While parents may not like to think about it, their kids are going to grow up sometime and, in the vast majority of cases, will also move out of their house.
Some parents handle this truth better than others, especially when something serves as a stark reminder that their child has grown up, like their “little girl” buying her first house, agreed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor CalendarDad was impressed with his college-age son when he came home with a calendar that he participated in making, which funded his rowing team and also donated to charity.
But when his wife found out what was really in that calendar, the Original Poster (OP) wasn’t sure how to appease both of them.
He asked the sub:
“AITA for ‘devastating’ my wife over our son’s nude calendar?”
The OP’s son recently participated in his rowing team’s calendar photoshoot.
“So my (45 Male) son Cole is a freshman college athlete, getting a jump on training.”
“Apparently, there is a British college rowing team that puts out a +beefcake+ nude calendar of their team as a fundraiser. Apparently, it has become quite a thing and is relatively famous.”
“I guess the boys got together and decided to do the same thing. High-quality printing and absolutely A+ photography, and came up with a really slick product.”
“It is selling well on campus, and at this point, it’s going to be on pretty much every girl’s dorm wall (and some guys’ walls as well).”
“They’ve made decent money to help fund the team, but MOST donated to a children’s cancer charity, which is pretty amazing.”
The OP’s wife was not equally enthused about the project.
“We didn’t know anything about this until Cole came home and proudly presented us with a copy (his month is May).”
“It did not go well. His mother almost had a stroke. Wailing. Hyperventilating. Weeping.”
“Apparently, she is too ‘mortified for words’ to comprehend that a bunch of college girls are going to have a picture of ‘her baby’ in the buff on their walls for one month. And ‘What will her friends think?'”
The OP didn’t agree with his wife’s concerns.
“I think it’s ridiculous. A calendar of naked guys is nothing to get worked up over. They’re all technically adults, and I’m proud of the boys’ ingenuity and confidence. I’m sure it took some balls to do that (figuratively, not only literally). And to give the money to charity… is amazing.”
“I told my wife that she should lighten up, that if I looked as good as he did at that age and had been as handsome and tan and fit, I would have done it too.”
“Also, the calendar is NOT X-rated and is NOT porn. Okay, it’s pretty d**n racy and is definitely pushing the limits, but no one’s ‘business’ is really exposed thanks to judicious poses and props and such, although they are definitely pushing that ‘exposure’ to the absolute max.”
“I have to admit, if anything were shifted the tiniest bit, you’d be able to tell the boys’ religion, so to speak, but they kept it all legal enough… and they obviously WANT it to sell. Fine. Who cares.”
The OP’s wife wanted him to do something to rectify the situation.
“His mom, though, is insisting that I ‘do something about it.'”
“But what am I supposed to do? What’s done is done.”
“You can’t stop what has already finished.”
“‘Get them back!'”
“…Seriously? You know that’s impossible, right?”
“For what? How?”
“Cue more hysterics. And now she’s not even speaking with me for not supporting her, and she’s ‘ashamed to show her face’ to her friends, who I’m sure couldn’t care less about some college boys’ pictures from 600 miles away.”
The OP wasn’t sure what else there was to do.
“And for what it’s worth, Cole’s girlfriend is totally on board with it.”
“My wife called me an a**hole (but not in those words) for not taking her side.”
“Am I really the a**hole here? Perhaps I am the a**hole for not seeing things from my wife’s point of view and not sympathizing with her.”
“But I don’t think I am.”
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 OP’s wife was taking away from her son’s moment with her hysterics.
“You are NTA. Your adult son is NTA. Your son’s supportive girlfriend is NTA.”
“Unfortunately, even after your wife removes the stick up her rear she’ll still be an A/H for the ridiculous, over-the-top histrionics. It’s fine to be uncomfortable with what your adult son did. the wailing/sobbing/dramatics, though, are counterproductive and annoying.” – Bear_Aspirin_00
“Your son sounds wonderful. I’d be very proud of mine if he did the same thing (once he’s a few years older of course). They came up with a great idea, saw it through to the end, and raised money for an important charity. An excellent practical lesson in entrepreneurship, product development, and marketing.”
“NTA. Your wife needs to stop having hysterics and shaming Cole for this.”
“If she’d told you quietly that she was horrified and embarrassed, then you should have been supportive. But the screaming, crying, and demands that he should be punished, I have no sympathy whatsoever.” – Moose-Live
“NTA. So here’s the deal… In order for your wife’s friends to know about it, they’d have to buy the said calendar. AKA: They wanted to see semi-nude young men.”
“What are they gonna do? Call her/text her and tell her she should be ashamed of him all while knowing they spent money on an item containing photos of semi-nude men half their age?”
“It’s like someone calling their friend and telling them that their daughter has an Only Friends page and passing judgment… The only way you’d know is if YOU visited the site…”
“As for your wife’s feelings. She’s welcome to her opinion and feelings. But she crosses the AH line the minute she even implies that you should automatically side with her simply because you’re married. That’s bulls**t and it needs to stop.”
“Just because you marry someone doesn’t mean you’re signing up to always agree with them and side with them on everything. There are going to be times when you’re wrong, or she’s wrong. This is a perfect example. She’s in the wrong, and you would be too if you tried to stop the calendar from being sold or tried to ‘punish’ your adult son.” – SigSauerPower320
“But it’s time to give your wife a little perspective on your son’s actions. He’s a college student that participates in sports and was part of an effort to raise money for their team and sick children. He seems to be succeeding with all of that and also has a social life since he has a girlfriend.”
“Let’s talk about what he’s not. He’s not a criminal. He’s not a drug addict. He doesn’t seem to suffer from mental illness. He doesn’t think only about himself or he wouldn’t be helping to raise money for sick children.”
“Your wife needs to be thankful for the son she has. Many people aren’t that lucky.” – MaryAnne0601
“The wife may not agree with her son’s decision but there are better ways of handling it than having a meltdown.”
“I think that OP and his son are NTA. It was done for a good cause. Even if it weren’t for charity, it is still nobody’s business what an adult does with their own body.” – SweatyCaterpillar979
“NTA. She doesn’t have to approve of the calendar. If she doesn’t want to see the pictures, that’s totally understandable. But insisting that you try to stop the calendar from being published and trying to get you to punish him is totally unreasonable and ridiculous.” – DisneyFoodie20
But others encouraged the OP to be empathetic to his wife’s feelings as an empty-nester.
“YTA. You’re clearly a proud dad right now, and that’s… great, but let’s think about it from your wife’s perspective for a bit.”
“How would you feel if you had a daughter on the college volleyball or soccer team and she posted similarly racy photos along with her teammates and she proudly brought over the calendar to your home?”
“How about if every guy across her college had that calendar with her showing her racy pics? Would you still feel comfortable? Imagine you going to lunch with your daughter, and you see the stares of looks she gets.”
“That’s what your wife is feeling when she sees racy pics of her son.” – canttouchthisJC
“YTA for the obvious contempt that you have for your wife’s feelings.”
“I agree with you that a nude calendar isn’t a big deal, but even the way you wrote this post, knowing that people are going to judge you, you still marginalized her and are supercritical.”
“Stop being a jerk to your wife.” – hbgbees
“This is one of the most disgusting posts I’ve seen. Of course YTA. Your son did a horrible thing, and your wife is right.” – Hateful-Love-05
“YTA and weirdly happy about your son posing nude. Gross.” – IslandAshamed9016
“YTA. I bet you wouldn’t be okay about it if it was a daughter.” – InfiniteDate4429
“A little bit YTA. She just lost her baby at home. He’s at college. She’s having an emotional reaction to him being on his own.”
“You could have shown some empathy. I agree with all your points as to why it’s a good thing, but the point here is not the calendar but your s**tty treatment of your wife.” – V_Mrs_R43
“Oh… yuck. I really don’t believe this is on all the girls’ walls. Your poor wife, I’m sure she wishes she could rinse her eyes out with bleach.”
“Yes, YTA, for being so inconsiderate of her feelings. That is her baby, and this is going to have repercussions when he gets older. As other commenters have stated, I’m sure you would not have said this if you had a daughter and she wanted to do a nude photoshoot spread ‘for charity.'” – Ok-Border4341
This nude calendar for charity situation had the subReddit just as divided on the situation as the OP and his wife were.
Some completely understood where the OP was coming from and even thought that maybe his wife was trying to make her son’s moment, hard work, and efforts toward charity about her.
But others thought the wife might have been struggling with her son going off to college, and this was a serious reminder that he was growing up, for which the OP might show a little more empathy.
Either way, their son was out in the world on his own now, and the couple needed to figure out how to live together and support one another as a couple again, or else someone might wind up being unhappy.