What will you do if your kids want fries and idlis, you want a noodle bowl and he wants a shawarma? You walk towards the Mall Food Court. Grabbing a table at the food court during the peak lunch hours is a talent one acquires over the years. My boys want to eat the weird combination of idlis and fries and this Mommy will make that happen!
Once you arrive you have to scan the perimeter with superhero vision. Your targets are tables that are empty, families that are about to finish and people eating desserts.
Do not, I repeat do not target the table with a young couple giggling. That couple is on a date and not going anywhere.
Table with a couple and a baby? I will suggest avoiding that too if the baby is sleeping or happy. That tired mommy after a shopping spree ain’t moving her butt! She will savour this outing and it sure is well deserved. Let the happy family be. It becomes a different story if the baby starts to howl and cry.
Are you looking at the table joined together by a big group of friends? Nope, wrong pick. They will take forever to decide what to eat and the selfie session, group photography and Instagramming of food pics will add to the wait time. Move ahead.
Elderly couple eating by themselves? Yes, that table has potential. The older generation have their priorities right. They are here to eat and know exactly what they want. Expect them to eat and leave soon enough.
Finally, once you spot your target you pace like a panther with the elegance of a swan. You hang around at a distance respecting the current occupant’s privacy yet letting them know you are next! I often talk loudly to my toddler if the occupants are delaying…” aunty and uncle are eating beta, let’s wait”. Often people get the hint and wind up politely.
At times you will find some other sharks circling your target as well. Here you let them know you were here first! Some people will pretend they didn’t notice you and slyly grab the chair as the table gets empty. Here you hold your ground and politely but firmly take a stand. Kids in such situations do come handy! Just plop your kid on the table!
Once you finally get your table, you got to own it like it belongs! While you enjoy your comfy seat you can’t help but look around and see some helpless sharks looking for targets. Some of them might approach your table seeing it empty assuming you are ready to leave. You inform them with a lot of empathy that ‘sorry we are waiting to be served’. This might crush their excitement but don’t worry they will soon get over it and move on. There are other fish in the sea. In this case hopefully ‘tables’.
Now you Order some food, sit back and enjoy.. Do u feel like someone is watching you? congratulations your table is on target.. Table sharks will be circling soon.. Eat, enjoy and wind up soon..