Hopefully, we’ll all live long and healthy enough lives to grow old one day.
But it’s worth anticipating the countless changes that come with that reality. Namely, what the modern society deems appropriate and/or way off base.
A recent post on the “Am I the A**hole (AITA)” subReddit illustrated one older man’s struggle to figure all that out.
The Original Poster (OP), known as GrandpaSam1948 on the site, shared the main details in the post’s title.
“AITA For Hugging My Granddaughter and Telling Her She Looked Pretty?”
OP began by describing the event where it all went down.
“Long story short, I haven’t been able to see my grandkids until recently, for obvious reasons.
Well yesterday my granddaughter was having a small party for her 7th birthday.”
“It was my granddaughter (Gracie), her parents, her two brothers, and three families from their neighborhood.”
“Only 15 people total at an outdoor party in their backyard.”
Then came the adorable details.
“My son asked me over a month ago if I would feel comfortable coming to the party because all Gracie wanted was to see me.”
“No presents, just a hug from grandpa.”
“Since she’s my only granddaughter, I couldn’t disappoint her.”
That was all OP needed to hear.
“So I drove to their house, excited to see my favorite little girl for the first time in over a year.”
“When I got there her parents told her she had a surprise inside, and she came in to find me standing there. Gracie screamed and ran up to me to give me a big hug.”
“Of course I hugged her back and told her I’d missed her.”
Then came the grand tour.
“After a few minutes we went into the back where her friends were. I didn’t know anyone, as they just moved into this neighborhood about six months ago, so I asked her to introduce me to her friends.”
“She told me who everyone was, and the last little girl she introduced me to was her best friend who was wearing a dress matching Gracie’s.”
“Gracie asked me if I liked their dresses and I replied ‘I do. I think you two are the prettiest girls at the party tonight!’ “
“The party continued on and Gracie insisted I sit next to her for pizza and dessert. She also sat in my lap at times.”
But then some news came in through the grapevine.
“Today I found out from my DIL that one of the other moms (not Gracie’s friends mom) took offense at me calling Gracie and her friend pretty.”
“She apparently said I was a creepy old man for hugging Gracie and telling her she was pretty in her dress, and making creepy comments about another little girl’s appearance.”
OP couldn’t believe it.
“But all I said was that they both looked pretty in their dresses, which was true. They were absolutely adorable.”
“DIL called the other woman a Karen, but said maybe she thinks all old men are creepy and that’s why she complained.”
“The other woman requested that I never be allowed back in the neighborhood at all. I’m shocked someone would want to keep me from my grandchildren, but maybe I did something wrong and don’t realize it.”
OP turned to Reddit for some answers.
“If I have, I want to know. I’m nearly 73 and am probably not up to date on everything that’s changed in the world over the past few years.”
“AITA for hugging my granddaughter and telling her she looked pretty?”
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
An overwhelming majority of Redditors assured OP he had nothing to feel guilty about.
“NTA Grandparents are still allowed to hug their grandchildren and tell them they look pretty/handsome when they are obviously dressed up.”
“Either this woman didn’t know you were her grandfather or she’s got some personal trauma that’s warped her views on what’s appropriate, but either way, its not your problem and don’t let it get you down.” — LilLatte
“NTA You have done absolutely nothing wrong. That mom is being ridiculous and malicious in saying you did anything inappropriate and that you shouldn’t be allowed into the neighbourhood.”
“You hugged your own granddaughter – the only way that would be wrong is if she herself wasn’t ok with it. All you did was give your granddaughter her birthday wish.” — WellVersedSeaOtter
In fact, many gave a shoutout to granpa hugs.
“NTA those ladies need to go touch grass because that’s not creepy at all. I would do anything to hug my grandpa again.” — Plsbefriendtome
“Man.. wanna be my grandpa? I’m 38, but still. I miss grandparent hugs, they were always the best.”
“NTA. You did absolutely nothing wrong. That other parent has some weird, warped view of the world. Keep on loving those grandbabies.” — LiteUpThaSkye
“NTA! You sound absolutely lovely! You didn’t do anything wrong!”
“Please don’t worry. You were being a kind and loving grandfather and I’m sure the two girls were thrilled that you loved their dresses and thought they were pretty! They also asked for your opinion! They were proud of their matching dresses and that they were best friends.”
“Please continue to hug your granddaughter and speak to her with love and adoration! I miss my grandfather and I always remember what an affectionate and caring man he was.” — DisneyAddict2021
Apparently OP read those comments closely, because an update to the original post included his closing thoughts on his whole experience with Reddit.
“Wow, I never expected so many people to offer up assurances that I wasn’t wrong. I really wasn’t sure if I had done something I shouldn’t have. Gracie and her best friend were the only two girls at the party, so naturally they were the prettiest ones there.”
“The rest were boys who all looked handsome. Gracie wanted everyone to dress up so the boys were all wearing nice slacks and shirts, some with ties.”
“All the kids looked adorable, in my opinion. Thank you to everyone who has commented and said such nice things. It makes me feel better to know people don’t think I was creepy for doting on Gracie.”
Here’s hoping this grandpa can keep showing appropriate affection without having to answer to the whole neighborhood.