College Graduate Backed For Skipping The Party Dad Planned — 'He Hadn't Celebrated Anything Of Mine In 10 Years'

You can't brush off your kid for a decade and expect them to show up when it's convenient for you.

Sad college graduate Krakenimages / Shutterstock

A young adult’s Reddit post about their graduation celebration struck a chord with sympathetic users.

Celebrations can be an important part of a child’s life. Families coming together to celebrate birthdays, graduations, parties, and extracurricular events gives children a day where they feel special and acknowledged.

One recent college graduate who apparently went the majority of their life without family celebrations took to Reddit’s “r/AmItheA--hole” (AITA) subreddit to see if they were too harsh on their father when he tried to throw them a graduation party.


A Reddit user asked if they were in the wrong for accidentally missing their own graduation party.

According to the post, the user’s family hadn’t celebrated anything with them since they were 12. “My dad and his new wife had a baby that year and I was kind of forgotten about,” they wrote. “I would get birthday presents and such but no party or anything.”

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Instead of celebrating with their family, the user began celebrating with their friends. Their friend’s mom would make them a cake for their birthdays, and they went on a week-long trip to New York with their friend and their friend’s mom for their high school graduation.


Since the user had no reason to expect that their family would do anything for their college graduation, they went out with their friends. When they returned home, they learned that their father had planned a big surprise party for them and they had missed it.

Text from Reddit postSource: Reddit

Family members asked why they hadn’t shown up to the party after their father had gone through all the work of planning it. They responded that he hadn’t held a celebration for them in ten years and that they had no idea he had planned anything.


“He told everyone I was lying so I asked him to post any pictures he had from my birthday parties, extracurricular activities, or high school graduation,” the user wrote. When he couldn’t, the rest of the family admonished him. He then got mad at the original poster for “talking about private family matters.”

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Commenters were outraged that the user’s father had gotten angry with them for missing the party and defending themselves.

Comments on the post pointed out the hypocrisy of the user’s father letting their other family members guilt them about missing the party, but then insisting that the lack of celebrations in the past was a private family matter. He accused them of lying about not having been celebrated and then got angry when they defended themselves and proved him wrong.

“Your dad outed himself when he told everyone you were lying,” one commenter wrote. “What did he expect you to do, go along with it?”


Some users wondered why the rest of the family hadn’t asked how the original poster had been doing over the years. One comment asked, “I really want to know how for a decade or more no one noticed they never saw or heard about any of OP's milestone events. Did no one see OP for a whole decade? Did no one call on their birthday?”

In response to a comment saying “The rest of your family forgot about you too,” the original user stated “We don't live in the same city as them. After my mom died my father moved us to a different state for work.”

Others pointed out that it’s not that unusual for extended family to assume that the child in question might prefer smaller, more private celebrations, or that the father could have been making excuses if the rest of the family asked about his child’s life. “The fact that they're hanging sh-t on OP's dad makes it clear that they had no idea OP wasn't being celebrated,” one user guessed.

Photo: Ground Picture / Shutterstock


Many people pointed out the obvious: that a surprise party only works if somebody ensures that the guest of honor will be there. The original poster said that their father had asked them to come home for dinner and that they had responded by saying that they would be home unless something else came up. “I don’t usually eat with them,” they wrote.

The fact that this person’s father planned a party without making sure they would be there and then tried to make them look bad for missing it suggests that the party in question was likely more for the father to seem like a proud, attentive parent than to celebrate his child’s graduation.

“Notice how his one celebration of OP in ten years was a public event; he wanted all the pats on the back and the, 'what a great dad,' comments but all the neglect of OP for the previous ten years has to remain private, family business,” one user pointed out.


It’s heartbreaking that the user who made the post was essentially neglected by their father for so many years, but thankfully, it seems like they have solid friends and a good future ahead of them.

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Jessica Bracken is a writer living in Davis, California. She covers entertainment and news for YourTango.