An open letter to the woman who changed her daughter’s diaper right next to us as we ate…

This rant goes out to the mother who decided to change her infant’s diaper right next to us: on the floor, in a crowded coffee shop, as we tried to have a relaxing bite to eat in a sanitary and fairly smell-free environment.

Dear Ma’am,

You probably didn’t notice us eating less than three feet away from you when you suddenly decided your infant daughter needed her diaper changed immediately, right there. For I’m sure if you had noticed us sitting there, eating, you might not have put your daughter on the floor by our feet and commenced changing her diaper.

You left us perplexed and completely disoriented. You see, your actions made so little sense that for a moment we felt the Earth stop and alter its rotation so that it could revolve entirely around you.

We are not exactly sure what you were thinking in making the decision to change a dirty diaper within a yard of strangers eating. We understand that being a parent is difficult and involves numerous sub-optimal decisions. But a diaper is not an *immediate* safety concern requiring instantaneous action with deleterious consequences.

We are quite positive that you failed to expend even modest effort in finding a more appropriate place to air your daughter’s dirty laundry. In fact, we know for a fact that the bathroom less than 10 yards away is quite spacious, clean, and equipped with a fan for removing certain smells. This same bathroom even has a large counter for enabling diaper changing. Oh yeah, and there is typically not much of a wait for the bathroom either.

Were you so concerned about losing your precious table that you felt compelled to air it all out next to us? Surely, your husband [except that he was too self-absorbed standing in line] could have taken your daughter to the bathroom so that you could retain your sacred seat.

Your decision makes us wonder if you would also throw a dinner party for strangers. Then, in the middle of the dark brown chunky french onion soup, surprise everyone by changing your daughter on the nearby buffet table so that guests could compare/contrast the soup to the diaper contents (in the consistency, color and smell categories).

Surely, changing your daughter’s diaper in the dining room during a dinner party would feel slightly inappropriate to you, right? So, shouldn’t changing it within a yard of strangers eating breakfast also feel inappropriate and somewhat unsanitary? (You didn’t even warn or ask us!)

You probably didn’t even notice how we stopped eating and quickly started scanning for alternate tables — then got up and left. After all, when the Earth rotates about you, how could you see anything else but a inconsequential blur.

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