Invading the bubble

When the townies take it too far

“Slide to the left! Slide to the right! Take it back now y’all. One hop this time!”

Am I doing the Cha-Cha Slide? I wish. I’m trying to get back to my table at The Rock on a Sunday morning.

There are few things more disheartening than being stuck behind the family of five with the screaming infant when you want nothing more than to get a simple cup of coffee. One of those things is when they come to sit down at the table right next to you.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love kids, really I do. I was a nanny for over a year and I volunteered at an elementary school before that. What I don’t love is when they are introduced into an atmosphere that they simply do not belong in and, I’m sorry, but a dining facility on a college campus is one of those places.

My first few days here it wasn’t that big of a deal, a minor inconvenience at the most. I’d have to look a little longer for a table, or be extra careful carrying that steaming cup of soup while unattended toddlers danced around my feet, or even stand in line an extra 10 minutes because some 50-year-old in camo gear took the last serving of fries.

I like to think I’m a pretty patient person though, so I persevere, but after about two weeks here I had reached my breaking point. Sitting with a friend discussing some now-forgotten topic, I had the audacity to say the word “f*ck.”

I am an 18-year-old living six hours from home, basically free of reprimand for most of my actions, so no, I don’t think very much about vocabulary while I’m hanging out with my friends. Nonetheless, Suzy Home-maker lumbers over to make me feel like a criminal.

“Excuse me!” she screeches in my general direction. “Could you please watch your language? There are children here.”

You don’t say! I must have missed that when I stepped over little Tommy’s abstract mashed potato art on my way to come sit down.

Let me just say this: you are on a freaking college campus where conversations about drugs, sex and drinking are pretty much the norm.

I will absolutely not apologize for simply acting and speaking my age. If you don’t want your spawn to be subjected to that, magical. There’s a Bob Evans up the road.

If you do choose to bring them here, just understand that anything they hear or see is on you, not us. So please, stop coming into a space intended for young adults with your toddlers and expecting us to change our behavior.

No, I don’t necessarily think that the so-called “townies” should be eradicated from The Rock entirely, though that sure would solve a lot of issues. Maybe only have it open to the public certain hours, or designate areas for families with children.

My point is that we pay a lot of money to have access to the places to eat on campus; the least we can be given in return is the ability to enjoy those facilities in peace.