This past Saturday, January 11, two parents brought their infant into one of the premier restaurants in the country, Alinea. Alinea boasts one of the best chefs in the world and 3-Michelin star rating along with it. Due to a baby sitter cancellation the parents made the decision to take the baby with them rather than losing out on a non refundable dinner booked months in advance, and costing several hundred dollars. Predictably, the child started crying at some point during the meal.
The chef and owner of Alinea live tweeted the commotion and brought the situation to the world. The world took it and ran with it.
The last few days have been seen endless debate about what should have been done, who was right, who was wrong, why zebras have stripes and why Kanye is such a douche.
The parents were not asked to leave, by the way.
Typically, there are two camps forming on this. On one side there are parents saying that this is America and they can take their kids wherever they want. On the other side; single people saying keep your kid out of a Michelin starred restaurant, he doesn't belong here and we don't want to hear him screaming. Always two sides, no more, no less.
I get all that, and I don't care.
The bigger picture is being missed. There has not been a more polarizing topic commanding such passionate debate and positions since Miley cut her hair. This story is transcendent, beyond the usual banality the web spews. This story is a cause for celebration.
Join me Chicago. Join me America. Join me one and all in celebrating.
Join me in celebrating Twitter and it's ability to bring poignant conversation the home. Conversations held amongst the nuclear family around the dinner table, much the way the country did during Christmas about Obamacare.
Join the celebration of a Michelin-starred chef with no taste, as evidenced by his Errol Flynn mustache and goatee and the decor of his restaurant, doing nothing about the situation.
Join me in celebrating petty whining over minor annoyances.
Celebrate Chicago! Celebrate being thrust into the national spotlight and conversation again. But, this time not for questionable and/or illegal behavior by elected officials.
Rejoice and celebrate the courageous whistle-blowing parents that exposed the Babysitter's Club and their game playing thuggery. No longer will they hold people hostage by cancelling. Finally, justice will be done.
Celebrate now knowing just how much crying can be tolerated by a foodie while trying to take a picture of their meal and post it to Instagram.
Extoll cowardice! For surely no one, including the owner(s), said not word one to the parents of this wailing child, rather took their annoyance to the InstaTwitbook world for everyone else to know.
Join the celebration of excess! Celebrate waiting months to pay hundreds of dollars for one glorious dining experience.
There is so much within this teachable moment that is being looked over, missed or even ignored. Take a moment or two, think of the big picture that Alinea, these parents, the baby, diners, and foodies are laying bare for your examination. Take this debate home to your family dinner table and talk. Don't take one side or the other, pro-baby or pro-patron, explore the bounty of angles and do it tonight, for there will be another narrative exploding into your hand-held device soon.