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Dad Refuses To Delay Family Trip So Wife And Stepdaughter Can Attend Friend’s Sweet 16 Party

Dad holding passports
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Around the holidays, most of us have way too many plans to juggle, and that’s not including any birthdays that may fall during that time.

We become so busy, sometimes we have to choose between events, agreed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit, which can lead to some serious disappointment for someone.

Redditor FewMasterpiece1117 was looking forward to the international trip he had planned with his family, right after his stepdaughter’s friend’s birthday.

But when her friend’s birthday was rescheduled to during their trip, the Original Poster (OP) was criticized for still wanting to go on the trip at the original time.

He asked the sub:

“AITA for taking the family on vacation without my wife and stepdaughter?”

The OP’s wife and stepdaughter were very close to a mother and daughter.

“My stepdaughter is in high school and has a best friend she’s known since they were babies.”

“Her best friend’s mother and my wife have been friends since the birth of their girls. She helped my wife through her divorce, and my stepdaughter stayed with them for days at a time during the worst part of that process.”

“My wife and I have two children together.”

The family was in the habit of attending the stepdaughter’s friend’s birthday every year.

“My stepdaughter’s best friend has a birthday in December. We are well aware of her birthday because we attend it every year.”

“This year, my side of the family planned to take a huge overseas Christmas vacation which required us to ask her friend’s mother for the party date.”

“Because it’s her friend’s sweet sixteen birthday party, we planned and bought our tickets to leave two days after the party so that my stepdaughter wouldn’t miss it. It’s going to be huge with over 100 people in attendance and catered food. I’ve been told almost everyone in their class is attending.”

A problem arose when the birthday party was rescheduled.

“Monday, my stepdaughter came home and told us that the party date was moved to accommodate some of her friend’s family members who decided last minute to fly in for it. The problem is that the date was moved to one well after our departure date.”

“Here’s the problem. First, we’re not made of money so for us to change the flight and hotel for our family will more than double the cost.”

“Second, it will be a two-week overseas trip, so I already had my vacation approved and can’t change it. If we fly out after the party, my vacation will be cut down to only a week.”

“Third, I only get to see some of my siblings at Christmas, so if I don’t go this year, I won’t see them until next year.”

“Fourth, my entire side of the family planned our vacation around the party date months ago.”

The family could not agree on a solution.

“My original solution was to tell her friend’s parents to keep their original date since my family planned around their schedule. My wife immediately shot down that idea.”

“My second solution was for us to leave as planned but change only my stepdaughter’s ticket since she’s on break and is old enough to fly herself. My wife shot that down too since she’s also friends with the other mother and wants to go to the party.”

“My wife’s solution is for us to just fly out after the party. I don’t like this idea at all because of the added cost and lessening time.”

“Our talk turned into an argument that’s lasted all week. Last night my wife put her foot down and said that we’re not missing the birthday party, to which I replied that she’s not missing the birthday party. I told her I was flying out with our two kids as planned whether or not she was on the flight.”

“That took our argument to the next level to the point that my stepdaughter called me an AH, so I tried to ground her, at which point my wife said I couldn’t because she was justified.”

“Everything is a mess now.”

“AITA for not wanting to move the trip?”

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 thought it was unfortunate but stated that sometimes plans change.

“How does a birthday party trump a vacation? Is this friend dying? Are they offering a once-in-a-lifetime time experience at this party that the vacation is not? I’m so confused. OP, NTA, I wouldn’t even offer for wife and stepdaughter to join you anymore.” – TemporaryWise1420

“This is super weird. Who cares about this teenager’s birthday party? My parents would have been like, ‘Tough break, we have plane tickets,’ and that would have been it.” – Jerseygirl2468

“Who plans a family vacation around a teen friend’s birthday party? I mean, I get they’re close and all of that, but this whole thing makes no sense.”

“Of course, the girl’s family changed their party to accommodate more family members being able to attend. Of course, they’re gonna put more weight on relatives being able to make it in than a teen friend.”

“Next, why would you plan your trip around a friend of your kid’s birthday? Why couldn’t the girls just celebrate and have a party before they get there and then they can just Skype or whatever the day of the party?”

“Also, when even is her birthday? It sounds like it was moved weeks. What teen doesn’t celebrate their birthday on the day (or at the very least at the nearest weekend to it).”

“None of this makes any sense.” – acegirl1985

“Yeah, this is crazy. It’s a birthday party. I have a birthday very close to Christmas. Do you know how many friends have missed my birthday because they had family trips planned? Dozens. And I’ve never taken it personally or been upset when they couldn’t make it work.”

“We just plan to celebrate at another time. I can’t necessarily call the other family a**holes because we have no idea what was told to them or if they have any expectations at all for OP’s family to attend. But moving around your international flights and vacation time to accommodate a friend’s birthday party is absolutely wild.” – SandwichOtter

“Oh, didn’t you hear? Taylor Swift is playing at this friend’s birthday party. She also happened to rearrange her tour schedule to accommodate this friend’s extended family. Very generous. (Just kidding.)”

“NTA, OP, and the worst part is, you know they’ll complain that they haven’t been on vacation for ages if they miss the trip. Just from this post, the OP’s wife and stepdaughter sound like the people who think nothing is ever good enough for them, and they’re never happy with anything.” – Icy-Comparison-5893

Others agreed and thought the wife and stepdaughter were being disrespectful.

“If the wife and stepdaughter don’t want to miss the birthday party, then why on earth can’t OP go without them, without causing any drama? Is he not allowed to enjoy his holidays if they’re not with him? What about the other two kids? Why do they have to stay at home because of their decision?”

“This is ridiculous to be honest, and they both sound toxic as f**k. At the very least, they think they’re the center of everyone’s universe, and OP and the other two kids are just their ‘peasants.'”

“Stepdaughter and wife hopefully have to pay it themselves to get their tickets changed at the very least… though it would be better if they stay at home and don’t drag their drama to your family time, OP. It’s time for you to put YOUR foot down, OP, and don’t bow to their nonsense.” – Crazyandiloveit

“Wow… reasonableness just went right out the window. I am utterly baffled at your wife and stepdaughter’s reaction to this. I’m talking about someone explaining differential equations to a golden retriever while blowing in a dog whistle level baffled.”

“NTA NTA NTA. Everyone knew everyone’s dates. Everyone knew this trip was happening.”

“Your wife and stepdaughter are being ridiculous. I cannot imagine that the money (i.e. doubling the cost of the vacation) isn’t enough to change minds. Then of course there are all the time factors, loss of PTO, that you’d be overseas for a WEEK? Lord, you are barely getting through jetlag and then flying back?”

“If I may suggest, if it’s that important to them, then you can take the cost out of your stepdaughter’s college fund, savings, sell a car, future allowance, and future Christmas/birthday presents. Obviously, money doesn’t matter to them.”

“So just say, ‘Okay, I’ve got 10k (or whatever) to make up. So 10k from the college fund (well 15k to cover all the penalties since this isn’t an education expense). No? Oh… well, let’s sell your car… No? Well… I’m taking back all your presents… No? Well, I thought this party was important to you, but you don’t want to pay for the ticket and hotel changes… so I’m getting mixed signals here.'” – SolmaRedditUserNow

“Now we know why the wife has been divorced once already. She’s working on her second as we speak.” – Inconceivable44

“NTA. Did your wife and daughter fail to notice that although your family planned your trip around the dates of her friend’s birthday party, her friend’s parents couldn’t be bothered to keep to their planned date, and they changed the party date for THEIR family’s wishes? So in your daughter’s and wife’s eyes, not only does your daughter’s friend take priority over your whole family, but your daughter’s friend’s extended family takes priority over your extended family.”

“One of two things happened here in the minds of your daughter’s friend’s parents. Either they have no respect for you whatsoever and expect you to absorb thousands of dollars in fees to change your flights, and expect you to miss half of your family vacation, or they don’t really care if your daughter goes to this party or not.”

“I think the moral rule that should hold here is that you don’t break prior plans because you got a better offer. You made plans with your family, for specific dates, times, and places. You and your family all spent a lot of money on this group trip where you could all see each other.”

“You would be letting them down if you only showed up for half of it, and that’s in addition to the money it would cost you to change the dates. (And how will your family feel if you tell them you showed up a week late because of a teenager’s party, or if your wife and daughter don’t appear because they rate a teen friend over their own family?)”

“You made a commitment to a particular party date. Your daughter’s friend then changed her party date. A change of date is a whole new calendar item and you have no obligation to attend it, especially if you have a conflict with a prior commitment. You have a prior commitment because you’ve already bought tickets for your family trip.”

“Nor do your daughter’s friend’s family, or your daughter, or your wife, have any right to expect that their new party date will take precedence over your nuclear family’s existing commitment to visit your own extended family. The friend’s family is the one who created the conflict by changing the date. It’s not your obligation to change your plans or be jerked around by them.”

“Your daughter and your wife are being massive brats here and are being utterly disrespectful to your family.” – reasonable-Sale8611

The subReddit was infinitely perplexed by how the OP’s wife was handling this situation and how she was prioritizing the birthday party over their family’s travel plans.

It seemed the most reasonable thing would be for the women to attend at the original start time or perhaps not to attend at all, so that their undoubtedly negative attitudes would not sour the trip for everyone else.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan has been a part of the George Takei family since 2019 when she wrote some of her favorite early pieces: Sesame Street introducing its first character who lived in foster care and Bruce Willis delivering a not-so-Die-Hard opening pitch at a Phillies game. She's gone on to write nearly 3,000 viral and trending stories for George Takei, Comic Sands, Percolately, and ÜberFacts. With an unstoppable love for the written word, she's also an avid reader, poet, and indie novelist.