The internet may be full of actively ignorant know-it-alls who claim authority over topics they know nothing about, but perhaps none more unfortunate than the Reddit man who blew up his whole engagement over a wedding dress on Wish.
The self-fulfilling tragicomedy of Reddit user u/josh8449, henceforth known as "Josh," began like many an assh*le's journey to almost-self-awareness––with a post on r/AmITheAssh*le.
r/AmItheAssh*le / WIRED
For those out of the loop, "Am I the assh*le?" is a subreddit where posters present a situation wherein they might have been an assh*le, and the community judges whether or not they actually were. The most important rule for posters who pose questions is that, while they can answer queries for clarifying information, they must accept their judgment without argument. Of course, for many an assh*le, that's easier said than done.
Enter Josh, a 38-year-old man who wanted to know if he was the assh*le for telling his 27-year-old fiance, Emma, that "her wedding dress choice is way too extravagant and suggesting alternatives?"
Across a long wall of rambling, error-ridden text, Josh laid out his side of the story. The details went as follows:
-Josh and Emma were set to get married in July. The venue was booked.
-Both Josh and Emma had put aside $10,000 each from their own money to pay for the wedding.
-Emma found a dress she loved that cost $950 plus a $120 veil, for a total wedding outfit cost of $1070.
-Josh thought $1070 for a wedding dress was "insane" and, therefore, told Emma no.
-Josh did his own "quick google around at dresses online" and discovered "so many [dresses] just like the one emma wants for like $50 to $100" on a "reccomended [sic] app called Wish."
-Emma did not want to wear a $50 dress from Wish for her wedding. She clarified that she would be paying for the dress with her own money. Josh continued to insist that her money was also his money because "we ate [sic] about to marry and our finances will be joined." At this point, Emma's parents offered to pay for the dress, but Josh really wanted a hill to die on.
-"She is very slender but apparantly [sic] wants it specially fitted?"
-Emma finally decided that if Josh was going to try to assert this ridiculous level of control over her wedding dress choice that she was paying for with her own money, then she needed to consider whether they were actually a good match for marriage. Josh responded by yelling at her: "I told her she's like a toddler throwing a tantrum over a sparkly toy she can't have." This led Emma to go stay at her parents' house.
Josh posted all of this online, wondering whether or not he was the assh*le...And, yes, Josh was deemed the assh*le––an overwhelming, whopping, unanimous conclusion.
Commenters flooded the thread, tearing Josh's dumb ideas apart piece-by-piece. Many of the responses primarily focused on Josh's fundamental ignorance about wedding fashion. Users ranging from former brides to actual wedding professionals attempted to inform Josh that the average wedding dress costs around $1,600––meaning that Emma's dress choice was actually a very reasonable price––but more importantly, that Wish is in no way a valid option for an actual wedding dress.
Wish, much like AliExpress, is a major Chinese e-commerce company that specializes in ridiculously cheap, low-quality, almost exclusively bootleg products that are oftentimes advertised using quality pictures of the authentic products they're imitating. Wish wedding dresses have actually taken on a memetic status amongst fashion and wedding-oriented communities due to their extreme variance from the displayed images, with YouTubers jumping on the bandwagon. "It is really funny when expectations are so far from reality," said fashion YouTuber Tina Yong to Insider.
Thousands of people relayed this information to Josh with overwhelming unity, hardly a dissenter amongst them. But Josh, hard-headed fool that he was, could not handle the possibility that he might actually be *gasp* wrong. And so he broke the cardinal rule of "Am I the Assh*le?" and argued with the consensus. For whatever inane reason, no matter how much anyone tried to help him to understand, Josh simply would not accept that Wish was not a quality option for wedding dresses.
While Josh proceeded to rack up thousands of downvotes with his rebuttals, commenters started to press on the bigger issues. For instance, should Emma really stay in a relationship with a man who is 11 years older than she is and continually insists that he was right to control her, yell at her, and call her names? Was this a one-off due to the stress of wedding planning, or was Emma trapped in an abusive relationship? As the commenters sounded off, Josh grew increasingly unhinged. [Sic] in advance: "It's not even a big age gap! i am not preying on her, you can't say or see if someone is abusive or controlling over a freaking dress ."
Then Emma found the thread. We know this because Josh, as he continued to argue with commenters, essentially live-posted himself getting drunk, fighting with Emma's parents over the phone, and eventually blaming other people in the thread (and also "sjw") for ruining his relationship. It was around this time that Josh finally got banned.
But hell hath no fury like a dude with no power of introspection, and so Josh decided to start sending angry private messages to posters whom he believed were responsible for his deteriorating relationship. Again, [sic] in advance: "f*ck this f*ck . it . all and f*ck emma for believing strangers on the internet over her fiancee of 2 f*cking years."
Except the story doesn't end there. In a later, since removed post on r/relationships, a user named u/throwawaywedding22 suggested she was Emma from Josh's post and provided further context for the situation. Amongst the new details, Emma revealed that Josh lied about their ages. She is only 23. He is 43. There is a 20 year age gap. Moreover, Emma is the primary breadwinner. Josh makes just above minimum wage and did not, in fact, contribute $10,000 of his own money to the wedding. Rather, Josh threw in $5,000 and Emma covered the rest.
Emma clarified that the wedding hasn't been called off just yet, but one has to hope that Josh's post was a major wake-up call. When asked for a comment via Reddit, Emma replied, "Listen to your parents, listen when people tell you the age gap is too big and stay calm, im humiliated and still trying to navigate all of this without breaking down." If any good comes out of the whole situation, it is most certainly the fact that Emma gets a chance to dodge a bullet before she's legally tied to one.
And for any folks out there who may be empathizing with Josh, let this be a lesson: When you don't know what you're talking about and someone with more information corrects you, maybe, just maybe, try to listen. Just remember: It's not about a dress, buddy. It's about you.
*u/josh8849 has been contacted for comment, but has not responded as of the time of publication.