Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Hippy Parents Make Me Rage

What is it with lame new-age parents and their refusal to impose any discipline on their children?

I was stuck on a plane with this couple with three young kids. One of them, apparently 2 years old, kept unbuckling her seat belt as the plane was taking off. The dad, some shlumpy herb beta type, kept insisting that she be able to sit on his lap. The air hostess (who, truth be told, was a bit of a bitch) told him that she was over two, and had to be in her seat.

Takeoff went okay, but then we got a repeat performance at landing. This guy got in a big argument with the hostess demanding to speak to the captain (who, the hostess pointed out, was in the process of trying to land the plane). But amazingly, at no point did he actually make any serious attempt at trying to stop the bratty kid unbuckling her seat belt, other than cooing type stuff. Forget raising your voice, even just a simple stern talk discussing why it was really important that she stay seated would have been welcome. But no, no inconvenience was too small for his bundle of joy. It was just the responsibility of the airline to bend to his child's wishes.

The hostess pointed out that if she wasn't seated and buckled up, they wouldn't be able to land the plane. The guy turned around to the cabin, announcing that she was buckled in and looking for moral support.

The lady behind me (who had a child of about 10) said to him and the rest of the cabin, 'you don't want to know what I think.'

Amen, sister.


  1. I feel that this post would gain considerably in gravity and import if you could unpack or expand on "shlumpy Herb Beta type." I see this sort of behavior more often in parents that I would characterize as yuppie rather than hippie (do that many hippie parents travel on airplanes?). Anyway, point well taken, and you do wonder what the world is gonna be like when these indulged tots are running it.

  2. It's true, the guy wasn't a classic hippy, only really in terms of his infuriating parenting style.

    To get a sense of what the the guy was like (and for a good primer on what a 'herb' is,) Roissy gives the following helpful definition of a herb:

    "Herb (noun) – a schlumpy, nondescript white guy with no fashion sense, chin, or sexual gravitas, who has managed to hook up with a cute chick. Herbs usually wear satchels to nightclubs and button down collar shirts with the Hanes undershirt peaking through at the neck. They love anything khaki and are not embarrassed to be seen wearing fanny packs or sandals. A super herb takes it up a notch with white athletic socks and an extra-large t-shirt to hide his man boobs. They have a walk that can be best described as looking like they are carrying a load in their pants. They will annoy you just by being there. The fact that a herb will have usually managed to score a cute yuppie chick will fill you with violent feelings toward him."

    As for general beta type behaviour, there's some hilarious examples here and here.