When you make plans with friends or family, when is it OK to add extra people to tag along?
And is it OK for people to back out of those confirmed plans because of the add ons?
After a group of friends differed on this question, one young man turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for feedback.
Redditor BrightDuck6 asked:
“AITA For Cancelling Plans Because My Friend Brought His Kid?”
The Original Poster (OP) asked:
“I (18 male) planned to go to the beach [to surf] with my friends (18m, 17m, 18 female) yesterday. It was cold but nice and seemed like the perfect weather for surfing.”
“However, before I left the house, my friend ‘Jay’ announced to the group chat that he’d invited his girlfriend ‘Ellie’ and their toddler with us.”
“Honestly, I know how these things go, the day ends up revolving around whether the kid is too warm or too cold or needs a nap, so I made up an excuse not to go and stayed at home with my dog all day.”
“Unfortunately, Jay got suspicious. My mate ‘Tom’ and I seem to have a habit of cancelling whenever his kid is involved and he got offended by it.”
“We have explained multiple times before that being around the kid makes us uncomfortable and that springing it upon us isn’t fair, but he was still pissed off we cancelled short notice.”
“He said if we’re friends with him we need to be friends with his gf and toddler too. I have no issues with Ellie but I don’t want to hang out with his toddler all the time.”
“I have nieces and nephews and kids just aren’t for me. AITA?”
The OP added more information.
“I mentioned this in one of the comments and someone recommended I add it here but one of the reasons we are so uncomfortable is that Tom—one of our teen friends—is autistic.”
“The toddler—who is not autistic—is allowed to pull our hair and put sticky fingers in our face and Tom—the teen who is autistic—can’t deal with that but the parents don’t prevent their toddler from doing it to him.”
The OP added after people were still getting it wrong:
“Clearly I didn’t make this clear enough but TOM my teenage friend who also cancelled is autistic, the toddler is not.”
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors decided OP was not the a**hole.
“NTA. ‘We have explained multiple times before that being around the kid makes us uncomfortable and that springing it upon us isn’t fair, but he was still pissed off we cancelled short notice’.”
“You did communicate with Jay about this. Jay refuses to listen and continues planning on activities with the kid.”
“Nothing you can do if Jay doesn’t listen. Jay is probably thinking that he can wear you down…..” ~ Oksummer4323
“Also, Jay is the one who first changed the plans on short notice, so he should probably not get mad at others for following suit?”
“OP is most definitely NTA.”
“If the subject comes up again and he mentions you changing the plans last second, i would be sure to point out that he changed them first.” ~ drukqsx
“NTA. It’s no different than if Jay changed the venue or activity at short notice.
You agreed to one type of gathering, Jay changed it to something else and you said, ‘no thanks’.
If he doesn’t want people to cancel last minute he should stop changing the activities last minute. Jay has no one to blame but himself.” ~ LakotaGrl
“Why is he pissed if you cancel on short notice but it’s ok that he invites 2 other people, one of them a toddler no less, on short notice without asking the other participants?” ~ Serafiniert
“This is exactly the issue in my mind. It’s the good ol ‘it’s ok for me, not for thee’ philosophy.”
“He knows the group doesn’t want to hang out with a baby all day and so he springs up the addition last minute on everyone.”
“If anyone cancels last minute he thinks they’re the ones being jerks even though he didn’t respect anyone else’s feelings on the matter before making a last minute change.” ~ CMDR_KingErvin
“Maybe Jay is trying to still have friends and feel like life as he knew it isn’t over because he has a child. Maybe he’s trying to bring the two parts of his life together.”
“Maybe Jay is trying to feel like his old self despite sleepless nights and new pressures and expectations. Just a guess.” ~ OkapiEli
“I’m certain that’s what’s happening. Jay hasn’t figured out that it has changed and he can’t hang onto his old life by foisting his baby into every situation like it’s no big deal.”