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Teen Furious At Her Parents For Skipping Out On Her Virtual Graduation To Take Her Sister Shopping

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If the pandemic has turned a big life event, traditionally full of pomp and in-person excitement, into a virtual experience, does it lose significance?

That was the question put to one family featured in a recent post on the “Am I the A**hole (AITA)” subReddit.

The Original Poster (OP), known as 3rdworld3 on the site, indicated her family’s approach in the title for the post.  

“AITA – Parents are taking my sister shopping instead of attending my graduation and I got mad at them.”

OP began by describing the upcoming event. 

I’m [18-year-old family], I’m graduating on Friday evening.”

“It’s only an online prerecorded video, but it’s better than what last year got and I really got excited about it because I managed to stay in school for the full 5 years and I’ve kept on top of my work for the most part.”

OP then provided a sketch of her sister. 

“My sister is [14-year-old female], we’re polar opposites.”

The best way I can describe how different we are is in terms of clothing style because that’s whats relevant.”

“She’s currently wearing a womens best set with a nike hoodie and about 3 pounds of makeup and orange fake tan, I’m wearing a pair of Dickies, a vest top and a cardigan I found in my nanas wardrobe and I’m not orange or plastered in makeup.”

“She’s a lot higher maintenance clothes and beauty wise and normally it doesn’t bother me.”

Then came the conflict. 

“Recently, a clothing retailer here opened up and is taking shopping appointments, that’s how desperately some people want clothes.”

“My sister is one of them people, so my stepdad booked an appointment and got one for Friday evening and it overlaps with my graduation video.”

OP was stunned by her family’s response to a recent discovery. 

“I was thinking it was fine, and they’d probably just not go since it was important to me to have family at the one normalish thing I’ve had in well over a year.”

“I was wrong, they’re still going. I got really angry last night when they told me, I said a lot of nasty things, one included calling my sister a kn*cker, and a chav.”

There was some fallout. 

“No one is talking to me at the moment, they think I’m overreacting and that I’m an a**hole for blowing up like this since all my sister’s clothes have come from online since December and she hasn’t gotten to see anything in person.”


OP also included an edit to clarify one aspect of the issue.

“Since people are saying why can’t we just watch it later, we’re not allowed to save it, I’m not sure what platform its being shown on yet but it’s a prerecorded video that’s only from 7-8 on Friday, can’t save it due to minor safety…”

“…and if I were to show it later, it would mean being so focused on sitting with my phone in my hand recording to make sure it’s in frame I wouldn’t get to watch it myself”

Anonymous strangers weighed in by declaring:

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

Responses from Redditors were mixed. 

Most felt that everyone was in the wrong in some way, OP included. 

“ESH. Your parents suck for not caring to attend an event that is meaningful to you. You suck for the way you talk about and to your little sister, and the fact that you continue to assign blame to her in the comments for your parents’ decision.”

“She’s 14. She can tell them she wants to go shopping, it’s their job as parents to say no if there’s something else that’s more important.”

“As an aside, since you spent a significant portion of your post on this — your sister does not suck for liking makeup, wanting to go shopping, ‘being high maintenance’ or for asking to go buy clothes with an appointment that YOUR DAD booked for her. And you don’t get a prize for wearing your Nana’s sweater and forgoing makeup.”

“Come on, dude. Take this up with your parents — they’re the issue here.” — A_Halsted

“NTA for expecting your parents to put your graduation ahead of unnecessary shopping. Their priorities are not in order.”

“However ..”

“YTA for your immaturity regarding your younger sister’s taste in clothing. She’s 14, she wants to be outrageous, so what? You’re coming off like a shallow snob.” — AMerrickanGirl

“ESH Your parents suck for completely ignoring your feelings”

“You suck because you obviously have such contempt for your 14 year old sister. Who cares how she dresses or what her makeup looks like? You’re being incredibly petty and that’s makes you every bit as bad as your parents.” — Prior_Lobster_5240

“NTA for wanting your family to attend your graduation. They should. That’s a huge accomplishment!”

“YTA for dragging your sister. You want an award for wearing dickies and no makeup and making fun of your 14y/o sister? Liking makeup and spray tans is fine. Wearing Nana’s sweater isn’t a personality.” — Klutzy_Journalist_36

Some, though, weren’t quite as critical of OP.

“Definitely NTA – your parents should know this is an important life event TBH. If it was something else serious I could understand it, but they need to take her shopping that day?”

“Is the next appointment not for 6 months? Do both of your parents need to hold her hands? Seems ridiculous to me.”

“Maybe you shouldn’t have gotten stuck in to her since it’s not her fault, but I can understand the frustration.” — creg316

“I can tell by the post that the OP is in Ireland (and I can even guess which shop the appointment is in 😉) and if I’m right, then the appt only system is only live for this week and the shops open up to everyone on Monday.”

“So the parents and younger daughter are foregoing OP’s graduation to get clothes all of 3 days sooner!! NTA” — moxymorningstar

“NTA. You’re celebrating a huge milestone and they are going SHOPPING?!? That’s not very nice of them. I’m sorry.” — FargoHat

Reddit had a hard time reaching a consensus on this one.

Written by Eric Spring

Eric Spring lives in New York City. He has poor vision and cooks a good egg. Most of his money is spent on live music and produce. He usually wears plain, solid color sweatshirts without hoods because he assumes loud patterns make people expect something big. Typically, he'll bypass a handshake and go straight for the hug.