Cleveland, We Have a Problem.

The other day after Target-gate went down, a reader asked me to go to the Greater Cleveland Aquarium Facebook page to read the public’s outcry to the Aquarium’s temporary ban on strollers. You see, Cleveland has just opened the doors to a new aquarium in an effort to revitalize the downtown area. It’s big and cost a lot of money, but it sounds like a lot of people in Cleveland are excited about it, which is great. Everyone, that is, except the requisite mob of angry tax payers who don’t understand why aquariums are so expensive, and, of course, parents with strollers. 

For the next few months, the Greater Cleveland Aquarium has put a temporary ban on strollers and wagons for the sake of congestion. To many Cleveland residents, this seems necessary and reasonable, but to a number of vocal parents on the Aquarium’s Facebook page, it’s an outrage. In fact, several parents took to Facebook in such a furious manner that I couldn’t help but put together this post. The page is a treasure trove of controversy, and I wanted to share it here with you. Let’s take it from the top.

It all began when a few parents received word that the Greater Cleveland Aquarium is run by a school of hateful, anti-family ageists who have no consideration for the many parents who use strollers.

I’m not going to argue the logistics of baby carriers, because I know there are parents who have more than one child to look after and/or have physical limitations, but um…baby carriers.

It’s very plain, and it’s very simple. This is the low-fat yogurt of problems and solutions. If the Aquarium can accommodate a handful of wheelchairs, it can accommodate a brigade of strollers. PROBLEM SOLVED. 

Inevitably, the media picked up on all the chatter, and a local Patch blog even conducted a poll (after writing a somewhat strongly-worded summary of the controversy):

Out of 500 people, 341 would prefer the Aquarium be stroller-free for the first few months. But what about the other thirty-two percent??

Is it just me or did Rick answer his own question more than once? YES, it sucks, but for now you cannot bring your stroller into the Aquarium!

A little bit of white whine, a whole lot of #FirstWorldProblems, toss in a few tablespoons of lemon juice and voilà! You’ve got yourself a P.O.B.

Mary, Michelle and Stephanie might have too much time on their hands. Thank god for people like Jess. I’m all for protesting when a business has proven to be in the wrong, but it seems like the Greater Cleveland Aquarium has been pretty upfront about its current (temporary) policies. Why can’t these ladies just get over it?

Oh, Derek. No one is listening to you. Don’t you see? The Greater Cleveland Aquarium has offended these moms to their very core, and their anger will not be assuaged by practical reassurance and fact-reporting! Boycott! Boycott! Boycott!

Michelle even started a little mama drama with another hopeful Aquarium-goer:

Ooooh! BURN. In your FACE, Michelle, Miss “I Know Everything.” Looks like you don’t know everything NOW DO YOU.

Unfortunately, because of people like this, the Aquarium continues to receive backlash on its Facebook page, even after celebrating its official opening this weekend:

Cleveland is not every other city, and parents like Trey are not just guppies in a sea of stroller-loathing, discriminating sharks. No strollers = NO FAIR. Lots of people feel this way! OH AND THIS PLACE IS TOO EXPENSIVE IN CASE YOU DIDN’T KNOW.

It will never end. And I will never go on the Greater Cleveland Aquarium’s Facebook page again. (Although if I’m ever in Cleveland, I’d love to come by!) 

One more thing: If anyone from the Greater Cleveland Aquarium happens upon this blog post, can someone please get back to Jenifer? Thanks.

(submitted by Anonymous)

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