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Woman Irate After Friends Stand Her Up For Birthday Dinner Only To Surprise Her At Mom’s House

woman waiting in restaurant
Image Source RF/Zero Creatives/Getty Images

Some families go all out for birthdays, while others don’t celebrate at all. When a child sees everyone around them having parties and presents, it’s hard not to be envious.

Once they become an adult, they can start creating their own celebrations. But what if no one shows up?

A woman turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for feedback after being stood up on her birthday.

Sadburthdt_8471 asked:

“AITA for not being grateful for my birthday surprise?”

The original poster (OP) explained:

“I have been crying for hours yesterday and today, receiving texts on how I am ungrateful. This sh*t just doesn’t make sense to me. I am trying to see the good intentions, but call me blind because I don’t see any.”

“I have never had a birthday party or dinner, and it is something that I have always wanted, but I don’t know why I always thought it was unattainable in my adult life.”

“I was talking to my friend and telling her how my family never celebrates birthdays because my dad is really religious and how I always feel lonely on my birthday. She asked me why I didn’t celebrate my birthday now that I was an adult, and I thought, Yeah, why don’t I celebrate myself now that I am grown?”

“I planned myself a birthday dinner at a fancy restaurant and told everyone that as long as they kept their order under $35, I would pay for it. So I made sure to work overtime for 3 months in advance because I heard there is always a fight about the bill, so I didn’t want that to be a reason for conflict on my birthday.”

“I invited 12 people that said they would come (family and friends, which include my mom now that my dad is dead; she is no longer super religious for some reason).”

“Yesterday I had my nails, makeup, and hair done professionally. I just wanted to look really nice, and I have actually only been to formal events like three times in my life, so I was happy to be able to dress up nicely for once.”

“I got to my dinner, sat at my table, and waited 2 hours, and I kept getting calls from people, telling me they were running late to not being able to come anymore. And after 2 hours, everyone finally told me they were not coming.”

“They didn’t tell me before the dinner; they were all telling me at the time of reservation or later. The waiter felt so bad because I was crying while I was on the phone with someone I considered to be my friend, telling me she wasn’t coming for me and that even though I didn’t order a meal, he gave me a free birthday slice.”

“I didn’t even get any pictures in my outfit because I thought someone would help take them for me at the restaurant, and by the time I left the restaurant, my makeup was ruined.”

“My mom called me on my way home and asked me to stop at her house because she had a present for me. She says she is sorry she didn’t come, but she was feeling extremely unwell, and she wanted me to have a present at least.”

“I go to her house, and I open the door to a surprise, and people see that my face was messed up because I had been crying, so someone says, ‘Aww, she thought we forgot her’ and I look at the 12 people that were invited to my dinner and am just disappointed that they traded what I wanted for my birthday for this.”

“They left me stranded and humiliated at a restaurant for hours. I left the surprise party after 5 minutes and just told my mom to keep her present to herself.”

“I am sorry, but AITA for not seeing a good intention here? Am I overreacting?”

“I just don’t understand how they thought this was going to be a good idea.”

The OP summed up their situation.

“I left a birthday party that was meant to be for me and it might make me the a**hole becuase I was ungrateful.”

Redditors weighed in by declaring:

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

Redditors decided the OP was not the a**hole (NTA).

“NTA. You planned what you wanted for your birthday. Your friends and family completely disregarded that, lied to you, and left you feeling ignored and unwanted on your birthday. They may have had the best of intentions, but that paves the road to hell.”

“In the end, it is not intentions that matter, but results. Had they done this any other day, things would have worked out well. Instead, they left you alone and feeling unwanted. In no way, shape, or form are you to blame here.” ~ Faustus_Fan

“IF they had wanted to truly give you a nice surprise, your mom could have asked you to come by her house to pick up something BEFORE the dinner at the restaurant. Then, they could have surprised you there, then everyone headed over to the restaurant together.”

“THAT would have been a nice way to surprise you. They are all a**holes. You clearly are NTA and they are thoughtless and selfish.”

“Why don’t you invite one of them to come on here and share WTAF they were thinking, so we can ream them out again?” ~ National_Pension_110

“Yeah, I completely fail to understand why they thought it was a good idea to leave OP stranded at the restaurant. OP had already told everyone dinner was on her.”

“Just mind boggling stupidity and insensitivity. OP, so sorry your first birthday party got so jacked up. NTA.” ~ AgitatedJacket9627

“Yeah, not one person in this group thought about her sitting alone in the restaurant? And how they would feel if it were them?”

“I could even see Mom saying she wasn’t feeling well since the party would be at her house. Everyone else goes to dinner and says their goodbyes at the end of the meal. Mom asks you to stop by for your gift and surprise. Everyone is there again.”

“OP, I’m so sorry this happened to you. Please do not think for a second that you’re an AH. You are NTA.”

“These people don’t seem to be good people. I hope they can see this from your side and come around, but it’s doubtful.” ~ justme7256

“NTA. You plan a surprise party when the guest of honor doesn’t have anything else planned, you don’t purposefully make them feel abandoned so you can surprise them. Their intentions don’t matter because what they actually did was completely cruel.” ~ somethingstrange87

“NTA. They stood you up at dinner, embarrassed you at the restaurant, made you feel like sh*t just to surprise you? Really lame.” ~ melafar

“NTA. This surprise party was a bad idea from the start but the ONLY reason I could think to let it go is if you told absolutely none of them this dinner was important to you and really, really played it down.”

“And then they also surprised you BEFORE the reservation time. Seriously, why didn’t mom alone call ans be like, hun I’m sorry I’m so sick but I really want to give you your gift, can you stop by 30 mins before dinner?”

“Why was part of the fun for all these people in HURTING you?” ~ caramiadare

“NTA. My ex husband did this to me one year on my birthday. I’ve always felt unloved on my birthday because I also never had birthday parties, and when I tried to do one, no one would show.”

“One year I decided to plan one myself. We were going to a Japanese restaurant I wanted to try. My husband had all my friends and family cancel the day of, and I spent all day crying and feeling unloved.”

“I still went to the dinner with my ex, we ate alone and came home to a surprise party. It was the cruelest thing anyone had done: making me feel alone and hated just to walk into an event I wanted nothing to do with.” ~ serinaluna

“NTA, but they all are. This is horrible. I would have told all of them to go eff themselves on my way out. This is incredibly cruel and thoughtless.” ~ CapricornCrude

“Wow. Just when I thought I’d heard every variation of the surprise party, I found this. I’m so sorry. This was cruel and thoughtless, not a surprise.” 

“You worked overtime to have the night you wanted.” 

“You paid to look good for this night out.”

“You were not only abandoned for hours, but strung along by everyone saying they were late.”

“When you showed up you were made fun of for crying (a natural reaction).”

“Please don’t let them gaslight you into believing you’re somehow in the wrong. You aren’t. They are.”

“Please drop these a**holes and find new friends. For your mom go no/low contact until she apologizes.” ~ ApprehensiveBook4214

This wasn’t a good surprise for the OP. Hopefully, their next birthday will be better.

Written by Amelia Mavis Christnot

Amelia Christnot is an Oglala Lakota, Kanien'kehá:ka Haudenosaunee and Metís Navy brat who settled in the wilds of Northern Maine. A member of the Indigenous Journalists Association, she considers herself another proud Maineiac.