It would be completely and utterly normal if your husband wanted you to call him a pilot because he was a professional pilot. But what about if your regular, old, non-flying husband just wanted you to call him a pilot? And not just in bed as part of some sort of sexy plane-related role play, but in front of your friends, relatives, and colleagues?
Deep breaths. Strap in for this one.
This week, a man wrote perhaps the strangest entry in the history of Reddit’s infamous Am I The A—hole? forum. His question is simple, yet so complicated. Should he be upset that his wife doesn’t want to introduce him as a pilot, even though he’s never actually flown a plane before in his whole life?
Here’s the deal, he explains. He and his wife have been together for five years and almost never argue, but this is making him consider divorce.
“Since my wife and I have been together, I have worked as a manager for a restaurant chain,” he writes. “I am an extremely passionate aviation enthusiast in my free time. I have spent thousands of dollars on flight textbooks, sim gear, and even built my own a330 setup. I have never actually flown a plane or started flight training, but I have considered it for a long time. Even though my skills are not a career, I still consider myself as adept or possibly more knowledgeable than the average pilot.”
More. Knowledgable. Than. The. Average. Pilot.
“My wife and I were invited to one of her male coworkers house for a barbecue,” he continues. “My wife is a senior software tech for a Covid startup… We make our way down the line to the host of the party, a new male hire that she has grown platonically close with. We exchange casual conversation and Greg (host) asked what I do for a living. My wife chimes in with ‘He manages a [insert fast food chain], it certainly comes with some benefits (I’m assuming she’s referring to free food)’, in a voice that implied nothing was wrong with what she said.”
Obviously, he felt this was his time to speak up about his imaginary career.
“I very quickly corrected her and told him that I am a pilot,” he writes. “My wife already knows how insecure I am about my job and how I’d much rather be introduced by my hobby. I’ve earned the title of pilot through my 500+ hours on and sim and thousands of dollars put into my craft. I think it is incredibly disrespectful for her not to acknowledge my skills and training. Just because I don’t have the title of pilot on an overpriced piece of paper doesn’t mean I’m not a pilot.”
Are you feeling awkward yet?
“I laughed it off with Greg, told him under my breath that my wife was often forgetful (which I’m sure he’s realized just from working with her),” he concludes. “He seemed to brush it off casually. At this point, I’m fuming, but I don’t go much farther than exchanging some nasty glances at my wife for the rest of the night. As we pack into the car to leave, the argument starts. She feels as if I don’t deserve my title as a Pilot because I’m not professional. I told her she is completely insensitive to the work i’ve done and she will never understand what it’s like to study so much. She’s currently on the couch as I type this. Am I really the asshole for asking to be respected?”
While the original post has been deleted, people are still sounding off loud and clear in the comments on other Reddit threads and social media platforms. And some of the responses are hilarious.
“The dude sounds like he should seek therapy to get some tools to help handle his insecurities with his work and relationship,” one person recommended on Twitter. “If he could sort those feelings out, maybe he could pursue flight school. And y’know, become a pilot.”
“I mean I personally am US Special Forces soldier so I should know,” quipped one commenter in a Reddit subforum. “I mean I never actually joined the military but I HAVE played over 1000 hours of Call of Duty so I clearly know what I’m talking about.”
“As a lawyer (but without the fancy paper, I’ve watched a lot of Law and Order) I think you have a case here,” another responded.
Some people were definitely wondering if the post could just be faked — but there’s no way to tell, really, unless you’re a mindreader. And I am one! I mean, I’m not exactly mindreader, but I’ve read 1,000 hours of books about reading minds. So, basically the same thing.