New York City is a crowded place. There’s mobs of people clogging up the sidewalks, five people fighting over the same taxi, a line of people around the block outside the Ugg store. (Seriously.)
As such, at restaurants, I often find that I’m sitting VERYCLOSE to people I don’t know. On most occasions, this is alright! Once you’re engaged in conversation with the person you’re with, you can kind of tune out the people around you, even if they’re seated within inches of you. It’s not ideal, but I’ve learned to adapt.
This weekend, however, my boyfriend and I could not escape the Loud Obnoxious LET ME TELL YOU MY LIFE STORY New Yorkers who were just, everywhere.
On Saturday night, we were able to excuse ourselves from the intimate details of a certain celebrity’s personal chef who was just NOT DOING WHAT THEY WERE SUPPOSED TO BE DOING AND I CALLED JOHN AND I SAID JUST FIRE HIM ALREADY BUT JOHN WOULDN’T…
We were subjected to about 20 minutes of this conversation before our heads exploded and the waiter re-seated us a few tables away because dear Lord, John’s not going to fire the personal chef and I really, really am not interested. (The restaurant was also clearing out and we got to sit in a booth and DAMNIT IF I DON’T LOVE A BOOTH.)
Sunday morning at brunch we were not so lucky. Since we ordered our food already, the hostess said it would mess things up too much to move tables and that was fine, I don’t want you to think I’m constantly asking to move seats because that’s almost as obnoxious but OH MY GOD if you could’ve heard these two girls chattering next to us for the entire length of our meal.
Well, one was chattering incessantly. The other just seemed to be…tolerating her. (Which was interesting to observe. Have you ever been stuck in a conversation like that? Where the other person just goes and goes and goes and doesn’t really give you any space to answer? Or doesn’t really ask you any questions about your life? I have. And it is awful. And happens in my extended family CONSTANTLY. So I suppose I should just admit right now that that is a huge button of mine to begin with. MOVING ON.)
One girl took the train in from New Jersey and I got the impression the two of them were friends from…college? Maybe? Somewhere long ago? Because the entire conversation was either about the New Jersey girl’s daughters, Madison and Olivia! and EVERY SINGLE PERSON SHE COULD THINK OF that they both knew and their various ailments, ugly weddings, injuries, etc.
My boyfriend and I decided to be as zen as possible about it but the girl was just speaking so loudly that our conversation was constantly punctuated by the most insane sentences. They were so sort of…over the top that my boyfriend actually said that if I blogged it, no one would believe me because people in real life don’t talk about crackwhores and seizures in the SAME CONVERSATION.
Oh, but that girl from New Jersey did.
Here’s a sample of what we listened to while digging into some omelets:
She was just having all these unexplained seizures but it sounds like from what the doctor said it was totally normal. Sometimes, people just have seizures.
Oh God, that wedding was hideous. NOTHING MATCHED. I am telling you, NOTHING. But, story for another day.
No, she’s the one whose son has LEUKEMIA. But it’s fine.
Madison and Olivia are both in hip hop class! IT IS SO CUTE. I mean Maddy is kind of at that awkward stage where she’s developing a little? So I had to buy her a bra? Not a real bra! Like a little training bra? LET ME TELL YOU: I CRIED. MY LITTLE MADISON! WITH BOOBIES!
Well apparently that’s what she’s like now after she got hit by that car. I know! HIT BY A CAR.
No, she is like a straight up crackwhore. I know. I KNOW. Well. I don’t know if the crackwhore part is true exactly but someone said she was selling drugs and she seemed to think she could get lots of money for the drugs because she was hot? I just think she’s the sort of person who will do ANYTHING for money so, yeah.
IT WAS SO CUTE! We took the girls to Disneyworld and their favorite parts were the train! I told Olivia I was taking a train to the big city today and it was SO CUTE because she LOVES TRAINS.
Trains and crackwhores, people.
Now, I realize I am being…possibly…snarky. And rude. Maybe that girl just…had a lot to say. Maybe she doesn’t get out much. Maybe she doesn’t realize the volume of her voice. All things could be true.
So in an effort to not make this about OH GOD THAT GIRL WHO WOULD NOT SHUT UP, may I ask, what is proper etiquette here?
Is it rude to ask someone in a restaurant to dial their volume down?
I would’ve asked if I had been on an airplane with such a person (DEAR GOD JUST IMAGINING AN AIRPLANE RIDE WITH THIS WOMAN IS GIVING ME ANXIETY) or something like that. But in a restaurant, is (discreetly!) asking the host to switch your table the only option? Do you kind of have to just focus on your croissant and laugh about it later?
I realize that choice comes into play here, just as with any annoyance that has the potential to obstruct your life – you can own the fact that it bothers you and you can choose whether or not to let it ruin your morning. I was lucky enough that I (mostly) found the entire thing incredibly amusing (if overwhelmingly grating on my nerves). But I got a good laugh out of it and my boyfriend enjoyed strolling down the street later randomly blurting out A CRACKWHORE! and SEIZURES ARE NORMAL!
I do realize it was up to us to choose to let the anger/annoyance go and just get over it.
But I guess I’m wondering if there was anything else that could be done.
I just imagined that if I asked her if she could keep her voice down, it would probably be awkward sitting next to her for the rest of the meal. So it was better NOT to speak up?
And yet, my God. SHE WAS TALKING SO LOUDLY. About…so many strange things.
What say you? Speak up? Ignore? Blog about it later? CRACKWHORE.