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Redditor Stirs Drama By Asking Their Mom Not To Wear Alumni Shirt From A School She Didn’t Attend

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When a person attends a school, they become an alumnus.

A Redditor was very clear on that definition, but there mother disagreed. After a confrontation, the OP turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for feedback.

Redditor Extra-Condition7984 asked:

“AITA for asking my mom not to wear a shirt for a school she did not attend?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“I live at home with my parents. I pay them rent each month and I’m pretty much just there to sleep, as I work, volunteer, and am in a relationship.”

“It’s allowed me to save up a nice down payment. I plan to move later this year if the housing market improves.”

“I attended college, my mother did not. Because of several organizations I belong to, I received a few University X Alumni t-shirts as gifts when I graduated.”

“The other day, I noticed my mother wearing one. When I inquired about it, she replied that I had a few and she didn’t have anything with the school name, so she helped herself.”

“I told her that it’s a shirt for alumni, which she is not.”

“She pointed to it and said, ‘It says University X Alumni! That’s us! We’re alums’. My mom has a tendency to co-opt my achievements as her own.”

“I took out loans to pay for school and she made my graduation day all about her, so it’s a bit of a touchy subject.”

“I replied, ‘Really? I don’t recall seeing you in any of my classes in the four years I attended’.”

“She rolled her eyes, ‘Stop being an asshole. I’m proud and I want to show off. We don’t have any other University X shirts’.”

“I pulled out my phone and pulled up a t-shirt from the book store that said, ‘Proud University X Mom’. I told her I was going to buy it for her so she could proudly wear it.”

“She told me she didn’t need it because she already had one and indicated the t-shirt she had on.”

“I told her if she didn’t graduate from the school, she shouldn’t be wearing an alumni t-shirt. She went off on me and accused me of being elitist and looking down on her because of my degree.”

“Because I think this needs to be clear, I have no issue with her or anyone else wearing something with the school name on it.”

“The alumni shirt in question is not on sale to the general public and is only available to graduating seniors, where you’re emailed a special link or to campus organizations to purchase as a gift for graduating members.”

“To me it’s the difference between wearing a race t-shirt and wearing a medal that someone else won for doing the race.”

“There are definitely issues between my mom and myself that go past a misappropriated t-shirt.”

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 OP was not the a**hole, but also felt this was about a lot more than a shirt.

“Yeah you’d be TA if you banned her from wearing anything from the college you went to. The fact that it says Alumni is a little weird.”

“The fact that she just took it from you isn’t cool. The fact that she says she’s an alum because you went there is very weird.”

“But yeah I’m not even going to address the shirt thing because we all know it’s not just about the shirt. It sounds like she’s been exhausting to have as a mom.”

“Just move out and take your t-shirts with you.” ~ basilobs

“I was so ready to say Y T A because people wear gear from colleges they never went to all the time, but the fact she stole your shirt, said she’s an alum, and then doubled down on it is wild. NTA.”

“Does no one else find it weird that mom said ‘we’re alums’ and refused the proud parent shirt?”

“And stole OP’s shirt? That’s just so weird.” ~ beckdawg19

“I think it’s bc her mom is saying ‘we are alums’ and OP stated her mom made OP’s graduation day about her and has a history of co-opting OP’s achievements as her own.”

“It just seems like this is a symptom of a bigger problem.”

“If her mom really was being supportive she would love the Mom shirt OP offered to get her.” ~ derbarkbark

“One thing I think a lot of people missed is that this is not the first instance of her mother coopting her education. They said their mom made their graduation all about her.”

“I have parents like that and I understand what it’s like. My mom homeschooled me (very poorly) but every time I make academic progress as an adult she brings up how well she taught me.”

“It’s really frustrating to be around people like that because when we try to describe their sh*t (that infuriates everyone who experiences it), most people see it as us being d*cks.” ~ thatpotatogirl9

“I mean, the fact that the shirt belongs to OP and her mom took it without permission and wore it, then refused to take it off when asked, is enough of a problem without even knowing the rest of the story.” ~ Meganstefanie

“Exactly! My sister and I went to the same college, but if she took my college hoodie without asking and refused to give it back I’d still be pretty annoyed about it.” ~ cooties_and_chaos

“OP said they got them as graduation presents.”

“I mean, I think I got all my college hoodies and tshirts as freebies or gifts too, but I’d still be annoyed if someone ‘borrowed’ one without asking (and that’s without all the other weird stuff OP’s mom is doing).” ~ cooties_and_chaos

“It is indicative of a pattern of behavior. OP says, ‘My mom has a tendency to co-opt my achievements as her own. I took out loans to pay for school and she made my graduation day all about her, so it’s a bit of a touchy subject’.”

“Op also states that they offered to buy their mom a shirt that said ‘University X Mom’ but that their mom wasn’t satisfied with that and wanted the shirt that said ‘alumni’ on it.”

“It sounds like this behavior from the mom has been going on for a while and the t-shirt is simply the straw breaking the camel’s back.” ~ FutureLog2849

“NTA. Narcissistic parents see their children as extensions of themselves. Graduation is all about her.”

“‘We’re’ alums. That’s co-opting your achievements, and that’s really the point here.”

“We’re not talking about a proud mom. This is about a hell of a lot more than a shirt.” ~ awkwardflea

The OP said they plan to move out soon. It sounds like that might be the best solution for this problem.

Written by Amelia Mavis Christnot

Amelia Christnot is an Oglala Lakota, Kanien'kehá:ka Haudenosaunee and Metís Navy brat who settled in the wilds of Northern Maine. A member of the Indigenous Journalists Association, she considers herself another proud Maineiac.