For those of us who enjoy giving gifts, we generally put a lot of effort, time, and thought into getting one of our loved ones the perfect thing. Sometimes, we even splurge a little bit.
If the gift isn’t well-received, it can be disheartening, admitted the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
But Redditor StrollerAITA went so far as to demand that she receive her gift or money back after her sister didn’t use the gift the way she had intended.
When she was called out for suggesting this, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she was in the wrong.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for demanding the very expensive stroller back from my sister because she is choosing to use the one she got at a thrift store?”
The OP purchased an expensive stroller for her sister’s baby shower.
“I am 23, my sister is 26 and had her first baby in January.”
“I decided I really wanted to splurge on a baby shower present for her, so I got her a Silver Cross stroller ($2500.00).”
“I am not wealthy, but I have a good job and an even better credit limit, so I was able to put it on my credit card.”
“When she got the stroller she was thrilled and it was by far the nicest gift she got that day.”
The OP was concerned when her sister didn’t use it.
“But now that they are two months in, she never uses it.”
“Instead, she’s using a super cheap thing that her husband found at Goodwill.”
“When I ask her about it, she either tells me it’s a habit or she’s so stressed out, she doesn’t even realize what stroller she packed.”
“I sent her an e-mail on Friday, saying that if she’s really not going to use the Silver Cross, she should return it to me, so I can save it for my own kids or sell it and apply the money to my credit card.”
This email was not well-received.
“My sister has not responded, but both my other sister and my mom have sent me texts, saying that I just added way more stress to my sister’s plate, and that I should know her husband had the pandemic disease (I did not know this), and my e-mail was poorly-timed.”
“I mean, poorly timed or not, I’m being charged interest on a $2500 stroller that is not being used, and I need some resolution.”
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 reminded the OP that a true gift has no conditions attached.
“YTA. It was a gift. Once you hand it over, you no longer own that item. Life tip: don’t put s**t on your credit card that you can’t pay off by the end of the billing period.”
“I’m wondering if they even still have the stroller. If they’re strapped for cash, I could see them selling it and getting a thrift-store stroller that works just as well. Don’t kids outgrow strollers pretty quickly in a matter of years anyway?” – kittydeathdrop
“Ugh, this would be my nightmare. I’ve never bought a stroller, but when I buy anything remotely expensive it’s usually after hours and hours of research to make sure it’s a quality product, has all of the features I wanted, was going to improve my life as opposed to being a pain to deal with, etc.”
“I would be super stressed if someone spent a ton of money on a gift, only for it to not be functional for me (like not being able to switch from stroller to car seat). It would be even worse if the person who bought it was nagging me about how I wasn’t using it enough.” – lucifer2990
“I can’t imagine spending $2500 on a pram (stroller) as a gift. Maybe I’m just a pram nut, but what kind of pram you get tends to be relatively personal. Different people want and need different types of prams, regardless of price tags.”
“In any case, if OP wanted to buy such an expensive gift, she should accept that gifts are freely given, and while sister can appreciate it, she is in no way obligated to use it. Especially when they’re in such a stressful time.”
“As a side note, pram shopping was one of the most fun parts to me since kids grow out of everything way quicker. A pram lasts at least a few years, so it feels less pointless splurging a bit on the one you love.”
“OP, YTA. I get wanting it back, it’s frustrating watching money go to waste in your eyes, but you gave a gift, you don’t get to show up and attach some strings when you feel like it.”
“If you really care about your sister and want to help her, offer to sell/return it and ask her what she needs instead.” – Affectionate-Bit7266
“Absolutely YTA. Also, just because you haven’t seen her use it doesn’t mean it isn’t being or won’t be used.”
“My stepdaughter had one stroller she kept in her trunk because it was lighter weight and was easier to get in and out of the car and easier to fold and unfold.”
“She kept the stroller we gave her in her garage, set up all the time, and used it to take the baby to the park and on walks around the neighborhood.” – RumBunBun
“YTA. You gave this item as a gift, and it isn’t her problem that you put it on your credit card.”
“You don’t ask for a gift back (especially without any consideration for her), even if you’d just said, ‘Hey, I noticed you’re not using this, why don’t I return it and we can get something you will use instead?'” – rmric0
Others agreed and suggested the stroller may have not suited the sister’s family’s needs.
“It’s possible that whatever OP bought doesn’t suit the family right now (with that price tag, it’s likely to be a travel system with a frame and other bits that swap in and out. They can be heavy so a simpler stroller can be easier to manage).”
“Or maybe the baby just doesn’t like it. Quite often people buy things pre-baby and they turn out to be less useful than expected – because life doesn’t always go how you expect.” – Marzipan_civil
“What can really be helpful to support new parents is to ask them for a list of groceries they buy regularly, and then once the baby is there, drop off groceries when they need them, or order them takeout, or bring some high-quality frozen meals to stock their freezer.”
“If you’re really good friends with them, stopping by and offering to do their laundry or clean the kitchen or bathroom (or if you’re well off, offering to pay for a few months of a weekly cleaning service) can be infinitely more helpful than any gift for the baby.” – cmotdibblersdelights
“Even the good reviews of the Silver Cross stroller point out that it’s hard to find a car seat that fits it, it’s bulky and hard to fit in a standard size car, it’s really heavy …”
“I mean, it looks great and the bassinet would be great for walks from the house to a park, but the US is a commuter country.”
“Especially if she’s doing a lot on her own with a sick husband, it’s probably not the most functional of the two strollers she has. At least right now. Though they may actually be using the bassinet part for naps.”
“But hey, the royals use it!” – berrykiss96
“One of my friends was very particular about what stroller she wanted, she lived in a city and did a lot of walking but also needed to be able to easily pack it into a car by herself… maybe OP should have asked what they needed from a stroller before just buying the expensive one.” – annekecaramin
“Silver Cross are lush, but zipping it around on small errands is hard work. Like just getting it in and out of a vehicle or even trying to move around a shop – they’re really great for leisurely strolls in a massive park but in day-to-day life, not so much.” – Maxusam
After receiving feedback, the OP shared a quick update.
“Literally as I was reading comments, my sister just sent me via Venmo $2800, saying she was sorry for the misunderstanding and she didn’t want me to have any hardship over her gift.”
“That was very nice of her. So I guess this isn’t a question anymore.”
While the OP may have been relieved that the financial situation had been rectified, the subReddit likely would have reminded her that the issue wasn’t the money, but the conditions she placed on the gift itself.
A gift is only truly a gift if it is given to someone with no strings attached. By demanding to know why her sister wasn’t using her gift, and then wanting it back, she was effectively breaking the gift code, which is much more complicated than whether or not money was spent.