April 29, 2024 at 2:37 am

A Family’s Clothing Swap Tradition Leaves One Cousin Excluded, So Her Dad Fights To End The Tradition Altogether

by Ryan McCarthy

Source: Reddit/AITA/Pexels

Being the freakishly tall kid when all of your peers are a normal size isn’t as fun as you’d think it would be.

Having a vast physical difference between you and everyone else at a time when kids are already hyper-sensitive about their bodies can lead to some serious self-image issues.

And that’s besides the constant stream of “How’s the weather up there?” jokes or always getting asked “Do you play basketball?”

But this user’s family tradition of a clothing swap introduced another unique challenge for his tall daughter. There were no clothes at the swap that actually fit her!

But when he tried to remove the swap altogether, his wife’s family was none too happy.

Was he wrong for messing with their tradition? See for yourself!

AITA for wanting to end a family tradition that excludes one child?

Every April, my wife’s family holds a family reunion. They don’t celebrate holidays together often, so they go all out for these, renting a hall, catering, the works.

The only weird event at these reunions is a clothing swap between the women of the family.

For whatever reason, when my wife and her sisters all had daughters close in age, they decided a long time ago that this was the best way to do family hand-me-downs.

All the women in my wife’s family ended up being very short (4’10”-5’1″), so they all wear “rare” but similar sizes, so it’s always worked out.

And while OP said this event definitely left out the men of the family….

With a 70/30 gender split and the only men in the family being myself, my brother in law, and my sons from a previous relationship, this swap meet is the MAIN event.

They make it a whole show about it.

It’s incredibly boring from the outside, so my boys and I always head out early if we go at all.

He was more concerned about how it was excluding his daughter!

This would be a non-issue if it weren’t for my daughter, Kate. She’s my wife and I’s “ours” baby. Kate took after my side of the family.

We’re a taller family, or at least not Keebler Elves, so by the time she was 11, she started coming back with nothing from those parties.

The first time, I assumed that she was just picky until I realized that she was starting to be bigger than her older sisters and cousins and had outgrown any size they would wear.

And while OP started suspecting it was contributing to his daughter’s self-image issues, his wife just thought he was overreacting.

My wife thought she needed to realize that not everything was for everyone and to just have fun being there.

Last year, she started having body image issues thinking she was “fat” and needed to go on a diet, and now I’m thinking having this event is feeding it.

This year is going to be a massive deal as my MIL is going into a nursing home and is downsizing.

She was so into fashion that she has an entire storage unit full, so this is going to be a TON of stuff.

But OP knew he needed to put his foot down…

I’m starting to think the reunion shouldn’t involve a clothing swap at all and all of that should be done privately at another time. Family shouldn’t be about a fashion show.

My wife thinks that’s ridiculous and Kate is just having typical teenage problems that will go away on their own, but if she’s so bothered, she can just not go or stay with the boys.

I don’t think that’s right.

Even though OP’s in-laws were resisting hard, he said he knows he needs to do something about it.

This is mainly a girl’s reunion! It’s not like there’s anything else for an alternative for her to share in because they don’t really get rid of accessories or anything, it’s JUST clothes.

This event is starting to get mean and exclusionary, and it needs to end.

I’m trying my best to make them see sense, and I’m getting nothing but arguments.

Am I really in the wrong here?

Personally, I think it says a lot that OP not only noticed his daughter’s discomfort, but is actively listening to her and trying to help her.

A lot of parents (cough cough… OP’s wife!) would simply tell her to suck it up, and not to cause a fuss with their family.

Reddit was shocked that OP was the only one who cared about his daughter’s exclusion, and suggested he take her shopping to make her feel special.

Source: Reddit/AITA

But another user thought that changing a tradition because of one person was ridiculous.

Source: Reddit/AITA

And another user thought that the idea of taking her shopping could lead to some resentment from her other family members.

Source: Reddit/AITA

This user had the great idea to start an accessories table at the family swap, so that OP’s daughter could be included in the festivities!

Source: Reddit/AITA

And finally, this user said OP’s wife needed to wake up to how her daughter was feeling before she lost their relationship.

Source: Reddit/AITA

What a great idea, but what an unfortunate execution!

How hard is it to make someone feel included, especially when they’re family?

If you thought that was an interesting story, check this one out about a man who created a points system for his inheritance, and a family friend ends up getting almost all of it.