Grief comes in all forms, sometimes picking up responsibilities right where they were left off.
This can create confusion for people watching, however, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor madatpark decided to put a pair of women in their place after their made a poor assumption about him and his little brother.
But after being criticized for his actions, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if he overreacted.
He asked the sub:
“AITA for yelling at these two ladies at the park about my brother?”
The OP liked to take his little brother to the park.
“So I’m 20 [Male], and my parents had a surprise pregnancy when I was 16. My little bro is 3 now and we’re close.”
“My dad died last year from [the virus] in December and it’s been hard on all of us, especially my mom taking care of my little brother.”
“I’m not in school rn (right now), so in the mornings, he and I go to the park.”
“Not a lot of ppl (people) go that early, except there were these 2 ladies who were there with their kids.”
There were big assumptions made at the park.
“They were sitting by the swings and I had my brother with me playing on the slides.”
“But they kept looking at us. Even when I would look at them, they’d keep staring.”
“Then my brother wanted to go play in the sandbox, which is by the swings.”
“We walked past them and they literally didn’t hide that they were looking at us.”
“And then they said to each other, ‘Are kids still doing this?”
And then I heard, ‘That poor baby.'”
“So they thought he was my son, which yeah makes sense, but to be openly talking s**t?”
The OP decided to confront them.
“That got me mad. Normally I don’t do s**t like this, but I went to talk to them with my brother playing in the sand. I asked them to say that again.”
“Now they looked shocked. They tried to act like what am I talking about, and I ask the lady, ‘Are kids still doing what? That’s my f**king brother.'”
“Then she was saying sorry, she didn’t know that, and thought I was his dad.”
“And I told her no, our dad died a few months ago, and I like to take him out, because obviously my dad can’t do that anymore.”
“I was like really mad. They said sorry for what they said, but all I told them was next time, don’t f**king judge people’s lives.”
“It really got me, idk (I don’t know) why, but I didn’t like the way they were being. I didn’t hear them talking anymore.”
The OP’s mother shared a different perspective with him.
“My mom saw me mad when we came home so I told her everything.”
“The reason she thinks I’m TA was that I was still rude to these older ladies and it’s not their faults they didn’t know.”
“But still to me, it’s like so what if we weren’t brothers and it was a dad with his kids? They still shouldn’t be saying s**t and they were loud enough that I could hear it.”
“But maybe I’m wrong? Idk (I don’t know), that’s why I’m asking here.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some people said the women shouldn’t have spoken up no matter what.
“Even if OP was an 18-year-old father, he still shouldn’t be made to feel s**tty and judged for taking his kid to the park. Those 2 old bats need to STFU (shut the f**k up) and leave other people alone.”
“Obviously NTA.” – LibertyUnderpants
“NTA. Even if you were his dad, that still doesn’t justify that disgusting comment. They were being judgmental d**ks about something that has nothing to do with them.”
“It doesn’t matter that they didn’t know or whatever, they assumed you were a single, young father and decided to s**t on you for that. THAT in and of itself is disgusting and they deserved to be told off.”
“You’re a bada**, my dude, and an awesome big brother. You’re teaching that kid how to be a bada**, upstanding guy too by doing things like that, it’s important that he understands that he doesn’t just have to take abuse like that out of fear of being ‘rude.'” – seterra
“Also assuming he’s a teen dad… he was ‘caught’ taking the kid out to the park and spending time with him. It’s not like he did anything shameful here.” – HiddenMaragon
“And like… so what if he was his kid? Mistakes happen to teenagers all the time. They should have been impressed that he was being such a good father and actively taking part in his kid’s life in that case.”
“They just wanted to talk s**t. Because they were bored, judgmental old ladies with nothing better to do with themselves. Kudos to the OP for being such a good big brother and role model to his little brother.” – veloxaraptor
Others said the OP was right to speak up.
“Even in calling them out, you did not go overboard. I can imagine where those ladies are coming from, just gossiping about whatever crosses their path. I’m fairly certain they meant no harm.”
“But in return, no harm came to them, they just got reminded the world is more complex than they might assume at a glance, which is a great thing to be reminded of when needed!” – BotBotzie
“NTA – your anger was valid. Even if he was your son, they had no reason to comment or shame you, so they absolutely deserved to be criticized for their judgment.”
“You sound like a wonderful big brother.” – gardenofidunn
“First, I am so sorry for your loss. I am glad that your little brother has such a good brother to care for him.”
“Also, NTA. Those nosy people need to mind their own business.”
“‘I like to take him out cause obviously, my dad can’t do that anymore.’ was well said and well deserved. I hope you made them feel bad for being so quick to judge and that they will think twice next time.” – MaybeAWalrus
A few hoped the women learned their lesson.
“I think OP’s reaction was spot on because they might, just might, have learned a little something about being snooty, judgemental old biddies. There’s a slight, tiny, chance that they’ll stop and think before making assumptions.” – tawy098
“Even if they don’t feel bad, they’ll certainly hesitate to repeat behavior that got them called out in public like that. (I wouldn’t say that’s true in all cases, but since these ladies seemed to stammer and apologize when OP confronted them, they seem like they don’t actively enjoy confrontations with strangers.)”
“While OP might not be able to change those ladies, he probably saved future teens from having to endure their loud judgments.” – wiggles105
The women were surely surprised when the OP decided to approach them about their gossip, but the subReddit commended him for doing so. Not only were they wrong in their assumptions, but they were wrong to judge the pair at all. As some of the Redditors said, hopefully, this will be a lesson for the women to reconsider their judgments.