When a work opportunity comes up, a person often will go totally out of their way to make sure they see it through.
In their minds, nothing is allowed to mess it up, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor uhoh235 was expected to attend their father’s business dinner and to play along with the pleasantries, and that would have been easy enough if their high school bully wasn’t present.
But when their father was furious with them, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if they should have tried harder to keep their feelings to themselves.
They asked the sub:
“AITA for ruining dinner by pointing out one of my dad’s guests used to bully me?”
The OP had an unfortunate time at their father’s business dinner.
“My parents were hosting dinner with some business associates of my dad’s and I (female) was required to attend.”
“One of the guests, Julian, was one of my school bullies.”
“My parents both know that he and his friends used to bully me, so I was upset that they would invite him to dinner without warning me beforehand.”
“I tried not to speak to him and just ate quietly, but then he directly asked me if we had met before because I looked familiar.”
The OP decided to be honest.
“I probably could’ve lied but seeing his stupid arrogant face again annoyed me, so I reminded him that he and his friends used to bully me.”
“At first, he denied it, but then I listed some of the things his friends did to me, and he remembered.”
“My dad was visibly angry by this point.”
“I was upset, too, so I just excused myself because I didn’t want to make him angrier.”
“Julian did try to apologize to me, but I ignored him.”
The OP’s father called them out later.
“After everybody left, my dad yelled at me for causing a scene, embarrassing him, and acting like a child.”
“He wants me to go to lunch with Julian since apparently after I left, he kept telling everybody how awful he felt for what he did as a child, and he wanted to make it up to me.”
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 were disturbed by the OP’s father’s priorities.
“My oldest is dealing with some mean girls at school right now and I won’t lie, as a grown-a** woman, I’m having a hard time not confronting those little nitwits and scaring the s**t out of them.”
“Orange isn’t a good color for me, so I’m restraining myself.”
“But I’ll hate these little rat faced brats forever, that’s for sure.”
“OP’s Dad totally sucks, I’d burn my house down before I invited my child’s bully to dinner.” – MisforMisanthrope
“There is no way that a parent forgets who bullied his child.”
“I guess we know where dad’s priorities lie. And it’s not with OP.”
“NTA.” – Any_Cantaloupe_613
“I’m not convinced by Julien’s story to be honest. Best thing though for OP is to not go, and make plans to leave home as soon as it is realistically possible.”
“I hope very much Dad isn’t trying to set up OP now to clinch some sort of business deal as that would make it even more so all sorts of wrong.” – RedsquirrelGeneral22
“Dad sounds like he sympathized with his sons bullies and gets off on putting OP in that position.”
“Rats recognize each other by the smell.” – egerstein
“Dad wants OP to have lunch with Julian because now he feels ‘so awful’ about what happened. Total bulls**t.” – Shastakine
“Now that MONEY is involved, he feels awful. Or at least that’s dad’s thinking. Dad’s only interested in this because of business.”
“It’s possible Julian feels bad. I wouldn’t bet on it, but speaking as someone who had been a bully, it is possible.” – DisciplineShot2872
“NTA. Your dad set you up and is mad that you didn’t roll over like a good little victim.” – Aiyokusama
“OP could have skipped this. Dad just wanted to look good and didn’t care that his kid was sitting in the same room as someone who tormented her… and didn’t even remember.” – Dansn_lawlipop
Others felt conflicted by Julian’s “couldn’t remember” act.
“And then he went around saying how bad HE felt for what he did… When he totally forget about her/him/them.” – BitLifeOfficial_
“The taking you out to lunch to ‘make up for it’ kind of feels like he’s making a move on you, to be honest.”
“I bet he feels bad because ‘now’ you’re pretty (this happened to me).” – happyasaham
“Here is how I see it. The bully doesn’t remember because often it was nothing special to them. Just another regular day with nothing noteworthy happening that would make it stand out in their mind. Just another kid they picked on and humiliated, but the names and facesa all run together for them.”
“It’s possible that some bullies do remember their victims, but I think personally, in the majority of cases, it is more likely that they wouldn’t remember.” – rihannalexis
“Honestly, I don’t buy/believe the old ‘me and my friends used to bully you, but I don’t remember you,’ that’s a lie. It’s a denial tactic to embarras someone.” – dystopianpirate
“I kinda had the bullies’ experience. Did freshman year in one state, and the other 3 in another. Came back years later and ended up dating a girl I had gone to freshman year with. Went to meet some of her friends for lunch.”
“One guy visibly flinched and scooted away from me. I had no clue who this dude was. Apparently for a full year I would slug him in the shoulder every time I passed him in the hallways.”
“I didn’t remember it at all. Really made me feel like crap for being that person and then not remembering. Can’t imagine how that had to make him feel, and that was the full extent of my bullying not the worse stuff that some people go through.” – Outrageous_Turnip_29
Some were hurt by their bullies not remembering them or what they’d done.
“I know for a fact my bullies don’t remember me. It makes me sad to think about because there were so many of us that they tormented.”
“I had no idea how bad it was till years of abuse from these select individuals came to head and my parents got involved and the school addressed them as known problem children but said they would do nothing.”
“Then when I started high school, I was called to the counseling office one day to meet with a “peer councilor”. She asked me why I was there and I had no clue. So I left and she went to figure it out.”
“Eventually I was called back in and I was told that the reason I was on a list was because of the bullying problem at my previous schools. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. of these people’s victims were called out of class to be assessed, but they never once bothered to intervene with the actual people doing the bullying.”
“I hope one day to see them on the news. I hope they are in front of a wall with numbers holding a sign with more numbers. And I hope one day, if that does happen, that picture is of them looking as miserable as they made eveyone they ever tormented.” – DuckingGolden
“That’s the main reason I don’t talk to one of my brothers. He was a terrible bully to me growing up and to this day claims he doesn’t remember.”
“I have claustrophobia issues because when I was six he put me in a cooler and opened the drainage port for air then shoved it in a closet and put boxes on top. He did this because I apparently asked him too many questions about what school was like for ‘big kids.'”
“I was in there for over an hour until my mom got home and heard me screaming. He was supposed to be watching me and had left to go hang out with friends. I brought it up to him and he says he doesn’t remember ever doing that.” – Rainbow_mama
“That’s maybe the worst part now that I think about it. The bullying was so casual that it didn’t even stick with the bully. I was both bullied and bully at various times, and realizing that I had done it so casually that I don’t even remember the victim would be horrifying.” – DiscipleShot2872
While some could accept that Julian didn’t remember what happened, or genuinely felt bad for what he had done, they were otherwise uncomfortable with the position the business dinner was potentially putting the OP in.
The OP’s father’s priorities and motivations seemed somewhat questionable and money-driven, rather than showing concern for the people he’d be willing to put into his daughter’s life.
As important as promotions and a higher income might be, family should still come first.