This Redditor was in a compromising position on his six-hour flight from New York to Los Angeles. He needed to eat because he’s diabetic, but he’s sat next to a child with an eating disorder!
A Necessary Work Trip
OP (Original Poster) was on a six-hour flight from New York to Los Angeles for a business trip. Initially, everything was as he expected it to be, and nothing was out of place.
Seatmates for Six Hours
On the plane, he was seated next to a family with their young son. He didn’t pay much attention to them, and they were all just peacefully sitting beside each other.
I’m a Diabetic!
However, everything changed when he brought out a snack he had packed. He shared that he has diabetes, so he brought a snack for himself.
It was a long trip, and he needed to make sure he could maintain his blood sugar levels.
You Can’t Open That!
As he opened the snack, the mom sitting beside him started glaring at him, shooting him dirty looks. She then asked him to put the food away.
She said, “Can you not do that?”
Well, That’s Weird
OP found it a bit weird but did what the mom asked. He put his food away and figured he could wait for the flight attendant to come around so he could buy food from her.
Let Me Be Respectful
He believed that when that happened, it would be an “acceptable time” to eat. OP also felt that he would be “showing respect” for their wishes by doing this.
We’re All Good!
The time finally came for the flight attendants to do their rounds, bringing and offering food. However, when a flight attendant reached their area to ask if anyone wanted food or refreshments, the father in their row spoke up immediately.
He answered for everyone, informing the flight attendant that nobody in the row wanted anything.
In Need of Some Food and Beverages
OP was surprised but just got up to press the call light. He wanted his food and drink because he “actually needed it.”
Stopping His Tracks
However, as he did so, the dad spoke to him and said, “Our son has Prader-Willi. We’d prefer it if you didn’t eat because it causes tantrums when he doesn’t know he can’t eat, and he’s always hungry.”
Prader-Willi is a rare genetic disorder. According to the Mayo Clinic, “People with Prader-Willi syndrome want to eat constantly because they never feel full, and they usually have trouble controlling their weight. Many complications of Prader-Willi syndrome are due to obesity.”
It’s Not Gonna Stop Me!
But OP wasn’t eating simply because he wanted to spite the family. Instead, he was also suffering, and he needed to eat.
OP fired back, saying, “I’m close to a tantrum myself at this point.” He added, “I look him in the eye and say, ‘I do not care, fly private if you want to control your surroundings!”
OP finally got hold of his food and drinks. However, the issue wasn’t over.
As he ate, the mom criticized him, saying he needed to “educate” himself.
My Priority Is Myself
However, for OP, nothing was going to stop him from eating.
He felt for the kid and his family, but he refused to “endanger” himself for the sake of her son.
The Community’s Reactions
Some understood how hard it was for the boy’s family. Though they didn’t have a right to stop OP from eating, their request was understandable.
One Redditor said, “A kid with Prader-Willi Syndrome has a real organic, very hard-to-control drive to eat food; it’s a seriously difficult disease to deal with.”
Another person commented, “I feel for the family because I’m sure it’s a very difficult condition to manage and causes a great deal of stress.”
It’s Your Right
Even if the request was understandable, for other Redditors, it was not valid enough for them to control others, especially since OP was suffering himself.
“Even if you didn’t have diabetes, people don’t get to come into public space and dictate anyone else’s acceptable behavior,” commented one Redditor.
Another person wrote, “They had no right to refuse your food and yell at you for eating; this is a public conveyance, and they do not own the plane.”
It’s Out of the Question
Some people also compared the consequences between Prader-Willi and diabetes.
One said, “Diabetic shock can kill; Prader-Willi isn’t going to kill someone via a tantrum. Next question.”
An Entitled Request
Others zoomed in on the parents’ entitlement. For them, if they wanted to control everyone, then they should have gone on a private flight, bought out the entire row, or just drove!
A woman said, “If the family was worried about their son throwing a tantrum, then they should have booked the entire row of seats at the back of the plane. They have absolutely no right to speak to another passenger that way. Talk about entitlement!”
Then, another user said, “If the family did not want anybody to eat in their row, they should have bought the row of seats. That was a long flight, and the gentleman had every right to eat, especially since he was diabetic. Sorry their son suffers from this, but you cannot ask or tell people they cannot eat when it is a public environment.”
What do you think about OP’s situation? Do you think there’s another solution?
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This post first appeared as A Mom Forced Him Not to Eat Beside Her Son With an Eating Disorder During a 6-Hour Flight. He’s a Diabetic Who Refused to “Endanger” Himself, so He Ate Anyway. Was He Selfish? on Quote Ambition.