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Woman abandons stepfather on vacation; 'He can fend for himself.' AITA? UPDATED

Woman abandons stepfather on vacation; 'He can fend for himself.' AITA? UPDATED

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When this woman is annoyed with her stepfather, she asks the internet:

"AITA for leaving my stepfather behind in our family vacation?"

I’m (24F) currently on a trip with my mother, brother and stepfather. To shorten the story I’ll go straight to the point.

Yesterday we decided to leave our Airbnb around 8AM cause we were taking public transportation to save some money and also had a guide visit at 9:30AM at the Edinburgh castle and according to google maps it would take us around 45 min to get there.

Everybody got ready in time, except my stepfather Daniel (M46) who couldn’t decided what jacket to wear… that already made us a couple minutes late but wouldn’t miss the bus.

He then picked out a very big and heavy red jacket, we all asked him multiple times if he was sure because the jacket was a lot even to carry around all day. But he was certain.

INFO: The walking distance from the Airbnb to the bus stop was 10 min, we left the house around 8:10AM and the bus was supposed to arrive at 8:25AM.

As soon as we arrived at the bus stop Daniel decided that we were right and the red jacket was too much then went back to change which made us to miss the first bus. My brother and I got a little annoyed but mom said we had time.

Daniel took 15 min to return then he said that he was going back because the jacket he picked now wasn’t warm enough.

That made us miss the second bus. He came back wearing the exact same jacket because he didn’t got to change it cause he got lost and couldn’t find the house (it’s a suburban area and the houses looks very similar).

At this point, we all were very irritated but he went back anyway. The 3rd bus was arriving and my brother and I decided to take it. Mom didn’t like it and asked us to wait. We agreed for her which guess what?

We missed the 3rd bus. Now there was a chance of us being late because was around 8:45AM at this point. Daniel returned and everything seemed fine, we waited for the bus and as it got there and Daniel tried to find his phone but couldn’t… he forgot it at home.

My brother and I had enough and wouldn’t miss this bus. We went ahead and said that we would be meeting them at the castle. They arrived at 10AM and couldn’t join the guided tour but we did lol…

Daniel was upset and said that we had the whole day to visit the castle and wouldn’t make a difference at what time we arrived there.

Mom supported us but said she talked with Daniel and he’ll apologize if we do the same but I feel like we didn’t do anything wrong but according to him we were kind of ahole. I don’t want to drag this and ruin the vacation… what do you guys think?

INFO 2: Some people commented that he might have a mental issue. The answer is no. Daniel is completely fine, he actually have a brother with mental disability and when their mother died (about a year ago) Daniel took guardianship of him and had to take a few tests ordered by a judge to make sure he is able.

Before we give you OP's update, let's take a look at some of the top responses:

youasi writes:

Ok, because of his relative youth, stepfather probably isn’t presenting with the early stages of dementia… he just travels with too many fashion options. One wonders how many pieces of luggage he might have…

Your mama should start dressing him like she would have dressed you when you were toddlers. Here you go, honey, this is your outfit for today! Oh, my, you look so handsome! Did you remember your phone? Where is your phone, is in our pocket? …But I digress.

No, OP, you and your brother waited long enough while indecisive guy farted around.

Did he ever even make it to the castle tour? And while you may have had all day to see it, one presumes you had other things to do that day besides standing around waiting for him to pick which clothing option may or may not have been most appropriate for the day.

Going forward, I would suggest always meeting your mom and her fellow at the intended destination, rather than travelling together. That way, you might actually get to do or see the thing, instead of missing the bus. NTA.

enoughprocess writes:

NTA. You did the right thing in getting on the bus and getting the guided tour. Your stepfather and mom still get to look round the castle, they just missed the tour due to your stepdad being weird with his clothing and phone choices.

When I was getting married, I planned a very low-key wedding - ceremony in Leith registry office - we had the space for fifty minutes exactly and then we all had to be out of there to our reception in a local pub, The Village, self-catered.

The one requirement of the day was that EVERYONE HAD TO BE THERE ON TIME. So we arranged for our friends to meet up in The Village, five minutes down the road, and then they could all walk over to the registry office together.

My sister made the mistake of asking, was there anything she could do to help? Yes, I said: Get our parents to the registry office ON TIME and unflurried, because my mum was JUST like your stepdad - she'd miss four buses she should have caught because of indecision about what to wear and forgetting her phone or her keys or something else.

My sister gamely took this on, and my parents DID arrive at the registry office on time, which they probably wouldn't have if left to themselves.

Your stepdad is a chronically always-late person. He is doubtless delightful and has many good qualities, but it is fatal to let yourself be held up waiting for them.

Just catch the bus you intended to catch, and go do what you meant to do, and when you get married, get your brother perform the same hero's service my sister did in getting our parents there on time. Edinburgh's lovely this time of year! Enjoy.

fact writes:

Tbh I feel for Daniel. He wanted the perfect outfit. He didn't want to be weighed down. He wanted to take photos. He clearly was overwhelmed trying to have everything perfect for his day. I've been there, it happens.

However when it then impedes other people's plans, it is unreasonable to expect them to change them, to pressure them to change them, or to fault them for continuing them. You are NTA.

The first time he should have said "if you want to wait for the second bus for us to ride together I'd like that, but it's fine if you want to go ahead. We will meet you at the castle". And then your mom and he could have gone back together.

The third time likely wouldn't have ended up with him lost and flustered, and maybe your mom even would have reminded him about the phone because she'd be letting you know they were officially on their way.

I wouldn't let it ruin the trip. Maybe just have some open communication with him about it going forward. You don't mind waiting a little, but you have things planned and you don't want to miss them (like the guided tour). There's reasonable expectations on a family trip and there are unreasonable ones. Daniel is being unreasonable.

codenameducky writes:

Nta how can you not realize what jacket is heavy to carry and wear and how can he not remember what jacket isn't warm. I think he's selfish and he was trying to ruin the trip. He's an adult and he's to deal with the consequences of people not wanting to wait around for him to get his act together.

He knew what time your tour started. He also knew the situations with the jackets. If he wants to be indecisive then he can just meet you and your brother to every location you plan to visit. You shouldn't have to miss out because of Daniel's actions. No you don't owe him an apology.

I mean really what are you going say "sorry you couldn't figure out what jacket was heavy and not warm enough and sorry we got tired of you wasting everyone's time and we wanted to keep our appointments with the tour". My guess this isn't the first time he has don't this to you guys.

Maybe it's best you and your brother pair up and let them meet you guys when Daniel finally gets ready to go. That way he can be Indecisive all he wants waste all the time likes and he can arrive late all he wants. You and your brother are both adults and should be able to manage just fine. Just let them know where to meet you.

profdirt writes:

Sounds like early onset dementia if you ask me. You can say no all you want. I work with people like that for a living! It’s not going to seem like it, he’s not just going to wake up one day and be absolutely confused. But it’s happening except it that’s that.

pandoraclove writes:

NTA, as everyone in your family now agrees. This brought back a memory of my dad. He, my mom, and I were going to take a relatively short plane trip to another city to see relatives.

When we were close to boarding, my father suddenly decided that we needed traveler's insurance, which is sold at every terminal. He delayed with this, and we missed our flight. The next one was in a couple of hours.

My parents unfortunately were heavy drinkers, so any kind of spare time, especially in an airport, meant only one thing. Head for the nearest bar. We later had dinner, but by that time they were both very inebriated, which meant they were going to get into a loud fight. My father got up and walked away.

At this point, being only about 13 and never having flown before, I had to decide whether to stay with my confused mother, or my father, who had the plane tickets! Back then, you could watch the planes go back and forth from an observation deck. My father and I stood there watching, and then suddenly I noticed he was gone.

I saw him in the distance walking away rapidly. Somehow, I found my mother, we called someone, since by that time yes, we had missed a second flight, and went home.

The following weekend, my mother and I were able to get another flight out, this time without Dad. I never asked him, but a few decades later, I realized that he had not flown in a plane since World War 2, and was probably scared out of his head. He was just ashamed to admit it.

And now, OP's update (the next day):

Thank you all who gave advices, my mother approached us, said she realized we didn’t do anything wrong and apologized… turns out that this wasn’t the first time something like this happen.

Won’t go into much detail about what our mom told us but Daniel is absolutely terrible at time management and is used to people bending to his will… we’ve dealt differently and he wasn’t expecting that.

She sat us down and told him that 1) she already raised her kids and don’t want to raise a husband. 2) We wouldn’t be apologizing because we didn’t do anything wrong unlike him who was disrespectful to our family.

3) if we establish a time and he couldn’t be there we’ll be leaving without him. And lastly she said to think twice about calling her children ahole.

Daniel ended up apologizing and promised he would work on this issue. To make up he paid another tour to the highlands! We’re excited. Thank you all again!

Sources: Reddit
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