If you’ve been reading our blog for a while, you know that I’m a huge fan of Reddit. It’s like taking a slice of every type of personality and situation in the world and putting it out there, on the internet.
One of my favorite parts of Reddit is “AITA.” The initials represent the term, “Am I The A-Hole.” The community is defined as, “A catharsis for the frustrated moral philosopher in all of us, and a place to finally find out if you were wrong in an argument that’s been bothering you. Tell us about any non-violent conflict you have experienced; give us both sides of the story, and find out if you’re right, or you’re the a-hole.” It’s kind of like a “jury of your peers” sort of thing.
We’ve mentioned other situations from AITA in the past:
- What happened when he wouldn’t give up his exit row seat
- Should he have told her about the history of their hotel room?
- He Played A Video Game On A Plane Without Headphones. Wow, Did He Hear About It!
- Someone on a family trip didn’t tell the rest of the family about their plans to upgrade separately from everyone else on the trip
- A guy had planned a family trip overseas but wound up leaving his daughter home because her passport had expired
- The person who wouldn’t switch seats on a plane and then got yelled at for ignoring the woman’s kids who were next to them
I was reading some historical stuff on Reddit and discovered this gem from 2+ years ago (adult language edited to be safe for work):
AITA for moving an unattended bag from a seat at an airport?
This has been bothering me for several days now, and I’m not sure whether I’m being immature or justifiably upset about it. Essentially I’m at an airport with a hungry one-year-old, and I’m looking for somewhere to sit and feed the ravenous little beastie. Doesn’t change anything that I have a kid, that’s just how it was and is some context.
The waiting area at the gate is packed, except for a block of three seats. The three seats have a sweater and handbags on them. I look around at the nearest other people, who are several yards and a row divider away, on their phones, in their own worlds, and don’t seem to be in charge of these seat bags.
While I’m surveying the area, my daughter is going nuts, and there’s nobody to ask to move the bags. It’s not practical to grapple my daughter into eating while we’re standing up, and there’s nowhere to sit on the ground. I make the decision to move one of the bags to free up a seat and sit down.
The moment I start to move one of the bags, a guy at the opposite end of the opposite row of seats (maybe 20 feet away) gets out of his seat, stands up, and points at me. Let’s call him Seat Protector Guy (SPG).
SPG, repeatedly, yells: “THAT IS EXTREMELY RUDE!!”, while standing and pointing at me moving the unattended bag.
I do mean “yells,” and with a booming British-sounding accent in an American airport, which made the yelling really become a spectacle. The waiting area got quiet, and a bunch of people turned around to see what’s going on. It takes me a moment to understand that SPG is pointing at me, and to realize that half of the waiting area is now watching.
At first I’m speechless, then like an idiot I lose my cool and try to argue with the guy.
Me: “There is nobody here!” (gesturing at the empty seats).
SGP: “THAT IS EXTREMELY RUDE!!”
Me: “… there is nobody sitting here!” (gesturing at the seats)
SGP: “THAT IS EXTREMELY RUDE!!”
The woman (partner?) sitting next to SPG speaks up.
WOMAN: “They left for just a minute, they’ll be back!” (not yelling but clearly pissed off at me).
The woman then gets out of her seat, walks over to the seat I just picked up the bag from, and blocks me from sitting down there.
SGP: “THAT IS EXTREMELY RUDE!!”
At this point, my daughter is extremely upset, and I don’t have time to fight this battle. I swallow my pride, disengage, walk away, fumble my daughter’s food from deep within her diaper bag while holding her and standing up, and do what I have to do. My heart is racing from being publicly humiliated.
After a few minutes, a family sitting nearby comes over and offers their seats, but we’re already in the feeding rhythm, and I have to politely decline their offer. After about 20 minutes, the owners of the unattended bags come back and sit down, apparently unaware that anything had happened.
After a while, I start to wonder whether I was actually the a-hole?
So, was the poster an a-hole?
All told, it was determined that the person was NTA (“Not The A-hole”). You can read all the replies here (heads up that a few have adult language in them).
There were a few points that were repeated in the comments:
- Whoever left their bags unattended shouldn’t have done so
- Moving other peoples’ stuff without permission is a social faux pas
- The author should have gotten security to remove the unattended bags (which would address the 1st and 2nd comments LOL). The author of the situation later agreed with this, BTW
- Seat holding is OK for a quick trip to the restroom, but not the entire party (unless it’s 1 adult and the children or other party members can’t be left alone for a period of time) for 20+ minutes
- SGP shouldn’t yell at someone with a baby and should have offered his seat (as if that was going to happen LOL)
Our take on it
Frankly, I think ESH (“Everyone Sucks Here”). Whoever left the stuff on the chairs for 20 minutes shouldn’t have. The author shouldn’t have touched their stuff, and just looked for somewhere else to sit to feed the baby. And SGP should have minded his own business.
What do you think?
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary