Sometimes being blessed with age-defying looks can be a disservice, especially for one soccer mom.
A judgemental soccer mom raised issue with a couple after assuming there was a significant age gap between husband and wife.
But when Redditor olderthanilook11 confronted the woman and disproved her accusation, the flustered mother pulled her daughter from the team.
The original poster (OP) asked if she was the a$$hole for defending herself after feeling guilty that the mother's daughter was no longer on the team.
"My husband and I are 54 and 56. We've been married almost 39 years. Yes, we got married at 17 and 19."
"Our daughter was a surprise late in life pregnancy when I was 49. For some reason, I've always looked much younger than my age. I'm usually estimated to be in my early to mid thirties. Gets annoying at times now, but it's okay."
"My grandmother was the same way. My husband looks his age. I worry about the severe generation gap and finding friends with similarly aged kids, so I try to keep up with younger pop culture and technology."
"We signed our daughter up for soccer this year. We were at our daughter's soccer practice last Saturday, and a mom came up to me when my husband was off getting coffee."
"We talked, which went well."
"When my husband came back, she went stone cold and excused herself."
"All this week, this woman has launched a campaign against me and my entire family. She thinks my husband and I have a 30-40 year age difference, which is 'inappropriate.'"
"She thinks our relationship is based on money (?!), that it 'sets a bad example for young girls' and I especially should 'think about what my daughter is learning.' The team parents were starting to be against me, and I needed to respond."
"I was infuriated by all of this. I try to keep a mentality of 'age only means what you let it' and care for my appearance and stay more modern, but I wouldn't think I'm trophy wife level."
The OP found she had to explain herself with evidence in order to regain the other parents' respect.
"I sent a mass email with what I think is a toned down reaction to this woman's judgement and three things: my wedding announcement from 1981, my daughter birth announcement (which showed our ages), and a picture of me heavily pregnant, with my husband, at my 50th birthday party."
"The woman was humiliated in front of all of the parents on the team, so much so that she had to leave because they all refused to work with her at all."
Unfortunately, being dismissed meant that the ousted mother's daughter suffered the consequence.
"Her child has special needs, and this is one of the most inclusive teams. Many of the leagues around won't allow special needs children because they 'can't accommodate.'"
"I feel bad that now her child can't experience sports, but maybe she earned it?"
"We're not leaving this one because it is more accepting of non-traditional families and works best with our schedule."
So, is the OP the a$$hole?
Even though the daughter with special needs lost her position on the team, many sided with the OP as "Not the A$$hole" (NTA).
"NTA. This really isn't about the special needs child, but about the mother."
"She shouldn't be attacking other parents on the team. And frankly, who cares what the ages are of adults who are happily married. Good on you, OP!" – cyanocittaetprocyon
"Yeah, the title had me a little concerned, but it really seems to me like the child had nothing to do with it at all."
"Unfortunate collateral damage, but nothing related to the child being special needs whatsoever. Agreed with NTA; the child's mother has the burden to bear for this." – fender8421
"The mom of the special needs child brought all of this on herself because had she not tried to smear OP's husband by essentially calling him a pervert for having a younger wife (which wasn't even true), then her child would still be on the team."
"She messed with the bull and got the horns."
"If it's hard for her child to find a new team - which I don't doubt - then maybe next time she will think about her actions before doing something that could negatively impact her child."
"If the mom had committed a crime and got sent to jail, would it have been the police officers' fault or her own?" – HellKat1988
"NTA you had to respond. She earned her fate. Maybe next time she'll learn to get all the info before gossiping." – Lost-Tea
The scorned mother was not officially forced to remove her daughter from the team, but she could have stayed.
"She wasn't even kicked off the team, she chose to leave the team because all the parents hated her for spreading lies."
"She could've stayed on the team and rode the storm for her daughter, apologized to OP and owned up to her mistake but she chose to run away."
"What type of example is she setting?" – AzureMagelet
"You're right. She created a problem and then fled from it instead of facing the music."
"I bet she also will be telling everyone (in whatever new social circle she ends up in) that she was unfairly humiliated into leaving, and she won't think she has any culpability." – HellKat1988
"As the parent of a special needs child, I would think that this person would know what it's like to be a pariah before doing the same to others..."
"Definitely, NTA." – i-am-always-awol
What was the OP expected to do?
Redditor "onomastics88" suggested that even if the accusation against the OP was true, it was not the other woman's business.
"What I didn't understand what is - what is OP supposed to do about it, even if every assumption that woman made was true?"
"Divorce her husband, break up her family, so her husband can look for an even younger wife? Despite the actual circumstances, I just wonder what butting into OP's life and prejudging the implications of a significant age difference was supposed to accomplish to make the world a better place for all the daughters, and when OP ignored this to the extent, the woman kept on about it and got others involved against OP."
"What was she supposed to do, feel bad and abandon her daughter and husband for being a bad example?"
"The assumptions were not true, but defending herself against this woman was necessary, but it's not like there's anything wrong with it, or that lady's business at all, if OP was a young gold-digger."
"OP is NTA for putting those people in their place, but not everyone under the scrutiny of these moms is able to overturn assumptions with evidence, i.e. they are actually younger than their husbands, and did marry them for financial security."
"What would that woman harassing her expect her to do in that case?"
"Too bad about the kid, but soccer is not the only sport." – onomastics88
In case anyone wondered, the OP found herself having to explain how she met her husband.
"We married so young because we both had very...harsh homes and were in love (still are!). At the time, marriage meant automatic emancipation and you had better economic chances pairing up."
"We do have more money than most parents of young children because my husband and I are naturally not very fertile. We were essentially dual income no kids for over 30 years."
"We took an 'if it happens, it happens' approach to kids and stopped preventing after we both had graduated college."