Am I wrong for leaving a family dinner at an upscale restaurant?

Am I wrong for leaving a family dinner at an upscale restaurant?

We frequently find that when we try to please everyone, not even ourselves, are satisfied. An anonymous Reddit user discovered this the hard way.

This person began his narrative on the AITA subreddit by stating that, in contrast to the other members of his family, he had achieved great success in life. He was often away from home on business trips, but whenever he returned to his hometown, he made sure to take his family out to supper.

It wasn’t any different this time. His mother told him about the family get-together she had planned as soon as she found out he was returning home. She emailed him the address of a posh steakhouse and informed him that his family will be there to greet him.

He was startled to see more than 20 people gathering there, though, when he finally made it inside. Up until that point, he was close to about six people at family get-togethers. This time, his mother extended an invitation to a neighbor of OP’s grandmother, whom OP had only seldom met in his life. He merely waved hello to this individual, never saying anything.

By then, most of the patrons at the fancy restaurant had placed their orders for expensive steaks, which went between $80 and $250 per person. The grandma’s neighbor made a toast, praising OP’s kindness in paying the costs, as the waiters continued to deliver more beverages and food. This prepared the groundwork for an unexpected series of occurrences.

Medium overhead shot of families sharing dinner at table at outdoor restaurant during vacation

The original poster wasn’t pleased that he was asked to pay for so many people’s expenses without even being informed beforehand. His calculations showed that up until then, the amount was close to $4,000 and counting.

When OP realized his family was trying to use him, he made the decision to move out.
“I’m not paying for dinner,” he declared, laying $100 on the table as he walked off.

His phone would not go off the hook. Despite the many messages he got, most of them from his mother, he chose to switch off his phone and go to bed. He departed the nation the next day without saying goodbye.

Even though OP was aware of his subpar handling of the matter, he was horrified that his family felt the need to deceitfully take advantage of him and his kindness.

He commented, “I know I’m not a fan of the dinner, but I’m more worried about my reaction [sic].”

Following his mother’s persistent pleas to call her, he decided to talk to her and apologize for storming out of the restaurant in such a manner, offering an olive branch. Sadly, he was met with accusations of being selfish, greedy, and disrespectful.

This came as a shock to OP who showed extensive kindness to his family over the years. Among the rest, he provided his mom with two cars, a bathroom remodel, a roof replacement, new appliances, and on top of that, he paid in full for numerous family vacations.

The accusations angered OP to the extent that he decided to put an end to any assistance for those who failed to appreciate it by taking drastic measures.

Shortly after, OP initiated a cascade of cancellations: six AT&T lines, internet services, streaming accounts with changed passwords or outright cancellations, removal from AAA coverage for the cars, termination of car insurance coverage for their mom, and the cancellation of the credit card they had provided. 

This decision marked the beginning of the end of funding things for people who never showed any gratitude.

Most of the family members wanted to get involved into the feud, and OP was even uninvited from a cousin’s wedding with the explanation that they wanted to avoid any drama, yet the expectation for a gift remained.

OP believed that he shouldn’t talk to his mother until some time passes by. In the meantime, the discussion about the upcoming family vacation, a once lively topic, now lay dormant.

OP’s mother kept sending her son messages, each more hostile than the other.

One of his nieces, who wasn’t present but heard from a third-party, informed OP that on the day he left the restaurant, the family tried to cancel the rest of the dinner, but with appetizers and drinks already served, they reluctantly split a $700 bill.

That same niece also told OP that the entire family branded him a greedy monster.

As expected, the Redditors unanimously deemed OP “NTA.”

“Everyone else at that table “knew” you were going to be paying for dinner but you. How odd. The position your mom and family put you in was quite disrespectful. And I do not know how you could have reacted better,” one person wrote.

“Your mom was way out of line for all of this. Starting with assuming you’re going to pay, choosing that expensive place, and inviting so many people. She owes you a major apology,” another added.

“Your family invited your neighbors!? Do you even know these people? Wait, it doesn’t even matter. And everybody had drinks and appetizers and steak…Paying for your part and leaving was entirely appropriate. They took advantage of the golden goose and the golden goose left and cut mama off,” a third commented.

Do you believe OP did the right thing when he decided to stand for himself?

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