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Jennie's Journey

I don't like sitting on the laps of others

I am not fond of tight spaces, crowded with other people.

I am a person who enjoys a certain amount of space, especially when I am attempting to eat a meal.

So, when the new McDonald's restaurant was completed I thought it was going to be a good thing. After all, that new building looks as if it is much larger than the old restaurant.

My children, too, were excited to eat at the new fast food joint. They have a new indoor playground. In the winter months that means we will sit inside rather than visit the drive-thru window.

We were sorely disappointed, however. We visited the restaurant last month on a Saturday and the line alone was a venture for a person suffering from claustrophobia.

The children and I decided to overlook that anyway. It was a new venture. We were determined to enjoy the new establishment.

We don't eat out often and less often choose to dine-in.

The children moseyed into the playground area while I squeezed my way to the counter to place our orders. My oldest was tasked to find us a seat and I looked at the main dining area with dismay.

I only hoped during my wait there was ample seating in the playground area because what I saw in the main area was not very promising.

There were a lot of people and the seating in the facility is in close quarters.

After receiving our food I ventured into the playground area and was further dismayed. My son tried to select a table that we could all sit at. It was a table for four, which is fine. The terrible truth was there was only enough room behind the chairs in the aisle for someone very slender to fit.

You see, there were two tables positioned directly against the play area behind the window tables.

Another sad circumstance was those two tables were reserved for a birthday party. I am not saying the party itself was a sad circumstance. I just felt badly that those who would be attending the party would have even less space than us because the tables are so tightly positioned.

The mother of the child celebrating the birthday arrived and set her eyes upon those two tables. She, too, expressed grave concern. She had 20 birthday guests that would soon arrive and had seating for only eight.

About this time, my younger two hoodlums arrived at our table and their complaints about the playground were fast coming.

We opted to vacate our table to provide the birthday guests more seating. It was the right thing to do and we were rather displeased with our seating arrangements anyhow. I felt like I was suffocating.

The main dining area, it turns out, was just as I feared. The room was crowded and we were back to back with another table. There was little room to move and I felt as if everyone was sitting nearly on top of one another. If I was one to suffer panic attacks, that would have been an occasion for one.

I don't know who planned the seating in the new McDonald's, but I don't believe it was well thought out.

If I wanted to sit on the laps of others or have them sit on mine, I would have lived in a community where close quarters is the norm. One employee told me there have been bus loads from schools visiting the area. On those occasions, youngsters WERE literally sitting on one another's laps to make room for others to eat.

To the genius who thought of the new dining area design for all the "new McDonald's" restaurants, the d├ęcor is nice, but I like my elbow room and will be opting for the drive-thru next time I crave McDonald's.

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