People project their desires onto each other. It's how we try to relate, and it's often harmless, but there are times when someone's attempt to relate can come off wrong or backfire.
In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a woman asked if she was wrong for shutting a woman down who implied she wanted a girl. She wrote:
Weird question but I have 4 sons. They are 14, 12, 8, and 4. The older two are biological and the younger two were adopted after a birth complication made us infertile. I was at the park over the weekend with my younger two boys. I got to chatting with another couple and mentioned that I had 4 boys.
She said something like, "Oh, you poor thing. I wanted a girl too but he (pointing to her husband) didn't want to have a 3rd." I told her that I didn't try for a girl and that if I wanted a girl we could have put that in our adoption paperwork but we didn't have a gender preference. I had no strong desire for a girl and love having sons so she has no reason to feel sorry for me.
It rubbed me the wrong way that she said "poor thing." Like my boys aren't good enough for me and she said it right in front of them. They already have to field questions about being adopted. They shouldn't have to feel bad about their gender too, you know?
Anyway, the lady got upset, told me I was being rude for no reason, and walked away. I spoke to my SIL about it and she also felt I didn't handle it correctly. She has 3 girls and 1 boy and said it is just a normal thing people comment on. She said people will tell her that her son is going to be feminine because he only has sisters and she just shrugs it off so I should have done the same. AITA?
NTA - I’m one of five girls and people always used to say to my dad “did you want a boy to play with?” right in front of us, they even say it to me when I mention I am one of 4 girls. It always stung a little like why wouldn’t he want 4 daughters?!? We are great!
And it still drives him mad and he used to slam that one right down and make the person feel really stupid for saying something stupid - which made me feel better and confident.
He is a proud girl dad and used to always finish by telling people how he must have been a saint in a past life to have been blessed with all girls. You did the right thing and your boys deserve to know that they’re wanted and not a consolation prize!
So I'm honestly just curious. OP is NTA, that is obvious. But...I'm a bit older I think, then the average poster here, and it always seems weird to me that someone bothers to even respond to this kind of comment. There is nothing new here. People have been saying some variation of this crap for decades, if not centuries.
But it used to be that in days past, most of us ignored these ignorant comments and moved on with our lives. Why does anyone give a s#$t if some random stranger thinks we might be missing out on something? I just don't care about the opinions of strangers, and therefore don't feel the need to respond to their drivel. But today, everyone has to respond and make sure the person is put in their place.
Society has really broken down in the last few decades and I honestly think this is partially why. Everyone is on the defense. People must be crushed. It's just sad. Primarily b/c it takes away from your own happiness as you worry if you were an AH in the way you responded.
NTA. You love your sons and that's fine. As long as they know you love them, then that's fine and they shouldn't feel bad about their gender. That woman was rude. Some people, like your SIL, can shrug it off. You should eventually stop dwelling and love your sons like you clearly do.
NTA people make assumptions and when do with a total stranger life it’s not okay. You were not rude you set her straight on your choice. She was rude to poke her nose in. when she didn’t like your response you suddenly become rude. PLEASE Don’t give her another thought.
You are not required to be nice to strangers that say weird s#$t to you, especially in front of your children. You sound like a great parent. NTA.
People are clearly on OP's side with this.