As much as we all like to imagine families as these beautiful, loving units, sometimes there are terrible problems churning just beneath the surface.
And it can take the smallest incident to expose them, agreed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor Different_Tour_9932 was completely at a loss about why her daughter was so upset and refused to return to her house after she discovered the parent had been tampering with her packages.
Certain that people like her daughter were the cause of small businesses failing, the Original Poster (OP) had been certain she was doing the right thing.
They asked the sub:
“AITA for returning all of my daughter’s packages that she ordered?”
The OP was excited to have their daughter back in the house.
“My daughter (31 Female) is currently in the process of moving. She’s been living in Brussels for the past four years and is now moving back to London as she was offered a better position.”
“She can move into her new flat in mid-February so she asked if she could stay with me and of course, I agreed, I missed her. Of course, I refused to accept any rent (she offered).”
The OP had one concern about their daughter, however.
“It’s been great, but one thing I’ve noticed is that my daughter has a habit of ordering online. A lot.”
“She runs out of toothpaste? She won’t bother going to the shop, she’ll just order it online with her other essentials like shampoo. Needs clothes or stuff for her new house? She’ll order it.”
“She even bought her father’s birthday gift and wrapping paper online. She even has groceries delivered because she insisted she pays for them because she lives rent-free.”
“She barely goes to shops, and because of people like her, our high streets are dying.”
“It’s unhealthy and every time for a week now, whenever a package came, I returned it which forced her to shop locally a few times.”
The OP’s daughter had enough of the shenanigans.
“But now, because quite a few packages never arrived, she realized what’s been happening and confronted me and she’s fuming.”
“She accused me of treating her like a child and saying I had no right to return her stuff.”
“I told her that something had to be done and I tried explaining my point, but she told me she was done, packed her stuff, and went to stay at a hotel, wasting money.”
“I asked her to move back and promised to not do it again, but she’s stubborn and won’t listen. She told me she’ll stay at a hotel until she can move into her flat.”
“I only wanted to help her, but she was being so unreasonable. My husband stays neutral, and I don’t know what to think. Was I wrong for returning those packages?”
“Was I the a**hole here?”
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 it was a no-brainer when the OP’s daughter left so quickly.
“YTA. FORCE her to shop locally by stealing your adult daughter’s mail? No wonder she spent the past few years in an entirely different country from you.” – NeeliSilverleaf
“At this rate, there won’t be a relationship to even value much longer.” – Heavy_Sand5228
“I think the daughter will be moving far away again VERY soon.”
“OP, who do you actually think you are to do this? What a controlling ridiculous person you really are.”
“YTA.” – NatZaJu
“The daughter clearly forgot the control maniac of a mother she has when she asked to move back in.”
“I’d be willing to bet money that when the daughter moves out, she will be at least LC (low contact) with mom, or more.” – LilitySan91
“YTA. Absolute huge.”
“You tried to FORCE YOUR personal shopping habits onto another adult, which you had no right to do.”
“Furthermore, you did so by actively interfering with the financial transactions of another adult (by returning the purchases that she had paid for without her permission).”
“You’re BEYOND the AH. You’re mental and need help.”
“You’ll be lucky if she EVER stays with you again. I wouldn’t. I’d also never trust you to visit me at my new flat with any personal and/or financial papers visible/accessible. You’ve proven you can’t be trusted.” – myhairs0nfire2
“Very YTA. She buys essentials, and that’s somehow ‘unhealthy’? No, it’s not great for high streets (or main streets in the US). But, it’s the reality of our situation.”
“And, how dare she not go out in person for gift wrap!/s I just can’t get over OP writing out that they’re bothered by the purchasing items she needs online and trying to present that as her having a problem.”
“Then, we get into the breach of ethics, trust, potentially illegal actions as well as potentially costing her delivery, tip, and/or restocking fees for the deliveries that were refused/returned.” – Sorcia_Lawson
“She says her daughter is stubborn, but yet she refuses to acknowledge how messed up it is to return items that she didn’t buy.”
“Her daughter wants nothing to do with someone who steals, treats her like a child, and doesn’t care about other people.”
“OP, YTA, and you caused so much damage to her that you should hope that you can fix it.” – lil-peanutbutter
“Yeah, not just YTA, but interfering with the delivery of post is a crime in the UK, so you know…”
“Well done OP. You’ve just admitted to an indictable offense as well as admitting you’re overly controlling of your adult daughter.” – NYX_T_RYX
Others specifically pointed out the invalidity of the OP’s concerns.
“The high streets won’t exist soon, sad for those that remember a bustling street, but it’ll be malls or mail.”
“Regardless of her returning one person’s parcels, the newer generation is busy, and online shopping is easy, convenient, and you tend to not browse and make purchases you don’t need IMO (in my opinion). YTA.” – Secret-Unicorn-666
“I wonder if the pandemic is still a concern for the daughter. Some people are acting like it’s all over, but ordering online parcels of stuff she needs reduces her time roaming around shops where people might be sick, coughing, etc.”
“And if it’s in Europe/UK it’s winter, where flu season is probably still going.” – ExpertProfessional9
“I used to order groceries here in Chicago all the time before Albertsons contracted it out to a third party and the price went from $4 per order to $10 plus gratuity. It was incredibly convenient and kept more people employed.”
“Also if the shops on their high street are anything like the ones around me, everything is out of stock, and you have to order it online anyways. I swear half of them are just showrooms at this point. H*ll, even the Lululemon near us is just a showroom.”
“Every time my wife needs anything from them, they don’t have it, so they have to order it for her. Or she can just order it online. Same with every single makeup section at stores especially for basics like cleansers, hair repair, etc”
“Need something from the hardware store? Whatever you need is sold out at the store you go to so you need to place a pickup order for 1-2 days from now if you don’t want to spend half a day running around town to find everything.” – hardolaf
“I tried to buy an Apple Watch at my local Best Buy. I wanted the old-timey in-store experience.”
“What they wanted to give me was just a run-around as they ordered it from either another store or the ‘warehouse.’ They said this was how they normally did it now: almost nothing onsite, everything delivered the next day.”
“If that’s the case, why the h*ll should I bother with the middle man? Just wastes gas and my time.” – neuro_umbrage
“Grocery delivery was a game changer for me during the pandemic, and we continue to have a Kroger membership even now. I have fibromyalgia, and just a regular weekly shop would tire me out so much. And those florescent lights make me feel sick.” – cogenthoughts
“I am all for shopping locally, but sometimes it is cheaper online, or I don’t have time to go shopping before or after work, and I work in Glasgow City Centre next to shops.”
“And if I buy online and pick it up or get it delivered, then I’m less tempted to spend the extra money I shouldn’t be spending. And then I don’t have to deal with being around people on days when I’m overwhelmed and overstimulated and can’t deal with people. Plus not every store near me has everything I need.” – kaitydid0330
“Why not just have a conversation with your daughter about this? Maybe she’s ordering online because it is easier or she is no longer familiar with the area or likes to order as soon as she runs out of something, so she doesn’t forget for any one of a dozen reasons.”
“So TALK WITH HER and find out why, if you’re so interested.” – One_Ad_704
The subReddit was appalled by the OP’s admission to what she had done to her daughter’s property, and her unwillingness to understand what she had done was wrong.
Few saw this as a situation that could be repaired. In fact, most understood why the daughter had moved so far away for so long, and they saw infinite travels in her future.