Before kids, I’d board a plane looking for my seat, beg, beg, begging the airplane god that no kid was near me. Once I had kids, my judgmental superiority came back to me in a rush. Now, people looked at me and my delightful cherubs as devil’s spawn and prayed to their gods for mercy. The wheel of life and all that.
So Amy Alkon, falls into the former category and wishes to banish bad babies having bad days. In that case, I’d like to banish bad old people, bad NSA people, bad flight attendants, and really, pretty much 90% of my fellow passengers on airplanes. Why? Because they suck.
Most air travelers are tired, angry, irritable or sick. Most airplanes are now bovine-packed breeding grounds of festering frustration. It’s likely I’ll catch a cold or a bad attitude, or more likely both, on an airplane.
It’s pretty to complain about the errant toddler but that would take the focus off the menopausal chick screaming at her husband a couple flights ago or the mean old lady swearing in Spanish at anyone who touched her bag in the overhead bin. You know, the nice, civilized adult people who ride planes. Don’t forget the guy who drops his nervous fart that just won’t go away and from which there is no escape.
Air travel used to be a nicer, more refined experience. People dressed up, and sat a couple people to a row. Flights weren’t overbooked. Planes were new. They fed you. The stewardesses actually seemed to like people and aim to please.
Now, you get more respect and less hassle on a city bus and that is no exaggeration. At least you can get on a bus without having to throw out your bottle of water and being frisked and x-rayed down to your undies. Plane travel is demeaning and annoying.
But I’m not going to blame only the environment, the procedures, the staff and the experience. I’ll blame the passengers, too.
There are two sorts of passengers: The ones who travel all the time and the ones who travel for special jaunts. The regular travelers suffer the special jaunt travelers. The regular travelers have a routine. They know how things work. Then there are those who bumble around, pack wrong, take forever through security, seem lost in space and generally monkey up the works for everyone.
I’d like to set aside special planes for the casual travelers.
So, here’s my list of people I don’t want anywhere near the travel experience: NSA staff, flight attendants, casual travelers, crotchety old ladies, farting men, screaming middle aged couples and really anyone else unwilling to stoically endure a two hour trip.
Fact is, as much as I’ve traveled, I’ve seen far more annoying adults than annoying toddlers. Toddlers get a bad rap, but it’s mostly undeserved. Far more often, kids and babies are a welcome respite from the hell promulgated from some acting-out adult.
And I eagerly await the day when Amy has a kid of her own. She’ll then be praying to the please-don’t-cry, please-don’t-cry, please-don’t-cry god and making a trip she may not want to, but will have to make. She’ll have the pleasure of the apprehensive stares and the judgmental glances. She’ll get to change a diaper in a 2×2 foot closet and try to entertain her child when the flight is three hours delayed on a runway with no food and water and no hope of escape. Yeah, that’s heaven, right there.
Air travel is no fun. No reason to single out toddlers. The whole experience is usually pretty awful.