Going out for breakfast at a local greasy spoon has become somewhat of a tradition for the Boldea family. It’s a way of breaking up the monotony of oatmeal in the morning for the kids, and not having to wash dirty dishes afterward is just a bonus that both the wife and I thoroughly enjoy.
Yesterday was no different. After the kids were up and dressed, we packed into the car and drove the ten or so minutes to the restaurant. We were greeted, seated, our order was taken, and as we were waiting for our food to arrive a couple walked in that just caught my eye, and are the roundabout inspiration for this writing.
Neither of them could have been more than thirty, but both were well into adulthood. She was wearing pajamas and carrying a pillow, he had on a pair of shorts that had seen better days, and a shirt he must have been wearing for about a week given all the food stains down the front of it.
They were seated at a booth next to ours, and the first of many complaints was that the booth was too tight. I’m a hefty fellow, and I was seated in an identical booth with room to spare. For a good three minutes, the pajama laden woman who also happened to be a good hundred pounds over the threshold of obesity berated the waitress for the booth being snug, while the waitress apologetically explained that she hadn’t built the booth, but would pass it along to management.
This was only the first volley of what would be a good thirty minutes of macabre drama from which I couldn’t look away. A drama replete with demands for a free meal, asking for another omelet even though over three-quarters of the omelet that was deemed inedible had already been eaten, and a request for the manager to complain about the rudeness of the waitress.
I was there. I heard every word, and the waitress had not been rude. Had it been me, they would have been asked to leave five minutes in, but I have a low threshold for entitlement and rudeness.
They finished their meal, left without tipping, and made sure they were loud enough in their adamant insistence that they would never return to this dump as they walked out.
I’d never seen anything like this in my life, but upon talking to the waitress afterward, apparently, it’s happening more and more in recent years. I realized with dread that it would only get worse as my daughters grew into adulthood, and a sense of sadness overtook me thinking about the world they would have to navigate if the Lord chooses to tarry.
We see a generation enter adulthood for whom words are violence, weakness is a virtue, and who feel entitled to other men’s labors for no discernible reason. We’ve gone from sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me, to needing safe spaces because someone dared to disagree with us, or challenged our lunacy.
If you believe words are violence, then you’ve had violence done to you, and for this, you should feel fortunate. If you believe others will gladly labor until their fingers bleed just so you could take the lion’s share of their labors, you should perhaps pursue sobriety, and acknowledge that weed smoking isn’t harmless just because it grows from the earth.
We have become a nation that is soft, weak, and entitled, and that makes us ripe for the picking. This is just one more reason to reject the notion that peace, safety, and bright skies are ahead for us as a nation.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.