A few days ago the owner of a diner in Portland Maine took it upon herself to yell at a one year old who was crying too loudly. She admits, however, that the biggest issue was the parents ordering the child (who she refers to as “it”) “3 fucking pancakes.” It took forty minutes for the pancakes to be served, and when they finally did arrive, the owner suggested that they take the pancakes to go. When they didn’t take her suggestion, she began to yell at the child.
The mother left a bad review on the restaurant’s Facebook page (for obvious reasons), to which the owner responded with a psychotic rant. (You can check out the full story, as well as screen shots of the Facebook review and response here)
In the wake of this nonsense, there has been an outpouring of support. Not for the family, or the child, but for the owner of the diner. Her Facebook page has gone from a little over 1000 likes to over 40, 000 in a matter of days. They have also received 11,000 5 star reviews from people across the country and the globe.
I was shocked that the vast majority of the comments were bashing the parents and praising the owner, and I didn’t know what to make of it. My friend Josh Spicer at DaddyEngine summed it up quite nicely, “What the past few months online have taught me is that hate sells.” It makes me wonder what would have happened had the story played out differently.
I don’t think, “Portland Diner Owner Comforts Toddler” is a headline you will ever read. Had the owner made an effort to connect with the parents, or comfort the toddler, given her some crayons, or offered something else to eat while she waited for the pancakes, we never would have heard anything about it. On the off chance that someone did decide to write about it, no one would care. There would be no outpouring of “likes” there would be no avalanche of reviews, there would be no one calling the woman a hero, or making plans for a visit to Portland.
How sad it is that in our society hatred is idolized and encouraged, and kindness is ignored.
Want more Dadosaurus Rex? Check out my facebook page www.fb.com/thedadosaur
UPDATE: The Washington Post has now posted an article written by the mother, giving her side of the story. You can read it here. After it was published, the pendulum started swinging the other way in the review section of the Marcy’s Diner Facebook page. There are still far more “5-stars” than “1-stars” but there is not nearly as much as a disparity as there had been.