One terrifying type of diner is the enthusiastic-mom/psycho-bitch hybrid. While satiating baby's palette with an organic fruit snack, she's simultaneously screaming her condescending list of demands at every server within earshot.
Meet Margaret, spokesperson for the aforementioned mix of mom and witch. She, her thankless nanny Chita, average-looking baby Charlotte, and a few silent but equally bitchy young moms sat in my section during an otherwise leisurely brunch shift.
I greeted the table. Margaret was performing sign language (no, the baby wasn't deaf, no one in the party was, but Lord how I wish I were) and telling Charlotte to "use our words!"
"DON'T let those chips and salsa touch the table if they've been anywhere near any sort of peanut!" Margaret freaked while keeping my arms safely away from the table's surface.
"We're one of those rare Mexican restaurants that doesn't really use peanuts," I said, aggressively shirking her unwelcome hand from my person and releasing the chips and salsa to the bunch.
"Whatever, like, a nut allergy is very serious," she patronizingly informed me.
"Yes, I am aware, thank you," I said, "and I doubt our restaurant would go around just setting down peanuts in front of potentially deathly allergic customers. These, everyone, are tortilla chips and salsa. Corn, salt, onions, tomatoes, cilantro, peppers. No peanuts."
Margaret noted my tone but moved on.
"We have a serious milk situation here," she told me. "I need a cup of hot water. Do you think you could do that now, and then come back for the rest of the drink orders? And do you think you could just put the hot water in this sippy?"
She handed me a Dora sippy cup.
"I think I can," I smiled.
"Is this filtered hot water?" she asked.
"No, it's unfiltered hot tap water."
"Ew," she said, clearly expecting to have elicited more of a reaction from me than my narcoleptic death stare. I don't speak passive aggressive. "Ew" tells me nothing. If you want me to ask the bartender to boil a bottle of still water, say so. Otherwise, go lick yourself, you patronizing emasculator.
She then began the tedious task of ordering everyone's drinks and food for them, frequently pausing me with a hand gesture to ask them questions instead of, oh I don't know, letting them put on their big girl britches and order for themselves.
Instead of not wasting my valuable time spent checking used martini shakers for excess vodka, Margaret decided to let Charlotte, the barely one-year-old, order for herself. Charlotte just keep screaming, while Margaret repeated that she needed to "use our words!!", every time said slower and more intensely than the last.
Finally, Chita forged the cajones to say, "I think I heard quesadilla."
Margaret relented and completed the order.
The food arrived shortly thereafter. As is the case with all child plates, Charlotte's kid's quesadilla arrived after cooling down, at a safely warm temperature, on a cool plate. I know this because I carried it out myself.
That information is useful because, seconds later, Margaret beckoned for me, on the verge of crying.
"WHY is my daughter throwing a fit?!?!?!?" she asked me with a red, irrational anger filling her face.
"I have no clue, you should probably use your words and ask her,"
Well that didn't please Margaret.
"Either that plate was TOO hot, or there is some kind of PEA...NUT in there..."
"Or, she was hungry? Tired? Has a filled diaper? I'm no pediatrician but I know there could be a few different reasons."
"Well if I find any kind of peanut on that plate..."
"OH OKAY..." I interrupted her with a big smile and walked off.
Needless to say, Charlotte stopped crying shortly after eating, and no one found any peanuts in their food at any point throughout the duration of the day. The end.