A 23-year-old Toronto student living at home just got schooled about failing to give his mother the respect she deserves.
After the two got into an argument that both sides agreed stemmed from a misunderstanding, the mother drew up a $39,254 bill, charging him for just a fraction of the ways she has supported her son since he moved back home 13 months ago.
Among the more notable expenses on the bill: a $1,000 fee for “being an a**hole and not appreciative of your mother’s support financially or otherwise.”
The stunt worked. The son owned up to his poor behavior and apologized.
And then he immediately shared his mom’s note on Reddit.
“I just looked at it and thought, ‘This is golden Reddit material,’” the young man, who goes by “Chalipo” on the platform, said in a phone interview with TODAY.com. “I thought it was one of those things that everyone would appreciate and get a good laugh out of it. I expected a couple of witty comments but I didn’t know that it would make international headlines.”
The post went viral, with most people finding the note humorous and sympathizing with Chalipo’s mom.
“It was a joke," she said. "It was intended to be tongue-in-cheek, although obviously I was a little annoyed by him, as you can see with that thousand dollar itemized ‘unappreciative’ comment. But he was never expected to pay it. It was really just to prove a point and to make him wake up.”
But some Reddit users criticized the way she went about making her point, or mistook her for being serious. That’s why neither she nor her son wanted their real names used.
The argument that ultimately led to the invoice began over an application Chalipo’s mom was trying to fill out over the phone for a plan to help cover medication costs for Chalipo's brother. Because the plan only provides coverage for an entire household, Chalipo’s mother needed information from her older son, who refused to provide it. Both he and his mother admit he didn’t understand the circumstances at the time.
“To me, I thought I was arguing about giving her my personal information to a stranger over the phone, when I knew there were scams going on out there,” Chalipo said. “I didn’t have all the facts.”
And yes, both agreed that Chalipo acted, indeed, like a … jerk.
“I can see why she thought I was being selfish, but my motives weren’t bad,” he said.
In addition to being charged for being unappreciative, Chalipo’s mom also billed her son $1,037 for his portion of the electricity bill, $23,550 for five years of tuition and $5,726 for health care premiums. She clarified that the $600 she charged him for “wedding, xmas gifts, valentines” was not for anything she bought him but, instead, money she gave so that he could buy presents for others, including a Valentine’s Day gift for his girlfriend.
"She was being generous so I could be generous," Chalipo agreed.
Chalipo has lived with his mom for most of his life but moved in with his father about three years ago. He moved back in with his mother 13 months ago and currently works part time and is a full-time student. He plans to graduate soon with a radio broadcast degree and is saving up to move into his own place with his girlfriend.
“He’s a good kid. He means well,” his mother said.
Chalipo said he eventually plans to repay his mom, hopefully in more ways than one.
“My mom will get old one day and I’ll take care of her and spend years and years repaying her, even changing her diapers,” he said.
His mother wasn't sure how to respond to the gesture.
“That’s a really morbid thought," she said, "but thanks."
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