AITA for Pretending Not to Recognize My Parents?

Feeling like YATA for Check out our quick advice if you really are or not. But before that, let's read first a similar story to reflect on from Gerald.

It was a typical Sunday afternoon, and the sun cast a warm glow through the curtains of our family living room. As I lounged on the couch, scrolling through my phone, a naughty idea took root in my mind.

What if, just for a moment, I pretended not to recognize my parents? It seemed harmless at the time, a playful deviation from the ordinary.

The Setting

My parents, who had been out running errands, walked through the front door with grocery bags in hand. Instead of greeting them with the usual warmth, I feigned ignorance.

I continued staring at my phone, playing a disinterested teenager lost in the virtual world.

The Deception Unfolds

Act 1: The Entrance

As my parents entered, I maintained my facade of obliviousness. They exchanged glances, clearly puzzled by my lack of acknowledgment. My father ventured a hesitant, “Hey, champ,” but I responded with a calm nod, my eyes still glued to the screen.

Act 2: The Charade Continues

Throughout the next hour, I sustained the act. My parents attempted conversation, sharing details of their day, but I responded with vague monosyllables. It was like I had transformed into an apathetic stranger in my own home.

The Rising Tension

As minutes passed, the atmosphere grew increasingly awkward. My parents, concerned and perplexed, exchanged worried glances. I overheard them whispering in hushed tones, speculating what might have triggered my sudden change in behavior.

Motivation Behind the Act

In retrospect, I questioned my motives. Why did I feel compelled to engage in such an elaborate charade? Was it a desire for attention or a misguided attempt at humor?

Perhaps it was a subconscious rebellion against the routine of family life.

The Toll on Relationships

The consequences of my actions became evident as the tension in the room escalated. The genuine concern on my parents’ faces made me question the wisdom of my impromptu performance.

Was the amusement I derived from the situation worth the strain it put on our relationship?

The Unveiling

As I reached the peak of my performance, I decided it was time to end the charade. With a dramatic sigh, I put down my phone, looked up, and finally acknowledged my parents.

The relief that washed over their faces was palpable, replaced by a mixture of confusion and mild irritation.

The Explanation

When pressed for an explanation, I offered a weak grin and dismissed it as a momentary lapse in judgment. However, the damage had been done. The trust that forms the foundation of familial relationships had been momentarily fractured.


In the aftermath, my parents struggled to shake off the unease caused by my peculiar behavior. Conversations became tinged with a hint of skepticism, and the once-evident closeness we shared seemed to have suffered a temporary setback.

The Question of Assholery

In contemplating the events of that Sunday afternoon, I am left to ponder a crucial question: Was I the asshole in this situation?

  • On the Side of Playfulness: One might argue that my actions stemmed from a desire to inject playfulness into our mundane routine. After all, families need a bit of unpredictability to keep things interesting.
  • Against the Bonds of Trust: On the flip side, my deception breached the trust fundamental to familial relationships. Was it fair to subject my parents to unnecessary worry for the sake of a fleeting amusement?

I am left grappling with the ambiguity of my actions. The line between harmless fun and thoughtless cruelty is a fine one, and I find myself wondering if, in this instance, I might have crossed it.

So, I pose the question to you: AITA for pretending not to recognize my parents?

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