Weddings are always a bit of a stressful—but usually happy—time for parents.
Seeing their children marry someone who makes them truly happy can be a wonderful experience.
Disagreements can easily arise during this time though, especially if you add a significant cultural difference to the mix.
Reddit user Kind_Vehicle turned to the subReddit "Am I The A**hole" AITA for help with an uncomfortable situation with her son's fiancé.
She began with some backstoey on how the largely cultural misunderstanding came about.
"We are indian and in my culture it is tradition to give the bride a lot of gold sets of jewelry for her wedding. When each of my children were born, I bought a set for both my daughters and a set for my son's future wife. I also have my own personal collection of wedding jewelry that I have divided for daughters and future daughter in law."
When she found out that her son was gay, and wouldn't be marrying a woman, she decided to redistribute the set she had bought for his future wife between her daughters.
She also saved some in case her son ever had a daughter.
"Now that my son is getting married, his future husband is wondering about his gifts. While it is tradition for parents to give their future son/daughter in law a gift, since he is a man I got him a kara (which is a sikh bracelet usually made of steel but I got him one made from solid gold, and my son has a matching one)."
A fitting gift for the groom-to-be, but it wasn't appreciated.
"He told my son that he doesn't want a religious gift for his wedding and that he found it tacky. That is fine if he doesn't like it. But I was going through my collection the other day to pull out pieces I want to coordinate for my outfits so that I can order my outfits in advance, and he saw me and wanted to see everything and give input."
She also showed him the jewelery she is saving for if he and her son have a daughter.
But knowing that it would eventually be passed down was apparently not enough.
"He is insisting that he gets these sets first and then he will give them to their daughter if they have one. In particular, there is a pair of emerald and diamond earrings I got from my own paternal grandmother that I would like to give my son's daughter (if they have one)."
She explained her reasoning for not wanting to pass the jewelery on to someone who would not wear it.
"I told him no because I set these aside for just a granddaughter and not a son. If he chooses to wear jewelry to his wedding I really don't mind, but I picked all these sets special for a daughter or daughter in law and I don't want to waste them on a boy. These sets are to be worn with sarees and lenghas. I don't want him to have them."
This led to more anger and an accusation of homophobia.
"My future son in law is calling me homophobic for not sharing but I think it would be a waste to give them to a man to accessorize with a tuxedo, and I did not originally buy these for him in the first place. AITA?"
It really does seem like her main motivation for not passing the jewelery on to him is that he won't be able to wear it properly.
"(Also even though he likes jewelry he does not wear womens clothes so I know he would never wear it with a lengha the way this jewelry should be worn)"
"If I had a lesbian daughter, her wife would be getting gold sets of jewelry."
She added more information to her post as discussion continued in the thread.
Her son's fiance is white and was raised Catholic, possibly leading to a lot of the cultural disconnect and confusion that seemed to be happening between them.
"Just to clarify, my son will be having a sikh wedding, and since he is religious my future son in law agreed beforehand that their household would be sikh and any future children would be sikh (son in law was raised catholic but isn't very religious now, but is spiritual. But being sikh means a lot to my son)."
"Our religion (or at least the way we practice it) is very open minded, accepting, and loving so future son in law was on board."
The gold kara seems even more appropriate as a gift after learning that it was the same gift she gave to her other 2 sons-in-law when her daughters married.
"Also the kara does not have any religious text on it, if you aren't sikh you would assume its just a gold bracelet but anyone who is sikh would know it is."
To try to clear up remaining confusion, Kind_Vehicle gave even more details of the situation.
Her family is helping to pay for the wedding because her son's fiancé's family are not well off. They had contributed to their daughters' weddings as well.
She and her husband really seem to be trying to keep things fair between their children while still maintaining their culture.
"It also wasn't my idea for their wedding to be sikh/children to be sikh. My son had a very difficult time after he finished his undergrad and he took that time to reconnect with god, pray, meditate, and his connection to sikhism is what anchored him and that is why before getting married he had to know if his spouse would be okay with that."
"Also when we say children being raised sikh, that means if they are a girl their middle name would be kaur and if they are a boy their middle name would be singh. ALSO, my son is a doctor and my SIL is a HS teacher so I don't think money is an issue."
Several people questioned her use of the phrase "wasted on a boy," so she also explained what she meant by the words.
"I understand why some people are offended, but I wanted to make sure you have the facts as well."
"If you go to this site there are a lot of photos of sikh brides. Most of these wedding jewelry sets come together (headpiece, earrings, nose ring, choker/necklace). The choker/necklaces would not fit him, he does not wear nose rings, he would not be able to wear the headpiece, and he could just wear the earrings. Also the gold bracelets I have from my personal collection would not fit him so to give them to him symbolically would be a waste."
Now it was time for anonymous strangers on the internet to decide if and where guilt is placed by declaring:
- NTA - Not The A**hole
- YTA - You're The A**hole
- ESH - Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH - No A**holes Here
Most commenters agreed that Kind_Vehicle had done nothing wrong.
"NTA. Nobody gets to dictate what gift they are given, and he has no right to have a say in your heirloom jewelry. He sounds like an entitled jerk." -SocialMediaMisfit
"NTA you got him a Kara which is the men's equivalent, and that jewellery is precious to you and something you would like to give a future granddaughter, it doesn't make you homophobic to not want to give it to your son." -bettyD95
"'I got him a gold kara because that is the same gift I got for my other two son in laws.'"
"To me this makes all the difference. I was sort of on the fence, especially as someone who's pretty ignorant of the cultural nuance, but you gave him the same thing you gave other son in laws so I don't think this is a problem. He must only want the jewelry because he knows that you had bought some for a future daughter in law and he feels entitled because of that (or he's trying to argue that you didn't give enough to your other son in laws), but that's not how it works. You bought something in anticipation of a certain future event, and when it became known that that future wouldn't happen (having a daughter in law) you reorganized your assets. As a gay man, I see no problems here, NTA. It's great that you seem to be pretty chill about everything." -wholeWheatButterfly
Many also chastised her future son-in-law for his behavior.
"NTA. He should respect your culture and your feelings. It is a gift from YOU to their daughter. And finding a solid gold bracelet tacky (which I find very cool!) is kind of a shitty thing to do. It was a gift." -H4nnibalB4rca
"NTA. It's women's jewellery meant to be passed to women of the family. Also a kada sometimes people wear as bracelets too, so it's super ungrateful of him to not accept that . It's also shady that he was eyeing your jewellery and demanding for it. Even women ( daughters or daughter in law) don't demand jewellery like that." -randomusername2895
"NTA. A gift is chosen by the gift-giver. You've put thought into your gifts, which is wonderful. A greedy selfish person criticized the gifts they receive and demands additional gifts that have been set aside for other people. What the heck is wrong with this guy??? I mean, I have children, and my mother has set aside certain things to give them. These things are not for me, they are for my children." -WritPositWrit
"NTA. Even if your future son in law is a bit hurt, he's being incredibly rude. He's not a bride - he's a groom, one of two. He was given a gift that is traditional for a groom, and was rude about it. Making any demands of your jewelry or what you might do with it for a future, hypothetical granddaughter is rude, and frankly- tacky. Honestly, I would have thought it would be more homophobic to give him gifts meant for a bride - like being gay somehow makes him not a man." -madelfdisease
Homophobia and discrimination based on sexual orientation are still very real and something that gay people face every day, but this situation really doesn't seem like discrimination.
It seems more like a mother doing everything she can to be accepting of her son and his fiancé, and show that he is a welcome addition to the family, while still having cultural traditions that need to be respected.
One Redditor even commented on the thread that Kind_Vehicle is a wonderful mother.
"This comment has nothing to do with the sub but I just wanted to say that you seem like a wonderful parent. As a queer indian, I can only daydream of my parents being like you 💕" -alcoholicparmesan
The movie Do You Take This Man is available here.