Wednesday's Rant: Banning Noisy Kids or Adults on Cell Phones?

When you go to a movie, a restaurant, a concert, or any other event, would you rather listen to a crying baby or an adult making an all too loud cell phone call?

Recently, a restaurant on the historic Fisherman's Wharf in Monterey, California posted a sign which is causing a lot of tourists to grumble. The sign prohibits strollers, high chairs, booster chairs, and crying or noisy children. 

Now I know how annoying it can be when you are eating and a child sitting behind you is exhibiting how tired and/or frustrated he or she is. Even as a parent and grandparent, it can be difficult to ignore. However, in most of the cases that I have witnessed, the parents are making every attempt to calm the little one or they get up and walk him/her outside. That is responsible parenting. But Old Fisherman's Grotto is taking it even further. 

They are banning not only the child, but anything the child may need in order to eat a meal with his/her family. A highchair? Really? Or, a booster seat that fits comfortably on an existing chair? That in itself is telling parents with children under the age of 5 years to stay out of their restaurant. How sad that a tourist destination and the whale watching capitol of the world would allow any of the businesses along this wharf to deny entry to anyone. 

To me, instead of the child, ban the adult who carries on a way too loud conversation on his/her cell phone. They laugh, they yell, they cry, they talk, and no one says a word to them. I don't want to hear about their ex-boyfriend and who he is dating, or what new business deal just went lopsided, or the latest joke around the office, or whether the person on the other end of the line is getting their loan or not. These are all conversations I have had to endure while dining with my family, settling in at the local theater for a movie, listening to a concert, or even buying groceries. And to make matters worse, these are the same people who will give a parent the evil eye if the little ones make a noise!

So, even though my kids are grown, next time I go to the Monterey Peninsula, I will not be stopping at my favorite restaurant. If kids are not welcomed, but the loud cell phone user is, then it is not a place I want to be. Fair is fair, and the Old Fisherman's Grotto is not being fair.

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