We don’t always say what we mean when we’re caught off guard.
Of course, sometimes we say exactly what we mean.
When do we draw the line between taking ownership for our words and making allowance for the comments of an instinctive reaction?
This was the question that brought Redditor and Original Poster (OP) kidneybean1234 to the “Am I the A**hole” subReddit for clarity.
“AITA for replying ‘Absolutely f’king not’ when I was asked to consider being an organ donor?”
She began with the history.
“I (25-Female) moved back in with my mother during the pandemic to help her with something.”
“I’m in the process of finding my own place now that she’s better, but still live with her right now, but I must emphasize that I didn’t move in because of financial hardship and she needed me more than I needed her.”
She explained the parties involved…
“Mom (56) has a friend, Mel (45 female) with a chronic disease.”
…and made it clear how she felt about Mel.
“Mel and I have never got along, not since the first time we met when she showed up to my mom’s house dating a man half her age and I asked if he was her son, and then she forced my mom to make me apologize to her in public.”
“Mel is a deeply insecure woman who pretty much has no friends other than my mother.”
OP made reference to Mel’s behavior toward her mother.
“Mel is always bugging my mom to throw her parties, trying to get my mom to drive her places when she’s not feeling well, and trying to invite herself over my mom’s place because she’s lonely.”
“I don’t like Mel, and I avoid her; I avoided her when I was younger, didn’t even pay any mind to her when I became an adult and moved out, but unfortunately since I’m with my mom she’s also back in my life.”
“Still, the only times I really hear about Mel is when my mom is done talking to her over the phone and she then subsequently whines to me about how draining it is to listen to Mel’s problems.”
Then there was the unexpected.
“It was quite a surprise to me when I came home from a day out to find Mel in my mom’s house sobbing.”
“Before I could ask what’s up, mom told me that Mel’s chronic disease has progressed to the point where she may need new organs.”
Certainly, a lot to take in.
“I get it, that’s rough, and I don’t begrudge Mel for coming to my mom for support even if I personally didn’t want to host her.”
And then came the question:
“But without skipping a beat, Mel asked if I could get tested to see if I could donate an organ to her.”
“And just as quickly as Mel said that to me, I loudly responded, ‘Absolutely f’king not!’ Mom yelled at me, Mel started crying, and I just turned right around and left.”
“I got home later in the day and my mom was fuming at me and said I owed Mel an apology. I told my mom that asking for one of my f’king organs is more invasive than asking to f’k me.”
“Mom explains that Mel was very distraught by the news and I should cut her some slack, and I said that I cut her slack by leaving and giving her space but owed her no apology.”
OP was left to wonder:
“Was I the a**hole for loudly refusing to get tested to donate an organ to someone I can’t stand?”
With her mother on Mel’s side, OP came to Reddit for an outside opinion.
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: NTA
Some were understanding of OP’s reaction.
“NTA. Okay, the reaction might have been a little harsh but you were caught off guard twice, first by her being in the house and then even more by her asking that.”
“You even tried to give her space in the house you live in”~grilledpotat
“Right, NTA. This is a very invasive question and it blindsided you.”
“It’s very unfortunate that Mel endures this, but as an adult, you can behave and say whatever you would like to say without being held accountable by your mom.”
“Your mom infantilizes you for making you ‘apologize’ and screaming at you in tirade.”
“She should respect that you’re an independent human being now and you can say things that don’t necessarily appease her or align with what she thinks is appropriate.”
“It might not be a delicate response, but you already said it and there’s nothing to do in hindsight.”
“Apologizing to Mel, who wasn’t fond of you or nice to you throughout your life, on the command of your mom, is outright demeaning.”
“She assumed from the onset that you’re willing to donate her organs, she didn’t ask if you want to comply, she asked impolitely if you are going to test in order to give it to her.”~Compensate1995
Others pointed to a pattern they’ve noticed.
“We see that a lot on this sub and on AITA. Parents always asking their adult children to apologize.”
“OK. Ask once. Then leave it alone.”
“Parents of adult children seem to want to treat their kids with less respect than other relatives or their own friends.”~Awe_matters1
Not everyone was in OP’s corner though.
“‘I’m an adult so I can say rude shit anytime I want with no consequences’ is a ridiculous position to take.”
“OP is not an a**hole for not wanting to donate their organs, not because they have some kind of magical ‘right’ to be rude.”
“After it was pointed out that the question in judgment was whether OP’s response is appropriate, I am changing my judgment to YTA for that appalling response to someone who is so distraught and may be close to dying.”
“There used to be an option (or maybe we used to ask for it a lot-so don’t remember) for JTA (justified a**hole).”
“Some here might say OP was justified in their tone because of the prior history.”
“But I don’t see how anyone can be faced with a dying person in front of them and not automatically feel some level of compassion.”~bananahammerredoux
Overall, the blame seemed to fall on Mel for making such an unbelievable request.
“Honestly in my mind went to what horror movie are we stuck in the middle of and this is a pretty terrible plot.”
“My final verdict is that it must’ve been a really bad parody of ‘Scary Movie’. NTA op especially if you felt like you were teleported to some insane movie verse world.” ~SnooSuggestions2288
It is easy to lose track of your words when someone springs an unexpected request on you.
Words can hurt, of course, but it is always important to make sure that what we’re asking isn’t beyond reason.
There’s definitely a balance to be found between asking for help graciously and refusing to help thoughtfully.
Let us hope we all find that balance.