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AITA if I ask my girlfriend to get rid of her enormous snake?
We’re pleased to share a piece of fiction from the summer ‘23 quarterly edition. Pre-orders for the print version, which will contain several bonus pieces, are available until July 15.
By Hannah Rice Berman
I (25M) HAVE BEEN DATING my girlfriend (24F) for five years now. Four months ago, we moved in together. The day we moved in, “Sally”—I will call her Sally here, just so you can really get your toes into the narrative, but rest assured that all identifying information has been removed from this story—“Sally” revealed that she was very intent on adopting an animal.
“Sally,” I said (only I used her real name, of course); “Sally, why do we need an animal?”
“Well,” she responded, “I think it will be a great test for whether or not we should have a child together.” (“Sally” loves tests. Our brief *open* relationship was a test, too, to see how loyal I really would be if given the option to explore. I love that she likes to test me—it proves she thinks of me as an intellectual equal!)
I was not particularly enthused, but eventually, I gave in to “Sally.” What “Sally” wants, she wants deeply; when I want something, it’s more of a passing fancy. So, “Sally” got her way in this instance, as she did with most of the other logistics about us moving in, such as the neighborhood, the apartment, the decorations, ETC ETC.
“Sally” works in the office, while I am currently *in between* positions, so I was the only one home when the box containing “Sheldon” arrived. I assumed the box contained a new pair of slippers I had purchased to make my stomping less audible, so I opened the lid with haste, only to recoil immediately. Our new roommate was beady-eyed, thick as my shin, and LONG. I did the only thing that made sense—not because I was scared, but because there was no way to know whether the thing was venomous—I backed away and hid in the bathroom until “Sally” came home and found “Sheldon” slithering on the TV console.
“Baby, come out,” she called, “and say hi to our new pet!”
Cautiously, I emerged to find my beautiful GF standing in the middle of the living room with a snake hanging across her shoulders. I yelped a bit, just because the sight was so horrible. She laughed.
For the next few weeks, everything just got worse and worse. First, “Sally” refused to buy a tank for her serpent, and I was stuck dealing with it all day while she went to the office. Then one of the ladies that “Sally” had been seeing while we were still *open* started coming over, since “Sally” said that I was “unfit” to care for the snake. (I agreed; I detest feeding it and watching the bodies of those poor, defenseless frozen rodents travel down its gullet.)