you, but after you leave it’s clear that she’s shaken up
    Climax:
    on grey cloudy day you go to dinner with your family (Garden of Olives or Taco Palace) and the only place to sit is next to her!;
    soon you are screaming at each other in middle of the restaurant and taco incredients or pizza toppings are flying;
    you blurt our her secret so that everyone knows;
    you both end up hugging and crying together as the camera pulls back to show the clouds have turned into abundant rain
    there is a shot of the kindly black pastor who nods and says ‘now something new can grow’
    Denoument:
    One month later, you’re frantic, Klara’s sick and all your baby sitters are all unavailable and you have a major presentation to the assembled faculty and a promotion hinges on how well you do;
    you look at the phone (for some reason you have a regular phone) for a long time and finally decide to pick it up and start dialing;
    “you said if I ever needed a favor to call…”
    Then as the final credits start rolling we have alternating shots of crazy lady playing with and attending to Klara while you deliver your super important presentation to keep the university from being closed down, you end your specch with the comment of the kindly black pastor (who for some reason is in the audience or passing by) and receive a standing ovation!

    The end

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    1. Great spec! Just one question: Why’d you set the movie in Scranton?

      Also, you can’t have a kindly black pastor without an uplifting gospel choir in the movie: it is a rule of Hollywood ™.

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  3. I paused at this sentence: “But hey, she’s managing to put on eyeliner and mascara every day.” When I worked at a mental ward in a large urban hospital before I took off for grad school, I was often struck by the lovely make-up worn by women who, an hour or two after they put it on, were dragged into the mental ward by cops or first-responders. Haunting memories, actually.

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    1. “I hope that as a young person”

      The best response is one that doesn’t feed whatever it is she thinks she’s getting from these interactions, which is probably a feeling of power at making people react with hostility or seeing their negative reaction. Any negative reaction just rewards her.

      Simply ignoring whatever she said and complimenting her hair or make up nullifies the attack and denies her whatever it is she thinks she’s getting from it.

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  4. Man, this brings back some bad memories. A long time ago, when I was new to this country, my brother visited me with his family. It was a saturday night and we were eating at a fast-foodish place. A drunk asshole came up to us and started talking about how our kids shouldn’t be out this late, why aren’t they in bed yet, etc.

    We shushed the kids and left soon after. I didn’t feel like I belonged here, and didn’t feel strong enough to respond to him.

    I just hope that situation repeats itself now. Please, God, you know I don’t ask for much.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. “approach me at your own peril, nasty old hag”

        giving her just exactly what she wants, how will rewards ever stop her?

        “I’ll have a very good time”

        I thought you came to NAmerica to get away from ugly public wrangles by rageoholics with hairtrigger tempers? (among other reasons) why continue that tradition?

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              1. “Yes, I am a very angry person ….would the blog be any fun if I weren’t? ”

                Yeah, the best parts come from other places. Non-stop anger diffused anger is the most boring emotion possible. I don’t think you got where you are through anger.

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  5. While I agree with you that this lady should seek out restaurants that are not “family oriented” and such, I could still sort of empathize with her at the library or most other public/commercial places.

    What I find annoying in commercial/public places are loud couples and non-stop talkative asses and insolent space-hoggers.

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