My birthday was earlier this week, and like a responsible adult I went to work. I attended my meetings and did the job. Before I left for home, I texted youngest son asking if he wanted to eat out with me and listen to our friend play some live music a little local wine bistro. To be honest, despite our talented friend, the restaurant wasn’t my first choice, but it was a Thursday night, and it made sense.
As we pulled up, son exclaimed, “There’s an asston of people here.” I glanced around – really? On a Thursday night at 7:00? Most Cedar Rapidians are happily ensconced in their dwellings in front of their TVs by that time on a weeknight. Indeed, it was wall-to-wall people. I was happy my friend had drawn such a crowd, but my pleasure was quickly supplanted by annoyance. Indeed, if they were there to hear music, you did not know it.
It was an ADULT COLORING CLUB. I did not know this was a thing. Of course, adult coloring books are the craze at the moment. I have one, as well as nice set of colored pencils. In fact, a friend gave me a really cool one with inspirational quotes and coloring designs for aforementioned birthday. However, when I color, I am at home. Usually at the coffee table or breakfast bar – kind of like when I was, oh, six and colored at home. These people had come out in public – to a wine bar no less – to color in groups, ignore music, and talk at each other. Are you kidding me?
My idea was to sit in a quiet place, enjoy a light meal and some music. What I got was an adult-preschool where the manners of preschool were forgotten. They didn’t share the colors; they talked too loudly about their picture pages, and failed to applaud the musician who played non-stop for at least the 90 minutes we were there. I sympathized with the waiter who encountered whining complaints when he told a group of rugrats that they didn’t offer french fries, and suggested a fruit or cottage cheese cup instead. The servers bustled about, but by-and-large the colorers took a seat and kept it to color. It reminded me of the times in college when we would get one order of fries and water then keep the booth as long as whatever unfortunate establishment we had descended upon would let us. From the looks of things last night, tables did not turn much.
After about an hour, I looked at my watch and asked son if it wasn’t time for the coloring toddlers to go to bed. Nope, they kept at it. At first, it was hard for me to put my finger on the cause of my outrage. Then, I figured it out: this activity did not belong in an adult setting. I had counted on a quiet evening of drink and music; I got a kindergarten after-school care room.
Now, mind you: if you like coloring or the wine and painting evenings that happen, that’s fabulous. Everyone gets to have their own hobbies, and as I said, I color occasionally. But, I think this should be happening at the library or in a classroom or a studio of some kind. Perhaps the establishment should have reserved their rooms for only colorers because the six or seven of us that were not kept looking at each other in bewilderment.
I guess I just don’t get it: why are these people coloring in groups in an adult venue? I chatted briefly with the woman who organized the coloring club; she said, “Isn’t this great? Help yourself to a page and some crayons.” No, no thanks. I’ll take my wine in the bar, and I’ll do my art in the studio.
Join me – please?