Most of us have been in an uncomfortable dining situation at some point where we disagreed with the people we were sharing a meal with.
How we responded may have said a lot about our character, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor Worried_Usual_3799 did his best to respond respectfully at his girlfriend’s family dinner when they spoke disparagingly of his own family.
But when he was repeatedly criticized by his girlfriend, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if he could have still somehow responded better.
He asked the sub:
“AITA for walking out on dinner with my girlfriend’s parents’ house after they said my brother and his husband weren’t good role models?”
The OP was raised by his brother and husband.
“I’m (19 [Male]) and I was a late-in-life baby. My older brother (38 [Male]) was 19 when I was born.”
“Our parents died in a car accident when I was about 6/7, and ever since then my older brother and his partner, now my BIL (brother-in-law), got custody of me and raised me.”
“They were the best dads I could ever have and they always did their best to take care of me.”
The OP’s girlfriend advised him on what to talk about with her parents.
“Well, for the last two months, I’ve been dating this girl ‘Sara’ (20 [Female]).”
“I really liked her a lot, and she’s met my brother and BIL, and everything was fine, and she didn’t seem homophobic.”
“But she hasn’t wanted me to meet her parents until recently. Two weeks ago, she told me that they were coming to visit her this week and that she finally wanted me to meet them.”
“She told me that she didn’t want me to tell them that my brother had a husband who helped raise me because her parents wouldn’t like that.”
“I told her I wasn’t gonna lie about my brother like that.”
“She finally relented on it and told her parents herself.”
Their dinner with Sara’s parents didn’t go well.
“The day of the visit yesterday, we all went to a steakhouse for dinner, and for the most part, the evening was fine.”
“We had okay conversations until her parents got to talking about how I was raised.”
“They started saying things like, ‘how nice of a young man I was, despite the shortcomings of my home life’ or that ‘life couldn’t have been easy living with my perverted brother and his ‘friend’ and that they were glad I didn’t pick up any ‘bad habits.””
“After they started in, I just saw red, slammed 40 dollars on the table on my meal, and just walked out and left.”
Sara and the OP couldn’t see eye-to-eye after that.
“Sara called me multiple times today, telling me I shouldn’t have reacted like that and that I overreacted, that she told me her parents wouldn’t like it.”
“She was mad at me for leaving her there at the restaurant and that I was rude.”
“I asked my brother and BIL about it, and they told me they loved me for it, but that it was rude and I probably could have handled it better than that.”
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 said the OP did everything right, including paying for his meal.
“OP paid for his meal.”
“OP didn’t cause a scene but removed himself from an unpleasant and toxic situation – absolutely nothing rude in that IMO (in my opinion)!” – nonchalantenigma
“It sucks that we even have to give the NTA – to someone who’s defending both an awesome brother and two amazing father figures!!”
“OP – we need more of you, and humans like your brother and his husband. NOT LESS!!!!” – KeepLkngForIntllgnce
“Freedom of Speech means that everyone has the right to speak their mind, you have the right not to agree with it.”
“Also, you have to right to leave… OP was absolutely right to leave. Even better, he paid for his meal. That not only shows character, but class!” – rvail136
“Paying was such a baller move. I’m proud of OP and I think it says a lot about how his dads raised him. Having conviction for your beliefs can be a great quality for a man with a solid moral compass.”
“OP is a bada** in my book!” – W0lfprud3
“It’s the perfect response in this situation.”
“I did initially consider that if their comments had been based in ignorance rather than bigotry, some discussion might have been appropriate.”
“For example, a firm ‘Exactly what shortcomings are you talking about?’ combined with a hard stare could make some people consider what they’re saying and how it comes across.”
“However, at the mention of his brother’s ‘perverted’ lifestyle, it’s pretty clear that any further discussion on the topic would have made the situation awkward at best, and led to a full-on public scene at worst.”
“Smoother and classier to remove yourself from that situation altogether. Well played OP. NTA.” – TheDisapprovingBrit
“Especially cos you paid for your meal – you kept all the onus on them.”
“They said something uncompromisingly bad, you gave back the ‘gift’ of dinner. It’s not even like they were out the cost of a night out with you. They simply forfited the pleasure of having you listen to them spout bulls**t.”
“This is exactly how free speech works. You cannot forcefully stop these people from spouting their bullcrap, but they cannot force you to listen to it. They are free to talk as much as they want, to the empty chair where you were sitting (assuming the chair doesn’t get mad and walk out too).”
“Stand by your principles OP! Be the change! NTA” – Intelligent-Store321
Others advised the OP to end his relationship with Sara.
“All Sara had to do was say “Mom/Dad, that is untrue and unkind. You need to treat OP’s family with respect, or we are BOTH leaving.” She did not do that. She is complicit.” – Groundbreaking_Mess3
“Why do people accuse someone who refuses to tolerate hateful behavior of being ‘rude’ while simultaneously bending in half to not offend the people being hateful? It drives me NUTS.”
“I hope the OP really considers ending things with Sara and is careful in the future to keep in mind the family of people they date. Having homophobic parents shouldn’t in itself disqualify someone as a potential partner, but DEFENSE of ANY homophobic comment, stance, or behavior from them should absolutely be a deal-breaker.” – llc4269
“She had the audacity to blow up his phone calling him rude? Sara is gross and clearly does not share OP’s values. I guess it’s better to find out sooner rather than later where your partner’s priorities lie.”
“NTA. She should be the one apologizing.” – Mryessicahaircut
“I’ve walked away from many people because of their bigotry and never thought of them again. All she had to do was stand up to her parents like an adult should. Instead, she uses ‘how she was raised’ as an excuse to keep continuing the bigotry.”
“Nope. Hope OP stays away from her because she will never stop being complicit or downright bigoted herself.” – MaleficientAd1861
“Sara has accepted, made excuses for, and outright defended her parent’s bigotry. Sara should be ashamed.”
“You were beyond respectful to people who showed no respect you and your family. You did the right thing by implicitly defending your brother and his partner.”
“Ditch Sara. She’s shown you the type of people she supports.” – Little_gnora
Though the OP was concerned about his reaction after hearing from Sara, the subReddit was certain he was the only one in the right.
Not only did he stand up for his family, but he did so in an acceptable way and paid for his own dinner.
Bigots and homophobes like his girlfriend’s parents couldn’t ask for a much classier response than that.