Here is the reply hubby got to his e-mail to the hotel:
We are sorry to learn of your disappointment with your recent visit. It is only from our guests’ perspectives that we are able to identify areas where we may make additional improvements.
Please be assured that your comments will be shared with the management team. We truly appreciate you sharing your feedback and hope to have the opportunity to welcome you back to our hotel in the near future.
Thank you for writing.
Sounds like a generic form letter to me, but it's good that they took the time to copy and paste... ;)
Yeah, I hate those canned responses!
Hopefully they really do take a little time to address the issue...
Maybe instead of waiting around for a response to a letter, you guys should decide never to go out into the world again because heaven forbid there may be parents and children out in the world. Let me see, you were actually a child once too (gasp!).
Yes, I was a kid. And I had parents who actually supervised me and prevented me from running around like a wild ape in upscale restaurants.
Would I be off base in guessing that you are the type of permissive parent I complained about?
This letter is more of a canned pile of brown goo than the syrup their namesake factory makes a few miles away..the letter was 'signed' not by a human, but by "Hershey Entertainment And Resorts". Think there's a chance they own the amusement park, too?! I guarantee this was deleted by the low-level clerk who opened it..Until their guest roster drops off for the reasons I cited, nothing will change. After all, as George Carlin said, "It's all about the CHILDREN.." And what he said next SUMS IT UP FOR ME!!
I had a request for "Mimi" - next time she throws a party or attends a formal event like a wedding ( assuming she's still invited to these things, given the type of parent I think she may be ), please make the time, date, and address public. I will arrive and behave exactly the way the children I mentioned in the letter did. And she'll see that I was a WELL-BEHAVED child..once! Enjoy your Saturday night of soggy cheese fries with a side of 75 decibels at Roy Rogers..
Actually, no, I do not take my children out to restaurants at all and if we do they certainly don't act that way or my husband will lay the smack down! I do agree that parents need to discipline their children better, especially in public, but the bottom line is that you can't control how other people raise their kids so why get so angry about it? Yes it sucks but eveywhere you go there will be kids and parents so you can decide to get all angry about it every time you go somewhere or you can just not pay any attention. And yes I do get invited to parties and weddings all the time and guess what? I get a babysitter!
Why get angry? Well, if I was at a Chuck E. Cheese, I wouldn't. That's the appropriate venue for out-of-control children and clueless, permissive parents. But yes, I tend to get a little angry when I get dressed up and go to a 5-star hotel for a sophisticated, elegant experience only to have to yell across the table to speak with my husband because he can't hear me over all the chaos in the dining room.
Your comments do beg this question and I hope you will reply: If you are a parent and you get offended by childfree people expressing their anger about clueless, permissive parents, out of control children and the coddling pro-family business practices that enable such behavior, why in the world would you be interested in reading a CHILDFREE BLOG whose main mission is to expose and discuss such issues?
Yes, to answer your question, I came upon your blog one time from the babycenter.com website on a post about stork parking. I didn't realize that there were people out there so angry and bitter at others for having children, etc. My best friend is childfree or childless or whatever you want to call it so I shared your site with her and she reads it now. To be clear, I also get irritated at parents who think the world owes them something. I am glad I had my two children. I don't think that I should be catered to just because I DECIDED to have children. That was my choice. My best friend chose not to and that was her choice and we are still very good friends and respect each other's choices. But I do read your blog from time to time when bored at work or whatever because I think it's sort of amusing how worked up some people get over these things that seem so trivial to me. But I don't judge anybody for their choices and I think you are funny actually! Peace.
If you pay money for a babysitter so that you can enjoy an evening out without your children, don't you find it the least bit annoying that others do not? I know that if I were a parent, I'd be greatly irritated by that irresponsible behavior.
I suggest cursing loudly in front of Mimi's children, telling them they look stupid, talking about sexual positions and how Santa Clause doesn't exist.
If she whines about it, say, "You can't control how other people behave so why get angry about it? Yes it sucks but eveywhere you go there will be other poeple who hate your kids, so you can decide to get all angry about it every time you go somewhere or you can just not pay any attention!!" See how she likes a taste of her own medicine!
Thanks for your reply Mimi. It helps me to understand your point of view. I am glad to hear that you do not expect to be catered to just because you have children. I assume then that you do not agree with stork parking?
Childfree people may be a bit angry and bitter but aren't all marginalized groups? And shouldn't they be? That's what incites change in society. Do you think women would be able to vote today if nobody got angry? How about African Americans? If they didn't get angry, they'd still be sitting in the back of the bus.
We are not angry and bitter at people for having children - hey to each his own. We are angry about the way we are treated like pariahs in a society that glorifies and rewards parenthood at the cost to non-parents and doesn't acknowledge that any other lifestyle is worthwhile or even exists. We are tired of being pitied when we actually love our lifestyle. We are tired of being treated like poor, confused, foolish souls who just aren't smart enough to realize what they are missing. We know exactly what we are missing and we're quite happy about it.
This blog is a place for me to shine a spotlight on these issues and others. All people are entitled to be angry and bitter if it serves them. I certainly saw a lot of anger and bitterness come out on babycenter when the stork parking entitlement was challenged.
To answer your question about stork parking, my opinion on that is that I think it's just a gimmick that stores are using to get more business however possible. I have never used it but I don't get angry at others for using it. I prefer to park far away and walk b/c I try and squeeze in exercise whenever possible, even with my baby. I think it's just more of a courtesy thing, like opening the door for somebody, which I would do for anybody, pregnant or not! It's the same as having signs in Spanish when I go to Target or Sears. It just caters to a specific group to get more customers, that's it and that's all. It's all about the dollar bills!
Second, who is treating you like pariahs? I certainly don't care if somebody chooses not to have kids, and I think you are obsessing over it way too much. I am busy with my life, I don't have time to think these things about other people. I think it's great that you don't have children, especially if you don't want them! The last thing a child needs is to be brought into this world from parents who don't really want them.
My last point is that if you are so happy with your life, who cares what others say or think about you? I am sure I get judged because I have children just as you are getting judged b/c you don't. It goes both ways. The thing I do to overcome being termed a breeder, etc. is I teach my kids manners, I don't eat out unless I have a babysitter, my kids don't run amok in public, etc.
"My last point is that if you are so happy with your life, who cares what others say or think about you?"
It's not just what others say or think, it's what they do based on what is said and thought, and how society (and government) are organized to foster childbearing. It is not a basically neutral environment where a few people say nasty things: there are major tax credits for children, businesses cater to children, social images glorify mothers and fathers, and there are legal policies requiring employers to hold jobs and pay for "family leave."
Even if you think society should take care of its weakest members (and I do) these practices are discriminatory. Businesses do not cater to the elderly or the disabled, aside from "senior discounts" and wheelchair ramps (fought for tooth and nail by advocacy groups).
No one gets tax credits for caring for an elderly relative or for someone who is extremely sick or dying. There's no such thing as "Caretaker's Day" and you will never see Angelina Jolie trumpeted on the cover of a magazine for spoon-feeding her senile grandmother.
The skewed emphasis on babies is simply not right.
Also, we're living in an era of climate change, and many studies have documented the negative effects of overpopulation on wildlife habitat, climate, and air and water quality. In effect, overpopulation is suicidal. It would be completely rational for government and society to lean toward encouraging fewer people to reproduce.
Instead, there are overwhelming cultural messages and government policies in place that encourage people not only to get married and have children, but to live their lives around children's needs. And the rest of us are supposed to suck it up and act like it's normal and we're the outliers.
Look around. You may be doing a good job on your own, but don't be so entrenched in the pronatalist entitlement that you cannot see reality.
"Second, who is treating you like pariahs?"
If you are as open-minded as you claim then certainly you are observant enough to know that society as a whole is NOT supportive of childless-by-choice couples. The idea is persistent and perpetuated that we're somehow weird, heartless, or unenlightened. Childfreeeee has posted numerous articles illustrating society’s collective pronatalist doctrine (but take this one for further example http://tinyurl.com/p2ft4d). More importantly, it’s commonly family and so-called friends who treat the childfree as outsiders… saying hurtful things because they choose to live an alternative lifestyle, ostracizing their children because they won’t give them grandchildren, or proclaiming them selfish, as if somehow that makes sense. Furthermore, I’d like to know how you feel you are “judged” for having children. In western society there is no stigma for being a parent. You may be criticized if you are a poor parent but not simply for the choice of procreating; certainly not in the U.S.! I dare say unwed or teen mothers are not disparaged as sharply. I’m glad to hear you are supportive of your childfree fiend but I challenge you to ask her what kind of reaction she gets from others if she is brave enough to enter the debate openly.
Two more questions for "Mimi", which have been implied but not yet addressed:
Why do you think that a minority ( in our case, the Childfree ) is "angry" just because we stand up for being considered equals, and have a low tolerance for inappropriate social behavior? I guess you wouldn't get angry if you were denied maternity leave by your boss, or a seat on a crowded bus filled with strapping young men while in your third trimester? And yes, we KNOW bad children are everywhere ( even more so these days ) - does that excuse the parents' derelection of duty, especially in a sophisticated atmosphere? If I show up at the soirees you so proudly attain babysitters for, can I get drunk, yell, and curse next to your table as if we were at a common frat-kegger, because, you know, 'everywhere you go, there will be ill-mannered people'..you can just "not pay attention", as you said!
My second question: If YOU'RE not angry, and your life is so content, why are you so active on this blog? Methinks thou dost protest too much - especially since you "don't have time to think these things about other people"!
PS - Please inform your childfree friend about this blog - we're very curious to see if SHE thinks we're misguided reactionaries..
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