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Woman Perplexed When Friend Gifts Her Expensive Earrings Even Though She Doesn’t Have Pierced Ears

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Getting a gift is usually a fun experience, but when the giver is a bit neurotic about the whole thing it can get real awkward, real fast.

That’s the situation a woman on Reddit found herself in when her friend got a little too invested in giving her a birthday gift.

The Original Poster, who goes by BitingIsFun on the site, wasn’t sure about how she’d handled the situation, so she went to the AITA (Am I The A**hole) subReddit for perspective.

OP asked:

“AITA for not wanting to wear jewelry I received as a gift?”

She explained:

“It was my birthday last month, and since COVID restrictions are still strict where I live, I had to celebrate alone. Luckily my friends and family didn’t forget about me and sent me food and presents through the mail.”

“I have a friend named N who sent me a pair of expensive earrings as a gift. It’s a big deal on her part because she’s had a rough time since the beginning of the pandemic (losing her job, getting sick, etc.) and I know her budget is tight. But she saved up and got me the earrings.”

“The problem is I don’t wear jewelry at all. I don’t even have pierced ears. I briefly had spiderbite piercings on my lips as a teen but even then I didn’t wear them for a long time.”

“Recently, during a group chat, she asked me how I liked her gift and asked for photos of me wearing them. I responded that they were very nice, but since I didn’t have pierced ears I couldn’t wear them.”

“She started to frequently ask me ‘so did you get your ears pierced yet?’ and when I answered no, she got annoyed with me. I finally got irritated and told her firmly that while I appreciated the gift, I did not plan on piercing my ears anytime soon.”

“She is now mad at me, and our other friends have told me to just do it since it’s a very minor issue and because N spent quite a lot of money on the present. However, I don’t appreciate being forced to get piercings just so I can appease someone and I told them so.”

“So AITA?”

Redditors were then asked to judge who was in the wrong in this conflict based on the following categories:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
  • NAH – No A**holes Here

They were pretty unanimously on OP’s side on this one.

“NTA and some would say your friend is either dumb or inconsiderate in regards to not knowing your ears aren’t pierced. And I’m sorry but what ‘friend’ spends that amount of money on another friend if they’re struggling?”

“Real friends would understand that gifts aren’t that important once you’re no longer a teenager. Give her back the earrings” —sarahwalka

“‘I got you an expensive present! You just need to be stabbed multiple times in order to use my gift. YOU’RE WELCOME! Wait, why haven’t you had the stabbings yet? YOU’RE A BAD FRIEND!'”

“This is how a crazy person talks. NTA, and I agree that you should give the earrings back.”Kathrynlena

“Bodily autonomy. You have it. Invoke it.”

“Maybe you can send them back to her so she can enjoy them, but you’re def NTA.”TheWanderingAge

“Agree. Give her the earrings back, she can wear them and appreciate them. Bonus points for taking the high road and including a note thanking her for the kind gift and returning them so they do not burden your friendship further. NTA, obv.”Sufficient_Ad_6051

“Op’s friends are recommending to just get her ears pierced, as if they’re telling her to just try that piece of bread! The lengths people would go to for entitled people. Next thing you know, that friend will get op nipple piercings and demand to get proof of use.”banerises19

“Yes. Send the earrings back to her. She can sell them to recoup some of her money and will hopefully learn from this. Of course you’re probably going to lose the friendship over this, but it sounds like that might not be a bad thing.”Ok_Cry_1741

“If you don’t want your ears pierced, don’t even entertain the idea. I’d second return them to her. Maybe she can return them to the store to get her money back, and if not she can wear them herself or give them to someone else.”BeStrong2

“Nta. Maybe an expensive gift but not a thoughtful one as your ears aren’t pierced! She is totally unreasonable to expect you to peirce your ears! I would post the earrings to her with a thank you note stating while you appreciate the gift you will not be able to use them. Just so the earrings aren’t wasted since she spent a lot of money.”ericadale

After reading her fellow Redditors’ responses, OP came back to add some updates.

“EDIT: Thank you for the feedback! I appreciate all the suggestions, especially the ones about the earring converters.”

“I’ve seen some people comment about her not knowing about my unpierced ears and how it’s weird that she doesn’t know. It IS weird, seeing as she has definitely seen my ears multiple times and it’s come up in conversation several times that I don’t wear earrings/jewelry.”

“I’ve also of course considered returning the present to her but she refused when I brought it up. She’s the kind of person who makes sure that her presents are well-received/used and will pester you for proof that you are indeed using her gifts and gets offended when you don’t use them.”

“This isn’t the first time this has happened. One time she gifted me the SAME sweater a friend already gave me and was asking me if I liked hers better. When I suggested returning it or exchanging it for something different she said she would burn it if I gave it back. She always has to have the best present or she will sulk for days.”

“This girl is generally a great friend, just neurotic when it comes to presents and honestly it’s been increasingly difficult to be with her around occasions where gift giving is involved.”

Hopefully OP’s friend can learn to lighten up about gifts in the future.

Written by Peter Karleby

Peter Karleby is a writer, content producer and performer originally from Michigan. His writing has also appeared on YourTango, Delish and Medium, and he has produced content for NBC, The New York Times and The CW, among others. When not working, he can be found tripping over his own feet on a hiking trail while singing Madonna songs to ward off lurking bears.