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'AITA for offering to hire a caterer/planner for a dinner party instead of planning it myself?' UPDATED

'AITA for offering to hire a caterer/planner for a dinner party instead of planning it myself?' UPDATED


"AITA for offering to hire a caterer/planner for a fancy dinner party instead of planning it all myself?"

Okay, I have been married to my wife for almost 15yrs. A few years back we went through a rough patch. I was working long weeks trying to move up in my field & we made the joint decision for her to be a SAHM. And though I was working 6 days a week, I tried to give my wife as much free time as possible.

Still things were rocky & after 18ish months she started saying she wanted to be more social. We moved out of the country a little before we had our twins so it was understandable. Being dumb, I decided to surprise her with a dinner party. I invited some guys from work & their wives over.

All without, you know, considering that someone would have to host this dinner party & that someone would end up being my wife. (Don’t worry. I accepted responsibility of being dumb.) Nevertheless, my wonderful wife did put together a lovely dinner party & discovered a love for planning events.

A few months after, she decided to go back to school for hospitality so that she could be an event coordinator. We arranged for part time care of our girls & after graduating she found a job in her field. 5 years later, she’s moved to another company & is currently up for a promotion & has been schmoozing her bosses & high level clients & she wants to have a party at our new home.

Here’s where IMBTA:

Since I have been working so many fewer hours in the last 2ish years, I’m home earlier than my wife is & a lot of my work can be done remotely. So she would like me to handle planning & set-up for the dinner. I’m fine with this.

However I am not good at planning events - I’m the guy who hires someone like my wife to plan parties for them. I’m happy to hire a caterer & someone to come put some tablecloths & random vases of flowers around to make the place look nice. But I don’t have an eye for those kinds of things myself.

After offering this, my wife acted like I’d just shown Nanny Ruth the family jewels, saying how horrible it would look if I hired her company’s competitor to come host a party at our house, that I had to do it myself. I was a little miffed but the girls were in the living room in ear shot so I told her alright well then I’d need her to at LEAST give me a checklist of things to do.

Well that turned into how I clearly don’t respect her or her profession, I’ve always looked down on her for not being as “smart”, how I don’t pay attention to her job or I’d know what went into planning a party & I’d be able to handle a simple dinner event.

I honestly had no idea what sort of minefield I had just walked myself into. I was at a loss so I herded my girls upstairs so I could try to talk to my wife. But it’s been 45m & she’s still on FaceTime with her sisters after not wanting to talk.

I don’t think I’ve ever done or said anything to make my wife think that I look down on her job. I try to be as supportive as I can. But maybe she’s right and I’m not doing enough. Give it to me straight. If I’m really being the asshole please tell me so I can go grovel at my wife’s feet.

UPDATE: (I hope this is allowed) Because people keep saying this. I truly had not considered what I suggested to be a bad look on her because I wasn’t exactly suggesting her direct competitor.

Wifey works at one of those companies that does everything - they have in house bakers, caterers, planners, a band, florist, etc. I was only planning to hire a restaurant to cater food and maybe someone to help me decorate. I am already planning to apologize profusely.

What do you think? Is he the a-hole? This is what top commenters had to say:

Pogue0mahone said:

YTA. She's 100% correct that hiring her company's competitor to cater a dinner for her colleagues is a phenomenally dumbass thing to do.

CityBride said:

INFO: why would a professional party planner want to throw a party to schmooze/impress her bosses and have her husband (a non-professional) our the event together?!?! That makes no sense to me. And it must be a lot of pressure on you to host for professionals...let alone your wife’s bosses!

I’m going NTA for now, though. You weren’t planning on hiring her competition and you wanted/needed help to put the event together that she volunteetold you you were doing. It really wasn’t reasonable to put this on your shoulders.

Himalayankitten said:

NAH. You absolutely cannot hire an event planner if she's schmoozing bosses for a promotion as an event planner. On the other hand she needs to step up and give you a very detailed plan of what and how she wants things. You can pay attention and respect someone's job but that doesn't mean you know how to do it as well as they do.

Unique-Rutabaga3207 said:

Unpopular nta. She thinks you can suddenly plan and organize a fancy dinner? How bout you ask her to prepare that budget analysis for your construction project at work? Oh, she can't? Then I guess she doesn't respect you or your profession, and doesn't pay attention to your job, or she'd know what went into doing a construction budget.

And [deleted] said:

ESH. Obviously you don’t hire your competition when trying to schmooze your boss. Why on earth would she think you’d just know how to plan a party to her standards especially after you’ve explicitly stated you literally can’t? This is like getting mad at the plumber for fucking up the roof, well ma’am it wasnt his job

Verdict: Mixed, but leaning towards YTA. Do you agree?

He later shared this refreshing update:

So since I last posted I have had a chance to talk to my wife and I have a game plan in place. I followed your advice and the first morning after our argument and after our girls went to school I did sit down and apologize to my wife. I told her I was so sorry to have made her feel that I wasn’t being supporting enough.

I cleared up the suggestion of hiring the competition and explained what I meant more clearly. I also gave her the floor and asked if she could tell me why she’d been so upset - if it was just because of the suggesting a competitor thing or if there was something else going on, that she could talk to me about anything.

She has another coworker, whom I will nickname Kayla, who is also up for the same promotion and only one of them will get it. The day of our argument, Kayla had snuck in her fiancé to set up a big brunch/lunch thing for the office. Of course my wife is stressed and she has been working very hard for this promotion, so her thought process was that I needed to step up and do the same as Kayla’s fiancé did.

However, I pointed out that we knew Kayla and knew her fiancé - and he is the main manager in charge of running a large-ish hotel in our city. Part of his job is also managing events that they have at the hotel, which happen often because the hotel is gorgeous and the perfect backdrop for weddings, conferences, fundraising dinners, etc.

It clicked in her mind that my skill levels were not on par with Kayla’s fiancé. We talked and I made us something to eat and then drove her to the office, even walked her inside and carried her coffee for her. I got to meet a few new faces and my wife also introduced me to the newest member of her team who is still learning the ropes.

With my wife’s prior approval, I asked the new team member if he’d be willing to let me hire him just as a consultant on a dinner party - I need a little help with the color schemes and flowers as I’m red/green color blind.

You all were right about the communication being lacking and how I was being insensitive about suggesting a competitor - even if it wasn’t exactly my intention (circling back to communication). I also severely underestimated myself and my abilities and was writing it off as something I just couldn’t do rather than a puzzle to work out with some effort.

So yeah. It ended up just being my stupidity and lack of clear communication with my wife, and partially a little over expectations from my wife but with as much as she’s been working and as stressed as she’s been, it’s completely forgivable.

I just wanted to update you all and thank you for helping me see that I was way underestimating myself. I thought I was supporting my wife in every way I could but I was failing in the way she needed me and the way it counted. We’ve rectified the situation and I’m now confident that I can pull this dinner party off (with a little help here or there from my consultant... and Pinterest.) Thank you so much.

ETA: I hope it’s okay to add this edit. It seemed necessary because so many people seem to think that two 3,000 character limit posts give you enough insight into my relationship to deem me a battered husband.

My wife is in NO way abusive towards me whatsoever. She is a human being who sometimes gets stressed and overwhelmed and overreacts. That does not make her abusive or a terrible person - it simply makes her imperfect and so are we all.

I am not always great at knowing what details are relevant and with the character limit that also makes it extra hard. My wife DID apologize to me as well. She accepted her part of the blame for our whole argument. She apologized to me and we had a very good talk.

(I am a civil/structural engineer and she sort of chuckled and made a joke about Kayla’s fiancé never being able to do what I do. She recognized and accepted responsibility that she’d made a mistake.) I do understand where others are coming from and assuming that she’s controlling.

But 6,000 characters is a difficult constraint when trying to get enough relevant information across an internet platform. So for that I apologize - I am still working on some of my communication skills.

My wife is a kind and gentle and thoughtful and compassionate person. She leaves me post it notes hidden through the house with love notes and reminds me when I’m low how much she loves/appreciates me and is a terrific wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend.

Please accept that she is also human and also makes mistakes; just as I accept this about her, she accepts it about me as well. I make my fair share of mistakes and overreactions just like she does and she always handles it with Grace, I’m simply trying to do the same for her.

Sources: Reddit
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