Reconnecting with family can be difficult. Sometimes you have to find a good way to spend quality time with people you think you should have a relationship with.
Redditor aitabadcousin wants nothing more than to rebuild a relationship with a family they were estranged from due to their mother. This means the original poster (OP) gets to plan some fun activities.
However, OP doesn’t think one of their cousins should come along on a hiking trip, due to the cousin’s weight. This has led to a fight between the family members.
OP feels justified in excluding their cousin but wants to know if they’re a jerk for doing so. They decided to ask the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit about their choice.
OP is just worried about safety issues.
“AITA for not inviting my obese cousin on the family hike”
But should they have at least extended the offer anyway?
“In recent years I’ve made more of an effort to be close with my family. My family all hates my mother and distanced themselves from her, but now that I’m an adult I can facilitate my own relationships.”
“I’m very into hiking, and there’s a certain mountain in our area I’ve wanted to hike. I invited one of my cousins, Sarah, because I know she loves outdoorsy stuff.”
“Sarah agreed and suggested inviting one of our other cousins, Jeffery, who also loves hiking apparently. I like Jeffery but I didn’t know because we haven’t spoken that much since we were kids.”
“One person led to another and we now have 8 people going on this hike. All are at least somewhat fit and in decent health.”
“My uncles wife suggested inviting my cousin Jessica, because she doesn’t get out much and it would be good for her. I suggested we invite her to a different event, and suggested going to the beach next weekend.”
“I stated that Jessica isn’t in the best shape and hiking this particular mountain might be hard for her because of her weight and health problems (her knees and back often hurt).”
“I didn’t say this but if something happened none of us would be able to carry her back to a car, because she’s around 300 lbs. everyone agreed but then my uncles wife ran her mouth to Jessica and now jessicas feelings are hurt.”
“I apologized to Jessica but stood by why I didn’t invite her, stating that she’s not in good shape and she probably wouldn’t be able to complete the hike safely. I invited her to the beach next weekend instead and she refused.”
“She now won’t talk to anyone and is making posts on Facebook about how the world hates fat people.”
“AITA for not inviting my cousin on a hike because of her weight and health”
OP is worried about what would happen if Jessica were to be injured. They think the hiking trip might be too much and don’t think anyone could carry her if something were to go wrong.
But Jessica clearly feels excluded, and hurt.
On Reddit, the users of the board judged OP for excluding their cousin from the hiking trip by including one of the following in their response:
- NTA – Not the A**hole
- YTA – You’re the A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everybody Sucks Here
The commenters sided with OP. They felt the explanation was reasonable, and don’t think someone should offer to put their cousin in a possibly dangerous situation like that.
Despite Jessica’s response, some felt that could be explained by the aunt twisting around the situation, possibly explaining in a worse light.
Final judgement was that OP was NTA.
“NTA. You had a perfectly reasonable explanation. Your Aunt probably twisted your explanation when speaking to your cousin.”
“Enjoy your hike.” – Sapper_Unknown
“Nah, I don’t think you need to twist the explanation to be hurt by it. It’s super reasonable, but it’s also very reasonable to get upset about someone calling you too fat to do something everyone else can” – ARandomGuyThe3
“But it’s a fact? The same way you can be too thin to safely sit on a rollercoaster or donate blood there are activities that you can be too fat to do safely and insisting on them is compromising the safety of others.”
“OP wasn’t rude or discriminatory, just logical and factual. If Jessica is that offended, she can try and get fitter so she can join more physical activities just like people who are too thin try to add weight/muscle to join other activities.” – scarletcross37
“NTA. This reminds me of the very recent story about the 13 year old who wanted to go on a certain ride or slide at a Waterpark.”
“The weight limit was 200 and she weighed 205. The father took to social media chastising the park for embarrassing the girl and not just letting her go on the ride.”
“Sometimes safety is more important than feelings.” – Emptydata_Enzo
“I’m an avid hiker. I don’t hike with people who are out of shape/ or have too large of a gap(faster/slower) in pace with me.”
“It’s not fun for anyone and I’m not going to ruin my hike.” – terpichore761
“NTA because you don’t know her well and the situation could be dangerous for her. If you both want you can always talk it out privately.”
“And for the people on here saying heavy/obese people can hike: sure, some can but you don’t know her well and A Lot of people of all sizes overestimate their hiking ability.”
“Plus, you don’t Owe anyone an invitation anywhere.” – ServelanDarrow
“NTA. You’re not obligated to invite anyone but in this case, you had good reason.”
“The facts show that she has a hard time doing things like walking or climbing stairs without pain, so you came to the logical conclusion that it probably isn’t best to invite her to climb a mountain.”
“The aunt, however, is an a**hole and had no reason to tell her. You weren’t shaming anyone for being fat, you were simply trying not to put someone who isn’t fit for hiking into that situation.” – XanBelOr
However not everyone could get on board with Jessica being a jerk in this situation. They needed a little more information, but some people were on her side.
Jessica is an adult and can make her own determination over what she can and cannot do. All she has here are cousins unwilling to include her on a trip.
It’s no wonder she refused the beach trip for the following week.
“INFO: how many of your family members did you invite? Was Jessica the only cousin/only member of x family/etc. who wasn’t invited?” – Veauros
“We have 8 out of 50+ family members attending. Only people who are able to complete the hike at our pace got invited, and who could complete it without endangering their health.”
“Probably six or seven other cousins didn’t get invited for various reasons, too young, lives too far away, has work this weekend, just had surgery, hates the outdoors, etc” – aitabadcousin (OP)
“NTA. Just make it clear that you only invited people with hiking experience because it’s a difficult trail, and move away from the weight conversation.”
“You can tell her that you’re worried about her lack of hiking/rough terrain experience and inability to read trail markers/whatever without bringing up her weight or making any broad statements about her physical fitness, and that you didn’t think she had any interest in hiking.”
“Jessica isn’t the a**hole either; your aunt (the real villain of the piece) was probably terrible to her and exaggerated your statements. And it’s clearly a sensitive topic for everyone.”
“Also, stop having these sorts of candid conversations in front of people you can’t trust to be diplomatic. You can bend the truth to Aunt Blabbermouth too.” – Veauros
“To be honest, I can’t really lie and say ‘sorry this trail isn’t for beginners’ when half of the group I’m brining are beginners. But they’re all in good shape and know the importance of hydration” – aitabadcousin (OP)
“YTA. She’s overweight, not stupid. She can decide for herself if that’s an event she wants to participate in.”
“It’s super patronizing to decide for her by gossiping about her weight (didn’t hear much about her actual health or abilities).”
“So many comments here assume fat people are unintelligent, don’t have good judgement about their possible limitations, are willing to put other people at risk, etc.”
“It’s absurd. She knows she’s overweight, she also knows what her body can/can’t safely do. You don’t.” – CAnnPete
“If a person has never done a hike on a mountain before then they wouldn’t know if it’s beyond their limits or not.”
“The cousin has knee and back problems – it seems obvious that doesn’t mix with a 10 mile hike on a mountain.” – MenacingJowls
Maybe OP could have had a private conversation with Jessica, rather than just exclude her and hope she never finds out. But regardless, OP had Jessica’s health and enjoyment in mind, in addition to the family’s enjoyment of the hike.
Hopefully they can make up and head to the beach!