…and one more thing
Noise pollution can be a golden opportunity
A few weeks ago my husband and I went out to celebrate his birthday. I accidentally picked a lively restaurant that had an extremely high threshold of noise.
Maybe it’s that age thing again, but we do best in quieter places where we can carry on a normal conversation. Besides, I wanted to bring a little romantic zing into the evening including a bit of flirtatious whispering.
Raucous sound level is a big factor that I don’t want to pay for in a high-end restaurant.
I had read various dining reviews on the Internet, and for what it’s worth, my search centered on restaurants that rated exceptional on quality for the price. On top of that, foodie friends suggested locations where meals were outstanding.
The search narrowed down to one place, and it seemed like we would be all set. The quiet factor didn’t come out in the reviews on the website, or perhaps I carelessly overlooked it, eager to wrap up my studied decision.
Arriving on the special evening, valet parking impressed me as our car sidled up to a Porsche. The massive, scrolled wooden doors opened to a foyer with low lighting and amber hued walls giving the space a cozy and inviting welcome.
However, taking a few steps further into the main dining area, I started to have second feelings about making the right choice.
My heart dropped when the maitre d’ seated us in the middle of a crowded room. The music was at a high decibel, and if it was an attempt at deadening the loud talking of our fellow diners, it wasn’t working. The room was energized from one end of the sushi bar to the corner tables near the wine racks.
Did I fail to mention that the jubilance of diners just might have been more exaggerated because the end of the world had not occurred as predicted earlier in the evening?
Well, since it was already late and way past our normal eating hour, we decided to have a go at making the best out of the evening. Besides we were famished, and my husband was relieved that he would get to have a birthday meal after all.
I looked over the thick menu put in front of me, studying the wonderful dishes that used a variety of organic, locally grown ingredients fused with fresh herbs.
What totally turned my attention away though, was two well-dressed twentysomethings that the waiter seated right next to us along with a third member of their group-a baby in a carrier.
“Oh, my,” I exclaimed. “What are we going to be in for when the baby starts tuning up to the jazz?”
“You chose it. Live with it,” my husband replied. He is a much better poster child for optimism than I am when the chips get down.
Now don’t get me wrong about not liking children around us. That has never been a problem for either one of us when we are out places. Kids will be kids with parental control. They must learn socialization skills and proper table manners, and what better places than in actual restaurant’s situations.
Like everyone else we have had our horror stories watching kids throw tantrums, volley food and use the chairs as a jungle gym. We’ve noticed some parents totally oblivious to such inappropriate behavior. Then it is nice to sit back and applaud how well we did as young parents- usually.
However, this was to be a special night where we wanted the best of the best. We were in a “reach out and touch someone” zone that typifies urban, trendy eating establishments. The closer that you are to your dining mates at the next table, the more expensive the meal supposedly.
Anyhow, I was so curious as to why two apparently well-heeled women wouldn’t get a babysitter for the evening, but I just couldn’t get up the nerve to lean over and ask. Were they celebrating the munchkin’s future, which had not gone down the tubes after all?
I glanced at the women in between our table conversation, and the baby was sleeping. The adults were having a grand time, and when the mother would push back the blanket, she would have a smile on her face.
Actually it became a non-event after awhile. We realized that everything was going to be just fine. “Sleeps like a baby,” with surround a sound music and clatter wasn’t stopping a little one from getting zzz’s.
When it was time for us to leave, the ladies were still sipping their drinks engaged in their own world, and we left them in peace. There wasn’t any point in saying anything to them about the baby. I let it go, and walked out the door.
The whole scene has stuck in my mind for a while. I am not sure that when I was a young mom if I would have been able to pull off that very thing myself even if it was acceptable in the more rigid society of the day.
The more I think about it, I was watching two secure women of a new generation not allowing silence and decorum rule their lives.
And incidentally, the meal was outstanding. We would definitely return to this restaurant in case you were wondering.
Whew! My husband and I had made it through the noisy doomsday scare very well, even if it was my turn to pick up the tab.