Some couples fight because they cheat or lie. Others fight because they’re too nice and they gave them a really nice birthday gift.
Who’s to say what’s better?
Redditor limitcycleattractor encountered this very issue with their girlfriend. So they turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for moral judgment.
“AITA for paying for my own surprise birthday dinner?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“My girlfriend organized a lovely birthday for me for my 21st. She surprised me with new shoes and a fun time out with friends for my first legal drinks – they all took me out and paid for me and we had a great time.”
“Two days later, she had organized another surprise dinner with a larger group of ~15 friends. Again, we had a great time and I felt very celebrated.”
“I snuck off to the bathroom to pay the check for the table (somewhere around $300). I did this because (a) my gf had gotten me a nice gift + she and friends had taken me out a few nights prior and (b) because it’s culturally normal for me that the birthday boy/girl to host their own birthday celebrations.”
OP’s girlfriend was taken aback.
“My gf got upset with me and said that I was really selfish to foot the bill myself – her reasoning is that she organized the surprise dinner and thus I was the guest of honor and she was the host.”
“She felt like I was being selfish by going behind her back to pay the bill and imposing my idea of hosting for a dinner that she hosted/put together with a group of friends who wanted to treat me out.”
OP added some context.
“Context (if helpful): I’m a college student, but am privileged enough to not have to pay for school and had a decent chunk of savings from summer internships.”
“EDIT/INFO: -I am North African (mixed ethnicity). It’s very much the norm/an honorific to pay the bill seen as slightly shameful to not win the ‘bidding’ war. My gf is Korean American. High values for honor and hospitality. Many of my friends at this dinner were of some Asian American descent.”
Redditors gave their opinions on the situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors agreed there were no a**holes in this scenario.
“NAH y’all are fighting about being so generous. How wholesome.” ~ Joylar7
“It might be cultural too! In some cultures it’s normal for the bday person to pay for everyone. In others, the rest of them treat the bday person. And in others, fighting over the check is normal!” ~ Maroon419
“Just fighting over any sort of payment is normal. My dad and his best friend are both too kind for their own goods and insist on paying to the point where my dad once chased his friends car and put the money under the windscreen wipers.”
“It’s all in good fun and leads to some good stories.” ~ adamwhome
“Bruh, I’m Asian American and it’s always a friendly fight to be polite and pay for the meal. I’ve also snuck the card to pay while going to ‘the bathroom,’ positioned myself on the outside of the booth to give myself an advantage to give my card to the waiter, all of it! Her friends and your girlfriend will be okay… they just sad they wanted to treat you out and lost the challenge ;)” ~ fancywiththespices
“Eh… I don’t think OP is TA at all; my family (and my husband’s family) are both the types to figure out how to sneak into paying the dinner check for the whole party. Over mother’s day weekend this year, one of my brothers and I (both in our mid 30’s) almost body checked each other to get to the cashier first to pay for the entire lunch out with our families (jerk beat me to it, but only because I was slowed down by holding my wiggling 2 year old. XD).”
“I think it’s totally socially acceptable to be so grateful that your partner organized and put together a gathering that someone could show gratitude to everyone (partner for organizing, friends for attending) by covering the bill for the party.”
“I think it’s also normal for OP’s girlfriend to feel like she was organizing and paying for this gathering as a gift to OP, and is therefore feeling a bit slighted that OP essentially paid for their own ‘gift.'”
“I think this is just a case of OP and the girlfriend need to sit down and discuss expectations for these types of situations going forward, but neither is TA, even a bit.” ~ wonderwife
Many argued there’s such a thing as being “too nice.”
“You want to see scary? Try being a bartender in a place hosting a big bachelorette party when the entire party is from a ‘only I can pay’ background. I had credit cards literally being thrown at me.”
“Two of the bride-to-be’s FSIL nearly got into a fist fight about it. The MOH tried to crawl under the bar flap to sneak her credit card onto my tab area. At the end of the night I just grabbed the card for the lady closest to me.”
“When all the women started yelling and arguing again, I said ‘Hey, I chose this card because I’m afraid this lady is going to stab in in the back alley tonight when I take out the trash if I don’t. The rest of you just don’t seem as scary as she is.'”
“The entire group gaped at me for about 5 seconds, and then it was mass chaos as they tried to give me hugs and high fives for ‘calling it like it is.’ I got a HUGE tip from them, but damn they were stressful because they kept trying to be extra, extra nice to each other!”
“To all servers and bartenders out there, I highly recommend going with the following excuses when you pick a card:”
“Sorry, they intimidate me the most. I can’t tell them no.”
“They’re the elder. I can’t disrespect them like that. (learned that one the hard way when a Latino grandfather told me how very hurt he was that I didn’t think he could take care of his grandkids. I nearly made the poor guy cry, which nearly made me cry.)”
“They look like they have the highest credit score. (works best on drunk co-workers wearing similar style of clothes.”
“He looks like the shady friend we all have. I bet he owes you this meal anyways.”
“Dear God, make them laugh or they’ll come after you with knives to get their way.” ~ throwaway86753109123
If this is why they’re fighting, I think they’re okay.