May 10, 2006

On a positive note...

Lately I've been appreciating some businesses in my life that make my childfree choice even more enjoyable. I'm talking about places that set aside space or hours for adults-only activities. I don't think they're necessarily sponsoring childfree lifestyles, but I appreciate their policies nonetheless!

For instance, I go the YMCA (Young Men's Christian Association - promotes Christian values within a fitness/wellness context) six days a week. My YMCA branch doesn't have many children about to begin with, mostly in swim lessons. But they actively keep children to a specific area of the locker room, and mothers are only allowed to bring their kids into the shower area closest to that end of the locker room (there's another shower area that is a childfree zone). And the locker room attendant is all over it! Whenever a mom stumbles unknowlingly in the wrong door from the pool, the attendant is right there, making her take her child(ren) out the door, through the pool, and over to the "kids shower" door. Love it when policies are actually enforced!

The other example I come across is our local art house movie theatre. When they opened, you had to be 18 to attend, period. I think they've relented a bit to allow 16-yr-olds with a parent. But bravo! San Antonio is a city where you regularly see infants and toddlers in R-rated movies. The Bijou's policy eliminates that, and keeps the roving gangs of teens and preteens at bay.

Which businesses in your area have policies that benefit your choice to be childfree?

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Boxing Tomboy said...

There is a concert venue called the Vic which doubles as the "Brew and View" movie theater on different nights. It is the only movie theater in town that serves beer, so no one under the age of 21 can enter!

NikkiJ said...

My gym which my hyusband and I have belonged to for 4 years is, happily, a childfree zone. However, one weekend, I arrived for my regular Sunday morning squash game, to find - wait for it - some very small children complete with gym mats, taking up most of the floor space in the squash lounge! Coming up the stairs I heard some "baby voices", but dimissed it as my imagination, or my still halfawake state. But no. There they were, toys galore, with their mothers sitting in the squash armchairs, talking about baby sitters, baby food, baby this and baby that. The TV was on a cartoon channel. Meanwhile, to get to my squash rack and my racket, I almost had to step over the babies heads as they played on the gym mats!!

I was not a happy camper that day, neither was my squash partner, and if the mothers could have heard us when we got on the court (the courts have glass walls so we could see the unwelcome sight everytime we turned round)they'd probably have been shocked. Not that that was our problem, but we didn't want to make a scene. I come along for a squash workout and find toddlers in my path?! Were we a day care centre now? If so, I would be voting with my feet.

So I complained to the manager, letting her know politely that for what I paid for my membership I felt I was entitled not to have to step over kiddies at 10 am on Sunday morning when all I wanted was to enjoy my game of squash. One of the reasons we joined was because it was a kid free club.

Besides, no children of that age are actually allowed in the club... apparently a member had managed to get them past reception somehow. Wife and and her friend. It happened once more, same people, so I complained again.

Since then, I'm pleased to say, no more little kiddies appeared in the squash lounge:) My club is still a child free zone.

The worst thing wasn't so much the children though that wwas bad enough. It was the way the mothers were completely oblivious to anyone else, or the fact that their kids were obstructing genuine club users, they simply carried on chatting - about kids stuff.

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm, that's a really good questions. I am going to start looking around for some.

I do remember when my husband and I first got married we belonged to a tennis club, which also hosted a lot of other activities. We didn't play tennis but we used the work-out room 3 days a week. Once I had family in town and we invited my in-laws and the nieces and nephews to come along to enjoy the Olympic-sized pool.

My nephew was so mad when the "adults only" swim time came around! Of course, I rubbed it in by taking my turn at a dip and splashing around a bit to tease him about it, tee hee. What I think is so funny is that he exclaimed, "Oh, I knew this would happen!" Which of course he didn't. He'd never been there before.