Just like love languages, we have our own ideas about what makes a great gift for someone.
One general consensus among gift-givers, however, is to listen to our loved ones for gifts they would potentially love, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
But Redditor penguinblinders was excited about the gift she had purchased for her girlfriend for their first anniversary of dating, even though her girlfriend had already specified a “romantic” gift she wanted.
When her girlfriend ended up being disappointed in the gift she received, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she should have listened to her girlfriend, or if this would simply blow over.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for buying my girlfriend a blender instead of the necklace she wanted for our anniversary?”
The OP asked her girlfriend what she wanted for their anniversary.
“Before I start, I’d like to say that my girlfriend and I are both women. We are lesbians.”
“This happened last month, but my best friend and her best friend are still giving me s**t about it.”
“We had our one-year anniversary. I asked what she wanted and she told me just something romantic, a little necklace or something cute.”
But the OP decided to purchase something else instead.
“While browsing around on Amazon I found an emulsion blender [immersion blender], and it pinged in my head that my girlfriend loves cooking and always talks about all the gadgets she wants.”
“Plus, she made homemade tomato sauce, and I remember her complaining how hard it was to make the sauce smooth because she didn’t have an emulsion blender.”
“I’m a very practical gift giver, I like to give things people will use, so I bought it and was super excited to give it to her.”
The OP was surprised by her girlfriend’s reaction on their anniversary.
“The day rolls around and she gives me a bottle of whiskey I’ve had my eye on for ages but could never justify the cost of.”
“I was so hyped and encouraged my girlfriend to open her gift.”
“She opened it, and her face kinda fell, and she goes, ‘Oh… an emulsion blender…?’”
“And I told her I remembered her talking about all the kitchen gadgets she wanted and was so excited to give it to her.”
“She kept her cool but told me while she appreciated the thought, she was a little upset that it wasn’t jewelry.”
“I was confused, so she explained that she felt anniversaries should be more about romantic and sentimental gifts versus practical gifts.”
“She said that she appreciated it greatly but couldn’t lie to me that she wished it had been the necklace she pointed out to me online (it was nothing fancy, a $30 mushroom necklace).”
The OP was still confused after their anniversary was over.
“I shared my woes with my friend and my friend thought it was hilarious that I was so inept, and that he understood why my girlfriend was upset with her gift.”
“My girlfriend’s best friend also got wind of the situation and has been ribbing me, telling me ‘girlfriend, get back to the kitchen’ jokes, etc.”
“My girlfriend and I are fine, but I know she was disappointed, and she ended up buying the necklace herself a week after I gave her the blender.”
“AITA for giving my girlfriend a practical gift versus the necklace she wanted?”
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 wondered why the OP bothered to ask if she wasn’t prepared to listen.
“Why did you ask what she wanted if you were going completely ignore it and just buy what you wanted to? YTA.” – GlitterSparkleDevine
“My SIL is like this. She asks what I want but prefers to give only practical things. So she ignores most of my suggestions. And then when I give her a whole list she says I ask too many things, lol (laughing out loud).”
“However, I have told her if you’re giving someone something, it’s not about what you want to give but what the other person wants to get.” – Ammilerasa
“I feel like the most important piece of info to determine if OP is an a**hole or not is that the girlfriend went and bought the necklace for herself A WEEK LATER.”
“You’re not really the a**hole for blatantly and willfully ignoring a direct suggestion for a gift. Sometimes people read the room wrong or whatever and miss the mark.”
“YTA, OP, because you didn’t fix your mistake and instead acted in a way that reaffirmed that you think you didn’t even make a mistake while going about your life as though everything is fine.”
“I’m almost certain that everything is in fact not fine, because it seems like your girlfriend gave you a week to come to your senses, but you were too obtuse to even see it.”
“I sense a sort of attitude of, ‘Well, I know it’s not what she wanted, but I still got her something, so that’s what matters.’ No, it’s not, OP.” – Mathlete86
“My spouse and I are also super practical, and an immersion blender is just the type of thing we might give or be happy to get.”
“Holy crap, she told you what she wanted, what would make her happy and you chose to ignore it, thinking you knew better.”
“This is beyond clueless and moving toward arrogant. Yeah, 100% YTA.” – awgeezwhatnow
“Her girlfriend literally told her she wanted ‘something romantic,’ and OP is over here like, ‘No, you don’t, you want a blender.'” – 20Keller12
Others agreed and explained why this wasn’t a good anniversary gift.
“I love cooking and you can buy me cooking gadgets from my wish list, do not go off list, but I very clearly say, ‘I love kitchen gadgets as gifts.'”
“The girlfriend was very clear here about a ‘romantic gift.'”
“OP might seriously need to sit down with her girlfriend and write a dictionary together, so that they can get on the same page as to what words like ‘romantic’ mean.” – shhh_its_me
“This was my first thought. Like, she enjoys cooking, but cooking is still a chore.”
“And then the fact that her partner even explicitly was like, ‘romantic gift, please, this necklace, cough cough,’ and the OP just steamrolled her. Whoops!” – shelballama
“NAH. Fellow lesbian, this is difficult.”
“I think that the fact that you saw something you thought she would like and would use and would be practical is actually really sweet. I generally agree with you on practical gift-giving, and the element of surprise, and showing that you listen and know your partner’s likes and dislikes can be really important.”
“However, the fact that she pointed out a specific necklace online to you should have been a clue that she was expecting you to get her that. Anything else could have been an additional surprise. Given that she told you a specific item she wanted, it’s hard to fault her for being a little let down when she opened the immersion blender.”
“I’m going with NAH because your gift was indeed thoughtful and practical, but her expectations and disappointment were not misplaced.”
“Just a learning point to go forward from, and next time you can save the practical gifts for birthdays or other holidays and go romantic for anniversaries if that’s what she prefers. But I don’t think you violated an untold social norm here.” – spacecat02138
“I don’t want to outright say YTA because you had good intentions, but as someone else who prefers practical to romantic gifts, you got to learn when to do each.”
“Birthday/Christmas: Can be Practical or Romantic (Both).”
“Anniversary/Valentines Day: Romantic all the way.” – thersasnakeinmyshoe
“Yeah YTA, sorry, I completely understand where you are coming from, I love practical gifts, too.”
“I will try to explain why you are the AH.”
“The blender is something you both will have use for. When she cooks, you have the benefit of eating the food she cooks. But with or without it, she will cook anyway.”
“The Necklace is just for her.”
“She wanted you to give her something that is not practical, but just pretty and only for her, nobody else.” – Myilana
A few shared how they would have handled the gifting situation.
“I kinda think that maybe it boils down to a difference in what ‘romantic’ means to each of them.”
“Like, if cooking is a hobby for the girlfriend, something she genuinely enjoys, OP might’ve felt like the blender was a romantic gift. ‘Look, I’ve been listening to you when you tell me about your hobbies and the things you want and need for them, and I want to support you!'”
“That might be romantic to OP. But it clearly isn’t for the girlfriend (especially if she doesn’t cook as a hobby). Ultimately, OP needs to learn from this experience.”
“I personally would’ve bought her the necklace too, if I was determined that she have a blender.” – a_squid_beast
“Whenever I’m in a relationship, I keep some emergency reserve of gifts in case I f**k up. Normally if I forget an anniversary or whatnot. Just small stuff.”
“I have had to pull from the reserve for when a gift flopped. I’m not dumb enough to buy a vacuum or kitchen appliance as a gift unless I am specifically told to do so. But sometimes you buy something you think is cute or will be appreciated, and it doesn’t land.” – CSCasper
“OP, honestly, you could have killed this gift. Bought the blender because it showed you were listening to her everyday thoughts and wishes and had the necklace hanging around the blender when she opened it to show that you were also listening to her expressed gift preferences and need for romance.”
“People, really listen to your SO (significant other), and even if it doesn’t make sense to you, do it anyway (as long as it does not cross your own legitimate boundaries). You might be surprised how much better your life is when you do those little things that you ‘just don’t get why.'” – Alldone19
“This is just like what my father did for my mother on Valentine’s Day. She had been complaining that the mail was getting crushed because the mailbox was so small. So, for Valentine’s Day, he got her a bigger mailbox.”
“She was not all that happy. He just looked at her and said, ‘Would you open the mailbox, please?’ She did and found a beautiful gold bracelet. He scored a lot of points.”
“I think the OP wasn’t an AH, just a little clueless. If the OP doesn’t learn from this incident, then they definitely will be an AH.” – Coasterbear
While the subReddit could understand and even appreciate the OP’s gifting choices, they could also understand why her girlfriend was upset after receiving the blender.
The OP may have wanted to provide a gift her girlfriend could enjoy and use, but the girlfriend clearly wanted something romantic that would be symbolic of their relationship and the OP’s love for her, not something she was capable of doing, like cooking.