Years ago, when I'd had less life experience, I used to react in horror at the sight of a mother breastfeeding her baby in public.
But now, with so many friends who are young moms, I get it. Sure, I still think you should make every effort to cover up, mostly to protect yourself from the testosterone-laden morons who've regressed to the caveman era of chivalry. However, I will defend your right to feed your baby in my section, exposed melons or not (I don't really call breasts "melons" - as a gay man I rarely call them anything).
Naturally not everyone shares my view. Darryl sure doesn't.
Darryl, a contractor covered in dirt and sweat, was dining with his co-cavemen. Jenny, a young mom with a fussy baby, was trying to have a quick lunch in a concealed corner of the restaurant.
Darryl and company were drinking generous portions of tequila, always a safe choice during a mid-day lunch prior to building houses. En route to the restroom he happened to see Jenny nursing her baby. Despite her best efforts to cover up, the blanket had slipped, but the baby was content.
"Now that's a lunch!!" he shouted in her direction as he walked by.
She rolled her eyes, undeterred, and continued.
As he returned to the booth, Darryl was shaking his head in disapproval.
He said something to his friends that made them snicker while turning their heads towards Jenny.
She asked me for her bill, finished her meal, and left quietly.
Darryl called me over.
"Not that I'm complaining, but don't you all do anything about women flashing their tits in public?" he asked me.
"Not when they're feeding a baby, no," I said.
I imagine Darryl thought I'd either apologize or give him a fist bump. Naturally he felt inclined to turn his machismo anger in my direction.
"Well I'm a paying customer and I think it's offensive that women do that."
"Not all women do that," I said. "Just new moms who, like everyone else, are allowed to dine in public."
"So anything goes, huh?" he countered. "I could just whip out my cock?"
"I doubt that would make much of a splash," I said.
Instead of letting it go, Darryl really wanted to make this an issue. I can only hypothesize as to why a seemingly straight male would so willfully protest public breastfeeding.
He inevitably asked to speak with management, who also offered a similar show of support for Jenny. He paid, left no tip, and lingered at the table in his drunken stupor.
A few minutes later, lying through my teeth, I approached the table.
"More than a few of our customers have complained about the stench and volume coming from this table," I said. "So unless you can find a way to shower, I'm going to have to ask you all to leave."
And leave they did. My manager, God love him, started to applaud as they exited. I followed suit and tried to start the chant, "Don't! Come! Back!" What ever, it didn't catch on, I chanted it alone a few times. But I meant it.
But seriously, fuck you Darryl, and your mysoginistic view of how the world works. I'm sure your mother - THAT POOR WOMAN - found herself in many situations in which you were a crying infant during an inconvenient time to nurse, yet she put your well-being above the judgmental strangers around her.
Jenny wasn't trying to draw any attention to herself. I'm sure it wasn't optimal for her, but in lieu of hogging our one female bathroom stall to breastfeed, she chose something more expedient and convenient.
To Jenny and all moms out there - you are welcome in our restaurants. Now, please don't bring in a hungry infant at, like, midnight - that I won't normally defend. But the times are changing, and it's the world's problem that we're so stunted regarding issues such as these, not yours.