Yesterday was a bank holiday here in the UK, so as I was off work I decided to head to a nice restaurant to enjoy a solo lunch. I walked in, and the place was generally noisier than normal, but that’s to be expected when everyone’s off work and school.
I was shown to my table (after being offered a booth right next to a table full of kids and instead of asking to be seated at the other end of the restaurant) and was checking out the menu when a father and daughter (about 7 or 8 years old?) were seated next to me. I braced myself for a nightmare meal but was happily surprised to find the girl having a relaxed, engaging conversation with her dad about his new car, and asking him about all different types of cars and so on. She was quiet and perfectly behaved, and I sighed in relief.
My order and theirs were taken by the same waiter one after the other, so our meals arrived at the same time. I tucked into my dinner, and the father and daughter began to eat theirs while continuing their polite discussion. At this point, a family with a young boy were seated across from us (he was perhaps about 6), and the boy almost immediately began to scream, throw cutlery around and generally behave like a horror. Both parents ignored him completely and stared at their phones.
I was almost in tears from this brat setting off my anxiety and was considering abandoning my lovely meal altogether, when the young girl suddenly pipes up, “Excuse me! We are trying to have a nice dinner! Please behave yourself; this is a restaurant!”
I was completely astounded, and I wasn’t the only one. Her father looked surprised, the boy was staring slack-jawed, and his parents both looked like they’d just been slapped across the face. A few other people on surrounding tables were also looking over. Even more unexpectedly, the parents grabbed their tearaway terror and left without even ordering any food. I have never seen this happen, especially not without argument blowing up.
I looked back over to see the girl has returned to her dinner and was now asking her dad what the difference was between manual and automatic gearboxes. I think I heard her say sorry for shouting, but she practically whispered it, so I can’t be sure. The dad looked pretty impressed with his daughter standing up for herself. He ordered her an ice cream sundae as I was settling my bill, and I quickly thanked them both before I left.
That girl is going places, and her father deserves to be proud for raising her so well.
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