Is an invitation to a party an obligation to stay for the entire affair? If someone hires a non-refundable performer does that change things?
Reddit user saratia got into some drama with her friends by leaving a “bust” of a birthday party before the “entertainment” showed up. Some are telling her it was a stab in the back, but she thought it was justified.
So who is right?
She asked the AITA (“Am I The A**hole?”) subReddit
“AITA for leaving a birthday party before the non-refundable ‘present’ showed up?”
Before we get into details, lets go over how the subReddit works. People share their situations as posts. Other users respond to the original poster (OP) by commenting to cast their vote and explain why they feel that way.
Voting is done using some simple abbreviations:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
So now let’s move on to this birthday bust / backstabbing.
“In February one of my(20F) friends, “Elle”, celebrated her 20th birthday with a party. She invited somewhere between 20 to 25 people and she even rented a small room at our local youth centre as her venue.”
“To keep things as short as possible: Elle’s party wasn’t great. The people didn’t mix well, so we all just kind of sat around in small groups talking to each other.”
“Because the room was so small there wasn’t any room to stand or dance around, so you were only able to sit at one of the small tables with 5 other people. People were barely drinking and eating, and we mostly just talked.”
“Elle was pretty sad about her birthday party being a bust.”
“At 11pm people started leaving and by midnight only six people (me, Elle, three of our closest friends and one of Elle’s childhood friends) were left. Shortly after midnight me and my three friends were getting ready to leave when Elle’s childhood friend pulled us aside.”
“The childhood friend told us that we absolutely can’t leave yet because she booked a male stripper as a surprise for Elle- for 1.30am.”
“We all told the childhood friend that we’re sorry but 1.30am is way too late. We were all very tired and even Elle seemed to just want to clean up and get home. “
“The childhood friend got really pissed and told us the stripper is non-refundable and that it would be weird if only she and Elle would be left when the stripper shows up.”
“We told her that she should’ve booked the stripper for around 10 or 11pm because she can’t count on people staying until 1.30am, then we said our goodbyes to Elle. As far as I know the childhood friend ended up cancelling the stripper.”
“Now, a few days ago I was hanging out with Elle when her childhood friend stopped by. At some point Elle left the room to go to the bathroom and the childhood friend suddenly turned really bitchy, telling me she ‘still hasn’t forgotten that we stabbed her and Elle in the back at her birthday party’ and that we ‘weren’t being good friends to Elle.’ “
“So now I’m confused. Were we being bad friends? AITA for leaving the party before the stripper showed up?”
So let’s just say Reddit wasn’t exactly feeling sympathetic to the party-planner’s plight.
“NTA, she should have included other people in this plan earlier on, it’s unreasonable to make you guys stick around for another hour and a half. Did Elle even want the stripper?”
“Also, it’s a little crazy that she’s this pissed about this nine months later when SO MUCH ELSE HAS HAPPENED THIS YEAR. Like get some perspective girl….” – Nimatoad62
“Guests should definitely have been consulted on time, and also on having a stripper there in the first place!”
“I don’t mean to sound like a prude but for some people that would be crossing either personal or relationship boundaries, and then you’re suddenly the killjoy who has to get up and leave because a stripper has arrived, or sit through a really uncomfortable scenario” – its_all_relativity
“NTA and her friend knows she’s the a**hole, otherwise she wouldn’t have waited till Elle was out of the room to confront you. Have you talked to Elle about this?”
“I don’t think she even knows about the stripper. No one should be subject to a surprise sex worker; not Elle, not the guests.” – soft-warm-purry
“Nta My guess is that Elle probably doesn’t even know what happened. Why bring it up the minute she leaves to use the bathroom?”
“My guess is the friend is just mad that her gift was ruined and had no gift to give Elle and made her look like a bad friend. So she’s taking it out on you and your friends for leaving.”
“You’re NTA. Who plans for a stripper that late?” – code_name_ducky
“I tend to leave parties early because it usually takes me ages to get home. If someone asked me to stay for an exotic dance, I would have FLOWN out the door.”
“Exotic dances are not everybody’s cup of tea. Nor is staying up til 3 AM.”
“NTA. That friend was TA.” – HavePlushieWillTalk
“NTA. Did anyone else catch that the party was at a youth center? That makes a 1:30 am stripper even more odd.” – la_mujer_roja47
“So lemme get this straight. Because you guys were the last people to leave, but also didn’t want to wait around for 2 more hours… you are somehow the A-H’s??”
“Like, had you meandered off earlier with everybody else then what? Who would have been A-H then?”
“She’s mad at herself for poor planning. Clearly NTA” – MyBoldestStroke
“Only a-hole here was the childhood friend who booked a stripper without clearing it with everybody – especially with Elle – first. If she’s out that money, it’s on her.”
“And honestly, anyone else think there’s something not right about getting something sexual for somebody without them agreeing to it first? It’s kind of iffy consent-wise.”
“Yeah, yeah, the friend wanted it to be a “surprise” but “surprise” doesn’t trump all other concerns.” – Rivka333
“NTA– I suspect said friend didn’t actually order a stripper, wanted to leave herself but couldn’t, so came up with a bizarro lie to try and get you to stay.”
” ‘Cuz who orders a stripper to come at 130am? That’s something you do BEFORE you go to a bar not afterwards. You also don’t hire a stripper without consulting people.”
“And depending on the type of youth centre, they may not even allow strippers to go there for legal reasons. I know you rented it, but places still have restrictions on what can happen. They may not want photos of a stripper taken at their facility, which provides support to at risk teenagers, and then posted online.”
“Honestly – I think the friend lied to try and get you to stay and is trying now to make herself a martyr” – yellowchaitea
“NTA. She is being petty and bitter because she did a bad job and wants to blame someone else. Avoid her, honestly. She sounds terrible.”
“Also, side note, we’ve all had crummy birthdays. 21 is the obviously the party birthday and she will have a much better time then.” – Turboeden
“NTA. The fact that she waited for Elle to leave to say anything proves:”
“1) Elle doesn’t feel stabbed in the back.”
“2) Elle doesn’t feel you aren’t a good friend, and”
“3) her childhood friend knows full well that she’s in the wrong and that Elle would call her out for it if she witnessed it.” – PrettiestFrog
So … what have we learned today? A few things, actually.
Don’t plan parties to go on late, especially if the vibe is awkward. Strippers and exotic dancers are the sort of thing you should make sure people are OK with instead of trying to spring them on unsuspecting people.
Oh, and maybe avoid strippers at a youth center.