Here’s a hot tip: If you find yourself with the nagging urge to ask “Am I the asshole?” in any given situation, nine times out of 10, you will be correct. One Reddit user learned this lesson the hard way, when he took to r/AmITheAsshole to ask that very question. The user says that he’s a 31-year-old single dude who lives alone and has exchanged polite hellos in passing with a female neighbor around his same age. Despite the fact that this already sounds like it’s going nowhere good, he continues: “So I don’t know how to cook, and due to losing one of my part time gigs, I don’t have as much money for takeout anymore. I’m getting really sick of eating cheap fast food or box mac and cheese. I’m gaining weight and I never feel great.” A relatable problem for most people. But where most people would maybe Google some cheap, nutritious recipes and watch YouTube cooking tutorials, this guy has an idea.
His lady-neighbor, whom he refers to as “Katie,” seems to be a very good cook. He can smell her tasty meals from his apartment down the hall. How does he know it’s Katie? “It isn’t the other person at our end of our hall cause it’s a single old man,” he says, as if only young women of able body (and, presumably, within child-birthing hip-range) can cook. Let this enterprising, all-American genius take it from here:
So I got the idea that I’d offer to give her some money each week to cook a little extra and bring it over to me (or I can pick it up from her!) at night. She’s cooking anyway and then I’d have varied presumably delicious food.
I asked her the next time I saw her and she looked surprised and said she couldn’t because she was too busy (which didn’t make sense cause she cooks almost every day but okay). The next time I saw her a few days later, I asked her if she was sure and upped the amount I was offering, and she said she was sure and that it was rude to ask me, and that she isn’t a housekeeper for hire and I should get a housekeeper if that’s what I want. She also called me ‘a stranger’ even though we have talked in the halls before.
Where to even begin. Katie declines this guy’s offer, and his response is a stone-cold classic of the Nice Guy persuasion: Obviously Katie cannot be too busy if she’s already cooking for herself. So he offers to pay her even more money, at which point it’s like, dude, just get some HelloFresh or whatever. Katie, who is clearly a very cool and smart lady, then makes a civil observation that simultaneously serves to point out this dude’s sexism and entitlement. Oh, and she has the nerve to call him a “stranger,” even though—by his own telling—they’ve only ever exchanged hellos and “aren’t friendly.”
But we are not done here. This man’s feelings have been hurt, and he does not understand what could possibly be wrong about asking a woman you don’t know if you can pay her to cook for you because you refuse to do the bare minimum work required (i.e. Googling some shit) to take care of yourself, a 31-year-old adult man. Let’s hear more about what a Nice Guy he is:
Overall she made me feel like a big jerk and really embarrassed for even asking her, and a little mad because she was acting like I was being creepy (I wasn’t, trust me, she isn’t my type). I think asking her to split cooking wasn’t completely outlandish, since she cooks every day anyway and it wouldn’t be hard to make a little more.
Check out that President Dummy logic: “There’s no way I was acting creepy with her because I only act creepy with women who are objectively hot, which is my type, and this woman is not my type, which is to say that she’s a hideous beast-bag. Furthermore, I have zero self-awareness, am completely oblivious to my own inherent sexism and the nuances of internalized misogyny, and I refuse to acknowledge that another human being might be too fucking tired from working all day and cooking her own delicious meal to consider the needs of a total stranger.”
To his credit, after many, many commenters confirmed that this guy is, in fact, the asshole in this situation, he offered this update:
EDIT: Okay. It is abundantly clear that I was the asshole and asking her was inappropriate and, as much as I hate to admit it, creepy. My instinct is to apologize to her but since my instinct was to ask her in the first place, I’ll do the opposite and stay out of her hair. Thanks.
Sometimes the internet is a good and just place.