Last week, I stopped at a coffee shop on the way home from the park. I’ve got my child in a stroller, a cup of coffee in one hand and a bag of groceries in the other. A little challenging, but no big whoop. I’m used to it. As I’m approaching the front door to leave the shop, I see a man exiting and think, phew, I won’t have to do the whole turn-around-and-exit-backwards-so-my-butt-can-open-the-door thing that I have to do when I’ve got my hands full with coffee, baby, and groceries.
We make eye contact. I smile, and assume an unspoken agreement has been made. I am wrong. He lets himself out and lets the door slam on me, my stroller, my baby and my groceries. As he’s jaunting out, both hands free – not a care in the world – he gives me a little smirk, as if to say F you, F your groceries, F your stroller and F your baby.
This guy is a jerk, and I kinda want to punch him in the face. But I understand where he’s coming from, oddly enough. I have a hypothesis about this guy, that I’ll explain later. For the sake of storytelling – we’ll call him Jeff.
We live in the same neighborhood, Jeff and I, and we share space with a new breed of parents that are sweeping the land. I like to call them the I Don’t Give a Shit, Move squad. I also like to call them the I Leave My House With Everything I Would Possibly Need to Care For This Baby For Three Weeks in Case Armageddon Happens on the Way Home From the Park group. To make it a little easier for you to follow along, in this post I will refer to them as Jerks.
Just to recap: oblivious Brooklyn parents = Jerks. Not very nice dude that slammed the door in my face at the coffee shop = Jeff.
I have this $20 crap umbrella stroller that I use when I know that I am bringing my son somewhere crowded. It handles like shit, and I’m pretty sure he’s uncomfortable in it. But I can actually maneuver it around a store or restaurant without everyone in the place having to clear a path for me. It also folds up to the size of an umbrella, hence the name. That is important, as I do not like to be an inconsiderate freak on a regular basis. These Jerks don’t care about who they inconvenience with their little baby Hummers. They breeze into a restaurant on a Saturday brunch, already overflowing with hungry Brooklynites, and expect that there will be a table for them to roll right up to. That’s right – they have no intention of breaking this behemoth down, because their child is snoozing comfortably in it. Heck, a grown man could snooze comfortably in one of these things.
So they roll in, probably over the toes of a few unsuspecting brunchers, knocking bags off the backs of seats, and elbowing Jeff in the head. They are too busy making sure no one gets butter on their $1000 stroller to notice that they have elbowed Jeff in the head. Then they park their stroller next to Jeff and the handle is so long it’s basically up his nose through his whole meal. This makes Jeff irate. This makes Jeff think, Jesus parents are so self absorbed. And what is with that giant stroller? Ugh, I hate them.
As if it wasn’t enough to have the handle of one of those huge things in his face during his entire dining experience, he exits the restaurant onto a narrow sidewalk and gets stuck behind another one. Have you ever been to Midtown, during rush hour in a rainstorm? Have you ever encountered the one, short businessman who carries a golf umbrella in midtown, during rush hour, in a rainstorm – basically rendering the sidewalk uninhabitable? A giant stroller in a busy neighborhood is the equivalent of a golf umbrella in Midtown – it gets the job done, but it’s unnecessarily huge and everyone thinks you’re an asshole for using it. Especially Jeff, who’s been inconvenienced twice already – and it’s not even noon yet.
Jeff finally manages to get around the Jerks, and decides he’ll stop at his favorite coffee shop on the way home, since he wasn’t comfortable enough to enjoy a cup of coffee after breakfast. Enter unsuspecting, broke mom (aka, me), considerately maneuvering her tiny, cheap stroller around the patrons. Jeff sees me, and doesn’t see a tiny stroller, or a smiling, considerate mother. He sees a behemoth stroller (even though its not) and an inconsiderate parent (even though I’m not). And Jeff waits and extra minute, just so he can get the satisfaction of slamming the door in my face, thus vindicating his shitty morning.
Yes, thanks to the Jerks many parents are being profiled by Jeff and every other person in town. You have a baby – you’re a jerk. That’s all there is to it. So no one holds the door open, no one steps aside in the street, no one offers any of the niceties you might offer a burnt out mom with her hands full. And I’m fed up with it.
Listen Jerks, be mindful of your giant stroller. Yes, you had a baby – and that is great, and a big deal to you. But no one else really cares, and definitely doesn’t feel like rolling out the red carpet for you everywhere you go. Stop acting like you are entitled to more space – it’s Brooklyn – there is no space. And another thing, I know you live right around the corner, so you really don’t need to bring a carry on-sized diaper bag with you wherever you go. You don’t need to be armed with 20 diapers, snacks, place mats, baby silverware, and every other god damned thing you can think of to entertain your baby for the hour you will be away from your house. That is just ridiculous.
It may seem hypocritical that I am asking these parents to act better, so the general public will start doing more for me. But I’m not asking for anything more than common courtesy. I hold the door open for people with their hands full – whether they are filled with baby or boxes. And Jeff would have held the door open for me that morning, had the Jerks not already pissed all over his personal space.
Related post: 8 Stroller Habits That Piss Off The Entire World