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Retired Trapeze Artist Excludes Daughter’s Friends From Trip Backstage At Cirque Du Soleil

Circus artist in Trapeze, Photographed on white, with shadow projected on the wall

Getting backstage passes is an awesome experience.

But sometimes the guest list is small.

Would you pass up an experience to meet a performer if that meant one of your friends couldn’t go?

Case in point...

Redditor Adorable-Nail-3119 wanted to discuss her experience and get some feedback. So naturally, she came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

She asked:

“AITA for taking my daughter on a backstage visit that excluded her friends?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“I’m (34 F[emale]) a retired trapeze artist and my daughter (6 F) is enrolled in circus school.”

“She loves it so much that she asked to see a Cirque du Soleil show as a birthday present.”

“My husband (37 M[ale]) and I managed to get discount tickets to take her and three of her friends from circus school on a 2-hour drive to catch the nearest show.”

“When I got there I checked the company credits and noticed a friend of mine, an acrobat from Belgium, was one of the performers.”

“I hadn’t seen him in years and sent him a message on Instagram just to say I was in the audience with my daughter and excited to see him.”

“He replied almost immediately and told me to look for a stage manager after the show so we could say hi and I could take my daughter backstage.”

“And so I did – since he only invited my daughter and me (I didn’t mention in my short message there were three other girls + my husband, and I couldn’t impose taking a small party backstage).”

“My husband waited with the girls for about 20 min after the show was over while we toured backstage.”

“My daughter was so happy!”

“Yet she kept talking about it on the way home and that’s when I realized the other girls could be feeling left out.”

“What do you know?”

“The same night one of the girl’s mothers called me, to say her daughter came home crying because she didn’t get to go backstage.”

“And that it was very poor form on my part to invite them to a party and to exclude them from one of the experiences.”

“I tried to explain how things played out, but she kept being aggressive – until I finally lost it and told her she had no right to call me and try to reprimand me and should instead have a talk to her daughter about how to deal with such frustrations.”

“My husband says I should not have instigated and that, in hindsight, I shouldn’t have split the party.”

The OP was left to wonder:

“So AITA?”

Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA:

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

Many Redditors declared OP WAS the A**hole.

“YTA. You could’ve simply informed your friend that you were in the company of your daughter’s friends and left it up to him to decide.”

“You also could’ve explained to your daughter not to keep talking about that with her friends there, so they won’t feel left out.”

“That simple; if you really, really felt the need to only take your kid and not the others.”

“Instead, you did in fact leave 3 other kids out, you allowed your daughter to brag about what she alone got to do, and you’re surprised a bunch of 6-year-olds felt left out.”

“You then double down on the one mom who wanted to defend her kids’ feelings. Yes, YTA.” ~ CosmicStarchild7

“As a performer, it’s hard for me to imagine not wanting to have a gaggle of excited kids come backstage.”

“It could be a life-changing moment for them, and the kind of thing that makes a performer’s day.”

“I’m not going to go as far as saying YTA, but you made a mistake and you hurt a bunch of kids that you could have excited.”

“It would have been easy to ask your friend if they could all come and I’m sure that person would have happily agreed. It’s weird that you didn’t do that.” ~ HobbittBass

“YTA in this sub doesn’t necessarily mean the person is an a**hole, it’s just a more concise way of asking ‘Was I in the wrong?’ and YTA means that yes they were in the wrong.

“You can YTA with a clear conscience.” ~ Touniouk

“I think OP did not think of the consequences for the other girls and just went with the motion without thinking it through.”

“The way it was handled sucked for the girls, even without malice.”

“Learning opportunity for OP about learning to be aware of how others have needs and may be impacted by our actions.”

“But as someone who worked on big touring productions akin to Cirque du Soleil (we had staff going from our business to Cirque and back).”

“I can say that it’s not always easy to secure backstage access, and OP’s friend may not have had the authority to give access to so many people at once.” ~ Kindly-Improvement79

“Adding on to say absolutely YTA every step of the way…”

“You should have told your friend that you had a party of 6, not just you and your daughter.”

“It’s quite possible that he would have welcomed all of you backstage, completely avoiding the mess you created.”

“You should not have taken your daughter backstage without her invited guests under any circumstances.”

“You should have stopped your daughter from boasting in front of her excluded guests.”

“You should have profusely apologized to all parents/children involved, instead of lashing out at the parent who called you on your atrocious manners.”

“Set a better example for your child. I know from experience that she will suffer the consequences of your poor social skills.” ~ MabsMessenger

“YTA big time!”

“I’m sure they would’ve accommodated her and her 3 little friends backstage for her bday!”

“I mean as the Mother and as an adult, the least you could’ve done was give it a try!”

“I’m kinda sad for them lol.” ~ shibasnakitas1126

“YTA. It was your idea to go and take your daughter and her friends (who apparently must all have been 6 years old), you contacted your friend which was fine, but when he invited you and your daughter you took it on your own to determine IF he could take the others and you jumped at going without the others.”

“You could have said, ‘Hey thanks but I’m here with 3 of my daughter’s friends and my husband, so I don’t know if we all can come in, or if you and I can just say hello.'”

“You opted for what was easiest, an invite for yourself and your daughter.”

“Your husband is correct, you should not split the party, since you were the one that put the party together.”

“You know your daughter would have been heartbroken if the situation was switched where another mother took her daughter to an event that meant the world to her and then she was told to wait outside while that mother took her daughter in to meet the performers and see behind the scenes.”

“You probably should apologize to all of the girls and their mothers.”

“It was a nice thought to take everyone, but you BLEW IT BIG TIME abandoning the others for yours and your daughter’s benefit.” ~ catskilkid

“YTA – The other child’s mother was 100% correct.”

“You don’t invite children to an event and then make them wait while only your child gets to experience the best part of the event.”

“And then you have the audacity to tell the other mother how to parent her child in response to your hurting her child’s feelings, wild!”

“Hope you have that lesson down pat for your own daughter, for when you will be teaching her how to deal with her frustrations when she is not invited to other children’s events because of your actions.” ~ punkybrewsterstwin

“YTA. I’m sure you knew the invitation backstage might not be forthcoming if it was a whole group of you, so you deliberately ‘forgot to mention’ you were there with a party of people.”

“You do not invite a group out to celebrate with your daughter and then leave them hanging around for 20 minutes or so whilst you go off and do something else.”

“As for you criticizing the other child’s parenting, well if my child came home upset from a party I’d probably want to find out exactly what happened as well.”

“And secondly, let’s hope you are excellent at explaining to your daughter how to deal with frustrations of that kind when she is upset that she doesn’t receive invites to other children’s parties once word gets around of how you treated your own invited guests.” ~ Oscarmaiajonah

“I’m a bit torn.”

“On one hand, you should absolutely see your friend and let your daughter go backstage, even if the others are jealous.”

“HOWEVER, you could have also said that you have a few more girls there that would love to see the same stuff – or when you went in to visit, tell your friend, ‘Hey, so my daughter has a couple of friends here that would love to see backstage, do you think that’s possible?'”

“Ultimately, if your friend said no, too bad for the other girls.”

“But if they said yes, you would have been the coolest mom ever to get them in.”

“I kind of get the impression that you didn’t really push to help the other kids to get back there, even if you could have.” ~ kuken_i_fittan

Well, OP, Reddit has some strong thoughts on this matter.

Such situations are a balancing act.

Backstage areas are chaotic.

But it sounds like Reddit has more ideal ways this could’ve been handled the next time around.

Good luck with the other parents.