I’m on the loud side of the spectrum in my volume. I project well and have been told by many people that when I do public speaking, I am clear and strong. That also means when I laugh in restaurants, I can be too loud so I try really hard to keep my eye on it. My timbre is unique in that my talking voice is rather low for a gal and I have been told I have a warm tone. As a musician you tend to pick up on things like this about people and not just instruments. So I am very aware that I am a loud person that some people might find annoying. Hence, I am very thoughtful when dining out and try to contain myself.
My husband and I had a “the kids are at school and it’s a Friday so let’s sneak out and eat lunch” date today at a local Thai place. They are upscale and have a lovely patio outdoor dining area. Even before the pandemic we enjoyed sitting out there next to the water fountains. Today’s weather was perfect and we arrived around 11:45AM. There was a table full of well dressed, heavily perfumed women my age or younger with birthday balloons and gifts. We were of course seating right next to them. Before we sat down I asked my husband if he is okay with the seat. I guess I should have been more direct because he sat right down. LOL
Within 5 minutes of sitting the cackling and the self important chattering. There were at least two people at the table that had an annoying overly loud laugh. They all very loudly discussed with one another how they didn’t know how to act because they had not been out in so long. Understandable. I figured they would tone down soon. The couple next to us moved farther away. I so wanted to go with them but felt like if I did right then it would draw attention.
We got our salads, and one lady screeched a toast. Yes, she screeched. I’m pretty sure everyone inside heard her too. “Here’s to my friends who I wish well, and everyone else can GO TO HELL!”. I could not help but think that was a passive aggressive way to make a comment about the couple that moved. We finished our salads and decided we wanted to be able to hear each other so we picked up our stuff and moved as far as we could. We could still hear them but at least we could hear our own conversation.
When our appetizer came out, the same lady screeched the same toast again. Was that one for us? I would not even look their way because I DO NOT WANT A CONFRONTATION. I have become a huge wuss during the pandemic and I don’t want to argue with anyone. I begged my husband not to react and we had our delicious tempura veggies and shrimp. Because I could hear every single word at least 2 of them were saying, I could tell they were not shy about letting their feelings be known.
I am no social expert and no one – absolutely not a single person – would ever say that I am a well mannered individual. I know what I am. Seriously, though, these women were acting like they were in a strip bar at night. It was obnoxious. I am all for having a good time celebrating a friend’s birthday but maybe at a quiet sushi joint in a small town during lunch was not the best place? We have a pub called My Way Tavern that would not have blinked at their antics. In fact, I rarely eat there BECAUSE of the cacophony that is constant at the venue. I can’t think of one single rowdy sushi restaurant so maybe they should have known better?
I don’t expect people to be silent. However, I don’t think it is necessary to be a boor either. I want to believe they are clueless like me but I can’t help but think they knew very well what they were doing and they did not care. They may crave the attention and the flaunting. In fairness, at the table of about 10 I would say at least 4 of them were very quiet. My husband observed there was one lady in a T shirt that looked like she regretted sending a YES on her RSVP. Everyone else was dolled up and in dresses and heels and fully made up and decked out in jewelry. I thought to myself, “I’ve been there as the only obvious sore thumb sticking out.” I felt so bad for her.
Once the food came out they were much quieter as they enjoyed their dishes. I was very happy to be finished and as coincidence the first couple that moved was leaving about the same time as I was. As I walked by, I leaned in and whispered, “Have a quiet rest of your day”. She grinned as I walked away. Yeah, Yeah, that was very passive of me but at least I did not say anything to the PARTY crowd.
Pre pandemic, I may have even been an adult and walked over to them and politely asked them to tone it down. I was never for being the shoot daggers kind of person. I tend to try to maturely talk to people. But now? NO. FUCKING.WAY. People are way too triggered and angry for me to approach them. I would rather shrug it off and complain to whomever I am with to vent then to even try to talk to anyone about it. It is simply not worth it. So now I am one of THOSE PEOPLE that don’t confront but vent later. Ugh. I’m such a wuss.