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Teen Angers Parents After Telling Dad She’ll Never Read The Book He Got Her For Her Birthday

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Teen angst and rebellion are pretty normal, but sometimes teenagers can really cross the line in protecting their boundaries.  Teenagers sometimes try to be honest and end up being mean, etc… because they are asserting their own identities, so everything feels like an attack.

Redditor Radiant-Honeydew8422 found herself protecting a boundary regarding a birthday present—her dad’s first he had ever had to get himself—and in doing so, she really hurt both her father and her mother’s feelings.

Looking for input from objective strangers, she went to the popular subReddit “Am I The A**hole?” or “AITA” to feel out what she’d done:

“AITA for telling my dad I am not going to read the book he gave me?”

Our original poster, or OP, explained why her dad got her this gift and how not-so-thoughtful it really seemed.

“My (18F[emale]) parents divorced last year so this was the first birthday that my father (46M[ale]) had to buy me a present by himself.”

“Apparently, he understands that I like science fiction books but does not know almost anything about them so he bought a novelization of the movie Avatar (2009) in a used books store.”

“I wasn’t expecting a great gift but this one felt particulary bad. I didn’t get mad or anything, I just said to him that I will probably never read it but I may used it to even a table or something like that.”

“He didn’t like that and now he is mad at me. My mother thinks I was too mean but I was just being honest.”

“Am I the A**hole?”

Anonymous strangers weighed in by declaring:

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

Everyone agreed OP’s rejection was a bit too callous for her own good.

“YTA. Just because your words were factually correct, doesn’t mean you’re not an AH. It was really rude and inconsiderate of you to react that way to a gift.”

“Just say thank you, make a mental note to give your dad a couple of hints next year to help him out, and move on.”-jmorrisdsgtegh

“My aunt bought me a doll when I was 5. I hated dolls and never played with them. I thanked her and told her I loved it.”

“A few weeks later, she asked if I liked the doll. I lied and told her it was my favourite toy. She then revealed that my younger brother had told her that I hate dolls and had never played with the one she got me.”

“Even at age 5 I felt awful for my aunt and I lied again and told her that my brother was wrong and that I loved it and I didn’t know why he would say that. OP, YTA.”-testyhedgehog

“YTA. ‘Thanks, I do like Science Fiction, though normally I prefer this other author’– all you had to do.”

“Still the truth and helps guide him towards your actual interests. You pretty much implied ‘This present you bought to show love is garbage and I will treat it like garbage.'”

“He tried. Based on the fact he got a used book, either he’s in to earth-friendliness or is on a low budget.”

“I can’t tell if you’re legitimately awful at social cues or if you’re mad at your dad. There’s a difference between honesty and a**holery and you’re firmly in a**hole territory.”-Accomplished_Ruin_25

“YTA. Saying it’s not your thing and you probably won’t read it, or you might return/resell it and get something different, would be OK in my view though I know many would be offended by the honesty.”

“But saying you’ll use it to prop up a table is kind of insulting the book, and by implication the giver.”-cantab314

People thought she crossed the line into straight-up insulting.

“YTA: that’s very ungrateful and rude. It honestly sounds like he tried to get you something you’d like but he fell short.”

“When I was 19 my grandfather (primary caregiver my whole life) knew I liked marvel superheroes and comic books.”

“And he bought me a canvas picture of female DC superheroes that had ‘Woman Power’ printed on the top, I’m not a fan much of DC but I thought it was really sweet that he tried and tbf he was close.”

“I told him I appreciate the sentiment and I was gonna go hang it up right now. It literally costs nothing to be a decent person bro.”

“For my 21st birthday he bought me a book on budgeting and finance that he saw promoted on a morning talk show.”

“I thought it was ridiculous and ironically a waste of money but I said thank you and it could probably come in handy, I put it on my bookshelf and haven’t touched it but again the point is he tried and I appreciated that.”

“Maybe sit down with your dad and talk over your interests, let him know that you appreciate the thought behind it but it’s not something you’d get enjoyment out of.”

“Let him know some of your reading preferences so this doesn’t happen again. It’s his first year celebrating your birthday by himself so he was probably trying his hardest.”

“Sometimes the sentiment is more important than the gift.”-eresnore

“YTA- gratitude costs nothing. My stepdad hates horror, thinks Stephen King is demonic or something- but knows I love his work and collect them (first editions).”

“So he’s given me the books he’s written for birthdays and even though I’ve read them all and they aren’t collectibles I thank him and I love them BECAUSE HE’S GOING OUT OF HIS COMFORT ZONE TO SHOW ME HE CARES.”

“HE’S TRYING. just like your dad was TRYING. be kind.”-Adelinelaughs

“Sorry not sorry, but YTA. My father literally never even tried to get me anything for birthdays or Christmas that I even remotely wanted or used other than the holiday planters peanuts.”

“When my sister and other people would buy me books (because I love to read). him and his wife would buy me stupid ass crap that I never ever wanted or used.”

“Guess what: I said Thank you with a fake smile on my face and acted like I appreciated it.”

“It annoyed me to no end because they could go to the library and buy 4 used books for a $1 and that would have meant way more to me. The fact that your father actually tried, you really need to give him credit for that.”-TotheWestIGo

“YTA – your response was rude. I can maybe relate to how you feel because my parents divorced when I was 19, (I’m 22 now).”

“My dad doesn’t really know what I like so he gets me gifts that aren’t very exciting to me or not my preference.”

“It can be disappointing but I know he’s going through a difficult time adjusting to doing things on his own. I just thank him and appreciate the effort.”

“In the future drop more specific hints for gift ideas or I just straight up tell him what I’d like at this point.”

“If I gave someone a gift and they told me they had no use for it or didn’t like it, it would hurt my feelings. I think you should apologize.”-Formal-Ad7701

And people advised her to apologize to her poor old dad.

“Uh, yeah. YTA. I don’t know what your relationship is like with your father, but if he genuinely tried, that’s just a mean thing to say to someone.”

“It’s much easier to be kind. Next time your birthday rolls around, give him a list of suggestions to work off of instead of letting him flail around.”

“Although, with that response, I doubt he’ll buy you anything in the future, which would honestly be deserved.”-silverunicorn666

“YTA. My parents divorced four years ago and my dad has yet to see or call me even once- Nevermind sending me any kind of gift.”

“If you knew you’d never read it fine- don’t. You still say thank you and appreciate the effort because avatar IS science fiction and he was clearly trying.”

“Telling him so and saying you’ll use it as a table stabilizer is straight ungrateful and asshole behavior.”

“There’s a difference between being honest and being an a**hole. You’re being an a**hole.”-makeshiftmarty

“YTA. This is probably the first time your dad has had to buy a present by himself. I know not all men, but most men are useless at gift giving.”

“My husband is never involved in any gift purchases even for his own family. He’s always just as surprised as his mother when she opens her mother’s Day, birthday or Christmas present.”

“He’s her favourite because he always remembers to send her flowers etc. I just put his name on the card, he gets the credit.”

“My point is your dad tried. Sure it wasn’t fantastic but he tried. Not only that but he took something he thought you were interested in (sci-fi) and saw a present he thought would make you happy.”

“You need to learn some gratefulness. If you want him to buy ‘better’ presents spend some time with him sharing things that you enjoy.”-renneredskins

“Even my 9yo knows to say thank you for thinking me. Your level of honest is what 98% everyone else would rank as blunt and sheer rudeness.”

“YTA. Yes – it wasn’t the best choice and he missed the mark. But your father remembered you, remembered your birthday, remembered your favourite book genre and tried.”

“You couldn’t even give him credit for some effort to connect with you with something that interested you.”-Flashy-Promise-6915

OP somehow got the idea in her head it might be cool to be mean to her dad for falling short on buying her a present, but ultimately, it just showed up as evidence of OP’s character.

Hopefully she and her dad can talk through it—and the next birthday will be better for all involved.

Written by Mike Walsh

Mike is a writer, dancer, actor, and singer who recently graduated with his MFA from Columbia University. Mike's daily ambitions are to meet new dogs and make new puns on a daily basis. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @mikerowavables.