The urge to cling to the way things were can be a powerful force.
Whether we’re thinking about an old relationship, or the town we grew up in, or the age our kid no longer is, it can be tempting to close our eyes and just pretend nothing has changed.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t always work out well.
So, what happens when the child grows up entirely too quickly for the parents approval but not everyone is so keen on clinging to the past?
This was the issue facing Redittor and Original Poster (OP) ThrowRAsister_fight when she came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit to seek outside opinions.
“AITA for taking away the bra that my Sister bought for my Daughter?”
OP began with the background.
“I (35 Female) have a sister named ‘Marcy’ (35F) and a daughter named ‘Jess’ (14F). Jess and Marcy get along very well and they love hanging out together.”
“About 6 months ago, Jess started telling me that she wanted to get some new bras.”
“She told me that the ones she has now are too ‘babyish.’ I’ve tried taking her shopping online and in person, but she never finds any that she likes.”
“She always says that the ones I suggest are for little kids and she wants a woman’s bra.”
“Yesterday, Marcy and Jess were spending the day together.”
Everything was fine, until…
“After Jess got home, I noticed that she had a plastic bag. Before I could ask her what it was, she quickly went into her room.”
“My Mommy senses were going off and I knew that she was hiding something. I went to her room and asked her what was in the bag.”
“She tried to dodge the subject and come up with weak explanations. I ended opening the bag and inside was a Victoria’s Secret bra.”
“I was shocked because this bra looked like lingerie and it was obviously very sexy/revealing.”
“I demanded to know where Jess got the bra. She told me that her and Marcy went to the Mall after getting lunch.”
“Jess was going on and on about how I never let her get the bras that she likes. Jess pointed at Victoria’s Secret and talked about how she always wanted a bra from there.”
“Without hesitation or permission from me, Marcy just bought Jess the bra.”
“I was furious that Marcy would buy my daughter something like this without talking to me.”
“I went outside and called Marcy to get her side of the story. She basically told me that it was her money and she could buy whatever she wants.”
“She also said that I was holding Jess back and treating her like a baby. I snapped and told her that she had no right to buy my daughter a bra like that without my permission.”
“I eventually told Marcy that I would give her the bra so she could return it.”
“She told me that she already got rid of the receipt, so she can’t get her money back.”
“I told her that I would just donate it instead then. Marcy flipped out and demanded that I pay her back for the bra.”
“I told her to f*ck off! I’m not paying her back for something that she had no right buying.”
“Now Jess is giving me the silent treatment and Marcy blocked my number.”
OP was left to wonder.
Having explained the situation, OP turned to Reddit for some outside thoughts.
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors decided: YTA
Some recommended OP look at this from her daughter’s perspective.
“Your daughter is going through a very transitional time period in a girl’s life- where she starts to really feel like a woman.”
“You are denying her something she is asking for, something she feels she needs.”
“It’s a bra.”
“No one is going to see it except her, so who cares what it looks like. If you get rid of it, she’ll resent you for it.”
“Plus, you went through the bag without her permission. Great way to build trust with your daughter.”
“Don’t be surprised when she starts hiding other things from you.” ~earthbornartemis
“The daughter is probably not the only person who sees her bras.”
“If Jess has a PE class or is in a sport or goes to a sleepover, she’s probably self-conscious that she’s stuck in training bras while all her friends and classmates are wearing fitted, shaped, pretty bras.”
“I doubt she cares about looking good for boys. She likely wants to fit in with her friends and talk about lacy bras with them. She’s growing her interests age appropriately.
“OP, your daughter is growing up and has boobs now.”
“She needs to be a teen and you need to accept that. Jess wants to wear bras that make her look her age.”
“A mother buying her daughter a Victoria’s Secret bra is a huge coming of age moment. That’s why your sister didn’t think to ask you first.”
“Also, developmentally your daughter might be needing a more supportive bra that those kid bras (and I know the ones) aren’t able to provide. She’s still your baby but not a baby anymore.”
“YTA.” ~ ciaoamaro
Others took issue with OP’s word choice.
“When OP referred to her ‘mommy senses going off’ I may have thrown up in my mouth a little.”
“She definitely thinks of her daughter as a young child not a young woman who is barely 4 years away from being able to move out.” ~ kaleighdoscope
“Oh Lord, I am happy I’m not the only one!”
“My mom is great, but she wasn’t so great years ago.”
“Ever since I was 7 or so, until 15, she was sort of paranoid that I was plotting something behind her back (what exactly, I have no clue).”
“She read my diary, which I very quickly gave up on, went through the letters I exchanged with my best friend, snooped through my folders on our family computer, etc…”
“This ‘mommy senses’ bit gave me flashbacks of that time. ‘You are up to something, I can feel it!’.”
“Yes, mom, I watched Silence of the Lambs with my friends, although I knew I wasn’t supposed to.”
“What a betrayal.” ~ CarolynEarle
There were calls for OP to try and repair the damage she’d done.
“YTA I think you should take a beat, then try to apologize to Jess.”
“Take her shopping at Victoria’s Secret (or Aerie! They have comfortable styles) and make sure she gets what she needs.”
“That might include sports bras too.”
“I would hope the shopping experience could be fun, and something you can both enjoy for years to come!”
“Some of my best tween memories are hitting the nearest Marshall’s and then having lunch.”
“I just really hope you can connect with her on this and have a fun shopping day. I don’t want this lacey bra incident to make Jess pull away from you” ~ miscegeniste
“I think you have the right idea: repair is needed here.”
“Personally I don’t think it’s treating your kids as property to make decisions about what is age-appropriate.”
“Like, the sexiness of the bra doesn’t matter. The daughters security in her sexuality and self-confidence and relationship with her mother is more important.”
“I think the aunt should have teamed up with mom instead of not even having a convo about it.”
“I also think mom and daughter seriously need to go bra shopping together and find a lot of things they agree on and what is comfortable.”
“As much as we can all agree on how feeling attractive is at 14 and beyond, I wish my mother took time to explore that with me and make sure I knew I didn’t need to meet anybody’s criteria to be worth something.” ~ MorphinOrphan
Commenters also had trouble following OP’s logic.
“A revealing bra??”
“OP, if someone is seeing you in your bra, you’re already doing some revealing. Why on earth does a bra need to be not revealing?”
“I think you’re being a little prudish with this ‘omg it’s sexy bra!’ thing. What is wrong with her having a pretty or feminine or flattering bra?”
“If she wants to get down to underwear with someone, she’s probably gonna whether she has a tween bra or a Vic Secret one, so it’s not like you can control things via what underwear she wears.”
“And the truth is (backed by research), most women wear pretty underwear to feel good about themselves and boost confidence, not because they expect anyone else to see it.”
“Do your daughter the respect of letting her make choices.”
“I don’t really see that Marcy needed permission to buy your daughter a practical thing that she both wanted and needed just because you have strange hangups about what your daughter wears.” ~ Left-Car6520
The urge to cling to the way things were can be a powerful force.
It is vital, though, that we accept that the people we love will grow and change and develop in new, interesting ways.
We have to see them for who they are—not who we remember them being.