There is something to be said for a pat on the back.
A firm handshake, a crisp high five.
A fantastic party.
Sometimes, it’s okay to get applause and acknowledgement that you’ve done a good thing.
What happens, though, when that limelight is under threat?
This was the concern of Redditor and Original Poster (OP) Consistent_Sundae_51when he came to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subreddit with an interesting hypothetical.
“WIBTA (Would I Be The A**hole) If I announce my wife’s pregnancy immediately after my mother’s boyfriend proposes to her?”
“Hear me out.”
That’s a good start.
“I will be ( finally ) graduating from college after 10 years ( I work full time and attend class part-time)”
A cause for celebration.
“My wife wants to throw a huge graduation party. My mother’s boyfriend informed me that he intends to propose to my mom during the party ( since whole family will be there).”
“My wife told him absolutely not since the party was to celebrate my accomplishment.”
“my mom and I are not on great terms, she can’t stand not being the center of attention. She would love nothing more than to minimize my accomplishment.”
That could cause problems.
“If he proceeds to propose anyway, would I be the AH for announcing my wife’s pregnancy to take the limelight away from them?”
And so OP came before Reddit for judgment.
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: NTA
There was some confusion as to why she was coming at all.
“Info: Why are your mother and his BF invited in the first place?”~Dimirosch
“NTA if your wife is onboard. Although, you might want to consider just not inviting your mother and her bf. This kind of spite almost always backfires and causes needless drama.”
“Whether you invite her not, whether she behaves badly after her proposal or not, you’re the one dealing with the bs.”
“Maybe sit down and look at it from all sides and figure out which set of consequences you’re more willing to deal with.”~ohyerasofa
A Limelight Hoagie if you will.
“For real, just tell them they aren’t welcome because they can’t let the attention be on other people. If they turn up uninvited, and they go through with the proposal crap, then yes, announce the pregnancy to sandwich it between you guys being the center of attention so they have the limelight for all of 30 seconds”~Seliphra
There may have been some vindictive sentiments as well.
“Nope. Don’t mention the pregnancy at all. At the start of the party, he should thank everyone for coming and then say this ‘Today is special not only because I’ve finally earned this degree but BF is going to propose to Mom. BF, you have the floor..’ “
“edit: I have another idea, stick with introducing the proposal. Once your mother accepts, put a nice white sash on her. Instead of putting ‘bride’ on it put ‘Grandma.’~jerkface1026
The pettiness must flow.
“I’m petty, too.”
“Since they are so anxious to announce their engagement, beat them to it and announce it for them several days before the party. Post on FB, Insta, whatever, how happy you are for them.”
“Or email all your party guests with some detail about the party (‘Forgot on the invite to say party is casual!’) then add, ‘BTW, I just found out mother and boyfriend are getting married.”
“Thought you’d like to know.’~HabaneroQueen
“NTA. The fact that your mom’s bf wants to propose so publicly is attention-seeking, and TBH to me it’s rather insincere. It’s like they care more about the attention they’ll get than about getting married.”
“If I were you I’d keep the pregnancy announcement in my back pocket, and if mom’s bf proposes, then I’d clink a glass and act like I was about to make a speech (mom and bf will think they’re going to get congratulated), but then reiterate your graduation as the reason for the party and follow up by announcing the pregnancy.”
“Is it passive-aggressive AF? Hell yeah, but it’s YOUR party and you and your wife should snatch the limelight right back if mom’s bf decides to go against your wishes.”
“If mom’s bf doesn’t propose, then you can still announce the pregnancy, just save it for the very end of the party and kick everyone out afterward. Politely, of course.” ~AccessibleBeige
Though, others tried to make peace.
“This just perpetuates her behavior. If you engage in the same drama she does here, you’re opening up a competition on her level.”
“You’re also minimizing your accomplishment and your pregnancy announcement (congrats btw) by using them ‘against’ her in this way.”
“In other words, you’re showing her this behavior is normal and you can do it too! All that’s going to do is make her want to one-up you again.”
“Instead, set a boundary. Make it clear that if the proposal happens they will not be invited to similar events again.”
“Tell them you’re trusting them with this. If/when they do it anyways, call them out on it calmly and firmly.”
“State you explicitly asked them not to do so at this event as it’s important to you, and that you’re disappointed that they broke your trust. Then let them feel the consequences.”
“Throw another party for the pregnancy announcement and then don’t invite them!”~VioletReaver
There were also choice words for Mom and her BF:
“I find a lot of people carry narcissistic tendencies (myself included!) but when you actively marginalize your child and then your SO wants to join in the continuing making you feel superior, that’s just despicable.”
“I would DEFINITELY announce the pregnancy like even decorate for your graduation AND your baby-making skills as a couple! Ain’t no room here for your shenanigans parental unit and old man bf”~Brief_Needleworker62
It is always important to allow yourself to accept congratulations for a job well done.
However, it is never okay to step on someone else’s moment to get your own.