A guy elicited more than 40,200 reactions and over 1,900 comments on social media for his story about speaking Italian to his girlfriend’s rude family.
OP worked in IT and lived in the US, but he previously lived in Italy for three years due to his father’s job. He had to meet his girlfriend’s family for dinner; interestingly, she came from an Italian American family.
The family took pride in their Italian heritage, even though everyone, except their grandfather, was born in Bergen County, New Jersey.
The girlfriend warned him that her family was “into being macho” and “testing” the boys that the women of the family date.
At dinner, the family made jokes at OP’s expense regarding his height, beard, and shaved head. Her older brother kept making fun of him for playing lacrosse in high school instead of a more masculine sport like football or baseball.
They made fun of OP’s job in IT until they found out the pay. OP still notes that the experience was not too bad but “unpleasant.”
The brother ended his rant by saying, “hey, we’re just a big Italian family. We’re loud and tell it how we see it! Hahaha!”
Everyone laughed except the girlfriend. OP decided to respond to the hysterics in Italian for the next minute.
Everyone else kept looking at each other, bewildered, before telling OP they didn’t speak Italian.
OP replied, “then don’t use your Italian heritage as an excuse to behave poorly when you can’t even speak the language.”
This made the family furious, except for his girlfriend, who bowed her head, and her grandfather, who laughed before telling them all that he was right and to be quiet.
In the end, his girlfriend was not mad but ashamed by her family, and according to her sister, the other men think he unforgivably disrespected them and their masculinity.
OP wants to know, was he an a****ole for doing this?
Reactions on Social Media
OP’s case has sparked debate on whether or not someone in his situation is justified for upsetting the family like that.
For the Italian heritage people I know, like my wife and in-laws, this would have been a bonding moment,” one person said. “This would have been the moment OP became like family to them. Certainly not insulted.”
“Respect begets respect. Disrespect begets disrespect. They reaped what they sowed,” another said.
Some people shared their other views. “There’s a difference between was I an a***ole and was this a good idea? But if I were planning on dating someone for any length of time, I probably wouldn’t dunk on their family so hard the first time I met them.”
The overall consensus was that OP was “not the a***ole.” (NTA).
The Grandpa Approves
Everyone seems to think the grandpa likes OP.
One user received more than 39,200 “upvotes” for their response: “Not an a***ole. The grandad knows it! He probably half rolls his eyes every time they say they are Italian when he knows he’s the last speaker.”
“You shut them down in the most epic/appropriate way possible! Your girlfriend should proudly flaunt that her boyfriend is more Italian than any of them.”
Another said. “It sounds like the ‘boys’ were hoping to put you through a hazing ritual, and you weren’t biting, and it them in their place. And grandpa approved.”
“The pure savagery from what you said & did is so golden. You totally won the heart of your girlfriend’s grandfather,” one person commented. “You and your girlfriend are lucky to have each other. NTA- Sending good vibes.”
This story, Speaking Italian to my Girlfriend’s Rude Italian American Family. Was I Wrong? was produced and syndicated by TPR Teaching. This originally appeared on Reddit. Source.
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Caitriona Maria is an education writer and founder of TPR Teaching, crafting inspiring pieces that promote the importance of developing new skills. For 7 years, she has been committed to providing students with the best learning opportunities possible, both domestically and abroad. Dedicated to unlocking students' potential, Caitriona has taught English in several countries and continues to explore new cultures through her travels.