When living with roommates, we sometimes forget how vulnerable we are.
Even if you're moving in with someone who's been your friend for years, you have no idea how the dynamic will change when you're under the same roof.
It's time we return to our favorite board on Reddit, AITA. For those not in the know, AITA is short for "Am I the A**hole?"
Responses can vary, but are usually one of these:
- NTA - Not The A**hole
- YTA -You're The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH - Everyone Sucks Here
- INFO - Not Enough Information
Today's story is told by AITAcanthearSH*T (which we'll shorten to ACHS) about an ongoing "prank" his roommate played on him.
As he explains, he suffered hearing loss in his right ear, and now tries to adjust to make sure he can hear and understand people.
However, not everyone is so accommodating.
"So I have this roommate we will call F, F is an ok guy for the most part but F likes to f**k with me on occasion. Normally the jokes are alluding to I'm dead because I'm an old man and I joke back with him about it."
Sure, sounds like fun, if a little macabre.
But things get a lot worse.
"But lately, I've been worried my hearing was getting worse because F always speaks on my good side but I'm catching maybe every couple of words and nothing else."
"I'll be in the middle of doing something and F will say aren't you going to go do this as I asked you to? And I'll be legitimately confused because I don't recall agreeing but say ok sure."
"I do legitimately have memory loss issues combined with my hearing problem it was entirely possible I had said yes."
Considering the set up here, I'm sure you can see where this is going.
ACHS's girlfriend has been sheltering in place with the roommates during the current pandemic. Because of this, she is around when F is talking to our hero.
And it was discovered F was pretending to speak when ACHS was having what he thought were hearing problems.
"My GF has been sheltering in place with us and last night F came in to ask me a question. Again I was only catching every couple of words when my GF stopped him saying knock it off F that's f**ked up. I asked what was f**ked up and she tells me F is just moving his lips and not saying anything except those couple of words I am catching."
"F laughed about it and said he was pissed my GF ruined his joke. Because to top it off he admitted has been evidently using my hearing loss and telling me I agreed to s**t during conversations that never took place."
Obviously, ACHS was upset at this.
He chewed out his roommate, who tried to claim it wasn't a big deal.
ACHS also wondered if he was wrong for getting so mad when he probably would've done those things for his roommate anyway.
"Examples: he's gotten me to buy all the groceries and not contributed saying I agreed to it when I never did. If he had just asked me, in reality, I would have most likely said yes depending on the actual circumstances."
"He's gotten me to fix his car for free, again I would have probably done it if he had asked."
F thinks ACHS is overreacting and their third roommate wants ACHS to apologize to "keep the peace."
ACHS's girlfriend understandably wants to hurt F and is on ACHS's side.
So is ACHS the jerk in this situation?
Redditors didn't think so.
"NTA. He took advantage of you because of your disability. He's TA." - anxiousoracles
"NTA - Uh, no. Doing it once as a joke isn't funny to begin with but then doing it as an ongoing 'joke' but taking advantage of the fact that you have memory issues and making you pay or do stuff that you never agreed to do is wrong." - soundspretty
"NTA. He sounds manipulative and abusive. There was nothing funny about his ongoing 'joke'. He is not your friend. Be well." - roseannjam
"OP this is called gaslighting. It's actually a form of abuse and you are very correct in getting upset and you are NTA at all for this. Dudes a dick." - dammitletmepickaname
Everything F did was messed up.
He took advantage of someone's disability to benefit himself. Redditors thought there was no situation where that was justified.
On top of that, his "joke" was seen as bullying. If your friend isn't in on what's going on, the joke mocks an aspect of themselves they can't control and is at their expense, that's bullying.
How did F think this could be justified?
"This. It's a form of gaslighting that if not shutdown will lead to worse gaslighting methods in future. NTA and you need to point out how f***ked up this is regardless of how impolite you need to phrase it to get it through his head" - ABOBer
"NTA. A joke is supposed to be funny for all parties. What he did was cruel, and I doubt anyone but him finds it funny. "
"He is definitely the AH, he's been taking advantage of you and causing you distress for his amusement? He sounds like a sociopath." - vance_mason
"NTA, and DO NOT apologize to keep the peace. That will just let Joe know that you're fine with it. After all, you apologized, right? Jokes are funny, exploiting a disability to take advantage of someone is not funny." - ritan7471
"NTA. I would be furious, too. It's a shame your roommates are siding with him. From now on I'd make him write everything down." - Peacesalam
Redditors also found it disturbing how the other roommate isn't on ACHS's side.
People can understand the want for peace while we're all stuck inside, but calling for F to apologize and stop being a jerk is another possible solution here. Why does ACHS have to apologize for calling him out?
Honestly, they felt F is lucky ACHS isn't trying to kick him out now.
""Besides, it's entertaining for him."
"On top of what many have pointed out about gaslighting, manipulation and psychopathy, his behaviour also has a sadistic component."
"NTA. I would also move towards cutting this person out of life eventually, as I don't foresee any need/motivation to change as this behaviour is serving him well." - woofthedragon
"Your girlfriend is a keeper and your roommate is a piece of dog poop."
"Either kick him out or move out; he is toxic." - awkwardly_competent
"Your roommate is not only an a**hole, he's pure evil."
"Can you kick him out? Can you sue him? Because I think you have just cause."
"Check the veterans' administration to see if they can offer legal help at a reduced cost. No, you don't owe him an apology, or anything... NTA." - ImaboomerandImOK
The consensus was the proper solution is for F to apologize and learn why he's wrong.
And they felt the roommate needs to stop enabling bullying. And honestly, could people please just be nicer to everyone?
So, what do you think?