Birthdays are hard days for many people, especially when their loved ones forget about their big day.
For one woman on Reddit, however, her assumption her loved ones had forgotten turned out to be incorrect when they threw her a huge surprise party–which she then left because she was so hurt.
She wasn’t sure about how she handled things, so she went to the AITA (Am I The A**hole) subReddit for perspective.
The Original Poster (OP), who goes by Emol_nusk on the site, asked:
“AITA for walking out of my ‘surprise birthday party’?”
“So it was my (20f[emale]) birthday today and from the minute I woke up nobody has aknowledged my birthday. I walked downstairs to my kitchen and my mom was reading her newspaper ignoring me completely. She even had some demands about cooking and cleaning so my day already started a little off.”
“My dad and brother both ignored me as well. Normally my dad wishes me at least a ‘happy birthday’ but today he just said nothing. My friends seemed to have fogotten it aswell as they literally said nothing. My friend messaged me about some clothes but nothing more. I just didnt feel special as stupid as it sounds.”
“It was the same at work. My colleagues spoke about my birthday yesterday and today nobody aknowledged it or said anything. I just felt so miserable and ignored. Before heading home after work i bought myself a small birthday cake just to treat myself and make it a little better.”
“Well when I got home and ready to just have a dip my whole family/friends and colleagues were in my livingroom. They told me how they had been all excited to surprise me but I just couldnt help myself but feel upset. They ignored me throughout the whole day and now they want me to be all happy and chatty. I just walked out.”
“I walked back to my car and now i am sat in a MCDonalds parking lot writing this. My phone is being blown up about me being the a**hole for walking out. I do feel kind of bad but i just couldnt do it anymore.”
“Should i have just sucked it up or was i the a**hole for walking out?”
People on Reddit were then asked to judge who was in the wrong in this situation based on the following categories:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
And most people agreed that while the surprise party was a lovely gesture, OP’s loved ones went about it the wrong way.
“That’s NOT how you do a surprise party. That’s just mean and ignorant, to treat you coldly all day and let you feel unhappy and forgotten. Were they amused and pleased at your disappointment?”
“The way to do a surprise party is to plan something standard like “We’ll have Cake and some wine this evening, what time will you be home?” And then the surprise is that it is so much more than you expected.” –NoxWild
“People seem to be confused about surprise parties in here. Surprise parties don’t mean you go the whole day without acknowledging the birthday and making someone feel sh*tty as a bit, it just means you don’t acknowledge that there is a party that is going to take place….”
“ETA: NTA clearly”
“Lol, right! Some commenters Seem to think the point of a surprise party is to make you feel absolutely awful about yourself first. Then when everyone yells surprise you can feel happy and lived again. Life is NOT a sitcom.” –CalmFront7908
“My fiancé arranged a surprise get together for me once. He still wished me a happy birthday before that. Gave me my flowers. Treated the day as it was my birthday. Then everyone came in with food and that was the surprise. No need to ignore and make someone feel ignored. That’s just mean.”
“Op, NTA” –Playful-Mastodon872
“I was the designated distraction for a surprise party. Went out with my friend for her birthday. Red herring I told her I had a surprise and it was to go to a piercing place to get her bellybutton pierced. She decided not to, so we went back to my place… Where everyone was waiting!”
“This wasn’t a surprise, it was a prank. NTA” –kat_Folland
“This is what happens when people watch too much TV and start thinking it’s real. Maybe they think stalking is ‘romantic’ too because the romance series told them so.”
“Plus people on here like ‘i did that for friend/family member too and they made me feel like crap for walking out/throwing a tantrum after all that effort’, like if you don’t want them walking out then wish them a happy birthday at least, not pretend that you forgot and ignore them all day. Geez, it’s not difficult.” –danigirl3694
“NTA. People really need to stop going with plans that only happen/work in fiction. Normal people with their heads on right can still manage a surprise party while also saying Happy Birthday and the like. Nothing that happened implied plans or care and its very ok to be upset by the emotional whiplash”
“EDIT: Please don’t listen to anyone saying that not saying ‘Happy Birthday’ when a surprise party is planned is normal. Its not.” –PommedeSang
“My parents and friends managed to make a surprise party behind my back while I was planning my own small at home party. They all went along with it. As far as I knew my friends were coming for a sleepover that day.”
“Then, two hours before, they told me that I’d have to cancel because family from way out of town came in unexpectedly and we had to go out with them and they’d make it up to me. We get to the venue and surprise! No out of town family.”
“It’s really my party with all my friends who knew the whole time! If they can pull that off before cell phones then people can surely manage to say “happy birthday” without running the surprise.” –adventuressinnonsense
“I hate all pranks that make people feel like crap then act like because the premise that hurt them wasn’t true, therefore there’s no harm done. This includes ones like this, ones where people pretend something precious has been lost, that a person is missing or injured, etc.”
“Guess what? Making someone feel like bad all day is harm. Emotional pain is suffering. Just because it turns out you didn’t forget their birthday, it doesn’t erase what you just put them through. Why would people want to cause pain to people they supposedly love?” –geesjugglingchamp
“Like it is with surprises, jokes and pranks and everything: its not fun unless EVERYONE is having fun.”
“I don’t know where they get the idea that making you, OP, feel miserable on a day that should be so fun for you, is a great surprise. In the best case, they really didn’t think about it because in their head the surprise would be actually great, in the worst case they are mean spirited. I really hope its the first one, but still absolutely NTA.”
“I really hope the words of support on here will give you a bit of a happy feeling on your day after all, get yourself a happy meal with extra toys and spoil yourself a bit, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY <3” –BachPipe
“The more I think about it, the more incredibly manipulative it feels. They were intentionally making OP feel small by withholding affection, so that she’d be grateful for their attention later on? That’s A grade emotional manipulation – her on freaking birthday!”
“Buncha see you next Tuesdays…” –briareus08
“NTA, they could have easily still had a surprise party. Acknowledging the fact that it’s your birthday and congratulating you doesn’t stop them also doing the surprise party, I’m not sure who thought this was a good idea” –Nona_Ginta
“NTA. They could have very easily told you happy birthday and still thrown the surprise party. To flat out ignore you pretty much all day would have pissed me off and I don’t even like celebrating my birthday.”
“That being said I do have to laugh at my sister and my nieces though. It is always a competition between them of who can be the first one to wish me a happy birthday to the point they will call me at 11pm (midnight their time) to wish me a happy birthday. I have told them, it still isn’t for an hour and they are like but it is our time.”
“I have to remind them, I am not on your time so it doesn’t count. Then I silence my phone so I can go to sleep since I have to be up at 5 to get ready for work. I will literally have like 20 missed calls until I turn my ringer on and then it is on.”
“Whoever out of them wakes up first gets to be the first except this past year when my best friend beat them to it. Had to rub that one in to mess with them.” –4U2NV1981
After reading her fellow Redditors’ responses, OP came back for an update.
“EDIT: I would like to thank everyone who took their time to comment and read my post! As many of you suggested i spoke to my family and went home after. Well they were still having a pretty good time so they still had a fun party anyway.”
“I am going to a restaurant for dinner with my family today so we still ended on good terms. I would also like to say thank you to those who went out of their way to wish me a happy birthday anyway it really means a lot. Have a good day reddit!”
Hopefully OP’s future birthdays can be a bit less dramatic.