Family members simply do not get along sometimes, especially where differing incomes are concerned.
We can try to ignore this most of the time, admitted the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit, but the problem always seems to come up again around the holidays.
Redditor Responsible_View7794 felt caught between his wife and his sister when they argued at the family Christmas party.
After seeing his sister’s reaction, the Original Poster (OP) pondered the choices he’d made.
He asked the sub:
“AITA for siding with my wife against my sister when my wife made fun of my sister’s job?”
The OP’s wife and sister didn’t get along.
“My parents hosted an early Christmas dinner yesterday as they are going away on their dream trip in a few days.”
“My wife, ‘Francesca,’ and I went, and my sister, ‘Alice,’ was there too.”
“Francesca and Alice have never been close. Not for any particular reason, they’re just very different people with different views on things.”
“Francesca is a cardiac surgeon, one of the most senior at the hospital she works at. Alice is a nursery teacher.”
This came out during the family Christmas party.
“Francesca owns a huge collection of clothes, dresses, and outfits. However, she rarely gets to use them because she works such long and unpredictable hours.”
“For my parents’ dinner, she wore a new evening dress she bought and her best pair of heels. She was a little overdressed compared to everyone else but she likes it that way.”
“Towards the end of the evening, we were all a bit tipsy.”
“Alice questioned why Francesca feels the need to ‘flaunt her wealth’ and wear ‘fancy dresses’ everywhere she goes.”
“Francesca responded, ‘It’s almost like my job requires more skill than babysitting children all day.'”
“Alice got very upset and did a nasty impression of Francesca walking around in heels and ‘looking down’ on everyone.”
“She then pulled one of Francesca’s shoes off her and waved it around.”
“Francesca panicked at this because those shoes were EXPENSIVE.”
The family argued over this.
“I thought the impression and the shoe thing took things way too far. I got the shoe from Alice and gave it back to Francesca, and told Alice her actions were completely inappropriate.”
“My parents intervened at this point, saying that both of them were being ‘immature.'”
“Obviously, Francesca shouldn’t have said that about Alice’s job, but Alice’s response was despicable. She did an impression of Francesca to humiliate her and then stole an expensive shoe from her.”
“Alice said I was a ‘terrible brother’ and that she doesn’t want anything to do with me after I sided with Francesca.”
“I think I did the right thing. Yes, Francesca shouldn’t have made the comment about the job, but what Alice did after that was much worse.”
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 said Francesca was intentionally dressing well to mock others.
“I make very good money in software engineering, but I’d put money down that when OP said Francesca likes being more dressed up than everyone else in the room, he 100% meant exactly that.”
“I would not be surprised at all if she does it to look down on everyone else (especially if it means she can do so while they look up to her).”
“There are plenty of people like that in this world, and they flock to careers like surgeons, Wall Street finance types, CEO, etc.”
“And they’re rarely good people. They just enjoy the power, control, and authority.” – SandyDelights
“I think ESH. However, this may not be an isolated event. Francesca gives off the vibe that’s she’s a stuck-up AH who looks down on people on the regular.”
“Don’t know if that’s really the case, but if it is then I could understand Alice confronting her about her arrogance and air of superiority.”
“Francesca may just want to wear nice things cause she doesn’t get to on a regular basis but if she’s stuck up, then it comes across as her once again looking down on people. Also, if this is true then I would understand the mocking a lot more.” – lsdmthcvibes
“It’s not just Alice getting knocked down a peg – Francesca is denigrating a whole profession. I hope they never have children because unless one of them plans on giving up their job – they’re going to have to hire someone to care for their child, and it’s not ‘just babysitting.'”
“Babysitting is what you pay the neighbor’s teen to do when you want to pop out to a movie. If you’re going to pay someone to take care of your child 10+ hours a day – that person likely has some education and skills needed to do the job.” – Acth99
Others disagreed and said Francesca might enjoy dressing well when she can.
“Some people just like to dress up. I remember at Uni a lot of girls would just be in sweats/jeans most of the time, and there was a girl who was always on.”
“Make-up on point, nails matching her outfit, not a hair out of place on her pretty head. She was 100% the most dressed up every day.”
“So what if that is what OP’s wife likes to do at events? Just eat your hors d’oeuvres and keep it moving. No one should be this invested in how she dresses.” – Classlass1045
“Nothing about wanting to dress up on your limited time off is snobbery. The question was asked as an insult.”
“While I do think ESH, there’s a lot of jumping required to reach the conclusion that Francesca is a snob.”
“She is allowed to enjoy her possessions. Just as Alice is allowed to be proud of her job.”
“They failed at being polite and choosing better but that’s not a permanent condition necessarily.” – FirebirdWriter
“I feel like the people that normally take offense to someone overdressing are the ones that can’t afford to dress like that so they get jealous.”
“My friend’s sister constantly overdressed and she does it only for herself. She likes wearing her expensive outfits and she enjoys looking nice.”
“Her extended family used to get mad at her for dressing up and she just quit going to their events. She refused to dress differently just because other people were insecure of themselves.” – Strong-Bottle-4161
Some also said Alice was wrong to start the argument in the first place.
“I get why Francesca got defensive. Alice started with a personal attack because Francesca had the gall to wear a nice dress, Francesca responded in kind. If Alice can’t take it, she shouldn’t dish it unprovoked.”
“I’m not saying Francesca was right, but I don’t blame her.” – Jezehel
“Alice started it. If you come at someone with negative energy, then that’s what you’ll get back.”
“We also don’t know how many such comments from Alice were ignored before the alcohol kicked in.” – SledgeH4mmer
“I doubt this is Alice’s first remark to Francesca. I could be totally off here, but I don’t think you escalate to ripping off someone’s shoe the first time you object to their clothing.”
“This has been in Alice’s craw a long time, and I’m willing to bet my stash of Christmas cookies that she’s been making sotto voce remarks about ‘some people being overdressed’, and ‘showing off’ with a side helping of ‘it’s not fair’ and possibly also ‘only snobs wear designer clothes’ for quite a while.”
“‘It’s almost as if my job requires more skill’ strikes me as Francesca’s effort to finally shut Alice up about income disparity and clothing choices, as it is the nuclear choice in this situation.” – crella-ann
Though the OP found himself distinctly on one side of the argument, the subReddit was much more divided, and it largely came down to intentions and how long this argument has actually been going on for.
On the one hand, Francesca may have struck so low, because she’d already heard comments like this before from Alice, and hoped to quiet her. Stooping to mocking and taking someone’s shoe is a fairly drastic move after one argument, after all.
But on the other hand, if Francesca used her clothing as a means to comment on other people’s appearances and jobs, and had a history of behaving this way, well, that would not be a good look, no matter how expensive the heels are.