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Redditor Steps In After Mom Plans ‘Insane’ Military Homecoming For Sister Who Hates Big Celebrations

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Some people simply can’t get enough attention.

As a result, they simply relish having parties being thrown for them, and should a conversation veer away from them, they will often not-so-subtly shift the conversation to being about them again.

Others, however, hate nothing more than being the center of attention.

Even when their accomplishments and achievements are being celebrated, they often find they just want things to be over, so they can return to a state of anonymity.

The sister of Redditor Theviruss certainly fell into the latter category.

Knowing this, the original poster (OP) was more than a little concerned when his mother shared her plans to throw a massive surprise celebration in their sister’s honor.

Leading the OP to consider halting the proceedings.

Wondering if they would be in the wrong for doing so, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where they asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA for intervening in an insane military homecoming for my sister?”

The OP shared how they found themselves caught between a rock and a hard place when their mother wanted to honor their sister with a surprise they knew she would utterly despise.

“Hey everyone, I have a sister who is returning from the military soon in a few months.”

“She is a few years younger and has always been pretty clear that she doesn’t like big celebrations, being thanked for her service, etc.”

“Even happy birthday at a restaurant is just super annoying for her and my mom has a tendency to take EVERY opportunity to do this.”

“We have a dinner planned around Jan and I expected it to be that.”

“A dinner with family celebrating her return.”

“Little did I know until recently, my mom is planning a massive event.”

“Enlisting their motorcycle club, the local fire department, local police department, and her neighborhood to essentially have a gigantic ‘thank you for your service’ presentation.”

“I KNOW my sister will hate this with a passion.”

“This has been clear for years how she feels about these things.”

“My mom has a tendency to IMMENSELY overdo these kind of things because I think she thinks she is making up for the nightmare childhood she made us deal with by being a great mom that does big celebrations or something.”

“At the same time, I know this is probably ‘important’ to my mom as she told my dad she wants to honor the sacrifices my sis made.”

“For the record, they’ve been divorced a long time and she didn’t even tell me about this plan, probably cause she knew this would be my reaction lmao.”

“However, as a brother, I feel obligated to at least get in the way.”

“5+ years in the service and we’re going to setup the person who hates surprises with a massive surprise to ‘thank’ them?”

“This is not the first time she’s attempted similar things.”

“Worst case I feel like warning my sis and ruining the surprise for the sake of her stress tbh.”

“This feels more for my mom than my sister as a whole.”

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 – Everyone Sucks Here

The Reddit community wholeheartedly agreed that the OP would not be the a**hole for telling their mother not to throw a surprise celebration for their sister.

Everyone agreed that the OP was only thinking of their sister’s best interests, while others pointed out how a big celebration might have an adverse effect on their sister after 5+ years in the military.


“Warn your sister.”

“Hell, just copy the whole family on this post.”

“Whatever your mom’s hangup is about not ‘honoring her service’ the way she wants it honored is Mom’s problem.”- mm172


“You won’t be able to tone down your mom, but please warn your sister.”

“Military service is stressful, if you really wanna thanks her, listen to what she wants.”

“Your sister can decide if she will be in town, and ‘agree’ with the celebration, because she knows it’s happening, or she can decide to skip the visit for a while, at least until your mom cools down.”-esk_7140


“Make it clear to your mom that what she is doing is for herself only and not for your sister.”

“If she wants to honor your sister she should respect your sister’s wishes and boundaries.”

“Make sure to inform your sister.”

“Your sister can insist months in advance that she doesn’t want this.”- Runaonreddit


“Warn your sister.”

“If it were me and I knew you knew and didn’t I would be mad especially if I’m planning on just coming home and maybe having a dinner and relaxing.”- Many-Pirate2712


“Think of it this way: your sister would prefer no greater thanks for her service than for you to give her the homecoming she wants.”

“By all means intervene as far as you are able.”

“You might find that your mother is exaggerating quite a bit, as those plans, involving coordinating several different agencies, seem almost too enormously OTT to be real.”- Shoereader


“If she’s been serving for 5+ years then she more than deserves to be told about something for her that she will hate.

“Tell your sister about and tell your mom to dial it down to just family if it ‘has to happen’.”-No_Confidence3837

“Ask your mom how putting your sister in an uncomfortable situation ‘honors’ her.”

“NTA.”- ncgrits01


“But I would also let your sister know what is going on so she can also tell your mom no.”-runningaway67907


“Your mom is doing this because she likes the attention she gets for being the organizer of such an event and/or because if the roles were reversed, it’s what she’d want.”

“Deployment, even these days, is stressful.”

“Your sister deserves to have her homecoming celebration be on her terms, not your mom’s.”

“You’re right to tell her.”- Freckled_daywalker


“Definitely give your sister a heads up so she can address it.”

“Your mom is doing this more for the attention than to honor your sister.”

“I don’t know anything about your sister’s service, but some vets experience mental health issues and something like this could have adverse effects.”

“But your sister has been clear that she doesn’t want it and that should be respected.”- Spirit_Falcon


“Tell your sis.”- TaliesinWI


“Your mother is though.”

“She is trying to get attention for herself it seems.”

“Warn your sister.”

“It’s not fair to her to be paraded around like a tourist attraction just so your mom can make herself look good.”- GonnaBeOverIt


“I’ve heard, although I could be wrong, that it can be overwhelming for anyone in the military to be greeted this way.”

“It would definitely be too much for your sister by the sounds of it.”

“Try to do anything you can to shut it down.”

“Your mother has good intentions I’m sure but she needs to realize what a bad idea it is.”-MidniteProph


“Be the hero and save your sister.”

“But also, double check with your sister.”

“You can keep the details a bit vague so it still might be a bit of a surprise.”

“She may ultimately decide this is all cringe, but will let it happen for mom.”- AgoraiosBum


“Please tell your sister about it beforehand.”- Sparkles767

“As someone in the military for 6 years now, I would be MORTIFIED by this.”

“I hate being thanked for ‘my service’, if it’s in passing of course I’m polite and say thank you because I appreciate the thoughtfulness.”

“But in my experience most of us hate it.”

“Unless you’ve been in a war zone, it usually just feels like we work another sh*tty job.”

“And those I’ve met that HAVE been in war zones actually usually feel even more strongly about it.”

“I’ll be completely honest, the people who usually like being thanked for their service are usually attention seekers or people with lengthy tours and careers.”

“Or officers.”

“lol jk…kind of.”- alyssinelysium

The OP later returned with an update, sharing that they did address their concerns with their mother, and all seemed to come to a happy resolution.

“I appreciate everyone confirming my feeling that I was in the right here.

“I felt pretty strongly about being right but the comments below solidified it for me.”

“I spoke to her and derailed these plans, will now be a more chill event with our extended family.”

“My dad is the one they clued me in and I gave her an opportunity to explain it to me by playing dumb.”

“She gave me info and I told her I thought it was a terrible idea in nicer terms.”

“Kept him out of the blame for keeping me in the loop.”

“She surprisingly was very open to acknowledging that and agreed to not go through with it, which is very unlike her.”

“All in all successful.”

“I’m still going cautiously, sis is still going to know just in case.”

“I’m not gonna take the chance at being the one who didn’t tell her if it ends up happening.”

There’s no denying that the heart of the OP’s mother was certainly in the right place.

However, when the one being celebrated is having the worst time of everyone there, one has to stop and consider whether or nor this is indeed a true celebration.

Thankfully, it looks like the OP’s mother realized this and will thank the OP’s sister for her service and bravery in a manner much more to her liking

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'.