We can all agree that every family’s financial situation is slightly different, from the number of people in the household to what they enjoy doing to how much money is actually coming in.
Some people are not uncomfortable with how much money other families make, admitted the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor CuteBotton was criticized for how they interacted with their daughter’s boyfriend, who came from a wealthy household.
When they referred to their daughter’s relationship as a form of “charity,” it was clear the Original Poster (OP) was not looking at the situation in the right way.
He asked the sub:
“AITA for telling my daughter’s boyfriend that she doesn’t need his charity?”
The OP met their daughter’s boyfriend several months ago.
“A few months ago, my daughter Lisa (15 female) confessed to me that she had a boyfriend and that she wanted to introduce him to us.”
“She said he’s a very serious boy and it’s important for him to get along with her girlfriend’s parents.”
“I said yes and she brought him over the weekend for dinner.”
The OP was surprised at the boyfriend’s first impression.
“When he arrived, I was surprised to see him driving a brand new BMW. He was also very well dressed and brought me an expensive glass vase as a gift.”
“He introduced himself as Elliot (17 male).”
“Later, Lisa told me that Elliot goes to a private school and that they met at her part-time job. From the evidence, it was obvious that Elliot is upper-class.”
“I was afraid that Elliot would think that she was a poor girl that he could take advantage of, but over time, I realized that he actually cares about Lisa.”
The OP wasn’t comfortable with the gifts Elliot presented.
“The only thing that bothers me is that Elliot always gives Lisa expensive gifts: brand new books (Lisa’s a bookworm), designer clothes, and jewelry.”
“I warned Lisa to be careful or people would think she’s a golddigger.”
“Lisa explained to me that Elliot likes to pamper her with gifts and that it’s not a big deal.”
“My husband and I like Elliot a lot, but every time Lisa comes home with a new gift, my husband gets sad, because we could never get her something like that.”
“I want to clarify that Elliot has never looked down on us and he often says that he loves our loving family, since he rarely spends time with his parents.”
The OP had a disagreement with Elliot.
“For her birthday, my husband and I threw Lisa a small party.”
“I asked Elliot privately what he got for her and he said that he bought her a brand new Kindle, something that she has wanted for years.”
“I warned him that Lisa has been saving for months to buy a second-hand Kindle.”
“Elliot said that he already knew, but thought a new one would be better and would make her happier.”
“I know he didn’t mean to be rude, but his words made me believe that he thought we could never get her one on our own and that it was his duty to be Lisa’s ‘savior’ from poverty.”
“A little annoyed, I told him that Lisa doesn’t need charity from someone who’s never worked a day in his life.”
Lisa did not appreciate what the OP said.
“Elliot didn’t say anything and the party went on smoothly, but when everyone left, Lisa blew up in my face.”
“She told me that Elliot was very sorry that I thought he was a snob and that he only wanted to make her happy.”
“She also revealed that she has returned him most of the gifts and that she has told him to stop many times, but Elliot keeps doing it, even though she loves him for him, not his money.”
The OP’s husband also didn’t agree with their actions.
“My husband, of all people, told me that I was rude to a nice boy and that while he doesn’t like the expensive gifts, he understands that Elliot thinks if he doesn’t give them to Lisa, she won’t love him, because of his sad family history.”
“I never thought of it that way and I feel a little guilty.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some thought the OP was way too focused on money.
“Your classism is showing.”
“So what if his family has money? So what if yours doesn’t have as much? It sounds like he genuinely cares for your daughter, and you are the one with the problem.”
“How embarrassing for your child.”
“YTA.” – Andanta79
“OP keeps right in being YTA. Her daughter is going to cut her out when she’s 18 or done with college. I will cheer for when she does.”
“She returns a lot of the gifts and reminds him she loves him and not his family’s money. She’s very clearly letting a traumatized and sweet young man know that he can be loved for him and not his money.”
“It may be giving gifts just makes him happy also rather than trauma. When I was a teen and had disposable income I loved Christmas.”
“Not so much of getting gifts which of course was nice but the thrill of hunting for gifts that were perfect for my friends and family and seeing her much they liked them. Obviously, there were misses but it still made me happy trying.”
“And I live just able the poverty line and we still find ways to get our kids decent gifts. Pretty sure OP can manage too.” – CeelaChathArrna
“Giving and receiving gifts is a recognized ‘love language.’ It might be that for Elliott this is the way he naturally expresses his love.”
“For him, it’s not a case of ‘look at all the expensive stuff I can buy you,’ it’s ‘I saw this and it made me think of you/I saw that you didn’t have x and thought you’d really like it so I got you one to make you happy.'”
“It sounds like her daughter is doing a good job of accepting that this is how he expresses his love whilst reminding him that his money and his ability to buy her shit isn’t as important to her as other things.” – Positive-Ground3910
Others were confused about the OP’s saving up for the Kindle.
“I’m getting the vibe that OP doesn’t understand Lisa and her hobbies and that perhaps she’s jealous of the bond Lisa has with Elliot.”
“Frankly, I’m also baffled that Lisa has wanted a kindle for YEARS, per OP, and that OP couldn’t splurge on an $80 Kindle for Lisa’s birthday or Xmas/other gift-giving/receiving holiday.”
“I think there’s something missing here. I don’t think a kindle is all that ‘lavish.'”
“OP, YTA” – LuthienCiryatan
“The newest one is expensive ($250), but I completely agree – seems like she’s not trying at all, considering she must have bought Lisa SOMETHING for her birthday.”
“She definitely doesn’t understand her daughter or her interests, especially since she told her daughter that people might think she’s a gold-digger and Lisa doesn’t come off that way at all.”
“Accepting gifts is not demanding them and she clearly loves Elliot.” – hbc387
“I’m trying to figure out how a book is an expensive gift. Even a new hardcover is usually only $25 unless you’re buying some collector’s edition or signed copy.”
“My Kindle Fire was only $50, which also isn’t super expensive, either. It doesn’t sound like Elliot is buying Lisa $1000 necklaces.” – SilverPhoenix2513
“Seriously, my infant son has a kindle, because they’re $50, and Black Friday is just common sense for buying electronics.”
“I’m a disabled single mom, living on SSI, and I managed to get my son a kindle for his first Christmas. It took me 3 months to save for it.”
“A Kindle is not something that should take years to get secondhand, especially for a teenager who doesn’t have bills to pay.” – AriGryphon
“He said he wanted to get her the best version of a gift that he could, to make her happy.”
“OP tells him her daughter doesn’t need charity (it wasn’t) from someone who has never worked a day in his life (unnecessary dig even if the kid hadn’t, being only 17).”
“Yikes OP, I truly feel for you and the things you’re thinking and feeling, but that’s not an adult or productive way to approach a conversation with a teenager. Or with anyone.” – Sputnik918
The subReddit could understand why blending two families with very difficult incomes might be difficult to adjust to, but they didn’t see anything the OP needed to worry about in their daughter’s relationship.
Rather, it seemed like the teens genuinely cared for each other, whether gifts were present in the relationship or not.
It seemed the OP needed to have an actual conversation with their daughter about her relationship and how they enjoy showing their love for each other. If gift-giving was something that brought them joy, the OP might need to reevaluate the functions of a gift, rather than viewing it immediately as “charity” and “gold-digging.”