Breast milk’s not on the menu
(Originally published in the San Diego Reader January 23, 2013)
On Sunday, December 2, Jamie Boyd and Joseph Taylor met at Felix’s Restaurant in Lincoln Park to eat dinner and to swap their children to Mom (Boyd) after a weekend with Dad. They sat at a table near an open door in the back of the restaurant. Only 2 of the 15 or 20 other tables were occupied, both with families. Football games played on every television screen. While Boyd and her family waited for their food, she began to nurse her 20-month-old daughter.
“The waitress, who has known us forever, came over and said, ‘Can I get you a napkin or a tablecloth?’” Boyd says. “I didn’t get what she meant. I thought she meant because kids make messes and need lots of napkins or something.”
Boyd smiled, thanked the waitress, and said no, she didn’t need any extra napkins. A few minutes later, the restaurant’s owner, Felix Berry, approached the table. They’d met him several times before and considered him a part of their community, not only because they frequent his business, but also because he’s a personal friend of Taylor’s aunt and uncle. Although the restaurant’s Euclid Avenue location had opened just a few months prior, the family had been dining at the Oceanside location since Boyd was pregnant with her now–four-year-old daughter.
“I had expected that he was coming over to say, ‘How are you?’ and ‘Thanks for supporting my business.’ I told him congratulations on the new restaurant and he asked me if he could get me a tablecloth,” Boyd says. “Then he said, ‘You can go to the toilet or the office.’ I still didn’t get it.”
When she realized that he was asking her to hide her breastfeeding or leave the room to do it, she was stunned.
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