Knowing someone cares about you is important.
But how can a person tell?
For one young man, he felt his father not knowing crucial information about him indicated a lack of caring. Not sure if he was right, they consulted the "Am I The A**hole" (AITA) subReddit for feedback.
Redditor dadandbirthday asked:
"AITA for 'implying' my dad doesn't care about me after he got me a cake I'm allergic to?"
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
"I 15m met my dad when I was 8. My mom said he wasn't around before cause he wasn't ready to be a dad yet but now he wanted to be in my life."
"And yeah he actually did try but I didn't see him much. He only wanted us to hang out like a few days a month."
"Wasn't much time I know but he was my dad and I wanted him to like me so I was cool with whatever time we spent."
"For years I started not liking being with him and it's because I notice everything we do is stuff he likes, even when I don't like it. Any show or movie was always his choice. He does this with stuff he buys me too."
"This year he asked me what I wanted for Christmas and I told him I really wanted a new sketchbook because I love to draw. But he got me another game for my ps4 instead, which I don't even play much."
"He said I'd like that more than drawing. It was the Madden 21 game (I don't like football but he does)."
"My b-day is 3 days after Christmas so he picked me up that day and that's when I got my Christmas gift. So I was already kinda annoyed by the gift. It's not that he forgot what I wanted, it's that he went with something he likes instead like always."
"We got to his house and he surprised me with a strawberry vanilla b-day cake. I looked at him wondering if he was serious and said 'I can't eat this'."
"He asked why not and I told him because I'm literally allergic to freakin strawberries! I mean deathly allergic."
"And he acted like this was the first time I told him. He got all mad because he wasted all his time going out to buy it and we should've told him. I said I told him like 4 times all these years."
"Then I said kinda quietly that he probably would've remembered if he cared. Like I said I was already a little mad so I don't think I woulda said that out loud if I wasn't in a bad mood. But he heard it and got mad."
"He called me disrespectful and I shouldn't be saying he doesn't care when he's trying to be a good dad to me. He was so pissed off then he threw away the cake."
"The mood was bad after that. When I got home he told my mom what happened and they got into an argument over it. He wants me to apologize for giving him attitude and for what I said. My mom is mad at him for that and now everything is just so tense."
"I don't know, now I'm starting to feel bad. If I hadn't said anything then he wouldn't be mad and hurt."
"I was just so mad too and said it out loud so I wanted to know if I'm the a**hole for not keeping my mouth shut."
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA - Not The A**hole
- YTA - You're The A**hole
- NAH - No A**holes Here
- ESH - Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors decided the OP was not the a**hole.
"This is going to be hard to hear/read."
"Your dad is NEVER going to be the dad you need or imagine."
"You keep hoping he is going to change and suddenly turn into a guy that listens, cares and remembers stuff you told him. That is willing to put you first for the few days a month he sees you."
"But it won't happen. If it hasn't happened already it won't happen."
"He can be a great, fun, likeable guy to be around. It doesn't mean he has the qualities of a good dad."
"And, no offence, but a guy that wasn't there for the first 8 years of your life by choice has shown exactly where you are on the scale of his priorities and its nowhere near the top. NTA." ~ PepperFinn
"NTA. This is absolutely sad but true."
"It's a hard thing to understand and teach yourself, to manage your expectations, especially with people who are more 'limited' than others."
"It's also a very mature lesson, and there are fully fledged adults that need help with it."
"I wouldn't ditch him completely because you seem to feel that as a whole, he has value in your life. (Non-listening, judgmental, eye-rolling value, but still value.)"
"I don't think there's any problem, either, in sitting down and really talking to him about what you expect from him and what you need. But try and be specific, and understand that he still might be incapable of doing them."
"I had to learn this lesson myself, in therapy. It worked really well with my mother, and we've grown closer over the years.
"We're good friends now. For my father, my expectations were that he wouldn't be toxic, so it was better and healthier for me to go no contact with him." ~ kaevas
"NTA. 'He got all mad because he wasted all his time going out to buy it'."
"You're right. If he did care, his reaction wouldn't have been to think about himself."
"If I forget about someone's allergy, my reaction isn't to get mad at them, it's 'omg I'm so sorry I forgot', and this is with my friends, not my kid."
"He needs to do better." ~ hello_detour
"NTA. Also what's the point in even asking what you'd like if they're just going to get you something else."
"Sorry he doesn't lieten to you. Seems like he enjoys how being a dad makes him look to others rather than actually being a dad." ~ Reddit
Perception is key, so if this son feels his father not knowing his deadly allergies indicate he doesn't care, this dad should address that concern.
Even if this father thinks he's showing care and concern, his son isn't seeing it. And neither was Reddit.