Parents Reserve Park Benches for Child’s Birthday with ‘Rude’ Note

source: Reddit/AV16mm

I was scrolling through Reddit the other day, and you wouldn’t believe the drama that unfolded over a few park benches. The post, which had thousands of comments, detailed an incident involving some parents who reserved tables at a busy park for their four-year-old’s birthday party. Now, as a mom myself, I totally get the desire to have a perfect spot for your kid’s big day, but the way they went about it? Let’s just say, it didn’t sit well with a lot of people, including me.

So here’s what happened. The parents wanted to make sure they had seats for their party at a popular park. Fair enough, right? But instead of showing up early to claim the spot, they decided to “reserve” the tables by decorating them with tablecloths and leaving a rather passive-aggressive note. The note read: “Reserved for a birthday party. Please respect the space we’ve set aside and do not use our tables. This is for a four-year-old’s party, don’t be the one to mess it up, thank you.”

Now, I can understand the intention behind the note. Organizing a birthday party can be stressful, and you don’t want to leave things to chance. But here’s the kicker: the note and the table decorations were put up hours before the party was set to begin, and the family didn’t show up until six hours later. Meanwhile, the park was packed because it was a hot Saturday on Labor Day weekend. All the other tables were full, and yet these three tables sat empty, guarded only by some tablecloths and a sternly worded note.

source: Reddit/AV16mm

A fellow park-goer, obviously miffed by the sight, posted a picture of the empty tables on Reddit. They expressed their frustration, pointing out how entitled it seemed to reserve public park tables for hours without being there to use them. The post quickly went viral, and the comments started pouring in.

People were furious. Many likened it to the annoying practice of reserving pool chairs at a resort early in the morning and then not showing up until the afternoon. “Several people could have used the chairs and left by the time they even showed up,” one commenter noted. Another pointed out the lack of courtesy in the approach: “I think if you want to hold the table you need to station someone there to wait all day, otherwise it’s first come first serve.”

As a mom, I feel torn. On one hand, I completely understand the anxiety about finding a good spot for your child’s party. You want everything to be perfect, and the thought of not having a place for everyone to sit can be panic-inducing. But the way these parents went about it wasn’t considerate of others. It’s a public park, after all. Everyone has an equal right to use the space, and reserving tables with a note and some tablecloths just feels wrong.

Interestingly, some people offered what I thought were very reasonable solutions. One suggestion was to include a time on the note, like: “We’re having a birthday party for our four-year-old at noon. Feel free to use this table until then, but please leave it by noon so we can celebrate this special day with our family.” This approach still reserves the table but does so in a way that respects other park-goers’ use of the space.

source: Pexels

Others said the parents should have just sent someone to physically stay at the tables. It’s not uncommon to see a dad or uncle camped out at a park table, holding the spot for a party. It’s the way it’s been done forever, and while it might be a bit inconvenient, it ensures you have the spot without causing friction with other park visitors.

Then there’s the matter of the tone of the note. Many people were upset not just by the act of reserving the tables but by the passive-aggressive wording. It demanded respect and compliance without offering much in return. It’s almost as if the note depended on others’ decency while showing little of its own.

One user humorously suggested that people should have just thrown the tablecloth and note in the bin. “They can’t prove it wasn’t there when you sat down,” they quipped. While it might not be the most civil solution, it speaks volumes about how frustrated people were with the situation.

In the end, when the family finally arrived, they brought along a loud portable speaker and had a rather rowdy party. The park rangers had to step in and have a long chat with them to get things under control. This only added fuel to the fire of the online debate.

source: Pexels

Reading through the comments, it was clear that very few people sided with the parents. The general consensus was that the whole situation could have been handled with a bit more thoughtfulness and courtesy. And as someone who’s navigated the chaos of planning kids’ parties, I have to agree. We all want our kids’ special days to be perfect, but that doesn’t mean we should disregard the rights and needs of others.

So, whose side are you on? Do you think these parents were entitled or just a bit overzealous in their planning? For me, it’s a mix of both. I get the pressure, but there’s a better way to go about it that doesn’t step on others’ toes. Here’s hoping we can all find that balance in our parenting adventures.