When someone accuses you of something truly nonsensical, it can be difficult to hold your tongue.
A gay man on Reddit found himself in this situation when he was accused of leering at a group of women in a park, and his response insulted them.
He wasn’t sure about how he handled it, so he went to the AITA (Am I The A**hole) subReddit for perspective.
The Original Poster (OP), who goes by OsoSabroso, asked:
“AITA For Calling Two Women ‘Old’ At The Park?”
“I (35M[ale]) am a gay man, married to ‘Spouse’ (28M). Spouse is active duty US Army and we are currently living on an Army base he is stationed at. We have a 3-year-old dog (Adopted 3 months ago), which I walk every morning, as I’m currently unemployed and trying to lose weight.”
“I swear our dog can tell time because if I’m even a minute late for his 08:00 AM walk he starts to whine, dramatically. Because our dog is so loud and whiny when we don’t start our walk on time, we’re typically out the door and on our way to the park by 08:00 AM most days.”
“There are two older women (mid to late 40s) in our neighborhood who always walk together at around the same time as I walk our dog. I’ve noticed them many times before and whenever we crossed paths I’d greet them and continue walking my dog and not give them a second thought. This has been my routine for pretty much the 3 months since we adopted our dog. Today however the women had a lot more to say to me.”
“As I stopped to get my dog some water from a drinking fountain, I cup my hands fill them with water, and let my dog drink from them until he seems satisfied and normally, finish our walk. While at the drinking fountain those two women approached me and rather accusingly said ‘You walk your dog every day just to look at us while we walk, and we’re tired of it.'”
“I take a quick glance around, because I’m sure there was no way they could be speaking to me as I am the last guy who would be staring at them this way. When I realize they are in fact talking to me as we’re the only ones in that part of the park, I laugh. I laugh so hard, like a full-on belly laugh, it started to hurt my sides.”
“After a few minutes of trying to calm myself down, and being unable to make an intelligible sentence (they grew more and more visibly annoyed as I laughed), I finally manage to regain my ability to use my words, and I say ‘Ladies, first of all, I’m gay as fuck. Secondly, I’m in my 30s, married to a man almost 10 years younger than me. Even if I was straight, I think I could do better than two women old enough to be my mother.'”
“One woman’s reaction was just a shocked Pikachu face and the other woman stared daggers at me, as she pulled her friend away. We were walking in opposite directions but were in the middle of our walks so we bumped into each other one last time before finishing.”
“This is where I think I might be the a**hole, as we passed each other for the final time the woman with shocked Pikachu face looked as if she had cried since I said those things. So now I’m questioning if I went too far with my comments.”
“So Reddit AITA for calling them old?”
Redditors were then asked to judge who was in the wrong in this conflict based on the following categories:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
And they were pretty firmly on OP’s side.
“NTA. I’m so tired of so many people saying ‘Oh you didn’t have to sink to their level.’ Do y’all think OP is the only person these women pull their fucking bullshit on? Fuck em. Maybe now with a blow to their egos they won’t be such assholes. Good on you OP.” —NotHisRealName
“I couldnt agree more. I think it is perfectly justifiable to be rude to someone in response to a rude, unprovoked verbal attack.” —Stoat_King
“Old white women think they can do and act anyway they want without consequences. Glad Op gave them some.”
“Signed, an Old White Woman” —CJSinTX
“OP didn’t call them ‘old women’ he called them old enough to be his mother, which is probably true and frankly they’re old enough to know better. Self entitled deluded pair of mares.” —Rosieapples
“100% NTA. Their being offended by something you said after THEY accosted you, is not only not your fault, it’s not your problem.” —Ameslma
“Other folk have commented about your ‘old enough to be my mother’ comment, but frankly, they were asking for it. Their egos needed a bit of a reality check.”
“Apparently the one crying needed to be taken down a notch.””
All you did was state the truth, except that they could be your boyfriends mother, probably not yours. :)”
“They came at you all high and mighty and they were so off base, it’s comical.” —imonmywaydown
After reading his fellow Redditors’ comments, OP came back with a bit more information.
“Edit: To clarify because it’s been asked a couple of times, the woman who accused me was the woman who ended up crying, her friend didn’t say anything in particular other than ‘Mhmm’ and nod along in agreement to what her friend said.”
“Also, I did reach out to the local housing center and the garrison (MPs) to make a statement about what happened. Some of you mentioned that the ladies might try to spin the story as them being victims so I documented my version with them, in case they press the matter further or escalate.”
“Thank you to everyone for taking the time to comment, regardless of how you judge it.”
Hopefully OP and his neighbors can peaceably avoid each other going forward.