For some people, appearances are everything, especially where money and social status are involved.
But for people who feel more secure in who they are and what they have, this doesn’t make much sense, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
The Redditor, who has since deleted their account, was confused when their husband demanded that she stop hanging their clothes to dry outside, because he thought it made them look “poor.”
When they couldn’t come to an agreement, the Original Poster (OP) wasn’t sure how to proceed.
They asked the sub:
“AITA for making my husband embarrassed?”
The OP noticed their husband trying to show off their wealth.
“My husband is very particular about his public image. We are middle class but he likes to show off how wealthy he is.”
“The problem is we live in a community that’s full of actually wealthy people, so he feels the need to buy overly expensive BBQs and furniture to show off with.”
The OP did things their husband didn’t think fit in with their image.
“He also hates my ‘poor people’s habits.’ I don’t see them as poor people’s habits because actually, I come from a more wealthy family than him, and my family and friends do these things too.”
“I hang all my clothes to dry in the air because I have dust mitt allergies and the sun helps makes my sheets and pillowcases better for my stuffy nose.”
“I like to change the oil on my car myself because I can let the old oil drip out longer.”
“I like to plant the ends of green onions to get more green onions.”
“I also repeat my dresses to friends’ parties because I don’t normally wear dresses, so a dozen are enough.”
“He absolutely hates all these habits because he thinks they are poor people’s habits.”
“I guess hanging clothing out in the backyard is considered a poor person habit but in Australia where I’m from, everyone does it, including rich people, since the sun dries things faster than a dryer.”
“He doesn’t like it when I do car maintenance because it looks like we can’t afford a mechanic. Admittedly this is from my college days when I didn’t want to pay for oil changes but I find it’s not a big deal.”
This led to an argument.
“We had a big fight about me hanging my sheets and clothing to dry outside.”
“He demanded I never do it again because of how embarrassing it is.”
“I told him that if he does the laundry, he can do them however he wants.”
“He agreed and then did the laundry twice before telling me we are hiring a laundry service since he doesn’t want to do the laundry anymore.”
“I told him that because it’s an optional service, the money for the laundry service should come out of his ‘fun money.'”
“He got upset and told me it should come out of the joint account because it’s everyone’s laundry.”
“I said fine, he can hire a laundry service for his laundry with his bank account, and I will wash and hang my laundry outside as I want.”
“He then yelled at me for embarrassing him and making the neighbors look down on him.”
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 the husband was trying way too hard to look wealthy.
“He sounds like a guy who doesn’t know how to stay well-off.”
“I live in a schmancy New England town. The number of multi-millionaires I know who drive Subarus and Audis into the ground and wear tatty clothes would probably stun Mr. Bougie here.”
“Also: NTA!” – BortLuvsSpooge
“I live in a town with a weirdly high number of old money wealthy people and you can’t spot them amongst the rest of us blue-collar plebs unless you know them.”
“And yes, literally everyone here will congratulate you if you move to a place with a clothesline. You see mansions with bedsheets drying over the rose bushes.”
“OPs husband’s attitude is ‘New Money’ through and through.” – ImmunocompromisedAle
“In my experience, the more ‘rich’ someone needs to act, the less well-off they usually are.” – GlassCabbage
“I was about to say, the ‘real’ monied folk are the ones who keep it subtle and also are probably more monied because they don’t blow it on flashy s**t like OP’s husband.”
“I’m curious as to who he thinks he’s impressing here, as the actual wealthy people among them will see his desperation a mile off.” – elag19
“My uncle suggested I read ‘The Millionaire Next Door’ when I got into my first post-college salaried job.”
“A big part of why the rich are rich is because they’re not trying to keep up with the people who want everyone to think they’re rich. They’re buying used/older model cars, living on a budget, etc.”
“Completely flipped my mindset on wealth honestly. OP’s husband maybe needs to give that a brief skim.” – hmarie176
“Can we normalize drying laundry outside in the sun and fresh air? Why are Americans so h**l-bent on consumerism?”
“My European mum will grab her laundry and run outside in the winter if she suspects they’ll be five minutes of wintery light. It makes the sheets, towels, and clothes smell and feel great, and saves on energy.”
“Can we guess what gas-guzzling car he drives? NTA.” – OnceUponATomb
Others wondered what he would consider being a “poor people’s habit” next.
“Next he’ll probably say separating the recyclables is ‘poor people things,’ how ridiculous.” – FR_Hendricks
“He has some serious self-confidence issues.”
“OP, if I were you I would cultivate some real poor people habits. Only buy clothes in the second-hand store. Do you have a balcony? Then put up a clothes line from wall to wall and dry your clothes there. Hey, technically it isn’t in the backyard.”
“I would tell him his obsession with looking wealthy is the quick road to the poor house.” – kur4nes
“Save bacon grease! Rinse and reuse all glass jars! Old shirts bits for rags! Make a rag rug! Oooo I’d pay to see his reaction.” – JayneJay
“I don’t often admit this as I don’t like to come across as boastful and I live independent of them but since it’s relevant my parents are wealthy.”
“They hang their washing line over their balcony because they find the use of a dryer to be wasteful for the environment and a waste of time. Most of the things the OP’s husband call ‘poor people things’ are things they do.”
“Also, FYI, OP, tell your husband that most people out there with real money don’t feel the need to show it off to the world. My parents and many of their wealthy friends find showing off wealth to be uncomfortable and awkward.” – ponte92
Some questioned the relationship the OP was in.
“‘Because it’s just this ONE thing! They’re a great partner otherwise!!’ That’s usually the case for these kinds of posts. OP complains about their partner by listing crazy red flags.”
“The rest of us are like ‘whoa, that’s a lot of d**n flags!’ And OP disappears, defends, or denies.” – thiswhovian
“He is a very insecure person. And someone should tell him that some of the wealthiest people in the world are total skinflints. He smacks of try-hard nouveau rich.”
“You are NTA but he is a total AH. Why are you even with him??” – Alarmed.Spend9459
“OP, your husband sounds like a made-up, hyperbolized ‘snooty rich kid’ caricature on a children’s TV show who has no personality other than being a snooty rich kid.”
“Heads up: they’re meant to be the comic relief because their behavior is laughable.”
“Your husband is the embarrassing one, by far.” – hbtfdrckbck
“Jesus your husband sounds like the most pretentious and egotistical man. NTA just because you have money doesn’t mean you should spend it all. Keep doing what you’re doing and don’t spend a DIME on laundry service.” – Dairyqueen71
“He’s got a way inflated idea of how much space he takes up in other people’s heads. I’d bet that literally, no one in their neighborhood sits around discussing OP and her husband. No one cares.”
“If pressed, I bet few of their neighbors could even identify which house around them has a clothesline and who changes their own oil. People have their own lives going on, and he’s not the star of it. He’s barely an NPC (supporting character).” – nicanikanoo
While the OP wasn’t sure what to do next when they couldn’t come to an agreement with their husband, the subReddit didn’t understand what the husband’s problem was. Hanging the clothes outside was better for their clothes and the environment, and the neighbors likely did not notice what they were doing anyway.
It just sounded to the subReddit like the husband was insecure about his wealth and wanted to make it as obvious to others as he could that he had money. It wasn’t the OP’s fault that they didn’t want to play along.