Planning an event is always difficult.
Making sure everyone knows when the event is, talking to the caterer, securing an appropriate venue.
What do you do, though, when you feel that an event is being orchestrated specifically to rob you of your own special moment?
This was the hypothetical situation facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) spikey_steve when they came to the ” Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for some outside opinions.
“AITA for refusing to attend my parents joint 50th birthday party?”
OP got directly to the point.
“My parents have scheduled their joint 50th birthday celebration on the same exact day as my high-school graduation.”
“They have been neglectful at worst in the past but this, for me, is just straight up malicious.”
“If I do go, I’ll have to spend the night with 50+ of THEIR friends congratulating THEM on this massive milestone.”
They did go back to offer some more context.
“For some context, my mum turned 50 over 2 years ago and my Dad has his birthday just this year.”
“So, it kinda makes sense for them to plan the party once they’re both 50, right?”
“We had planned it this summer but my parents only set a date after the RSVPs to my high-school graduation were received. Maybe it’s just a harmless coincidence but it feels pretty targeted to me.”
“All of my friends are having a nice family dinner after graduation while I’m being forced to forget my accomplishments and celebrate my parents instead.”
“Sufficed to say, I’m livid and I’m not planning on attending.”
“I’ve told my parents to reschedule or I won’t be going.”
“They claimed that they’ve already booked the venue and sent out invites, and delivered a heartfelt speech about how much it would mean to them for me to be there.”
“They’re not necessarily calling me an a**hole but it’s implied that I’d be one if I flaked out on the party.”
OP was left to wonder.
Having explained the situation and the hypothetical OP is contemplating, they turned to Reddit for a ruling.
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 the OP was NTA.
Some suggested vindictiveness.
“NTA but your parents really suck.”
“I might be a Petty Patty but I would totally show up in my cap and gown and play it off like you thought your parents were trying to surprise you with a party.”
“Because it’s totally ridiculous for them to have a 50th birthday party on your graduation when it’s not their birthday and your mom has been 50 for over 2 years.” ~ TimeForCaffeine
“Seriously please do this!!!”
“Like walk in all surprised, like “whaaat? You threw a party for me?!’ “
“Walk around a bit / see the decor and go ‘wait, it’s your your birthdays?’ “
“They really deserve it, and I think it would make you feel a lot better. Plus you would be the world’s BEST prankster with that move 🤣🤣” ~ DiggityGiggity8
“Tell your grandparents, tell your parents’ friends what your parents are doing.”
“Humiliate them for being the a**holes they are.”
“Store the graduation gown at a friend’s place, and go stay there starting a couple days before graduation.”
“Please tell me you’re over 18 so they can’t report you as a runaway.”
“NTA. This was absolutely planned.” ~ MariaInconnu
While others wanted a word with OP’s parents directly.
“NTA and show this to your parents, please -“
“WTF is wrong with you? It is YOUR CHILD’S GRADUATION.”
“It’s not even your actual birthdays!”
“Lady, I’m 52 as well. Celebrating turning 50 now is just stupid… and incredibly cruel to your child.”
“What in every single hell are you thinking and how can you possibly justify this?”
“I was the EIGHTH child in my family and my parents still cared and still made my graduation day all about me.”
“You’re just… awful.”
“Your child deserves better parents.” ~ BethMacbain
“First of all, MASSIVE CONGRATULATIONS to you on this marvelous achievement!”
“For all your hard work, independence, and persistence, you are awesome!”
“Go to your graduation ceremony, give yourself the credit you deserve.”
“The speeches are for you.”
“Maybe later, if you feel like it, you can drop in on your parents’ party.”
“But indifference is more powerful than drama and hate, and you have a successful, generous, and caring life awaiting you.”
“You are NTA, your parents are. Don’t feed their narcissism. (maybe take a look at r/narcissisticparents.” ~ mind_the_umlaut
“NTA but omg your parents absolutely are.”
“My sister & her husband’s bdays are like 10 days apart so it would make sense for them to have a joint party but when you said your mom turned 50 two years ago?!?!”
“What in the actual F?!?!”
“I’m with you, this is definitely malicious.”
“Even if your graduation day was on one of their actual birthdays, good parents would never schedule a party for themselves on your graduation day.”
“You have a birthday every year, you only graduate from high school once in your life.”
“They can’t even use the you only turn 50 once in your life bc your mom turned 50 two freaking years ago!!!”
“I’m so sorry for you, your parents are selfish as heck (am I allowed to curse on here???)”
“My honest advice to you is to either not go or wear your cap & gown to their party to let all their friends know what selfish AHs they are.”
“After this though? “
“Start planning a way to get out from under them.”
“Get a job if you can & save every bit you can so you can support yourself & cut them out of your life or at least not be obligated to them.”
“Wow they suck so much I don’t even have words, I am truly astounded that grown adults would do this to their own child. 😳😳😳” ~ cautioslycurious
There were, of course, personal stories.
“NTA, your parents are awful.”
“I’ll give you an example.”
“I had my university graduation in November and my mum wanted to go back to our home country for a few weeks to spend time with extended family.”
“I told her she didn’t have to attend my graduation ceremony, but she made it clear that she would book her flight ticket only after it.”
“That’s what parents are supposed to do.”
“Your parents are dicks and you honestly deserve better” ~ Logical-Abroad4945
“I feel for you.”
“My mother eloped a few days before my high school graduation with some guy she knew for 3 months & took over my graduation party which became her wedding reception”
“They scraped the writing off of my cake to change it so it was congratulating them.”
“I had to go because my guests were still coming.”
“The change confused the hell out of my guests & we had some interesting discussions about how selfish (& cheap) my mother & her new husband were” ~ krissi510
Others hoped that OP would find their own support system.
“That’s despicable because it seems intentional.”
“I hope you can get free of that bullsh*t and have your own life soon.”
“Fwiw, I spent years trying to get my parents to genuinely like me. It was a wasted effort and made me miserable.”
“Don’t waste that time like i did. Trust the opinion of people you respect.” ~ Time_Highlight89
Commenters even came with cautionary tales.
“I really hope I’m not too late in responding to this because I am 35 and something really similar happened to me when I graduated high school.”
“It wasn’t my parents’ birthday party, but instead they chose to make my high school graduation party their announcement to the entire family that they were getting a divorce.”
“The entire day became about them and their future plans as divorced people.”
“I don’t want to project my own problems onto you, so please take this with a grain of salt.”
“I truly hope it’s the case that your parents are actually planning a surprise party for you,”
“But, if it turns out that they really are this selfish, then I would really advise you to not go, and remember what they did as you start to plan out the rest of your life…”
“I let my parents continue to do bizarre selfish things that directly impacted my life for almost another 15 years after my high school graduation.”
“I finally broke free of their bullsh*t last year and I’ve never been in a better place mentally.”
“Now you sound a lot smarter than me that you recognize how sh*tty this is and that you want to get out as soon as you can, so I hope you don’t fall into the same trap.” ~ seahorsesunflower
OP did return to answer a common concern.
“There have been a lot of suggestions that my parents could be planning a really messy, definitely backfiring cover-up for a surprise graduation party.”
“There are a few reasons that I’ve ruled out this possibility.”
“I spent hours with my mother on amazon buying copious amounts of sports-themed party decorations (my dad is a triathlete).”
“at my parents request, I am baking them a massive ’50’ cake – we bought those number cake moulds and everything.”
“I’ve personally watched my parents invite THEIR friends to the party.”
The painful reality is that sometimes the people you need most don’t have your best interests at heart.
Be careful of those people who only want you to benefit while within their shadow.