Dear Miss Pearl,
We went out to eat and were seated next to a family with two young children who were quite loud. Within five minutes one of the kids was running around the table bumping into our chairs and the other one was screaming. The parents never once corrected the children and they even gave us the evil eye when we requested to be moved. Was this rude of us?
Was it rude for you to ask to be moved? Absolutely not. Was it rude of the parents to allow their children’s bad behavior to not only continue but to also escalate? Absolutely! When a child’s behavior disturbs other customers and keeps them from enjoying their meal then it is time to remove the child from the restaurant.
This is when I recommend a trip to the bathroom or outside to have a “come to Jesus” moment. Little and Baby had to have several of these moments and they have graduated, have good jobs, and don’t live at home. Big and I also had to eat in shifts a few times – one parent stays and eats while the other takes a turn outside with the offender.
Everyone with children should have the opportunity to take their family out to eat-not, however, at the expense of everyone else in the restaurant.
Dear Miss Pearl,
I drove 60 miles to go to an estate sale and left early enough so that I might be one of the first in line to get an entry number. I was thrilled to be the 5th person in line. When the numbers were being handed out, the man in front of me asked for three additional numbers for his friends who weren’t going to be there until the sale actually started. I ended up being #9. Is this fair?
First of all I hope you got what you drove all that way for. Secondly, it is up to whoever is conducting the sale to determine the rules of giving out numbers. That being said, most people frown upon asking for “ghost” numbers and I have seen this request denied many times.
Sometimes there are exceptions and maybe this man was a friend of the family or a good customer of whoever was doing the sale. I look at this as being equivalent to breaking in line-it doesn’t bother some people and can throw others into a full blown hissy fit. A good estate sale can bring out the best and the worst in people-especially if the vintage Tupperware has the matching lid!
And Another Thing…
Some people think that being a big celebrity comes easy but I can assure you a lot of thought and preparation goes in to my columns and speaking engagements. Yes, I have a speaking fee but I reserve the right to negotiate or wave the fee depending on the group.
I was thrilled to be asked to speak to the Golden Kiwanis group and OF COURSE I waved my fee since they do so much for our community. They always put a picture of their speakers in the paper and I knew I would get some good publicity out of it.
We had such a grand time at the meeting; lots of laughing, hootin, and hollerin’ and I only saw one person asleep. Everyone, including my father-in-law, wanted to speak to me afterwards, get my autograph, and have their picture taken with me.
This standing room only event occurred in July and they have yet to submit my appearance to the paper. There is no reason for my Golden K friends to be embarrassed to have had Miss Pearl speak to their fine group-even old men need to be reminded to use their manners.
And to think I didn’t even get a bag of last year's pecans!
“Miss Pearl,” aka Colleen Sprayberry, is one of Newnan's leading authorities on modern etiquette. She gladly lends her advice to everyone whether they want it or not, because, "After all, it's all about the children and setting a good example for them." Her videos are available on her Facebook page and YouTube channel. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .