Thursday, July 31, 2008

hating kids

Professor Bainbridge doesn't like kids (link from Xrlq). He especially doesn't like kids on airplanes. As single guy in my forties who will probably never have kids, and who doesn't like noise or chaos, I could sympathize. I could sympathize, but I don't. I made a choice some time back --probably around when my brothers started spawning-- that I wasn't going to be one of those guys. You know who I mean: the mean-spirited old men (and sometimes women) who get so irritated and condescending whenever kids start acting like kids.

When you have a misbehaving child on an airplane, how does it improve the situation for the adults around to start muttering obscenities and glaring at the parents? I recall once sitting down in a plane and then having a woman sit next to me with an infant. I started to get annoyed, but then I remembered that I don't want to be one of those guys, so when she apologized for the baby's crying, I smiled and told her not to be silly --that's what babies do. It made the flight better for both of us. Yeah, the crying was a bit annoying. But my decision not to get angry or to dwell on the discomfort made it more bearable. But the mean old woman on the other side didn't take my lead. She insisted on being as miserable as possible and letting the poor mother know how miserable she was. I'm not sure the mean old woman really thought through the logic of making yourself miserable to punish someone who can't help whatever is troubling you.

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