Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Someday, Somebody's Gonna Fix this by Installing a Wet Bar at Gymboree

Apparently, the good folks of Park Slope, Brooklyn, have their skinny jeans in a bunch over whether it's ok to bring babies into bars.

Well, Brooklyn, I can answer that for you: No. It's not OK.

Really. It's that simple.

Despite my tendency to take a random and intense dislike to strangers' children (especially ones with whiny voices), I really do like and enjoy the kids I know. They're usually fun and adorable. Hey, I even like it when the neighbor kids play tackle football in the hallway. Their high spirits are endearing, and they quiet down whenever I ask them to.

But that doesn't mean I want to sip a Manhattan next to your squawking brat. Bars are places where adults go to be with other adults. And I can't imagine being a parent out on their first grownup date night in ages...only to be confronted with a boozy version of Babies R Us. The anti-kids in bars folks in Brooklyn complained about mega-strollers blocking the exits, and being shushed or told not to curse, all while the parent holds a weeping, overstimulated kid who probably just wants to go somewhere quiet. Oh, MAN. I have yet to see that in DC, but I would probably lose my mind if somebody told me to tone down my language to suit their crotchfruit's tender sensibilities.

I get that it's lonely being the parent of small children. Really, I do. It's a relentless series of demands and compromises. But that's a choice you made when you spawned. You don't undergo a change as major as parenthood without anticipating that your life is going to be very, very different from here on out. You're not going to have the exact same social life for a long time to come. Is it so hard to ask your friends to stop by on a Sunday afternoon, or meet for coffee instead of drinks? Just for a few years?

In the end, it's about courtesy. There are so many confined spaces that cram the child-free up against children when they're at their most most miserable: airplanes, transit, casual restaurants, Camelot (just kidding)...so what's so bad about a few adults-only refuges, like bars and R-rated movies?
Oh, heavens. Don't even get me STARTED about kids in R-rated movies.

In the comments, say, "You have a baby! In a bar!" Or tell me what movie that comes from.

PS _ If you're one of my friends, and you're reading this, I really do like your child. Kids I know are awesome - it's just the random ones who tick me off. And you can bring them over anytime. Just please, don't bring them to Recessions!
PPS - I predict this will be a big controversy in Columbia Heights in 5-10 years.


Just A Girl said...

Jesus fuckballs that's a bad idea. NO I don't want your baby in my face, basically ever, but definitely not when I'm drinking and trying to have grownup time.

P.S."Crotchfruit" wins the award for best word ever.

Dana said...

That quote is not in a movie that I know of, but it is in a British TV show called "Two Pints of Lager and a Pack of Crisps." Ironically, having a baby at a pub in England isn't such a bad thing because a lot of folks eat out at them.

And no, no babies in bars. It harshes my buzz.

Shannon said...

JAG - I picked it up from Brando, who I think picked it up from Fark.

Dana - Sweet Home Alabama! Had no idea it was also a Brit Wit thing. Pub culture and bar culture are very different things - for one thing, pubs are quieter and more food-oriented. If a place is 21 and up, then why aren't they carding the toddlers?

Jamie said...

N. and I just had this conversation at the Red Derby a couple weeks ago. Totally agree. Whole table full of kid's night out at the front of the bar, and it wasn't even that early (like 9PM or so).

The thing is, bars are often populated by drunk people. They are also crowded. At the most basic level, it's not even SAFE to have your 30" tall toddler wandering around when some 250 pound asshat with a beer in his hand might stumble into said child. And frankly, as much as I don't like those asshats, it wouldn't be their fault if they accidentally booted your child halfway across the room.

The irony is, most bars in DC are 21+ because this city is so draconian about it's underage enforcement - so to avoid issues most places just check IDs at the door.

I really don't get why anyone in their right mind would want to answer all the questions that their child will ask them.

"Mommy, why does everyone here smell like your brother in law?"

"Mommy, what does it mean when someone says 'I was so wasted last night, I think I hooked up with a troll?"

Come on. Isn't that why we have Chuck E. Cheese? Or Ruby Tuesday?


Brando said...

The self-centric bastardy of hipsters never fails to surprise me. Of course they're not thinking for one minute about how their little snot monsters are affecting others in public--they never minded ruining restaurants, parks, airplanes, the zoo, Chuck E Cheese (yes I drink there they have great beer specials)--why should they stop at bars? God forbid they drink at home.

I hope their kids grow up to disappoint them greatly. Hipster bastards.

/I do like kids--someone's got to make textiles cheaply.

Shannon said...

Jamie - Kids? At Red Derby? What, did the parents see Connect Four and decide it was a daycare center?

Brando - What I love are the parents who are all, "I can take my toddler anywhere, because he behaves appropriately! It doesn't inconvenience anyone!" Uh, doubtful. Much more likely is that the parent has become deaf to how loud the kid is, so she's all, "Oooh, little Mackenzie is being so good!" while everyone else in the room is all, "Would someone please muzzle that YOWLING BRAT?"

Dagny Taggart said...

I thought of that line well before I got to the bottom of your post.

I kind of think that just as tipping is a necessary expense of going out to eat, getting a babysitter is a necessary expense of being a parent who wants to go to a bar.

[F]oxymoron said...

beer is not miracle-gro! It will not make the crotchfruit blossom or grow any faster. So why bring a little (and likely) annoying kid to a bar?

Instead, sell 'em or donate 'em.

Shannon said...

Dagny - I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought about Sweet Home Alabama when reading the article!

Foxy - Personally, I plan on having my kids go work for Nike around age 5 or so.

Cass said...

It wasn't until recently that I found out some places DO allow kids in bars. Washington (state) has been 21+ in bars & bar areas for years.

Bateshorn said...

It's o.k., we don't really know each other, you can hate my kids all you want.

Why would I want a baby in a bar? I have two kids, and the last place on earth I want to see them is in my favorite watering hole. I love my kids, but Daddy's a foul mouthed, knuckle dragging, ass grabbing ape when he gets his drink on, and my kid's don't need to see that. Nor do anyone else's crotchfruit.

On a related note, some old dude sushed me at 9 pm on a Thursday in a bar. Hey, geezer: IT'S A BAR. I COME HERE TO EMBARRASS MYSELF IN PUBLIC. If I wanted to be shushed, I'd visit my mom.

Shannon said...

Cass - Personally, I haven't seen too many people try to bring their kids to bars in DC. But I've observed a growing population of parents who dress their kids in hipster t-shirts and, because they're not willing to give up being 'cool' just yet, it's only a matter of time 'til I'm sucking back a beer with little Madison. I gotta say, one of the reasons I want kids is so I don't have to even THINK about being cool any more.

BH - You got shushed in a bar? Was it a swanky hotel lounge, or somewhere rowdy? Because I could sort of see that at Off the Record, but Bedrock? Rowdy on, in that case.

And I don't hate your kids. Unless they have whiny voices. Man, whiny voices make me NUTS.

Nessa said...

Crotchfruit! LMAO! *dies*

Also, I don't know anyone who in their right mind would take their babies into a bar. o_O

annie said...

you know what, they should open up some kind of store where you could buy your beers and then take them home and drink them. then you wouldn't have to take the kids to the bar!

if only such a place existed...

FoggyDew said...

You always find the best news. I have seen this in D.C. bars including one of my favs, Cantina Marina. Also, while not quite the same, saw a hipster couple with a baby at Ray's Hellburger last Monday. The kid was wearing an outfit that cost more than the one I had on. How come you need a license to drive and own a gun, but any two fools who can figure out tab A into slot B can procreate?

Shannon said...

Nessa - I don't get it, either, and I am most assuredly NOT in my right mind.

Annie - In Soviet Russia, beer drinks you!

Foggy - Kids at Cantina are fine if they're sitting and eating, but if it's standing room only, it's definitely not kiddie time. Strollers take up too much room, the kid gets stepped on...just way too risky.

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