1. Tailgaters. That's been covered already. I don't speed, but I do usually stick as close to the speed limit as I can. I reduce my speed in wet conditions or in poor visibility. I don't understand tailgating. After all, it's the speed LIMIT, not the speed minimum! And the closer you are to my tail, the closer you are to having an accident that's your fault. If I have to slow down or stop suddenly to avoid a hazard, you WILL hit me, no matter how good a driver you are. Basic biology in reflex time, and physics in car-stopping time will see to that. Every tailgater risks being the cause of deaths, injuries in addition to insurance hassles.
2. Plane travelers who show their annoyance at children on flight. Before I had children, I was a frequent traveller; domestic and international. I would sigh a little if I was seated near very young children, knowing that they cry (my mother ran a daycare at home) but I wouldn't complain and I'd be nice to the parents because children are an integral part of society. Now that I have two small children, I travel less frequently. When I do travel with the children, I make sure to have plenty of snacks, drinks, a favourite toy and some new novelties to keep them as happy as possible. My children have boundaries and discipline in their lives and are generally good kids. But they're still *children.* On one flight, my then just-turned-2yo was wailing. We tried frantically to calm him, to no avail. The seatbelt sign was still on for take-off, and he pooped. My heart sank. There was a "gentleman" a few rows ahead that made a point of turning around and GLARING at us, as if to say, "control your horrid screaming brat." We were trying, I tell you. As soon as the seat belt light turned off, I changed him, but he was still crying. We'd purchased a seat for him, and had him strapped into his car seat on that seat (as recommended). But in the end I took him out and held him as he cried. This calmed him a bit and he fell asleep. He woke up 20 minutes later SCREECHING (that gentleman again gave us a death stare) and then vomited all over himself and me. Oh. Turns out he'd gotten the same stomach bug I'd had the day earlier (I vomited so much it left me too weak to walk) and that I'd thought was food poisoning from dodgy Chinese. My son hadn't eaten the food, so it's only then we found out it was something else. Poor little guy. Poor me. I had to take him to the tiny bathroom, remove his clothes, wash him down, put a change of clothes on, hand him to my husband (who was also dealing with our infant) and then remove my dress, try to wash it in the tiny sink with the hand soap, wring it out and put it back on, still wet and smelling of vomit.
A little while later, our toddler boy had diarrhea. Oh my gosh. Nightmare. Another change of clothes.
The point being, children are not able to express themselves as well as adults. They don't have the vocabulary or emotional maturity. My son was wailing because he felt terrible and had no words to put to it. We were doing our best to soothe him. A little understanding would have been appropriate.
Another time, my little (almost 2yo) son was kicking his legs against the seat in front of him. Usually, I wouldn't allow it, but the seat in front of him was empty, so I let it go. (Pick your battles, right?) The lady on the other seat in front turned around and gave us what-for, accusing my son of kicking her seat and telling us to control him. I responded that he was *NOT* kicking her seat as could clearly be seen by the fact he wasn't seated behind her. It did make me realize that because the seats are connected though, his kicks of the seat next to her were vibrating into her seat. Of course, as soon as I figured this out I prevented him from kicking. But the thing is, she'd waited until she was livid to say anything. And then accused my son of doing something he clearly couldn't have been doing. Children cry (loudly) when upset, and are boisterous and ever-moving. We were all kids once, and for most cultures in most points of time (I'm an anthropologist), children are considered a normal part of social life. I fear for modern society because have fewer children and relegate them to the home or special designed-for-kids activities. In the past, kids were just a part of normal life and would go where their parents/grandparents/uncles/aunts/cousins went, and everyone just dealt with it.
But back to the plane thing; a plane is *PUBLIC TRANSPORT*. It's just a flying bus with more expensive tickets. You expect to deal with the whole world of society on a bus, including the elderly, the disabled, and children, young families. The same goes on the plane. Children belong in the public sphere. If you want a little adult-only bubble while travelling on public transport like buses, ferries, trains and planes, I suggest you charter a trip. Reply