While scanning parenting blogs and sites yesterday, I came across an article on Huffington Post about a restaurant receipt with a note from a “single mom.” I was initially a little amused that this was making the rounds because it seems so silly. Who really cares if someone, single mom or not, left a tip? It’s rude in the extreme, but hardly worthy of public discussion. The more I thought about it, though, I realized it wasn’t funny at all.
The restaurant patron, who left no tip on a $138.55 bill, signing, “Single Mom, sorry,” may or may not have been a single mom. I think the diner was not really a single parent, or at least not one who couldn’t afford a tip, but rather someone trying to imply that some single moms feel like they are entitled to a pass because they are struggling financially. The note on the receipt (if it was indeed a joke), and the reaction it has drawn online, points to a larger issue. Increasingly, it seems, single moms are being used as the butt of jokes or, even worse, a scapegoat for societal ills.
What do you think? Is this receipt real? Is the incident indicative of a larger, mostly negative, attitude toward single mothers?