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August 5, 2007

If you take your two young children to a downtown coffee shop for breakfast, and decide to eat outside, please don’t settle down right next to the person with the laptop who is very obviously trying to concentrate on some rather involved revisions to a novel they have spent three and a half years writing. It is rather annoying. Especially when there are dozens of other tables various distances away.

11 Comments leave one →
  1. August 5, 2007 8:49 am

    Ah, laddie, you have my sympathy. Still, as a parent I have to tell you, if someone took their kids out to breakfast and sat next to you, it’s not that they were being deliberately rude to your literary efforts, dad (or mom) was likely so sleep-deprived and over-worked it’s more likely said parent was oblivious to your existence.
    You got a good posting out of the annoyance, a chance to vent a bit at the foibles of humankind–use and channel that annoyance into future work, extrapolate, based on that scene, what would have happened if you’d offered to insert your laptop into said parent’s left nostril.


  2. lifecreativitycoach permalink
    August 5, 2007 10:19 am

    You sound frustrated, which is understandable. However, I am not sure they were paying attention to you and they probably didn’t know you were writing a book. Before I started writing I wouldn’t have thought about it. I would have thought you were suffering the net. It could be an incident you could use in another book.

    WOW! Three years is along time to devote to something. Good for you for keeping up all that hard work. I hope it gets publishe!

    Good Luck!


  3. Matt permalink
    August 5, 2007 11:10 am

    No, they probably didn’t know I was writing a book. But one would imagine that a laptop and a thick, copiously marked up notebook might indicate something a bit more involved than browsing the internet.

    And its not like there weren’t any other tables open (I was, at the time, the only one outside)…

    Too bad the novel is set 2,225 years in the past, otherwise I would certainly take inspiration from the lack of consideration.

  4. dlarz permalink
    August 5, 2007 4:36 pm

    Did you at least talk to the parent?

  5. August 5, 2007 5:10 pm

    wait this post isn’t hypothetical?

  6. Matt permalink
    August 6, 2007 5:27 am

    “Did you at least talk to the parent?”


    What does it matter if I did or not? Lack of awareness or consideration is something I rail on quite a bit. And talking to her wouldn’t have made the whole “sit the kids down next to the only occupied table and the guy with the laptop and notebook who looks like he’s doing more than surfing the net” any less considerate. Even if, as Cliff notes above, my existence was not noted, well, that in and of itself is still pretty inconsiderate, wouldn’t you say?

  7. August 6, 2007 12:30 pm

    People tend to get wrapped up in their own worlds (especially when you are with kids). I am sure that there was no dis-respect meant by it, but to me that is part o the problem, everyone is worried about themselves. The lady and her kids and you with your writing. When did everyone stop being so tolerant and patient with other people? Spending my entire life in the service industry, you just wish everyone would be a little more tolerant. Except of course for the big fat smelly guy that sits next to me on Southwest Airlines and wants to give me a rundown on his horrible life!

  8. Matt permalink
    August 6, 2007 12:37 pm

    “I am sure that there was no dis-respect meant by it, but to me that is part o the problem, everyone is worried about themselves. The lady and her kids and you with your writing.”


    I agree 100%. I’ve even given it a name – “mefirstitude”. I know I fall prey to it plenty (just ask the wife), but for the most part, I try to be aware of the people around me and do my best not to inconvenience them.

    It is also the reason I declined to speak up and keep my frustrations to myself. Why repay inconsideration with further inconsideration by being the jerk telling the lady and her kids to shove off?

  9. August 6, 2007 2:56 pm

    Mefirstitude – I love it!!!!!!

  10. Jamie permalink
    August 7, 2007 3:07 pm

    My opinion:

    The mom and kids did have the consideration to leave the quiet indoor area. Generally, the inside of coffee shops (especially this one) are full of people on computers, with books, etc. Meaning, it’s usually pretty quiet inside. Of course my dear husband doesn’t want to sit inside the air conditioned coffee shop, no….he wants to be outside where the lovely sounds of Lamar are only feet away.

    So after reading the post, I told my lovely hubby to suck it up. They went outside, where it was more acceptable to be louder. And I’m sorry, if I saw someone with a computer and a book I wouldn’t think “humm….I bet he’s writing a book and would really appreciate if we could keep it down.”

    My suggessions (which I expressed in person when he got back from writing), move inside, or bring your ipod. Everyone is not aware of your delicate writing environment.

  11. lostinsuburbia permalink
    August 12, 2007 9:53 pm

    As a mother, I want to know why she took her kids to a coffee shop?
    I like to go to cafe’s and coffee shops without my kids. I see those places as adult places. Small pieces of urban serenity. Hook me up to the caffine IV, and leave me the hell alone. Can you tell I’m a just little anal retentive? My husband thinks I am completely insane, what I see as common sense other people find just plain bizarre. (ie. I take my kids to playland or the park for snacks and a break rather than a cafe or a coffee shop where there is really nothing for them to do but sit still and be quiet and wait for Mummy to finish and what small child is capable of that?) Ok, rambling now. But I get what you are saying. And what everyone else is saying. We actually lose brain cells when we’re pregnant you know. (They say they come back but they lied, my oldest is 11 and I’m still waiting. ) So go easy on the Mum. She’s missing brain cells.

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