Coming from so many different places, people are full of various beliefs, practices, and experiences. Some of these may not mesh with each other, and others may even look strange to someone else.
But differences of opinion could hurt relationships, too, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
While observing a funeral procession, Redditor No_Picture2914 infuriated his wife, who wanted to attend a play.
But when waiting for the procession caused them to miss the play’s opening curtain, the Original Poster (OP) felt conflicted about what had happened.
They asked the sub:
“AITA for pulling over for a funeral procession?”
The OP and his wife were on their way to a play.
“My wife and I went back to my hometown to visit my family this week. Where I grew up is across the country and much more rural than where we live currently and where my wife grew up.”
“We decided to go see a play in a nearby city that my wife has been wanting to see, and we were running a little late because she didn’t get ready on time and we were in a rush.”
Then the OP observed a funeral procession on the way.
“A few minutes into the drive, I saw a funeral procession coming down the road towards us, so I pulled over and put my hazards on.”
“My wife then asked me what I was doing. I told her that a funeral procession was passing by, so I had to pull over.”
“She asked why and said that it isn’t against the law to keep driving. I said that I knew it wasn’t against the law, but it was a sign of respect that I’ve always been taught to do.”
“She then started to get irritated and said that if we sit and wait for them to pass, then we were going to miss the show and they won’t let us in.”
“I said that maybe it is just a cultural difference, and I was truly sorry if we missed the play, but this was something I felt strongly about, and I wasn’t going to move until they passed.”
“My wife then got even angrier and said she doesn’t understand why I have to act this way.”
The OP tried to explain this to his wife.
“I then tried to explain myself as best as I could. I told her that some of those people in that line are currently having the worst day of their life. They are on their way to say goodbye forever to someone they love.”
“Having been there before, it can be infuriating watching the world continue to go on as normal as your life is being shattered. Why isn’t the rest of the world mourning a beautiful life being taken away?”
“In that short ride between the funeral and the grave, our local culture acknowledges this unfairness. I pointed at the cars behind us and said that each of those people has places they need to be as well.”
“By stopping, we are saying to the grieving, ‘We may not have known the deceased, but we will acknowledge both them and your grief by putting our lives on hold for 5-10 minutes while you pass.'”
“I have been in that line before, and this simple act by others meant a lot to me.”
The OP’s wife was not having it.
“My wife just argued that I was putting the feelings of complete strangers over her, and I knew how much she wanted to see this play, and I was taking that away from her for people I don’t even know.”
“I stood my ground and didn’t move. By the time it had passed, there was no chance we would make the play, so we went home.”
“My wife is still angry at me and wants me to apologize, which I did for her having missed something she was looking forward to, but said I would still do it again.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some found it kind of the OP to show respect for those involved in the funeral.
“NTA. You’re a good human and thank you for the respect you show toward the ones that have passed and the ones left behind.”
“It’s been 17 years since I lost my Mum, and it still hurts to see the world moving on without her.” – lilzyp
“When my grandfather passed away, and we drove into the street my grandparents lived on, multiple people in the street had hung their flags out half pole (which is really only done on days of mourning here)”
“Then when we left for the funeral, multiple neighbors came outside to watch us drive off as a sign of respect. It was very moving.”
“Then again, an impatient driver tried to pass us and got stuck inside the funeral procession which was darkly funny.” – MeRachel
“My grandpa used to get out of the car and take off his hat.”
“NTA.” – Adahla987
“I had an uncle who was an elected official in his rural community. He was a really lovely, caring man who never met a stranger, and everyone adored him.”
“When he died (in his mid-50s), the funeral was so packed that the people who couldn’t fit into the church were standing in the parking lot.”
“As we drove to the cemetery, not only did every single car on the road pull over, but every county vehicle (all the sheriff’s office cruisers, all the fire trucks, all the ambulances, all the trash trucks, everything) had been brought out and parked along the side of the road, and every county employee was standing beside their vehicles (and the ones who wore hats were holding them in their hands).”
“It was incredibly touching and deeply moving. You did the right thing, OP. NTA. “ – GothicGingerbread
“My grandfather died in the spring of 2020, and we all know what was going on back then. We were only allowed a really small funeral with just my grandmother, their kids, and grandkids.”
“My grandfather did daily volunteer work for his church for over 50 years, used to be a teacher, and after his reinterment gave free language lessons to immigrants and was very much beloved in his local community.”
“Because the mayor asked us to we took the long route from the funeral home to the church and had a bit of a procession through town.”
“Every single home had people standing in their front yard paying their respects. Even though people couldn’t come to the funeral, they were there and mourning with us. It was very special and one of the most beautiful things I witnessed.” – ZwartVlejke
“As a funeral director, I commend all of the people that show little signs of respect like this, it truly does mean so much to the people involved, us as well as the families.”
“My dad taught me that you stop if walking and bow your head. If I’m driving, I’ll turn my music off, slow down, and nod to the coffin.”
“I’m only 24, and it is especially lovely to see other young people continue these small gestures. NTA OP. if your wife was that desperate to see the play, she would have been ready on time.” – Embarrassed_Crow_373
Others wanted to chime in with a difference of opinion.
“YTA. What a weird reason to miss something you planned and paid for. They weren’t even coming up behind you, they were in the oncoming lane.”
“There’s zero reason to pull over and put your hazards on instead of just continuing on with your life; it’s not an ambulance. You should respect your wife more than some random strangers just because they’re having a bad day.”
“‘Why isn’t the rest of the world mourning a beautiful life being taken away?’ Main character syndrome.” – CustosEcheveria
“I, unfortunately, had my share of attending funerals, and I wouldn’t have given a s**t about random people paying respects. I’m not sure I would’ve even noticed it while on my way to the cemetery. OP is definitely YTA, and a conceited one at that.” – cottagecoreviolence
“I’ve never heard of this tradition and don’t see why it would matter to strangers driving the opposite direction whether you pulled over or not. But it clearly mattered to your wife, and you caused an actual problem for her. So I guess YTA kind of.” – coldgator
“YTA. I understand this must be a cultural difference thing, and you’re not an a**hole for believing in something like that, but you literally don’t know that person, and it’s a road.”
“When I was driving in a funeral procession watching my brother be driven to his final resting place, my mind was not on all the cars driving past us to get to where they needed to go. I did not f**king care about them.”
“I was very preoccupied with grief that I didn’t once think, ‘Wow, look at these disrespectful people overtaking us on the main road through our city, how rude.’ You just disrupted your day for literally no reason.” – ratakat
“YTA. Like she said, you put strangers’ feelings over your wife’s feelings. You may be ‘right’ in terms of small-town culture, but sometimes in relationships, you have to choose between being right or being happy together. Hopefully, it was worth it to you.”
“She likely won’t forget your overall lack of care for her feelings even after this singular event blows over.” – Fickle-Square199
“YTA. You didn’t know these people, but you do know your wife. Would they have been upset if you didn’t pull over? Maybe. Did your actions upset your wife? Yes. You missed the play to prove a point.” – mitchandmickey
After receiving feedback, the OP shared an update.
“I honestly never expected to wake up to this many comments. While I am fully ready to accept my judgment, I would just like to say that I did not do this to ‘teach my wife a lesson’ as a lot of people seem to think.”
“This is something that I have always done as well as everyone I know from my town.”
“I’ve read through pretty much all of the comments, and this really seems to be a matter of cultural differences.”
“Everyone is free to their own opinions, of course, but it is a little hurtful to read all the comments saying that I just did this out of spite. It may be unbelievable to some, but this practice is followed by practically everyone where I’m from.”
“I’ve on occasion been late to different things in my life due to it, and all I’ve ever had to say is, ‘Sorry, I stopped for a funeral procession,’ and everyone immediately understands.”
“If you want to call me an a**hole anyway, I won’t argue. I just don’t want judgment passed based on motives prescribed to me that simply are not true.”
While the OP claimed to have been doing this out of respect, the subReddit was more divided over what happened and what it meant. Some found what the OP did to be respectful and heart-warming, while others felt like it sounded more so like the OP was trying to stick it to his wife.