To the lady who sat next me at Panera,
There is no way you could have known what kind of weekend I'd had up to the point of our meeting. You didn't know I woke up at 7 am so sore from Saturday's gardening I could hardly breathe without pain. I know you had no control over the fact that my not quite 2 year old drank some laundry detergent this morning while I was trying to get the house cleaned. It also isn't your fault that the detergent drinking happened while my husband was gone cleaning the car for almost 2 hours before I packed up all the kids to go see what we could do to persuade him that home is really where he needed to be. It's not your fault that poison control told me the little guy would be fine unless he started struggling to breath and drooling, which he proceeded to do 1hour after his sudsy cocktail.
I don't blame you for the fact that he coughed up bubbles while we went to his pediatrician's after hours clinic only to be greeted by a doctor who's English was so sparse I had to explain what "detergent" was. I'm sure it wasn't your fault that I mistook her lack of command for the the English language for deafness which led to me yelling my English description of detergent loud enough for the entire waiting room of sick kids and their families to hear. You didn't tell them to look at me like I had leprosy as I walked out of the office on my way to the emergency room as per the non-English speaking doctor's orders. You didn't cause the 10 hour wait at the emergency room which led us to look elsewhere for treatment. Did I mention how uptight and OCD I get around sick people and in the places where sick people congregate? Well that isn't your fault either, but I thought I'd mention it. I can't hold the four hour ordeal against you, nor can I blame you for the bloody nose my seven year old gave to my five year immediately upon us picking them up from their grandma's house.
How could you know that we then dragged all 3 of our offspring on a wild tour of furniture stores for the 2 hours immediately preceeding our trip to Panera. You had no control over the fact that my kids were so enamoured with the nude Greek statues' butt cracks at one of the stores that the sales lady would no longer help us. You wouldn't know how much fun a toddler can have with his hand up a statue's ass proclaiming "stinky in der, stinky in dat butt" loud enough for everyone to hear. It's also not your fault that the guy at Office Depot was parenting my children because I was too busy to notice that they were causing such a commotion in the empty office chair section. I wish you could have been there to tell him that we were the only customers in the entire store, and he should spend more time worrying about the grease collecting in his hair. I'm even willing to give you the benefit of the doubt when it comes to the 2 inches of your butt crack that was hanging out of your pants, and the back acne that was visible, well that wasn't your fault either. Maybe I could have chosen to ignore the fact that you were not even eating, but instead studying your infectious disease text book so loudly that I wasn't sure whether to go take the test for you or vomit in your lap.
All this aside, the one thing I must hold you accountable for is the fact that you blew your nose no less than 12 times in the 20 minutes we sat next to you. As much fun as it is listening to the copious amounts of snot evacuating your nasal cavities accompanied by an annoying goose-like honk, I must say you made our dinner an extremely unpleasant experience. Next time I'd ask that you either stay home, take a sinus pill or, at the very least, take your snot rockets to the restroom where expulsion of bodily fluids is welcomed and accommodated.