I wrote the post below instead of doing what I should have done which was to call the establishment directly and ask them about the sign. Instead, I did what I can’t stand and got passive-aggressive about it on the Internet. (I am currently punching myself in the face for this, btw.)
I’ve decided to leave it as-is. But wanted everyone to know that I was the one in the wrong here. And I apologize for how I handled the situation. Furthermore, I would like to thank Amy 2 for actually doing what I should have done in the first place.
Yay, sweet stranger!
I usually stay away from topics like this one because I’m too much of a pussy anymore to deal with online backlash, but I can’t help it this time.
My lollipop adventure has me frequenting a baking supply store in Manhattan. This store has everything I need and at relatively decent prices. Plus, they sell in bulk. They’re also fairly convenient for me to get to—a mere 8 blocks from the 6th Avenue stop on the L.
A few weeks ago, Toby Joe, Emory and I headed into the city together. It was a Saturday morning. When we arrived, I saw the following sign:
I was annoyed, but fine—whatever. Toby Joe was there, so they waited outside while I rushed around for what I needed.
Fast forward to this week. I had rush order that had to get out. I wanted to get there quickly and immediately. I was preparing to take Emory into the city on the subway with me (I only have the nanny for a few hours each week) and remembered the sign. Since parking in that area during the week is impossible, I had three choices: I could leave the stroller behind and make him walk the 8 blocks from the subway which, as many of you know who’ve spent time with a 2-year-old, would take us forever; I could bring leave the stroller outside and hope that it doesn’t get stolen; or I could just not go and wait until I had someone to watch him.
I opted to wait. The order would have to wait. This is a “First World” problem. I know that.
But this is what I kept thinking: Why? Why are strollers banned from the store. Would a wheelchair be banned from the store? How about a walker? Why just strollers. And so I started to get upset about it—probably a little too upset because, considering in the grand scheme of things, this isn’t that big of a deal.
Someone suggested I ask the store owner if I could fold the stroller up and leave it just inside the store somewhere. And I could try that. I’m not sure they’d agree but I could try.
A few people suggested I leave the stroller outside and use a bike lock. Which, yes, is a great idea, but that adds one more relatively heavy item that I must carry around with me. Navigating the subway with a stroller and a toddler is hard enough, adding a paperclip into the mix can sometimes tip the scales.
See, that’s the thing: it’s when you start to add it all up—all the hoops you have to jump through when you have kids, that seemingly irrelevant situations like this one turn into the straw that breaks the sherpa’s back.
I understand why bars want to ban strollers. I’ve written about this before. There was a bar here in Brooklyn that put up a sign and were met with quite a backlash from those in the community with children. Granted, on the flip side of that fight (and boy was it heated for a while), there were a great number of people singing the bar’s praises because a lot of people believe that babies or toddlers should not be in bars. And I get that. I may not agree all the time, but I get it. But baking supply stores? There really aren’t many of them.
Here’s the bigger deal, however. I don’t believe this is about strollers. I believe this is about children. And if my cynical assumption is true, that’s discrimination discriminatory in nature.
I know myself. I won’t say a word to this establishment and hopefully once I figure out what I need every month, I’ll start ordering everything online. But I’m still annoyed. I’m annoyed that additional and unnecessary hurdles like this one are out there waiting us when I think we have enough to deal with.