Soup Plantation is the Seventh Level of Hell

I’m not even a Christian, which I’m sure you’ve gathered from my obvious Jewiness: my love of gefilte fish, smoked salmon and smart nerdy guys in glasses. And yet…I married a WASP with a better sense of humor than I’d be sure to find on all of Match.com. So, yeah, now we have a baby, eat bagels on a regular basis and my husband once used the word meshugena (sp?) but I think he may have been funnin’ with me. So, not being a Christian you’d think I wouldn’t be overly concerned with hell. But I think I’ve found it and it’s a place that serves soup, day old pasta and salad to adults for 9 bucks and 2 year-olds eat free. What could be hellish about that, you ask? A lot.

Now that you have a child, just try to go out on a Saturday night at 5 p.m. You read that right. 5 p.m. my New Yorker friends are putting their head in the microwave right now. Yes, you can’t even go out at 5 with a toddler without experiencing huge lines and other harrowing events.

My husband, Jon and I started the afternoon taking our daughter for a walk on the Santa Monica pier for an after-nap activity. We decided to pick up our 80-year-old ex-neighbor who doesn’t have a lot of pals and is always looking for someone to hang around with to listen to him repeat old war stories.

Everything started out fine. Okay not fine. At the risk of my husband reading this, which he will and then accuse me of complaining, which I am…I had a stomachache. The kind where you think about it constantly becuase you may at any time need to duck over the rail and let that Lean Cuisine you mistakenly had for lunch fly. Plus, I was listening to story after story from the ex-neighbor which I’d heard before and trying to look polite which is hard when you don’t know what’s going to come out of your mouth after your next “mmhmmm…tell me more about your Guatamalan maid’s family and how well you treat her …..”

Finally we got off the pier and to our fancy dinner destination “Soup Plan-ning to Kill my Spirit.” Have these people ever heard of a sneeze guard? FYI look into it. After balancing a plate for the toddler who had no idea what she wanted and was going by color theme alone, we finally found a table. But it turned out the man sitting at the next table was puking his guts up into some sort of orange creamsicle goo while his wife was acting like he was paging through Newsweek – which completely ruined my husband’s appetite. he’s delicate that way. So he’s not eating, our 80-year-old neighbor is eating really slowly, the toddler is screaming in an escalating way that is making me feel that I should be taking her out of the restaurant before they start losing business not based on their menu. I did finally remove her, by the way but not before
enjoying a few bites of Splenda chocolate mousse which somehow caused an even bigger screaming fit with the child.

I took her back to the car where we proceeded to just hang out while my husband was subjected to more war stories as if his wife and daughter hadn’t just lived one of their own. Finally, they reached the car, we all came home, we let E watch TV cause that’s the great kind of parenting we practise, I read her a Hannukah about Dreidles cause we’re JEWISH dammit and because she can’t let the holidays go. Then, finally, we put her to bed. Am I having a glass of wine?


Posted by Stefanie Wilder Taylor on February 4, 2007 6:13 amUncategorized7 comments  


  1. Melissa R. Garrett said,

    Oh my goodness, I can totally relate! We have three kids(7, 5, and 19 months), and my husband and I were just commenting to each other that it will probably be another three years before we can go to a restaurant, together, and actually have fun.

    PS – my husband tells me I complain too much too (what do they know, eh?!)

    | February 4, 2007 @ 2:04 pm

  2. BlogWhore said,

    i turned my nose up at pizza buffet chains before i had the kid. now, i love those places because of the kid firendly food, the super clean high-chairs, the diaper changers in the bathrooms and the complimentry wet wipes.

    as often as we frequent these establishments, no on has ever puked.

    | February 4, 2007 @ 5:47 pm

  3. Mrs. Chicken said,

    Done this 100 times.

    Finally stopped going out to eat.

    I miss restaurants.

    I should drink more.

    | February 5, 2007 @ 3:53 pm

  4. Peter said,

    We have two or three restaurants where they know us well by now, and we’re treated like VIPs even if the lads are being crazy. It’s nice.

    | February 5, 2007 @ 5:28 pm

  5. joy said,

    yes. you know you’ve reached some seventh circle of hell when the main criteria for eating out is “does it have crayons? chicken strips? balloons?”

    and actually–like blogwhore i have to confess to having a love of these places that can so easily amuse my child (and also can guarantee a range of kids who are likely much worse behaved than my kid). To this date, however, I have yet to step into an Old Country Buffet (which my husband refers to as Old “C-Word” Buffet).

    | February 5, 2007 @ 8:15 pm

  6. About Me said,

    Hey, Stefanie
    This is my 1st time reading your blos. I read about your trip from hell with your kid, and I just want to say that I feel for you! My son is about the same age (Dec 2004). He & I travel from Colorado to Texas once a month to see my family, and (THANK YOU,GOD-no offense to your Jewishness btw), but he really seems to love flying. He loves the airport, the airplanes, baggage carts, escalators, etc. S’matter of fact, if that’s the extent of his accomplishments in life, I think I’ll still be happy cuz he travels so well, I think God must’ve finally forgiven me for dabbling in agnosticism.
    Anyway, I just wanted to say hi. I also hate it when people refer to their spouses as DH (what the hell’s that about?), AND surprise, surprise, I’ve often considered taking up drinking as a hobby now that I’m a SAHM. So, it’s nice to know that someone out there’s kinda like me. Hello, new friend!

    | February 5, 2007 @ 10:21 pm

  7. Mitch McDad said,

    Sorry. Snease gaurds don’t cut it for me. I can’t do what I call public food. And I’m not even a germ-a-phobe. I especially can stand when people get knuckle deep in the free salsa at whole foods. I’d much rather have my food spit on by an angry chef, safely behind the swinging doors and out of my sightline, than eat where the mass trough…right in front of my face.

    | February 26, 2007 @ 9:34 pm

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