in ,

Woman Called Out For Refusing To Give Random Kid The Balloon Hat She Was Wearing At Work

Shestock/Getty Images

While we would all like to do a nice thing and make someone else smile, sometimes we have to limit ourselves in what we’re willing to do.

One totally reasonable boundary? Giving away our personal possessions, just because someone else has asked for them, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” subReddit.

Redditor Bemzzzz was taken aback when she was approached by a father and daughter while she was serving tables to inquire about the balloon hat she was wearing.

When the father alluded to the possibility of giving her hat to his daughter, simply because she wanted it, the Original Poster (OP) felt reluctant.

She asked the sub:

“AITA for not giving a child my balloon hat?”

The OP received a really cool balloon hat at work. 

“So, at my (23 [female]) place of work, we have a lady who comes every Saturday to make balloon hats, face paint, etc.”

“She’s super lovely and I get very excited for Saturdays to roll around because I am partial to a silly hat and she makes a MEAN balloon hat.”

“While we do wear the balloon hats at work, we don’t usually take them home, but we had our staff party that night and we all planned on taking them home to wear to that.”

A father suggested she give it to his daughter. 

“This happened a couple of weeks ago. I had my balloon hat, which was a fish, and I was wearing it as I was serving customers (I wasn’t the only one wearing one btw (by the way)).”

“A child (maybe 7-8) and her dad came up to me next. The girl pointed at it and asked her Dad if she could get one.”

“Now by this time the Balloon Hat Lady had packed up her stuff and left, and he told her that.”

“BUT then he said, ‘Maybe if you ask the lady for hers, she will give it to you.'”

“I kind of cringed because I knew if I said no to this sweet little girl, I would be a massive AH, but I also thought, why should I feel obliged to give this random kid something of mine just because she’s a kid?”

The OP attempted to find another solution. 

“So instead I said, ‘Oh, this is actually my hat, but I think we have a spare one that nobody is wearing that you can have!'”

“So I went to ask my workmates for the other one and they were also a bit conflicted because as I said above, we were planning on wearing them to our staff party that night.”

“We couldn’t find the spare one so one of my workmates reluctantly gave up his (he’s more mature than me, obviously).”

The OP was criticized for her actions. 

“I gave it to her and she seemed happy with it, but the dad kind of made a sly comment about me not wanting to give his child my hat.”

“It was kind of awkward and I did feel kind of bad for letting my workmate give up his hat instead of mine.”

“Anyway, I told my boyfriend when I got home about it, and he said I was a bit of an AH because it’s just a stupid hat and I could have gotten another one next week.”

“He said this to me as I was wearing the fish balloon hat, which made me feel a bit silly.”

“So, AITA for not giving a child my balloon hat?”

The OP also shared an image of a coworker wearing one of the balloon fish hats.

Bemzzzz/Reddit

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 said the OP was not wrong to keep something that belonged to her.

“What seems to be the case of disagreement is that people are valuing this balloon differently, like it is disposable to OP. It’s certainly not.”

“She may very well value her balloon as much as she likes, she may even keep it and maintain it filled, that is her prerogative and the father is absolutely out of place expecting her to just give it away.”

“People are different and value different things, that is perfectly fine. NTA.” – enzovrlrd

“Am I the only one here f**king impressed by that hat? How did I skim 80% through the comments and no one has said a godd**n word about what a literal genius The Balloon Lady is? She is a Balloon Artisan.” – biscuitboi967

“If that was my balloon fish hat, you would have to pry it from my cold dead hands.” – Schuld6

“Why on earth would he teach his child that it’s OK to ask people for their belongings??!”

“It’s not. Doesn’t matter if it’s just a balloon hat.”

“That puts the owner of the thing in an extremely awkward position to feel obligated to give it away when they don’t want to.” – Violet_sky21

“And also, next time say, ‘Our ballon hat lady comes every Saturday, so if you come next week, early, I’m sure you’ll be able to get one.’ That way, NO ONE has to accommodate an unreasonable ask. I feel bad for the guy that gave his up…” – HappyLucyD

Others agreed and took issue with what the father was teaching his daughter.

“The kid is not at fault. They didn’t even ask OP for HER hat; they asked for A hat.”

“But the dad is the one who then suggested OP just give HER hat, which is teaching your child that it’s okay to just ask for something that someone else has because you want it.”

“‘Wow, I love your hat, I would love one, where did you get it?’ is an appropriate question.”

“‘Wow, I love your hat, can I have it?’ is not.” – fuzzysheepies

“And shame on that dad for modeling for the kid that asking for something is actually a demand! It’s so essential that we teach kids that it’s okay to ask, and it’s okay to be told no and go with that gracefully.” – very_busy_newt

“I have seen that kind of attitude absolutely RUIN kids emotionally once they are older and no longer ‘cute enough’ to guilt people into giving them what they demand.”

“It’s like they build their self-esteem around getting stuff because they look cute, and it hurts them so much more when they grow up and don’t get the same expected reaction from people.” – Lzcoris

Though the father tried to comment on the OP’s behavior, the subReddit saw the real fault with the father instead.

It may be one thing to compliment someone on one of their possessions and inquire where they purchased it from, but it’s another thing entirely to suggest that someone give up their possession simply because someone else wants it.

That insinuation is a big red flag balloon all by itself.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan lives in North Chicago, where she works as a poet, freelance writer, and editor. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University, and her BA in English from Indiana University South Bend. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, the James Franco Review, Thank You for Swallowing, and elsewhere; and her essays and book reviews have appeared with Memoir Mixtapes, The Rumpus, BookPage, and Motherly, among others. When she's not reading and writing, she's in her garden or spending time with her family. For more, visit www.mckenzielynntozan.com.