We all want and deserve our fair share of respect, especially from our loved ones.
Despite how much they love us, though, sometimes even our loved ones fall short.
But at least they make an effort to pronounce our names correctly, right?
Not so for one teen, who explained in the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit that he’d been putting up with his grandmother’s nicknames for far too long.
Redditor notmyname2020_ wrote into the sub after he decided to teach his grandmother a lesson but wondered if he’d gone too far.
The Original Poster (OP) asked the sub:
“AITA for calling my grandma by [the] wrong name until she gets my name right?”
The OP explained this has been going on basically his entire life.
“This has going on since forever so [I] decided to do something. I’m (16[male]) half Mexican from my dad’s side and my mom’s side is Scottish. Ngl (not gonna lie), most of my mom’s family is high key racist and [there have] been problems sometimes growing up. My grandma on my mom’s side never liked my dad and was happy after they divorced when I was 7.”
“My name’s Emiliano and my grandma always complained how hard she tried to change my parents’ minds and it’s a shame I got stuck with it. I’m actually proud of it. My dad told me about the revolutionary I was named after and their history.”
The OP’s grandmother doesn’t share the OP’s pride.
“But literally my entire life my grandma refuses to say it. She says it’s ‘too many syllables’ (I got a cousin named Alexandria and they say the whole name) and always came up with her own names.”
“She says ‘Leo’ or once tried to get everyone to call me ‘Elliot’ as a nickname for a while. [Obviously] my mom’s family was for it but my dad refused that cause it’s not my name.”
“[It’s] always the same thing when I see them. She’ll call me ‘Leo’ or whatever. Even when I correct her, she says it’s not a big deal [and] keeps calling [me the] wrong name.”
“I told my mom I don’t like it but she always says I’m just not gonna change her mind and [there’s] no point in fighting it.”
So the OP decided to take a different approach.
“So I decided if she [won’t] call me by my actual name, [I’m] not gonna call her Grandma or say her right name. [It’s] stupid, I know, but it’s bothering me more that she don’t care and all my other cousins she says their names fine, no nicknames.”
“Her name is Susan so I decided to call her Sandy.”
“Tbh (to be honest), I was scared to say it but that look on her face was worth it. It wasn’t a ‘surprised Pikachu’ face but it was close.”
“She said that is not how I address her and it’s ‘Grandma’.”
“I told her ‘nah,’ [I’m going to] call her Sandy from now until she says my actual name.”
The family had mixed reactions to the OP’s response.
“It got awkward. My mom was serious and my Grandma got super red in the face. She started ranting about me being a f**king disrespectful child and this is all my dad influencing me again.”
“My mom told me I need to apologize immediately but idk (I don’t know) what gave me the balls to not do it. We ended up leaving [their] house early and my mom didn’t talk to me until we got home.”
“She [says] what I did was outta line and I don’t disrespect my elders ever. She wants me to apologize and I’m grounded until I do.”
“[I haven’t] talked to my dad yet about this since it just happened but I wanted to ask if [I was] being an a**hole, or was it okay for this situation to ‘insult my Grandmother’?”
Fellow Redditors wrote in anonymously, rating the OP’s action on the following scale:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some said the OP was NTA, placing the blame instead on the OP’s grandmother and mother.
“Don’t tell her how you feel. Just label it what it is. She is enabling your grandmother to bully you. You can go further and say she is allowing your grandmother to abuse you. And you should never have to apologise to a bully and an abuser.” – westwestmoreland
“That really sucks OP and you shouldn’t have to put up with it.”
“If possible I would tell your mum that you don’t wish to be around people making these remarks and comments. Going forward I wouldn’t go with your mum to see your grandma. You’re old enough to know your own mind, and being surrounded by this stuff isn’t healthy for you.”
“Genetics don’t entitle people to anything. And they don’t excuse this kind of behavior. Age isn’t an automatic qualifier to get away with doing whatever, and still demanding respect.” – eternal_entropy
“NTA, she has disrespected you your entire life, THAT is not acceptable. Tell your mother you will no longer be disrespected by your grandma, and you are disappointed she won’t stand up for you.”
“Her mind can be changed, you and your father AND your mother just have to call her out every time. Your father will back you on this, and your mother should too.”
“You do not need to respect people who treat you with disrespect, and their age is irrelevant. Do not apologise, this is about basic respect which your grandma is not showing you.”
“Your mother is weak, and an enabler, for allowing this to continue; she should have shut this down when you were a child. I’d make it clear to her, if she was my mother, that I would have nothing to do with my grandma until this is corrected. You deserve to not have your name disrespected.” – OK-Beginning-5922
“NTA – being an elder doesn’t give someone the right to be disrespectful to you. Tell Sandy Reddit says hi. Good luck!” – QDKeck
A few suggested the OP should state “how he is” in reply to his mother’s claim about his grandmother.
“Tell her this is how you are: someone unwilling to tolerate their racism or her enabling of it. If your grandma doesn’t like it, she can ignore it.”
“If being difficult is the only thing that matters here, then be difficult.”
“Tell your mom she is more interested in her own comfort and convenience than protecting her son from racism. Stay grounded; don’t give in.” – elemenopae
“‘No point in telling her again cause all she gonna say is that’s how they are and ignore it.'”
“I’m a fan of responding to that statement with ‘well this is how I am. Why is it more important for you to make me feel bad to preserve her disrespect?'”
“Of course, if they’re unreasonable they’ll probably still say it’s because she’s old. It might be worth verbalizing ‘I don’t care if she is old, I deserve to be respected by family, and I won’t change until I get the basic human respect I deserve.'”
“But that’s all if you’re willing to fight this fight. It might be easier to just keep your head down and cut off a**hole family members when you’re old enough.” – beeb294
Some went so far as to suggest cutting the mother’s side of the family out of the OP’s life.
“I’d just stop engaging w that side of the family altogether. Spend all holidays [with] your father’s side. Short of physically putting you in a car against your will, there’s nothing your mom can do about it.”
“If she wants to complain about a custody agreement, say ‘going to a judge is a great idea! I’d love to present all my documented evidence of you forcing me to take racist abuse from family members over the years!’” – Sicily1922
“At this point, I’d say you want your dad to have full custody until she and grandma apologize and then cut her family out. You’re a teen. Most courts will listen to what you say now if you ask for it in custody.”
“Being racist is super s**tty. Being racist against someone they’re blood-related to is somehow worse” – wrosmer
One Redditor in particular agreed with this idea, stating the grandmother would change her tune if she wanted the OP to stay in her life.
“OP, my family was lowkey racist against Black people (not KKK racist, but ‘Black people can be friends and coworkers, nothing more’ kind of racist). I was just a bit younger than you when I made it clear to my whole family that I’d date who I thought was right for me and I didn’t need their input.”
“I was just a few years older than you when my birth control failed and I got pregnant with 1/4 Black twin girls and told my family firmly that these children were the most important people in my life and anyone who said anything racist about or in front of them would be cut out of my life forever.”
“I refused to go to my own graduation party because a distant racist relative decided to come and I was told I couldn’t bring my Black friend.”
“Guess what? My grandparents stood behind me on it, even though they were the ones who passed down this viewpoint to their children, because they value family above all else and couldn’t bear to lose us.”
“I eventually married the 1/2 Black (Black passing) father of my children and my family welcomed him with open arms, [and] their viewpoints have changed in every way I can see.”
“My little cousin, now your age, is the second of us to bring home a POC (person of color), and my sister and older cousin both came out as bisexual, because they saw me challenge the ‘way things are’ and keep the love of my family.”
“If your maternal family really loves you, they’ll get with the program, if they don’t, better you know that now rather than years down the road.” – mommyof4not2
When it comes to respect, it can be hard to stand up for what we deserve, especially when it involves our loved ones.
But as the OP is finding out, our loved ones, more than anyone else, should be willing to do what it takes to keep us around.