asking for what you want

Ruffling Feathers and Asking For What You Want

Walking into the quaint restaurant that had been restored in classic English pub tradition, with its exposed wooden beams and thickly coated white paint walls. We had only just booked a table half an hour earlier for twelve of us. It was a  hot balmy summer night and many places were closed due to the high temperatures. Lucking out with this cute little find. Half of us strolled in with all the kids in tow as they were of course starving.

 Sitting them down at our table, we rushed to order them some food knowing that the sooner they ate the happier they would be. No more winging and whining. 

The rest of our group arrived, drinks were ordered and meals were chosen. Conversation filled the empty pub, laughter was heard from all four corners while the kids ran through the building while they left their colouring pencils on the table. 

The scene was almost picture-perfect but the underlying need to feed the kids were felt by me and the other parents as we helicoptered them back to the table relentlessly. 

It was one of the other adults at the table who spoke up first, they had noticed that the kids still hadn’t eaten. It was a wrestling match down our end as us parents sat there trying to hold off the apocalypse. She yelled from the other end of the table “Did you order the kids meals first?” I replied with a “Yes before you guys came in” The conversation at the table turned.

What was a pleasant picture became, a table of hungry, hangry hyenas wanting for their food and why was it not there yet. I watched the conversations play out for while only to be met with my son bursting into tears because he was so hungry “mummy I need food, I can’t wait anymore”


It was getting late, we had arrived late, it was hot, everyone was slightly agitated. 

Okay, well this Mumma bear knew what she has to do. I started to get up from the table to inform that “I’ll go and check and see what’s happening and see if I can get the kids meals out first”

The person who brought up the problem in the first place, said “no don’t do that, I don’t want to offend anyone” 

I ensured her that it was no problems at all. What she probably didn’t know was that I had several years of hospitality in my belt and as a customer, we do have a right to ask. The endless tedious things people had asked me in the past were just ridiculous but it comes with the terrain. 

As I moved away from the table another one of them said “let her go, she has no problems offending people, she thinks nothing of it”

Shocked by this remark. Seriously people should never talk about others while in ears distance. Fucking rude, I thought. How is it that I’m going to offend the waitress by asking her did I specify to bring out the kid's meals first instead of everything together? I have no clue. I’m just asking, it's not like the place was packed and it was a busy Friday night. It was a Tuesday, the place had a total of three tables and we were one of them. 

Sliding up to the waitress I asked her to bring everything as it was ready, everyone at the table was hungry. And if she could check on those kids' meals that would be fab. 

I’m not sure how I was being rude, or how I was offending this woman. 

But apparently, I had. 


This got me thinking - am I rude? 


Am I rude for asking for what I want, or seeking out additional information to benefit me and most certainly my kids.


Who are these people? Accusing me of being someone who knows what she wants. A woman who is happy to ask, who is happy to voice her needs. 

It’s not like I’m a total fucking dickhead when I ask - I’m a human, I had been in the waitress's shoes before. I knew how to approach the situation in a way that wasn't condescending. It’s not like it's her fault the food wasn’t there either.

Second guessing myself sucks. It happens. 

It was happening. 

I sat at the table for the rest of the evening in silence, processing what had just happened. 

To realise that actually I have the right to speak the truth. 

And that perhaps these other people, keep it all in. It’s easier to talk behind someone’s back instead of addressing, speaking up and actually communicating with compassion. They complain about why their meal is not in front of them but yet they don't do anything about it. The list of the excuses as to why this is true and talk themselves back to a place of yes we can wait. 


BUT why wait…


To be fair, sometimes in life, we do need to wait. But in this situation, things were taking an awfully long time. The kitchen probably only had one person working all the stations, they were probably sweating their eyeballs out in this very rare English heatwave. 

There is absolutely no harm done (as the English would say) by asking. We got those kids meals out within ten minutes. The adults came staggered after asking the waitress to just bring them out as they were ready instead of holding them all back, my meal was the last to arrive, of course. By the time it came, the others had already finished theirs. 

I was processing. 

I was analysing.

I wasn’t bothered.

I was unveiling the truth that I no longer let the opinions/emotions/thoughts of others hold me back anymore. 

 From the concerned enquiry to being bitched about. 



I’m no longer people-pleasing. People don’t like it. And that’s okay. And I’m okay with that too!

The lesson here for me was:

When we speak up, not everyone is going to like it. 

The reason that not everyone is going to like what I have to say is, one - they themselves don’t know how to do what I just did, and secretly wish that they could do it.  Two - they are simply not on the same page as me because our values are different. 

Full acceptance is that of others and who they are but also who I am and what I stand for and fighting for it. In this case, kid's meals are always first and I will continue to be a Mumma bear who won't tolerate waiting an hour for a small fish and chips for my wee ones.

My primal role of caretaking my children kicks me into gear. To defend them. 

This principle should also cross over to ME!

I am the person who asks after an hour of waiting, why I don't have a plate of deliciousness in front of me. I am the person who asks to have a few hours to myself and go for a long walk. I am the person who says no to going out because I am exhausted. And I’m okay with that. 

It’s in the being okay with our choices. Knowing that we chose us, and what we stand for. 

So, lets’ offend people. Let’s ruffle a few feathers and ask for what we want. 

Seriously do it with compassion, strength and love.

And be rewarded with what you desire.


So what are you going to ask for today?


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