We have a friend, Reader, who I shall call R. He is my mister’s friend, but also mine, as we often hang out with him and his lovely Other Half. R recently made a statement – which My Mister agrees with – along the lines of my being “rude to waitstaff.”
I took offense to that statement, as I like to think that I am extremely courteous to those who have the hard-working jobs of bringing people food and drink, and cleaning up the big fat messes we leave in our wake. I am at least a 20% tipper (unless service is just horrid), leaving far more on the holiday. I don’t state that here to get any sort of accolades, but merely to set the stage – I don’t believe myself to be a rude customer.
So I had to step back and think about why/how that can be the perception of me, because as I’ve learned, ‘It doesn’t matter how you think you are, people’s perception of you is your reality.” I can think I’m nice, but if others think I’m an asshole, than I’m obviously an asshole.
And then Friday night we went to a bar with a live lobster claw game tank – The Lobster Zone – where people pay $2 for a chance to drop the claw and try to “win” a live lobster and have it cooked up. My gut reaction was, “That is fucked up!” and I could not stop watching this during the meal. The meal of ribs and turkey sammy and pizza with pepperoni.
I watched people – tipsy from drink, laughing it up – approach the tank, put in their $2 and win several lobsters. Gleefully posing for Facebook photos, laughing and carrying on as they handed their taped-clawed Win off to the cook to drop it into a pot of boiling water and wait for their meal.
It was the gleeful shenanigans that accompanied the “catch” that settled down in deep and I couldn’t shake it.
When the waitress came over eventually and asked, ‘How was everything?”, the unfiltered me responded, “That fucking lobster game is highly offensive as I sit here at a bar, not expecting to watch people catch and parade around with their “prize”, is the owner here, if he isn’t I am going to write him quite a letter when I get home.”
And R said something along the lines of, “RIGHT THERE!! That’s what I mean!! You’re not rude to waitresses under a normal course of a meal, but you are abrasive when there is something you don’t like and you could have found a nicer way to express your opinion.”
The owner came over. I reiterated my sentiment that the fucking lobster “game” is offensive and I won’t be back as long as something like that is there, and he hee-hawed around a bit and said the right things like, “Well, it’s not any less humane than a slaughterhouse” and “The lobsters have already been caught” and “It’s no different than the lobster tank at Red Lobster.” And finally, “It’s just a novelty. Thanks for coming.” And he walked away.
Because, Reader. “It’s Just a Novelty.” Is why I have to so aggressively state my opinion. Because a politely stated, “Well, the place is nice, the meal was fine, I didn’t really care for the lobster tank” or My Mister’s suggestion, “It was wonderful!” and never come back is a passive move I just don’t have in me. They’d never know “the why” if we just didn’t come back.
And that’s okay for some people.
I’m just not cut from that cloth. Blame my mother, she was mouthy and abrasive too. I learned it at her hip.
Because the Novelty of that tank rubs me so hard the wrong way I had to at least make the person who put it in his bar give it a bit of thought beyond “It’s a Novelty.” It’s not a novelty. It’s a live creature being toyed with, just for kicks.
Reader, I grew up in a family of hunters. I’ve eaten rabbit and deer and squirrel and pheasant and even watched a turtle hang upside down so the blood could drain to prep it for turtle stew. I eat seafood and beef and pork and whatever. I understand that it’s not a pretty picture, getting my nicely packaged supermarket food to my table.
But I don’t and won’t ever think it’s okay to have a little fun with something before killing it. I don’t believe in playing cat & mouse games with my meal. That’s for cats. And mouses. Not drunks. In a bar. Whooping it up over their 2-buck meal.
That, Reader, is part of the desensitizing that is happening all around us.
Another writer sums it up here:
So call me rude. Abrasive. Unladylike and opinionated. I’m taking all of those adjectives as compliments these days.