August 5, 2011

12" x 12"

That's the size of a bag allowed into the galleries at the SF Asian Art Museum.  I mean, neither my new leather satchel nor my diaper bag would be allowed into the galleries. 

Not that I make it a habit of reaching for my Kiehl's lip balm or changing a diaper during a glimpse of the Princess Rangkesari, but in some cases there must be exceptions to the bag rule...(I promise you my point is just around the corner).

A classroom teacher takes 22 first graders on the school bus to the Asian Art museum, 6 with asthma and 3 with severe nut allergies.  His bag is filled with emergency forms, inhalers, and Epi-pens, and is definitely exceeding the 12" x 12" restriction.  He opens it up to a security guard, its contents practically spilling out, and the guard hassles him about the size of his bag. 

As a former teacher and mother of three children who loves to visit the city's art galleries (watch out Legion, here come those darn kids again!), I am always flabbergasted at how behind the times various restaurants and venues are when it comes to food allergies.  And this is just another example.

There have been countless times I've found myself in a cafe asking about the presence of dairy, egg, or nuts in certain foods to a cashier or server replying, "I don't think so, um, I'm not sure..." or, in a confrontation with someone about bringing outside food into a venue for my food allergic children (usually ending in a teeny tiny rant about guaranteeing the safety of my children from anaphylaxis after eating their food, followed by swift entry in).

So come on, Asian Art Museum.  Let's think about your policies and educate your staff to protect our littlest patrons...because who knows?  They could be your future benefactors.

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