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Parent Called Out For Refusing To Go To DIL’s Art Show Because It’s A ‘Waste Of Money’

A woman standing in an art gallery.
praetorianphoto/Getty Images

When a friend or family member is passionate about pursuing something, we always want to be supportive.

Something that can be increasingly challenging when this individual, in our eyes anyway, doesn’t seem to show a great deal of talent in this passion.

Many would argue that the right thing to do would be to keep our opinions to ourselves and continue to support them.

Others might say “honesty is always the best policy,” no matter how much being honest might hurt their feelings.

Redditor Commercial-Spare3325 was not a fan of their daughter-in-law (DIL)’s current artistic endeavors.

So, when the original poster (OP)’s DIL announced a ticketed event showcasing her work, the OP was less than eager to attend.

When their DIL continued to refuse to take no for an answer, the OP finally felt the need to be honest.

Unfortunately, the OP’s honesty was anything but appreciated by their DIL.

Wondering if they were out of line, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The a**hole” (AITA), where they asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA for being honest when pushed why I wasn’t going to my DIL art show?”

The OP explained why their DIL did not take kindly to their honest opinion of her work:

“My DIL does contemporary art; I don’t know how to explain.”

“It’s more abstract than anything and I suggest a google.”

“I don’t like the art style, but that’s my own opinion on it.”

“Like one piece with just colors on a canvas, and it has a deep meaning.”

“I don’t get it.”

“She submitted some stuff to the local art show and got in.”

“So this Friday, it is supposed to happen, and the whole family was invited.”

“The tickets to get in are 30 dollars.”

“Personally, I would rather spend that money on another thing.”

“Not to mention that I don’t like the art style so it will be a full day of bullsh*tting what I like about the art.”

“It sounds miserable, so I declined, saying I had another event.”

“She called me and asked me to reconsider. My response was no, and I have plans.”

“That’s when she told me I have to go.”

“I reiterated what I said before.”

“She started to argue with me, not going.”

“I kept saying I had a plan, and she kept accusing me of not liking her art.”

“After the third time she said that I snapped and told her yes.”

“I don’t like her art, and I think it is a waste of money to go.”

“She called me a jerk and hung up.”


Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation, by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

The Reddit community was somewhat divided on whether or not they thought the OP was the a**hole for skipping their DIL’s art show.

Many had trouble sympathizing with either the OP or their DIL, agreeing that the DIL should have taken no for an answer the first time, but the OP could have been more diplomatic about their DIL’s art.

“I’m going to go with ESH.”

“She should have just accepted your ‘no’, because you could have actually had plans for all she knew.”

“But your response was mean.”

“She’s part of your family now, and spending $30 to show support at her art show shouldn’t be such a difficulty for you, or something you call a waste of money to her face.”

“Is your relationship with your DIL good otherwise?”

“This seems like an incredibly easy way to show support to someone in your family and calling it a waste of money is sh*tty.”- lihzee

“I can literally FEEL the contempt for your DIL through the screen.”

“Poor lady.”


“She should’ve have taken no for an answer.”

“No is a complete sentence.”

“You shouldn’t have snapped and yelled.”

“If she is being accepted in art shows, it’s obvious that she has talent – and it wouldn’t kill you to support.”- kitjack85


“You are not obligated to go to anything, and your DIL was FAR out of line to insist on it.”

“That was really inappropriate of her, and she should have just let it go.”

“But, you do come across as strangely closed-minded and judgmental on this topic.”

“Probably she’d already picked up on prior signs you don’t appreciate her art and she was being hypersensitive as a result.”

“You seem really rigid and victim.”

“Even if it’s not your cup of tea, is it really so awful to shell out $30 to support a loved one?”

“You weren’t going to have to ‘spend a full day bulls*itting’ – it would probably be a few hours tops, and no one is forced to rave about the art at an art show!”

“You could easily have a few neutral statements like ‘It’s so colorful / vibrant’ and ‘I don’t always pick up on the meanings behind abstract art but I’m still enjoying the viewing’ or ‘This piece is by my DIL, she’s so talented’ or WHATEVER.”

“Surely there would be some non-abstract art you could enjoy while there.”

“It was sh*tty of her to confront you on it, but this post is giving vibes like you’re generally really unsupportive, so to me that makes you TA too.”- owls_and_cardinals

Others felt the OP was very clearly the a**hole, feeling she should have supported her DIL, and telling her she didn’t like her art and the show was a waste of money was an unnecessarily low blow:

“I actually changed my answer while typing lol.”

“I mean, you’re an ah for not going.”

“I was going to say not the ah for being honest.”

“But as I was writing in, I realized You don’t go to those things because you love it; you go to them because you love your family.”

“So 1st, you said you had plans … lie, then you said nah really I don’t like the art… which is true but not why I think you’re not going… it’s that you really don’t care enough about her to spend a couple of hours supporting her.”


“Artists get invited to these things partly based on their ability to bring their own audience and followers.”- newrandom878

While some felt the OP did nothing wrong, feeling that their DIL pushed the OP’s attendance too aggressively, making it perfectly acceptable for the OP to share their honest feelings:

“NTA and let’s be for real, DIL probably wasn’t trying to bond with OP being that they aren’t close and she doesn’t show up to OP’s stuff she’s invited to.”

“She more likely needed to sell a certain amount of tickets or was afraid no one would show up and she’d look like a loser.”- whothis2013

“I was really prepared to say you were that AH here, but after reading to the end, your DIL brought this on herself.”

“You said you had plans and couldn’t go.”

“That was a nice way to get out of it.”

“She pushed and pushed – ‘she told me I have to go’ – and you snapped.”

“This is on her.”


“Enjoy your Friday!”- glimmerseeker

“I’m going to go NTA.”

“I’m an artist, I do the whole gallery thing and get invited to receptions.”

“I love my art and what I create, but it’s not for everyone.”

“I make my spouse go, and I let my family know about them in case they are interested, but I don’t ever expect them to attend.”

“It’s my art, not theirs, and I’m an adult.”

“If you’re not into that style, the receptions can be wicked boring (sometimes even if you are, lol).”

“She should have accepted you having plans and let it go before you had to snap at her.”-ArtemisSpeak

“No way do I agree with the comments saying that you should have gone, etc. 30 dollars is a lot of money for an amateur art show.”

“And art is not your thing.”

“She was very aggressive with you and harassed you, all for an art show.”

“LOL NTA but she sure is… Just because she is your DIL does not mean you have to be a cheerleader for her.”

“She asked, you said no, discussion over.”- hadMcDofordinner


“I wouldn’t pay 30 anything to look at art I didn’t like.”

“Not even for in-laws.”

“DIL should have accepted the first no.”- DoraSchmora


“She should’ve left it and I don’t quite get why it was a mandatory event.”

“At first, I thought, yeah, go, be supportive.”

“But it sounds like you realized honesty was not allowed.”

“You did the next best thing by bowing out.”

“’She accused’ you of not liking her art?!”


“Is she like 12?”- PeppermintWindFarm

It’s hard not to think the OP didn’t need to resort to being quite as brutally honest as they were.

Yet, it’s also confusing why their DIL felt such a need to pressure the OP into coming when it seemed fairly obvious that she was not going to have a good time there.

Either way, family get-togethers are likely going to be awkward for quite some time going forward.

Assuming the OP and their DIL can even be in the same room…

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.