It should be clear why the subreddit r/AmItheAsshole is so popular. First of all, there are, indeed, a lot of arseholes in this world; 2020 has repeatedly illustrated that fact for us. But also, it’s usually everyone else — not us, we are perfect — who are the arseholes. That is to say, it’s much easier to identify the arsehole in someone else than to recognise it in ourselves. For that, we need Reddit.
Here is the AITA board’s description:
A catharsis for the frustrated moral philosopher in all of us, and a place to finally find out if you were wrong in an argument that’s been bothering you. Tell us about any non-violent conflict you have experienced; give us both sides of the story, and find out if you’re right, or you’re the arsehole.
What is heartwarming about the Top 10 upvoted AITA posts of the year, though, is how consistently devoid they are of true arsehole behaviour (at least from the folks writing the posts). There are some highs and lows — theft and revenge, cruel pranks and redemption, death and a message from beyond the grave. But in the end, I think you’ll find many of these stories to be uplifting.
In the original post, an 18-year-old woman described some subpar apartment temperature conditions that caused her to decide to sleep topless one night. All was well until her mum discovered her the next morning and, well, was not happy about it.
In the update, we discover the real reason behind the apparent overreaction and are a little relieved for everyone’s safety.
Depression is not laziness
In this post, a 29-year-old man describes a fight he had with his girlfriend. She had been out of work since before the pandemic began and was struggling with depression. He was eventually back at work and she was home all day, but was unable to get out of bed to do any regular cooking or cleaning. He snapped at her and told her that depression is not an excuse to be lazy.
In this update, he realises how poorly he handled the situation, he apologizes to his girlfriend and vows to be a better support system for her going forward. In the end, they are able to brainstorm some ways to improve the dynamics of their relationship.
Becoming a single parent by choice while also dating
In this post, a woman details how the pandemic forced her to push “pause” on her plans to become a single parent by choice via artificial insemination. While she was waiting for treatments to resume, she began dating someone she was very interested in. About a month into the relationship, her clinic called to tell her she could now proceed, which she decided to do. She couldn’t decide whether to tell him about her plans.
In the update, she tells him.
Seriously, stop eating my food
A guy suspects one of his two roommates of repeatedly stealing his food and milk from the fridge. (They have a very detailed, very strict “this is my food, not your food” rule.) The roommate, who is lactose intolerant, vehemently denies it. So the guy switches out his almond milk for regular cow’s milk to see what’s what.
This woman’s parents paid for all of her three brothers’ college expenses. For her, they paid nothing, because she is a woman and women are meant stay home and raise children, not become engineers, as she decided to do (and ultimately, she had to pay her own way).
Now she’s married and pregnant with her first child, and those parents want a relationship with her and her family.
This is awful
In this heartbreaking post, a person actively trying to manage their schizophrenia is “pranked” by their “friends,” who didn’t exactly know their target has schizophrenia, but know enough to have known better than to do what they did.
In this update — a happy ending you will love.
A unique solution for dealing with unruly children
In this post, a townhome renter was fed up with the neighbours using their driveway for their own purposes and allowing their kids to knock on their door and come onto their property multiple times a day (all of which was made worse by the sudden need to work from home during the pandemic). They had tried talking to the parents, to no avail; did desperate times call for prickly bushes?
This update is full of blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, and cops.
That wasn’t funny, kid
This mum’s 13-year-old son made a racist comment about their Chinese delivery driver, and the man heard it. Mum made teenager write an apology letter, as well as a one-page paper on Chinese culture and a one-page paper on why racism is perpetuated by racist jokes and stereotypes. She then drove the kid to the restaurant so he could deliver his apology in person. Her husband, however, thinks she overreacted.
To mourn or celebrate?
In the original post, a young woman who had only a few weeks to live wanted to take control of her funeral plans, which would have included funny stories and pictures, upbeat music, cats, and confetti. Her parents, on the other hand, wanted a more somber occasion full of hymns and scripture. And her husband wanted to be able to grieve without battling her parents at the same time.
Then she wrote this update, which her husband posted after she died.
Yeah, that’s actually grand theft auto
This guy’s girlfriend had the Chevy Impala he was restoring taken away to the junkyard while he was out of town because she wanted to be able to park her car in the garage. In return, he kicked her to the curb and threatened legal action, even though, according to her family, he should just “let it go.”
For more about how the year played out on Reddit, read its full year in review report here.