Some places in the United States are absolutely impossible to navigate without a vehicle. Public transit is spotty, infrastructure is stuck in the mid-20th century, and if you don’t have your own autonomous vehicle, you’re out of luck. You may have to rely on others for rides.
So Redditor chickandduck02 has been learning the hard way, as they don’t have a car. After their dad kept getting on their case about having a car, they lost their patience and told their dad flat out to stop unless their father intended to change the situation.
After blowback from dad, they went to the popular subReddit “Am I The A**hole?” or “AITA” for objective feedback from strangers.
“AITA for telling my dad that if he’s not buying me a car to shut up about whether I have a car or not?”
Our original poster, or OP, lives by themselves and unfortunately had their car stolen.
“Okay so I’m 28, I don’t live with my dad and I DID have a car that I purchased, then it was stolen from in front of my house.”
“It was a whole headache and insurance paid me out for it, but my rates also increased. They found the car beat to hell.”
“Well that was a few years ago, I live in a big city so I take ride shares most places.”
OP’s dad is absolutely fixated on this fact.
“My dad for some reason is OBSESSED with the fact that I don’t have a car. ‘I can’t do fun things like roadtrips with friends’ (something I have ZERO interest in).”
“Whenever I see him (which isn’t often because he lives out of town and we don’t get along) he brings up ‘why don’t you get a car? You have a decent job.'”
“This is a regular thing and he acts like I need to explain my choices and finances to him.”
But a car doesn’t make sense with OP’s situation.
“It’s not that I CAN’T it’s that I don’t want to. He’s just thinking of the price of the car but I’d have to pay insurance, parking, maintenance, and registration.”
“Which I can afford but what’s the difference if I’m paying that or taking a Uber? Uber is cheaper for me for right now. I’ve explained this to him but ‘everyone needs a car, its weird not to have one.'”
“Last time he brought it up (he was in town last weekend) ‘why don’t you have a car yet? You need to just buy a car.'”
“I snapped and said ‘oh are you buying me one? No then shut up about it I’m sick of hearing it, it’s not affecting my decision and it’s annoying.’ He said I didn’t need to be so rude about it.”
So now OP is wondering if they are at fault for snapping.
“He moved 4 hours away and it’s someplace that doesn’t make sense to fly to but they don’t have trains etc the only way to get there is by car.”
“Pretty sure he thinks me not having a car is the reason that I don’t visit, but I don’t visit because we don’t get along and if I’m taking a vacation I want it to be fun.”
“AITA for snapping after being nagged for years?”
Anonymous strangers weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
Redditors overwhelmingly agreed with OP.
“We lived in the Midwest for a while and used to get honked at for walking on the road sometimes.”
“Cut to me moving to NYC, hubby to Chicago. When I told him initially he should just sell his car, his words were – and I quote – ask me to cut off my legs, why don’t you.”
“Well, 1 month into Chicago, he realized he’d financed some AAA guy’s kid’s education, he called for a jump start so often.”
“Needless to say, by the time he moved to NYC, he’d sold the car within the week he moved there. And that was 15 years ago, no car since (and even when we move to EU, even less reason!!!)”
“OP – you’re absolutely right that it’s not just about the monthly payment or base cost of a car – there’s a cost to owning, which nearly doubles the monthly payments depending where you are. So – thanks but no thanks!!”~KeepLkngForIntllgnce
“I lived in New Jersey and worked in Manhattan. Took the PATH to work and didn’t have a car the entire time I lived there. I didn’t miss out.”
“The few times I needed a car, I rented. Not a big deal.”
“I’ve heard that the cost of rentals have increased quite a bit due to current events, but still cheaper than owning if you don’t use a car regularly. NTA”~FourteenPancakes
“NTA – I agree that it sounds like your dad wants you to come visit him.”
“But I think you might need to break it down Sesame Street style for him and explain that you can rent a car to visit him.
“However, you two need to work on your relationship before you spend the money to visit.”~ActofEncouragement
“NTA Your father is a prime example of ‘play stupid games, win stupid prizes.'”
“The usual motivation in situations like yours is the parent wants to feel like they’re still in charge.”
“If you did get a car then he’d fixate on something else: you should be getting married…you should buy a house…you should give me grandkids.”
“You had every reason to shut that down hard. He wasn’t taking hints.”~doublestitch
Some people seem to have weird hang-ups about anything that isn’t a private automobile.
“NTA. It’s none of his business.”
“If you were constantly borrowing his car, or even if you were constantly complaining about not having a car, it would be one thing.”
“But, you don’t seem to care, so he shouldn’t either.”~Comfortable_Stop_717
“NTA. If your dad wants to show he cares about you this isn’t the way to do it. If he wants you to visit him that’s what he needs to say.”
“Plenty of people live places where having a car is inconvenient and public transportation is good enough that getting around is easy.”
“Hell plenty of people would love to have a car and even though it difficult they still do without. You don’t want a car and not having one isn’t negatively effecting the majority of your life.”~pnutbuttercups56
“NTA. Someone else here posted that he probably can’t open up about his feelings and going on about the car is his way of saying he misses you. There’s probably something to that.”
“Also, sometimes people have a really hard time understanding how you could possibly survive without something they personally consider essential — and they get weird about it.”
“Many years ago my TV broke. I didn’t bother to replace it. I went without a TV for like 2 years (this was before you could watch shows/movies from a phone or computer).”
“People kept trying to give me TVs. They’d freak when I said I didn’t want or need one, and the offers for free TVs kept coming.”
“Everybody had an old TV they were trying to force upon me. They just can’t imagine how you are happy doing things so differently than them, and feel the need to make you conform so the world makes sense to them.”~FremdShaman23
“NTA – as a parent I would assume that he wants what he feels is best for you but I don’t think that after repeating over and over you don’t want one, he is still in that territory.”
“I don’t know about your situation but my family does this for control and to count rocks for when they’re right and throw them at you as additional ammo during rough times.”
“Definitely you had a right to snap, may not have been pretty but not the ahole here”~wickedpoetess
And at the end of the day, it’s OP’s life.
“NTA. You can rent a car if you want to go on a road trip or visit someone. It’s significantly cheaper than owning a car that you only need to use on occasion.”
“When I lived in the city the first thing I did was sell my car. Paying for parking, insurance, gas, maintenance, and so on was just too much.”~MiserableProperty
“NTA. Sometimes there’s a generational/class gap where older middle class people cannot relate to not wanting or needing a car.”
“But they’re so useful? But you CAN get it, so why not?? Don’t you want people to SEE that you are an ADULT with MONEY????”
“Ignoring the question of whether you’re in an area where it’s literally necessary for daily life, there’s still a lot of nostalgia/sentimentality over cars and what they represent.”
“It gets interesting in satellite suburbs where there is still plenty of public transit, but also a lot of older people with middle class hangups over using public transit.”~Bubblegrime
“NTA. My dad did this with owning a house. I don’t want a house! But a backyard! We have woods behind us and a park 200 yards away. But what about??? Nope. I don’t want or need a house.”
“Owning a car, house, property, whatever is a little different for older generations, depending on their background.”
“Moving to the suburbs and buying a house for my dad’s family meant you MADE IT. It’s just a big perspective difference.”~queenoreo
“If you live in a big city with Uber and reliable public transportation, a personal car is a waste of money; I’ve seen people pay rent-amounts of money just on their parking spots.”
“If you wanted a car to go down and visit him, there are many, many reliable companies that will rent you one for the days or weeks you’ll need it.”
“You’re an adult making a financial decision in your own best interests. Your dad should butt out. NTA.”~princess_intell
It may be that OP’s dad actually misses OP and wants them to visit; but that is not what OP’s dad was communicating.
At the end of the day, it’s OP’s choice. And OP doesn’t want to buy a car. So that’s that.