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Marine Biologist Loses It After Sister’s Boyfriend Gives Them A SeaWorld T-Shirt As A ‘Joke’

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As much as some would like to believe otherwise, no one has complete control over their emotions.

While most people on occasion are able to restrain themselves during a conversation that is secretly making them boil from the inside, very few people haven’t found themselves simply losing it over something someone said or did.

Likely owing to the fact that something very personal was triggered.

Such was the case with Redditor Weak-Construction243, who’s sister’s boyfriend gave them a gift in jest, but was no laughing matter to them.

As a result, the original poster (OP) ended up kicking him out of their birthday party.

Concerned that they may have overreacted, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where they asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA for kicking my sisters boyfriend out of my Birthday Party because of the gift he gave me?”

The OP explained how their sister’s boyfriend gave them a birthday present which seemed to poke fun at their profession, which they found absolutely nothing to laugh about.

“I am a Marine Biologist and I work in partnership with a facility who specialize in Orca Conservation.”

“I won’t name the facility as we’re a small team and it will reveal too much personal information about me, but I’m very passionate about this subject.”

“My younger sister has been dating a man for a little over a year.”

“He seemed nice enough if a little immature, but as they are serious I invited him alongside her to my birthday as it was only polite.”

“The problem came, however when I was opening gifts.”

“He gave me one himself which surprised me as he didn’t need to do that I thanked him and opened it only to find a Sea World T-shirt.”

“He told me he knew I worked with Orca’s and liked them so thought this was a good idea.”

“I was so angry with this that I shoved it back at him and told him to get out.”

“He was surprised by this clearly, not seeing what the big deal was.’

“Clearly not seeing a problem.”

“NNow, I seriously hope anyone with half a functioning brain here can see the problem but if not Sea World does the polar opposite of my job and is a monstrous company that abuses their animals.”

“I ended up kicking him out and the party took a sour note after that ending not long after.”

“My sister has been texting me over this saying he’d only meant it as a joke and how it wasn’t that big of a deal.”

“I’m still pissed off but maybe there was a better way to handle this, I could have been more polite but in the moment I just sort of lost it.”

“I do not see how anyone could see that as a joke, not with the public being well informed at this stage of how bad this place is.”

“To me it screamed of mocking my career and passion and not a joke, however maybe I took my reaction too far.”

“Maybe some people are that dumb.”

“For context, we’re not in America.”

“This is not a case of him not knowing they’re bad due to being taken in by the lies they work towards conservation.”

“Sea World is not a thing here so if you know about it then you know all the horror stories too.”

“Not only this he had to go out of his way to import this t-shirt from America.”

Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:

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

The Reddit community was in agreement that the OP was not the a**hole for losing their temper with their sister’s boyfriend.

Everyone agreed that his gift was thoughtless and insensitive, and the fact that they gave it to the OP as a joke made it all the worse.

‘Is everyone missing this part?”

“The boyfriend knew.”

“NTA.”- hexgirlthorn


“He admitted it was a joke and he fully knew what he was doing.”- No_Rope_8115


“so he did it on purpose according to the sister, but acted ignorant during the event itself?”

“Sounds like a classic example of Schrodinger’s a**hole.”- College_advice12


“This reminds me of the time my aunt gave me a book for x-mas called 101 Things To Do With A Dead Cat a week after I lost my cat and was still devastated.”

‘I was 10.”

“40 years later and I still remember that. I sang ‘Ding Dong the Witch is Dead’ in my head at her funeral and never forgave her.”

“I completely get how enraged and hurt you were, and he knew what he was doing.”

“He just wanted a laugh at your expense.”-SammyLoops

“I was about to say you are the AH for blowing up at him.”

“But if he really meant it as a ‘joke’ then he clearly knew the issues with Sea World, so NTA.”

“What an insensitive prick.”- KimWexlers_Ponytail

“‘It’s just a joke’ is a**hole-speak for ‘I’m an asshole and I like it’ or, if speaking for someone else. ‘They’re an asshole and they like it’.”

“And the whole ‘not that big of a deal’ forcibly reminds me of the narcissist’s prayer.”

“Both statements tell me that your sister’s BF is not only an AH, but knew perfectly well why what he did was wrong.”

“NTA.”- melympia


“It’s not how I would’ve handled it, and it might have been a bit rude, but he was being intentionally provoking and I’m so sick of men doing that and then tone policing women for how they respond.”-IzzyKull


“Tell your sister the joke would be if she married him.”- MaryAnne0601


“That guy is a cad who did a stupid, offensive thing.”- panic_bread


“If he does it as a joke, he knows it has to offend you.”

“So he was deliberately cruel.”

“As a joke, right, haha.”- sperans-ns

“Sounds like this guy has started on a possible goal of isolating your sister from her family, one at a time.”

“NTA.”- excel_pager_420


“Animal cruelty isn’t a joke.”

“Giving money to an organization that is cruel to animals for profit just so you can make a joke is supporting animal cruelty.”- Corpuscular_Ocelot

“If he ever goes vegan or vegetarian, gift him 9 pounds of raw bacon.”

“It is, after all, just a joke.”



“At first I thought he was just ignorant, but your sister confirmed that he knew exactly what he was doing when she said it was just a joke.”

“Guess the joke’s on him now.”-CADreamn

“I was gonna say YTA initially til I got to ‘he said it was a joke’.”

“I do believe some people are genuinely ignorant about a lot of ‘common knowledge’ bad companies because they just don’t pay attention to news or social media.”

“But if he ‘meant it as a joke’, then he knew and went out of his way to get a ‘gift’ that would obviously upset you instead of just like.”

“Having basic etiquette and getting chocolates or something broadly liked when you don’t really know someone well enough to hand pick gifts.”- flurry_of_beaus


“I really can’t see how this is a joke or how it was meant to be funny.”

“Your sister should have nipped this one in the bud.”- Minerva9544


“I’m a zoologist and if someone did this to me as a joke I would have the same response.”

“Especially as buying merchandise from Sea World is funding their continued abuse of animals.”-hattie1399


“He knew he was making a mean-hearted joke at your expense, on your birthday! “

‘Total A behavior.”-PugRexia


“At first, I thought maybe he was just clueless, but if he meant it as a joke, it was in poor taste.”

“You certainly could have handled it with more tact, but you obviously have deep feelings for the animals, and it was a trigger for you.”- CultureExpensive6768


“Jokes are funny and this was not.”- River_Song47

“Yikes, after reading your edit definitely NTA, he knew what he was doing.”- DogBreathologist


“What a jerk.”

“I love orcas. I have been so close to one in the wild I could see her teeth!”

“I was standing on a rocky outcrop that had a very deep drop.”

“I saw a fin and thought it was a dolphin but then she popped her head out of the water right in front of me!”

“It was wonderful.”- DesignedPax

It is important to control our tempers to the best of our abilities.

But while it’s arguably never ok to lash out at someone, it’s hard to think fondly of the boyfriend of the OP’s sister, when he seemed to go to great lengths to mock the OP’s profession.

A very noble one, at that.

One can only hope that seeing how offended the OP was might give him some perspective, and to think more carefully about “jokes” in the future.

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.