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Woman Warns Sister’s Boyfriend About Her Plan To Ambush Him For Not Buying Her A Birthday Gift

A woman unwrapping a present.
Witthaya Prasongsin/Getty Images

When it comes to gift giving, as the old saying goes, “it’s the thought that counts.”

Presents don’t always have to be lavish or expensive, but should always have some meaning to them, or at least the tiniest bit of effort should be put into finding them.

People also tend to have higher expectations when receiving gifts or presents from certain people.

As a result, when these people seem to put no thought whatsoever in the presents they give, the unwrapping process tends to come with a less than ceremonious reaction.

When arriving for her older sister’s birthday dinner, Redditor Imaginary_Mine_1920 was surprised to find her sister’s boyfriend hadn’t yet arrived.

The original poster (OP) would soon learn, however, that this was owing to the fact that her sister was planning a surprise attack of sorts on her boyfriend.

Owing to the underwhelming birthday presents he gave the OP’s sister.

Not exactly excited to take part in this plan, the OP made the call to warn her sister’s boyfriend what he was about to get himself into.

Resulting in his skipping dinner altogether, and the OP’s sister becoming absolutely furious.

Wondering if they overstepped, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where they asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA for warning my sister’s boyfriend she wanted our parents to confront him at dinner?”

The OP explained why she felt compelled to warn her sister’s boyfriend that he was heading for a less than pleasant evening:

“My (23 F[emale]) family went out for dinner a few days ago to celebrate my sister(26 F) Jenn’s birthday.”

“When we got to the restaurant Jenn was already there alone.”

“She said she told her boyfriend Blake the time got pushed back 30 minutes because she needed to talk to us alone.”

“Jenn was mad at Blake for not getting her any birthday gifts and only took her out to dinner to a place they go to often.”

“Our parents understood her being upset and she asked if they would try talking to him because she couldn’t get Blake to understand how hurtful that was.”

“I asked her if she had given him her usual ‘present’ for his birthday or last holiday and Jenn said that wasn’t important.”

“For context, my sister’s idea of a gift for her partner is lingerie and sex, and only ever that.”

“I don’t know about her past relationships but I do know in the 2 years they’ve been together, I’ve heard and seen Blake give her gift ideas for him and he winds up buying them for himself after the fact.”

“He’s come to Christmas at our house with gifts for Jenn and Jenn always shows up empty handed for him saying she’d give him his present later.”

“I told Jenn it sounded like she got as good as she gives whereas our parents said I should be concerned someone would be dismissive and vindictive toward my sister.”

“Our parents said they’d think about talking to him based on his behavior when he arrived.”

“So I text Blake that Jenn was setting him up for a lecture.”

“He wound up not showing up.”

“Last night Jenn called me, angry.”

“She saw my text to him and realized my text was the reason he canceled and accused me of not having her back and she’s told our parents I butt into their relationship but I figure she was trying to get us involved in her relationship anyway.”

“I probably could have just stayed quiet but at the time it didn’t sit right with me what she was trying to do.”


Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation, by declaring:

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

The Reddit community unanimously agreed that the OP was not the a**hole for warning Josh about Jenn’s plan.

Everyone agreed that not only did Jenn need to be called out for her hypocritical behavior, but she had no business telling the OP to stay out of her relationship, when she literally invited her and her parents to get involved:


“Let’s ignore that Jenn is in the wrong and concentrate on your involvement.”

“Jenn invited (nay, urged) her parents to meddle in her relationship.”

“She has no moral high ground to object to her sister also meddling.”

“In fact, if you had meddled in her favor, she’d have been really happy about it.”

“You did the right thing in warning Blake about the three-person ambush.”- extinct_diplodocus

“She don’t get her bf a gift for any occasion but expects him to get her something then to bring the family in on it and try to bash him for not getting her a gift is crazy.”

“NTA for giving him the heads up.”- Full_Incident1450


“She pulled you all in her relationship and then wanted sympathy when it wasn’t warranted.”

“Your sister doesn’t sound like relationship material for Blake.”

“Kinda self-absorbed.”

“You did right to warn him ahead of time.”

“The only thing I wonder is why he felt it important to share your text with her?”- Sea-Tea-4130


“Next time Blake should leave out the dinner altogether and just get her some sex, too.”- StAlvis


“I would have wanted a heads up if I was walking into a trap too.”

“Jenn seems very selfish based on what you have said here.”

“It’s also kind of sh*tty that she is assuming Blake wants sex as a present?”

“Intimacy is special, completely separate from a birthday or Christmas gift?”- CanAhJustSay


“Jenn already lied to Blake about the time of the dinner, and she doesn’t consider what he might need or want for a birthday gift.”

“They don’t really sound long-term compatible.”

“I think you did the decent thing in giving him the heads-up, although he should still have attended.”

“Your parents sound like they indulge Jenn, and she has therefore never learned to take the consequences of her own actions.”-  CanAhJustSay


“The audacity of your sister and your parents to gang up on a dude over birthday gifts.”

“Absolutely not ok.”

“Super gross actually.”

“I’m glad you warned him.”- Complete-Design5395


“Blake deserves better.”- Fievel93


“If anything, you gave your sister a window of time to save her relationship.”

“Because even though I can’t speak for all dudes, most would break up immediately after an ambush like that.”- AppropriateListen981

“Kinda sounds like the bf is just matching your sister’s energy, lol.”


“Your sister sounds like a child asking mommy and daddy to fight her battles, and setting her bf up for a lecture by her parents is hugely uncalled for.”

“What is she, 12?”

“You probably shouldn’t have stepped into it at all.”

“Now you’re getting yelled at for interfering.”

“Sometimes it’s best to sit back and watch.”

“Either way, let’s hope the bf can finally see the red flags flying.”- IamIrene

The OP later returned with an update, shedding some light on her own relationship with Jenn and Jenn’s relationship with her parents, as well as an update as to where her relationship with Josh currently stood:

“Thank you everyone for the responses.”

“I wouldn’t say my sister is the golden child since we were treated equally growing up, more than our parents are family first no matter what.”

“This is not the first time she’s tried getting others to fight her battles; it’s just the first time she’s done it in public and with our parents.”

“I do not know if our parents know her gift-giving, but it’s pretty easy to figure out based on her comments, which are the same as every boyfriend she’s had since high school.”

“And no, I do not have feelings for Blake, I have a boyfriend of my own I love very much.”

“They are broken up, and as some of you guessed, Jenn is blaming me, but honestly, I wasn’t expecting to come through unscathed after I warned him.”

“I got the news from our mother, who called earlier to hark on me not backing my sister up against a man who disregarded her wishes on an important day and bailed.”

“I told Mom there are times you absolutely do have your family’s back, but when your daughter only ever forwards Nature’s gift card to her partners on gift-giving occasions, knowing they’ve asked for something else, and then involves the entire family for getting her process turned around on her, isn’t it?”

“Instead of agreeing to a public intervention, she should’ve told Jenn to leave us out of it and keep it between them.”

“Maybe shut down Jenn’s ‘all men need is sex to be happy’ rhetoric years ago, and maybe she’d have a son-in-law by now.”

“So that’s all that.”

“Thanks again, I think I’m going to go buy some ‘just for the hell of it’ gifts for my own boyfriend.”

We’ve all been let down or disappointed by a present at least once.

But it seems that Jenn’s issues are much bigger than the presents she does and doesn’t receive from her boyfriends.

As she seems to think relationships are based on material goods, and doesn’t need to equally reciprocate.

Perhaps if she thinks more carefully about what the OP says, she might change her dating habits for the better.

Something the OP’s parents might hopefully help her with one day as well.

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.