Growing up, meeting your parents’ co-workers was almost always baffling.
You’re forced to be really polite to all these people you’ve never met, some of whom determine whether or not your parents continue to make a living, others whom your parents may have gossiped about at the dinner table.
In a recent post on the “Am I the A**hole (AITA) subReddit, one guy discussed how his mom’s line of work made that especially stressful.
The Original Poster (OP), who has since deleted his account, teased at the stakes of that difficulty in the post’s title:
“AITA for telling my mom she can celebrate Christmas without me?”
First, OP outlined his mom’s work situation and the ripple effects it’s had.
“My (20-year-old male) mom does adult films. Before anyone asks, no I’m not gonna tell you who she is.”
“She’s been doing it for several years now, having told me when I was a teenager and always being very open and honest about it.”
“I’ve always appreciated that fact but have been honest back with her about how I don’t want to know anything about it.”
“I’m pro sex worker and only want what is best for my mom. She has always respected me and never talked about it other than like saying that she has to leave for work and similar.”
He then mentioned a recent change in his mom’s life.
“Just after thanksgiving this year, mom broke up with her bf. They were together for over a year and ofc has been acting really down lately.”
“We don’t live together but we live near each other and talk often.”
That led to a holiday shakeup.
“For all of my life, Mom and I have always celebrated Christmas together, just us and our partners together when we have them.”
“My dad has never been in my life and we don’t really have much contact with other family, and I have always loved it just being a small thing when I’ve had a couple of different gfs and she’s had a few partners.”
“A few days ago when I was visiting her she told me how she is looking forward to Christmas and how she has invited over several of her friends that she is pretty close with through work.”
OP had some questions.
“I was initially a bit shocked because she has not only changed our Christmas tradition without asking me, she also invited over people from the part of her life that I want nothing to do with.”
“I asked her why she invited them over and she told me that she thought we’d be a bit lonely over Christmas just the two of us, so having a few friends over will make it more fun.”
His concerns were too much to put aside.
“I was probably pretty visibly upset and told her that I really didn’t want to celebrate with other people, and that I don’t care that it’s just the two of us…”
“…but she insisted and said that she has invited them over and we’re going to celebrate Christmas all together this year.”
“I told her that if that’s what she is doing then, I will not be celebrating Christmas with her.”
“She started to tell me how I’m being silly and I tried to explain how it’s important to me, but she didn’t listen and just kept telling me that it’s too late and the plan is made.”
It ended with OP feeling unsure about how it all went down.
“I just left and have avoided her phone calls and texts since, because all her messaging are just telling me how I’m being ungrateful or overreacting.”
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
Most Redditors offered support to OP.
“NTA. You set your boundary long ago and she knows it. If you don’t feel like engaging with that part of her life, it is very understandable.” — billkingoc
“NTA, if she’s pushing this on you, and you’re uncomfortable, you have every right not to celebrate with her” — UncleStumpy78
“NTA. She made the plan without even discussing it with you, knowing that part of her life isn’t something you want to interact with (which she should know includes her coworkers), and she stepped all over your boundaries in the process…”
“…she has the nerve to call you ungrateful on top of it; what is it you’re meant to be grateful for? :/ I’m so sorry, OP.”
“I hope she listens to you and understands your point of view, but if that doesn’t happen, please don’t let her make you feel guilty for not going.” — Saint-of-Sinners
“NTA. If your mother wants to invite work friends to things that you are also at, she needs to have a respectful discussion about it and accept your response. Not spring it on you as a forgone conclusion while also changing a major yearly tradition.” — thievingwillow
Others assured OP he was in the right, but advised patience nonetheless.
“NAH. This year she needed extra support after her breakup but you needed the comfort of tradition. I hope you can find a compromise.” — FloridaPoodleSchool
“NTA. Has nothing to do with what she does for work. This is fully her changing what is a tradition for you”
“Though I would recommend looking at things from her side for a bit. It sounds kinda sad to have just broken up with your bf and then spending Christmas with only your son.”
“She might have grown up having larger Christmas celebrations than what you’re used to so this might help cheer her up” — zeno_22
“NAH. It sounds like your mom was lonely and invited her support system. I doubt she thought of it as trying to involve you in her sex work. They’re people too that it sounds like she has real relationships with.”
“I don’t blame you for being upset, she should’ve asked first. But I think she’s thinking of it as ‘Christmas with her support system’ and you’re thinking of it as ‘Christmas with the sex workers’ and that’s part of where the conflict is coming from” — flyingcactus2047
Perhaps these comments can lead OP and his mother to discuss things again and find some common ground.