There's a community on Reddit called "Am I the Asshole?" It's a place where people can describe a tense situation they found themselves in, and ask thousands of internet strangers whether or not they behaved like an asshole.
Needless to say, the conversations get heated — it can be very addicting to read!!!
So this week, a new mother posted her dilemma to AITA and it quickly went viral — with nearly 10,000 people jumping into the comments to argue over whether or not she's a jerk. Let's break this down.
"I gave birth four weeks ago," the OP wrote. "And we decided to have a 'baby ceremony,' where everyone gets to meet our lovely daughter Charlotte."
One of the invitees was her cousin, Alice, who apparently spends a lot of money on her clothing:
The first thing I'll say about [Alice] is that she has expensive taste. She's the sort of person who has a minimum price range for how much she spends on clothing. She doesn't own anything that isn't designer and has some items of clothing that cost thousands. She is a banker and still lives with parents so she can afford the lifestyle.
The day of the baby ceremony arrived, Alice showed up, and the party quickly turned into a disaster:
It was Alice's turn to hold the baby and she was happy to at first, but suddenly Charlotte vomited on her. Alice handed Charlotte back to me and ran off crying, and spent the rest of the event crying in the car.
They offered Alice a change of clothes, which she accepted, and they thought the drama was behind them. But the next day, Alice made a request that took the OP by surprise.
"They want me to reimburse the cost of the blouse (roughly £1,800) since it was completely ruined," the mother wrote. (Note for my fellow Americans: that's nearly $2,200.)
The mother said she is declining to pay for the stained blouse:
I have said no. At the end of the day we all know what babies can be like. She took a risk wearing something so expensive knowing a baby was nearby and unfortunately it backfired. I feel bad for her but it was not my fault.
And so, the mother asked Reddit: Is she an asshole for refusing to cough up the money? And y'all...people are SPLIT on this.
Many folks feel like the OP is Not the Asshole (NTA) in this situation:
NTA. Common sense to not wear expensive clothing around newborns unless you are okay with risking this happening. She should have known better.
After all, babies are generally known to be messy:
NTA — not only is Alice an asshole, but an idiot for wearing expensive clothing around a month-old baby. What the fuck does she think babies that old do? They cry, eat, sleep, shit, and throw up.
Some felt like it was unreasonable to ask for such a large sum of money from new parents:
NTA. She is demanding £1,800 from a woman who just had a baby??
Others pointed out that Alice didn't have to hold the baby at all:
NTA. She came to this ceremony and knew what to expect. Nobody forced her to hold the baby. She didn't say, "No, I don't want to." She assumed all risk at that point of something normal, i.e., a baby throwing up, happening.
But others disagreed, chiming in to tell the OP that yes, You're the Asshole (YTA):
YTA, slightly. I get what you are saying, but how far do you take this? If your child breaks someone's property, do you say, "Well, we know what kids are like"? I don't know this person, but maybe you should've given her a spit-up rag or something to cover herself with.
Many felt like she should at least offer to pay for dry cleaning:
YTA. Pay for dry cleaning. That's the mentality of the kind of mother who lets her kids fuck up the supermarket and just walks away.
Some commenters felt like OP was being too judgmental of Alice's spending habits:
YTA. You're responsible for any messes/damages your child causes. That includes accidents and wealthy people, regardless of what you think of their lifestyle.
A few commenters pointed out that if this were anyone but her cousin, she would likely be forced to pay for it:
In the end if your child ruins something it's up to you to pay for it even if it's not directly your fault. For instance, if your baby puked in an Uber you would still be expected to pay for it.
And some felt like this was an important lesson for the new mother:
YTA for acting entitled. That kid is your responsibility, including things that unintentionally happen. Time to learn how to be a parent.