Everyone seems to have different ideas of what actually makes someone an adult. In the UK, you’re legally considered to be an adult, but many would argue they don’t feel grown up until they reach their 20s.
Some young people leave school, move out, get a full-time job and have kids at 16, while others still feel like a kid living at home in their mid-20, it’s all relative.
But, while everyone young person goes on their own personal journey of transitioning from adolescent to adult, one man has found himself in a sticky situation, after his family member refused to acknowledge his adulthood, despite him being 22 years old.
At the time, the man was meeting his whole family for a picnic, consisting of his 21-year-old brother, 25-year-old sister, her 29-year-old husband and their two kids. Also joining the group was their dad, step-mum and her kids, aged six and nine, as well as his aunty, uncle, 20-year-old cousin, 15-year-old cousin and their grandparents, who are both in their 70s.
The man told how he drove to the park and helped everyone set up the picnic, before settling down next to his dad for some food, only to be told by his aunt that he was sitting with the wrong group. Giving him a weird look, the aunt told him, “this is the adult’s table,” to which he responded: “I am an adult.”
His aunt then went on to tell him that only the first and second generations of the family are considered to be adults, while the second and third generations are considered to be the children – despite the fact his sister, who is just three years older than him, was allowed to sit at the adult’s table – because she has children of her own.
“I tell her that I can drink, that I drove here, that I pay rent and have a job, so how am I still considered a child? She says that until I have kids of my own I’ll have to sit at the kid’s table,” the man wrote on Reddit’s Am I The A**hole forum.
“According to my aunt, there are eight children, those aged between six and 22) and eight adults, aged 25 to 75, so I should just sit at the kid’s table since it’ll be even, but there is plenty of space at the adult table and I don’t want to be stuck with five literal children.
“She still disagrees and at this point my uncle and grandparents back her up, so I say f*ck it, take back the quiche I brought, tell them to have a nice day, and drive away.”
After he left, the man received several text messages from his dad and grandparents asking him to come back, to which he responded asking whether his aunt was going to apologise. They replied asking, “for what?” prompting him to ignore their other messages and continue on his journey home.
“I feel sh**y that I may have possibly ruined a nice family gathering, but feel my family doesn’t respect me at all, enough to say that I am still a child and apparently have the same mentality as six year olds,” he continued, before turning to Reddit to ask whether he was justified in leaving.
“Your aunt owes you an apology. She seems to think that people aren’t adults until they, what? Get married and have kids? As an unmarried, childless person in my late 40s I find that exceptionally and genuinely amusing, and even sort of appreciate that she apparently thinks I’m a kid, but also, she’s objectively completely wrong,” one Reddit user commented.
“You are an adult not only legally, but by any reasonable standard, except maybe that your prefrontal cortex still has a little growing to do, but that’s whether you’re married and have kids or not, so still defeats her argument.”
Another added: “22 is not a child and saying someone that age has nothing to contribute to a conversation is just rude. Good for you for standing up for yourself. What are they talking about that’s so important that you wont be able to chime in?”