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Teen Balks After Grandma Demands To Borrow Her Prom Dress Because She Paid For Half Of It

Girl trying on prom dresses
yoh4nn/Getty Images

Prom is one of the few times people get the excuse to dress up in formal wear.

Redditor IcyReplacement2707 got a new dress for her prom from her mom and grandma, but now a request from her grandma has her confounded.

The Original Poster (OP) turned to subReddit “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) for perspective.

She asked:

“AITA for not letting my Nan wear MY prom dress?”

She went on to explain.

“1 [16-year-old female] went prom dress shopping with my Nan [54-year-old female] and my Mum [35-year-old female].”

“I found a lovely dress, and my Mum and Nan both paid half each for the dress.”

“As I was getting ready on my prom night, my Nan starts saying how she ‘would love to try it on at the weekend’ and ‘she loves it so much’ I ignore her and get ready for my prom.”

“I have a lovely time and had forgotten about her comment. Two days after she said, ‘can I wear your prom dress’ and I flat out said, ‘No’.”

“She then goes on a rant about how ‘she paid half for the dress; therefore she gets to wear it’ and won’t let up.”

“I feel guilty for insisting on her never wearing it, but I also think that it’s very clearly MY dress, and I don’t want her to wear it out to a party.”

“So, Reddit, Am I The A**hole?”

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:

“NTA – They bought you the dress as a gift. It belongs to you now. She has the right to ask you if she can wear it, and you have the right to say no.”

“I get that it might be annoying for her, but no need to rant about it.” – multibo

“NTA. Aside from her thinking she gets to share the dress because she paid for it (that is not how gifts work, ever), this is a weird request.”

“Like borrowing a graduation gown or a wedding dress for a night out.”

“Is she jealous of you or competing with you? Did she never get a prom of her own and wants to pretend?” – Kindly_Egg_7480

“1. It is weird that she wants to wear a prom dress out, but it’s also fine for her to ask”

“2. You probably won’t wear it again, so there’s probably no harm in letting her have it for a night, but it was a gift, so you’re well within you’re right to decline the request”

“3. Someone declaring that because they paid for a gift means they get to use it is childish and not how gifts work, so your nan is the A H”

“You are NTA” – Imaginary-Swing-5714

“It’s interesting how so many comments mention that it’s “trashy” for a 54-year-old to wear the same dress as a 16-year-old, but no one in this thread has any idea what the dress even looks like, so this is really not a fair assessment to make.”

“It could be a classic, timeless style that the nan appreciates. Either way, it’s not weird for her to ask, but you also have the right to say no.”

“However, if my mom could have fit into one of my prom dresses (my nans were long gone by then) and she wanted to borrow it, I would have said yes.”

“I haven’t worn either dress since my proms, so at least they’d be getting some use!” – Maleficent-Ad-9532

“To everyone weirded out by this ask… maybe it’s just an evening gown that would look fine on anyone.”

“My 73-year-old mom had a really nice evening gown that she gifted to my 21-year-old daughter. It’s an evening gown… satin, floor length, elegant. It has no age limit.”

“ESH. Grandma isn’t entitled to it, but at the same time, why not let her borrow it if you already wore it?” – WinterBourne25

“My prom dress was a LBD with flapper fringe and rhinestone spaghetti straps.”

“It was a classic style- I would absolutely rock it today if I still had it, and a 54 yo would look perfectly appropriate in it as well. Stop gatekeeping fashion.”

“People can wear what they want no matter how old they are.”

“That being said, a gift is a gift, and she is not entitled to wear it when she likes just because she paid for half of it.” – jewelophile

“NTA- not because older folks cant rock cool clothes (whole lotta ‘age appropriate’ talk in these comments not passing the smell test)”

“Simply because buying a gift with ulterior motives is gross and throwing a fit about it is extra trashy.” – unclewitch

“nta???? this is so odd of her to ask. like, obviously she has no ownership of it bc it was a gift to you but i’m shocked at the audacity of the question lmao.”

“why would anyone want to wear their grandchild’s prom dress out to a party??” – Lexi_Adriaanse

“NTA. I’m really struggling to understand the “omg don’t let it go to waaaaaste” comments. It’s your dress.”

“You can rewear it to another event or sell it or let it gather dust. Your call.”

“I rewore mine at a couple Uni events. Still have it 14 years after my prom. I try it on every year to make sure I still fit into it (I no longer do and it is tragic, but ya know, goals).”

“No one wants to wear the same dress as their nan. She might be young, but she’s still your nan.”

“It’s weird as hell for her to want to. If she wants to feel pretty on a night out, then she can get another dress.” – JDorian0817

“I didn’t let one of my mom’s friends wear mine either.”

“Mostly because I hadn’t even had my prom yet, and they were going to the coast guard ball that night then moving across the country the next day.”

“I didn’t want it to get lost, and like I said, I haven’t even worn it yet.” – NNYLTIAK

“NTA– it was a gift, and now they want to dictate how you use the gift?”

“Also, prom dresses (according to my gf) are sometimes as sacred as wedding dresses to some people so I think it is inappropriate for her to try to force you to let her…”

“Honestly feels like the only reason she paid for half is she wanted it after.” – JRhodes_

“The dress represents an important memorable life experience. That would be like asking to try on your wedding dress ‘just because they payed for it.’”

“There are just some things that are just unconditionally yours, regardless of who payed for it. NTA.” – Dull-King1348

“Assuming your prom has passed, I don’t have a clue why you wouldn’t let your grandma wear it. I can try to guess why, but none of those reasons would be that flattering to you.”

“Can you help me out by articulating why, specifically, you don’t want her to wear it? Is it about how important you think prom is?”

“Is it something about your Nan? Do you plan to wear it again in the future, and don’t want it to feel less special then?” – ANewHopelessReviewer

“NTA in thinking a gift is just that, a gift and you can do what you like with your dress. If nan was planning to borrow it she could have made that a condition of paying for it.”

“But I’m curious, so you have something planned for this dress that somehow precludes her borrowing it?”

“Could she not wear it for whatever evening and return it to you cleaned? Does your nan have a habit of borrowing prom dresses and destroying them?”

“Maybe she thought it would be fun to take a picture in the dress and send it to your grandfather. Maybe she’s going to a senior center prom.”

“Maybe it would be a nice ego boost for her to see if she’s the same weight as her beautiful granddaughter.”

“Maybe she wants to dress up, get sloppy drunk and force the cat to slow dance with her. Who cares, what’s the harm in letting her borrow it?”

“I don’t know your nan and I don’t know your family but I’ll just caution you that these are the stories that become the stuff of family legends and not in a good way.”

“In 20 years you’ll be planning your wedding and nan will not attend but she will send you a gift certificate to proms-are-us because ‘the only thing that girl ever cared about was prom dresses.’”

“Unless you’re planning to attend the same party let her borrow it. Yeah, it’s probably not age appropriate but that’s not your concern.” – FeistyMuttMom

The OP went on to add.

“Thank you all. I’m glad I’m not being unreasonable. Xxx”

“I see where the YTAs are coming from, so thank you for broadening my perspective of my Nan’s POV. Xxx”

Now where are the pictures of this fight-worthy dress?

Written by B. Miller

B. is a creative multihyphenate who enjoys the power and versatility of the written word. She enjoys hiking, great food and drinks, traveling, and vulnerable conversation. Raised below the Mason Dixon, thriving above it. (she/her)