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Frugal Woman Stirs Drama By Refusing To Eat Anything At Her Expensive Surprise Birthday Dinner

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Birthdays are meant to be joyful occasions in which friends and family endeavor to celebrate the person near and dear to them.

That was not the case for the 24-year-old birthday girl, Redditor The_bees_beans.

Her birthday celebration was planned by her 28-year-old significant other, who knew better than to make an arrangement she does not particularly enjoy.

After the disappointing affair, she turned to the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit and asked:

“AITA for refusing to eat at a very expensive restaurant on my birthday?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained why she was upset.

“So I had a birthday today and my whole family went to celebrate. My partner planned the whole thing and didn’t want to tell me. He wanted it to be a surprise.”

“I have never liked surprises. I think he knows as much. My father also planned some of it, so he wasn’t in the dark about it.”

“Anyway, so the day starts out by driving 2 hours to go ice skating. Also a surprise but one I was receptive of. I love ice skating.”

“We then go to dinner which I was unaware of where we were going to. We get there and I quickly realize that this was a very expensive restaurant and something I wasn’t comfortable with. I hate spending money and people spending money on me.”

“My father asked what I was going to order. I said nothing. Instant looks for my family, already knowing what’s up. I typically don’t like to eat so this isn’t a shocker.”

“They think I’m almost joking though, so nothing happens. The time to order comes around. I order nothing. My mother asks me if I’d rather leave.”

“Drinks have been placed and everyone else has ordered. I refused since we already placed orders. We stay. I think they believed I would be eating off their plates. I didn’t.”

“The dinner lasted nearly three hours and I didn’t eat a thing. Not even the dessert they brought out for me since it was my birthday. I was invested in not eating. Which might make me TAH [the a**hole].”

“The diner cost $900 which is far too much for that. I hated it. I hate money being spent like that.”

“Now, they know I hate spending money on food and money spent on me. Just this July we went out to a pricy place (not nearly as much as that) and I didn’t order anything. We then had a conversation about it and how it makes me uncomfortable spending that much money on food.”

“We had also went to an amusement park that summer and I didn’t eat anything I didn’t purchase. The food is far too expensive and if my family chips in to buy me food I just feel gross about it. They know this much about me. They should after 24 years.”

“My father and husband have expressed how they really wanted to go to this particular restaurant in the past. I said I didn’t find the need to and didn’t care about it that much.”

“That was months ago. They also say how it’s sad that I never want to go places. Ever. I’m an introvert at heart.”

“My husband complains that I never want to do anything with him. So they know I hate leaving the house.”

“I’m going to have a conversation about it when we get home and explain my feelings. I felt like my birthday was completely ruined.”

“My husband I can tell is upset that I didn’t eat. And I think he’ll place the blame on me. And I don’t want to make my father sad. So it’s a tough situation.”

She later added in an update:

“We live with my parents. We just had a baby who is less than a year old. We have talked about moving out and I’d love to. But we can’t afford it. I think it’s ridiculous that he spent this much on a meal when we need to save up.”

“Also, I have had issues in the past with eating. PTSD led to starving myself and loosing a lot of weight. I was unhealthy and I’m trying to get better.”

“I’ve seen therapists before. One asked if she thought I’d go to hell if I killed myself which is what she believed. That’s hard for me to get over.”

“Also, the evening was not ruined for my parents or family. I spoke to them after and they had a good time. Excluding the frustration my husband had.”

She said in a second update:

“Last night I forgot a bit of information that I find important. I asked him the night prior if he had spent money already on the trip. He asked why.”

“I told him it’s because I didn’t want to go. He said that yes, money had already been spent. I asked him about it this morning and he said there was a $200 cancellation fee. I don’t know if that would have applied if we had walked out without ordering and neither does he.”

“Ice skating wasn’t a true surprise since I had told them throughout the year that’s that what I wanted. And he also told me the night prior that we were going.”

“AITA for refusing to eat a meal that would have cost over 1k if I had ordered food?”

Strangers on the internet were asked to declare one of the following:

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

Strangers weighed in with their judgments.

“I think you should consider therapy. Food costs money. It’s not crazy to down money on food.” – BentBent12

“ESH, they shouldn’t have surprised you with something they knew you wouldn’t like, but you also need to examine how your negativity affects those around you since you seem to be a wet blanket on a lot of things they’d like to do.” – Minimum_Reference_73

“You’re kinder than I am. It’s not crazy to want to leave the house or enjoy a meal out in celebration of a loved one’s birthday. It’s also not crazy for a loved one to want to “treat” you to an enjoyable experience or an expensive item or meal.”

“While I generally feel like birthdays should be spent doing something pleasant for the person whose birthday it is, not much about OP sounds pleasant. She doesn’t like surprises, eating out or leaving the house, that sounds very depressing even to a bit of a home body like myself.”

“In fact, the way she invested in not eating to prove some point when it wasn’t her money and at the end of the day the people in her life we’re trying to do something nice for her even if it wasn’t her cup of tea is unnerving. What was she trying so hard to prove, how great at being difficult she is? If so, great. She succeeded, but at what cost?”

“OP, chances are your husband and your family want to celebrate you and acknowledge you on your birthday. Given that’s approximately once a year for the rest of your life you need to communicate a better way for them to do so if you don’t want any more surprises, instead of crossing your arms and being stubborn at everything they tried.”

“ETA: my judgment was made before it was clear the OP and her husband were struggling financially to the extent that they had to live with her parents and that her SO paid for the meal.”

“ESH. It isnt your money, how it is spent is not your concern. Causing unnecessary drama by sitting there refusing to eat is just nonsense.”

“Changed to ESH because they really should have taken her concerns into account on her birthday. Pick a different occasion to go there.” – skidoo1032

“ESH. OP needs to get therapy about her lack of social skills.”

“OP’s husband and father suck for using OPs birthday as an excuse to go to a flashy restaurant they wanted to go to but knew OP wouldn’t enjoy.”

“OP’s mom and family suck for not pulling the plug on an expensive birthday meal ‘knowing what’s up’ and that the birthday girl was going to hate it.” – f02f2e6fa0b3

“I agree with the ESH.”

“OP needs to learn to share experiences with her loved ones; it’s not always about her. OP, you sound like a nightmare, getting ‘invested’ in not eating for a principle that doesn’t really affect you and isn’t your business (how much money people spend on food when they’re treating you really ISN’T your business.)”

“You need to suck it up and go do stuff with your family members who love you sometimes; sometimes make it about them.”

“HOWEVER, on your freaking birthday, it absolutely should be about YOU. Your family knows you don’t like surprises or expensive meals; they should’ve planned your birthday with you and done stuff you wanted to do.” – JadieJang

“YTA. You ruined your own birthday on purpose.” – SucculentEmpress

Overall, Redditors had varied reactions but many thought everyone contributed to making the birthday celebration fall flat.

Written by Koh Mochizuki

Koh Mochizuki is a Los Angeles based actor whose work has been spotted anywhere from Broadway stages to Saturday Night Live.
He received his B.A. in English literature and is fluent in Japanese.
In addition to being a neophyte photographer, he is a huge Disney aficionado and is determined to conquer all Disney parks in the world to publish a photographic chronicle one day. Mickey goals.
Instagram: kohster Twitter: @kohster1 Flickr: nyckmo