As "Apology Dinner" started to trend on Twitter on Thursday, we couldn't help but wonder: What on earth is an Apology Dinner?
The answer, dear reader, lies on Reddit on the "Am I the A—hole?" (aka "AITA") subreddit. One of the social media site's more popular pages, the AITA page often is shared in many corners of the internet, and the Apology Dinner was no exception.
The concept of the page, of course, is to ask other Redditors if you are the a—hole in a situation.
The Apology Dinner drama started on Wednesday, when user Medium_Cook7987 shared their story (which has since been removed).
"So my mom decided to host an Apology Dinner for my older sister," they wrote. "As my mom was busy writing her apology and whatnot, she asked if I would take care of the food and beverages. I said sure, thinking it was just for my family of 4... But when my Aunt and Cousins heard, they also wanted to attend so I decided to make it a potluck."
Medium_Cook7987 never asked their sister to bring any food as she was the "guest of honor."
"Well, everyone came over and we are all excited to hear the apology and eat," they continued. "My sister was among the last to arrive and she was offended that we were serving pot luck for her special dinner."
The original poster said they'd carefully planned what would be served to accommodate their sister and her boyfriend's dietary restrictions.
"But my sister yelled at me that the Apology Meal should be prepared (or at least paid for) by the apologizer (my mom) in order to show proper atonement. "
The post concluded that the family "went forward with the Apology Dinner, but my sister called me the A—hole for undermining the apology."
There's a lot to take in, but before we dive too deep into the details, we should mention that the moderators on the page appeared to have removed the post on Thursday night, citing one of their community rules:
"This post violates Rule 8: Posts should be truthful and reflect recent conflicts you've had that need arbitration. That means no s—posts, parodies, or satires," the moderators posted. The concept of an Apology Dinner" was mentioned in another post on the subreddit earlier in the day, but that story was about a woman estranged from her mother-in-law. In that case, the mother-in-law had accused the woman of being a bad mother after her 1-and-a-half year old died tragically from congenital heart disease.
So, take that for what you will. Before Medium_Cook7987's post in question was removed, they did respond to TODAY Food's request for comment. We asked if they'd like to talk and they sent us this back:
"Sure. it's a dinner initiated by one party for the purpose of apologizing to another party (usually a family member or close friend). It's reserved for major disputes, in which the parties have stopped talking. The other attendees help to mediate; offer support and perspective; and celebrate the resolution."
In the responses on Reddit, many people wondered why Medium_Cook7987 had defined what a potluck is in their question, but not the more foreign concept of an Apology Dinner.
The original poster responded to a few, clarifying the tradition and writing in one comment that they are originally from "Northern Dobruja, but we live in the States." (Northern Dobruja is located on the banks of the Black Sea in southeastern Romania.)
Others questioned if it was a specific cultural tradition to that region and the original poster had this to say:
"I think it would be practiced, but not so formally... Like if you had 2 good friends who were in an argument. One of them might invite the other one to coffee to apologize (or 'hash things out'). The initiator should pay. Maybe you would go to help mediate.
"Because the thing is that when most people apologize, they don't really mean it that much. So it's a good to have a friend or family member there to make sure the apology is sincere, and the apologizer 'gets it.' Otherwise, they would say something like, 'Sorry you took it the wrong way.'"
Apart from this attempt at cultural understanding, many — if not most — of the responses to the question have been jokes, memes or disbelief about the entire situation.
"And if you screw up at the apology dinner, do you have to throw an apology apology dinner?" Redditor Spotzie27 questioned in the replies.
"No no, after that its an apology brunch," Rage-Parrot quipped.
"I am not showing up until the apology cocktail hour," Aerynea joked.
And after the story started making the rounds on Twitter, there were even more replies.
"I like the way OP explained what a potluck was but acted as if an apology dinner was a universal thing," tweeted @TimeIsNotGiven.
"I have never heard of an apology dinner but this sounds like something I would love to attend at least once in my life," @such_hockey_wow wrote. "I love drama, I would be a great referee, and I’ll have the apologizer pay me for whatever dish I bring. Please invite me to an apology dinner."
"I...I want an apology dinner," @briskide tweeted. "Also: Breakdown Brunch, Bad Day Breakfast, Low Feeling Lunch, Sad Second Lunch, Liar Linner, Depression Dinner, Give Up Midnight."
The vote on the subreddit was inconclusive before the post was deleted, so Medium_Cook7987 will have to live without knowing if they are, in fact, the a—hole.