Ever since her childhood, a woman had always spent Christmas morning on hikes with family, something deeply ingrained in the family tradition. This year was due to be no exception, but it would soon turn out that her son’s new girlfriend would present a social dilemma surrounding the hike.
A Physical Day
Both the woman and her husband’s family had always followed a similar Christmas morning tradition. Whilst it was often hiking, the point was simply to do something physical, whether it was a walk or an “easy 5 or 10-kilometer run in the city.”
Porter’s Relationship With Emily
Porter, the woman’s son, had been dating a woman named Emily for six months, and this Christmas, Emily was due to join their family for the annual hike. “I’m happy she’s going to join us”, the mother wrote. “They’re coming from the city about 3 hours away so they’ll be staying overnight. I’ve met Emily before and think she’s a great match for Porter.”
Christmas Planning on Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving arrived, and the woman and her family connected with Porter and Emily via video chat to make Christmas plans. She casually mentioned that Emily should bring her hiking boots, assuring her they had plenty of ice grips for icy trails.
“She was visibly confused and asked what for, so I explained”, the woman recounted. “She went quiet and asked if she had to join in. I said no, of course, she doesn’t have to, but we’ve always done this and I was surprised Porter didn’t mention it.”
The following day, Porter called and cleared things up for his mother, expressing Emily’s lack of physical fitness. He suggested opting for a shorter, more accommodating family walk in the neighborhood, as it would help Emily feel more at ease.
A Peaceful Compromise
The woman was hesitant to agree. Instead, she proposed that Porter and Emily could enjoy a peaceful morning together while the rest of the family went on the traditional hike.
However, Porter was not content with his mother’s decision. “He got annoyed and said I’m not hearing him”, the woman explained. “He said that he really thinks we need to cut the hike down or make different plans.”
Tradition is Important
The mother stayed steadfast in her stance: “I told him that this is a family tradition that goes back for years, and changing it for one person isn’t fair to the rest of the family.”
Family Tradition or Compromise?
The woman remained firm in her stance and felt determined not to change the family tradition for the sake of one person’s unfitness. However, she could see that her decision had made Emily feel uncomfortable and unwelcome, and her son’s reaction was not pretty either. She wondered whether she should have been more compromising.
Asking the Internet
In an attempt to gain a second perspective, the woman headed online to share her conundrum, opening up the comments sections for anyone to chime in. The woman was relieved to see unanimous support for her decision. “Porter is being ridiculous for thinking everyone should change plans for his new girlfriend”, stated one reader.
Fellow Hikers Agreed
Some fellow hikers who shared this Christmas tradition with the mother chimed in with their opinions. “My family hikes on holidays as well, and I’d be really surprised and maybe a little defensive if one of my sisters tried to change things for a new boo”, one wrote. “However, I’m guessing Porter is just trying to reduce anxiety for Emily. It’s sweet, just misguided.”
His Girlfriend, Not hers
One commenter provided their opinion through a comparison to their own mother’s attitudes: “My mom would just explain: ‘She’s your GF honey – not mine. You manage and support her needs and let me please enjoy the holiday as I’ve done in the past. I don’t have a girlfriend to impress, OK?’”
Active Christmas Shock
In typical internet fashion, one commenter couldn’t resist but have a laugh about the whole situation. “An “easy 10k run” on Christmas morning?!”, they asked with shock. “Those words aren’t in my vocabulary… you and I live very different lives.”
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