April 13, 2011
Snotty Kids and Pretentious Restaurants
I did my time in hell. I raised my kids and they're gone. "Keep in touch," I wave on Christmas night.
Nowadays, I'm not much for kids. Maybe I'm old. Maybe it's not the kids, but pretentious and annoying parents who think their little brats are somehow special because the family is well to do. Wrong, diaper breath.
The East End takes on a completely different hue during the summer. We are year-rounders – we are locals. We wear jeans and flannel shirts, send our kids to public school and let them play in the schoolyard with their neighbors. We don't micromanage what they eat, what they wear, who they hang out with. Our kids are normal, or, in the event they grow up to be deviates of some kind, we're comfortably saying, "I don't know what went wrong. He was a normal, happy kid."
Nowhere is the phoniness of the nouveau upper crust Hamptonite more visible then the summer restaurants that pop up like weeds during "the season" only to disappear the day after Labor Day.
Put another way, I don't need to order "Frisee With Essence of Caramelized Beet and White Truffle Salt" for $16. I want the "crispy salad" for five bucks, preferably Iceberg lettuce, thank you.
Nevertheless, you try to make the best of a night out. Your wife looks fabulous, and our SUV is just as new and shiny as that guy's over there, the one that made a fortune by inventing a silicone chip that farts on demand. We'll even pay $14 for a four-ounce glass of wine I know goes for $3.99 a liter. No problem. Maybe I'll order the Braised Turnip Medallion With Ginger Soy and Torraine of Nimu Squash because it's the only entrée on the menu under $43.
When I do go to these restaurants, though, I expect one favor in return for dropping a couple hundred bucks – I don't want any freaking children around me. Restaurants are for grown-ups. The kids should be home with Uncle Ernie, the (heh heh) baby sitter.
You're sipping your wine, perusing the crowd of wanna-bees – they are undoubtedly wondering who you are as well — and then you hear them, the two obnoxious children, ages nine and ten. These are the worst ages for kids, because any semblance of cuteness has worn off. Already the blemishes that will fester into mayonnaise-filled pimples are beginning to pop up.
The first thing you wonder is what these little brats are going to eat. They aren't going to like Salmon Tartare with Varicose Veins and Puree of Goat Organ. Let's face it, they would have been much happier with a double saturated fat burger from Burger King. They are bored, and naturally their parents let them run wild. That's because Dad is now 78 and has 53-year-old kids from his first marriage. Mom was a svelte 42 when he chose her as a trophy wife but now, six face-lifts and tummy tucks later, she looks like the Bride of Wilderstein and is twice as ornery.
At the time though, he figured a new family would allow him to start all over, this time with money. She figured she could wheel around a baby carriage, and with her smoothed out face and tight body - held together with one-part workout and two-parts surgery-people would think she was 20-something again. He figured he was still virile enough to impregnate something, and if he had a kid all those office rumors about him being gay would stop.
"Ma, gimme some of that," Junior whines, grabbing at her plate of food with his filthy (god knows where they have been) hands.
"Ma, I got pee-pee in my wee-wa," little Muffin says.
Mom smiles. "You mean, darling, you have to ur—rin—ate."
The parents smile at each other, a smile that says, "our kids are cuter and smarter than everyone else's, and we're wealthier and hipper than you."
From the other table I am gazing and smiling as well. My smile says, "your little brats are so homely hubby should be made into a eunuch so this can never happen again."
Next thing I know the little brats are racing around the dining room with lasers, pretty much yelling uncontrollably. "What happened to the pee-pee in her wee-wa?" I ask my wife, thinking if the punk does make it to the ladies room we can club her into submission, gag her, and tie her up. Maybe, just maybe, we can buy enough time to finish our dessert in peace.
Then the unthinkable happens. Junior is carrying a wad of bread (Essence of Flour and Wheat With Imported Buffalo Honey and Clarified Butter), he is screaming, his mouth is open, and he is heading straight for me. He is like a wild animal. I'm thinking that if I had my Moose gun I could probably get off two rounds and fell the beast, but I am weaponless except for a common kitchen fork. He veers off at the last second, but not before a piece of matter flies toward me and lands perilously close to my pate (and god knows where that mouth has been).
Finally, the Bride moves to gather the twin terrors. "They are something, aren't they?" she says, beaming. No lady, they aren't. They are pimple-faced slovenly little beasts. Their parents are old enough to be their grandparents and with any luck will be long dead before these little infected moles hit puberty and the real fun begins.
Kids. I raised a couple in my day. The thing that I remember most is how incredibly selfish they are. You try to be nice, you nourish your kids, and the next thing you know they expect you to feed them every single day.