Giving gifts can be tough, but the best thing you can do is listen to the recipient when they say what they want, and one woman has learned that the hard way.
Posting to Reddit’s r/AmITheA**hole forum, u/penguinblinders asked if she made a mistake with her gift. She got over 11,000 upvotes and 4,000 comments for her issues, even though the comments weren’t on her side.
She says last month she celebrated her first birthday with her girlfriend. Before that, she asked what her girlfriend wanted, and she replied that she just wanted “something romantic” and “cute”, mentioning a necklace as a potential gift.
But u/penguinblinders said a flash of inspiration hit her while browsing Amazon: an immersion blender. His girlfriend loves to cook, she says, and frequently talks about the various kitchen gadgets she would like. After a recent meal where she made homemade tomato sauce, u/penguinblinders recalled her complaining about the consistency of the sauce and how smooth it would be with a blender.
“I’m a very practical gift, I like to give things that people will use, so I bought this and was super excited to give it to her,” u/penguinblinders wrote.
On the birthday, u/penguinblinders was very happy with her present – an expensive bottle of whiskey she had wanted “for ages” – but her girlfriend was less enthusiastic.
“I was so excited and I encouraged my girlfriend to open hers. She opened it and her face fell a bit and she said ‘oh…a [immersion] blender…?’ And I told her I remembered her talking about all the kitchen gadgets she wanted and I was so excited to give it to her,” she wrote.
His girlfriend clarified that she always thought birthday presents should be romantic rather than practical. The gift she really wanted was a tiny $30 mushroom necklace that she showed online at u/penguinblinders.
Although the gift didn’t lead to a rift in their relationship — and the u/penguinblinders girlfriend ended up buying herself the necklace a week later — his best friend and his girlfriend’s best friend the both criticized about the error.
“I shared my woes with my friend and my friend thought it was hilarious that I was so incompetent, and he understood why my girlfriend was upset with her gift. Gf’s best friend also had wind of the situation and told my girlfriend to go back to the kitchen,” u/penguinblinders wrote.
So unlike many r/AmITheA**hole posts with much higher stakes, u/penguinblinders simply wanted an answer once and for all – was she wrong to buy the handy gift?
On the first birthday, the traditional gift is something made of paper, Brides says the magazine. It is a symbolic gift representing an empty page and an opportunity to write the couple’s new future together. The magazine says clocks are another common gift for this anniversary, representing “eternal love.”
But even Brides recognizes that tradition is not always enough. The magazine calls jewelry a “no-fail option.” The magazine’s gift suggestions are also all on the romantic side, so it seems Brides also agrees with u/penguinblinders girlfriend. Suggested gifts include a heart-shaped photo collage, skincare sets and, of course, several pieces of jewelry.
The magazine says the perfect gift should be something she probably wouldn’t buy herself — like u/penguinblinders’ girlfriend got her — something unique and something meaningful.
Redditors also strongly supported his girlfriend.
“[You’re the A**hole]. So I understand you’re a lesbian but wow, that’s like a man action from a TV sitcom. You might as well have bought her a bowling ball with your name on it,” u/Krakengreyjoy wrote, referencing the infamous birthday present Homer Simpson bought Marge in a Season 1 episode of The simpsons“Life at high speed.”
“OP, honestly, you could have killed this gift. I bought the blender because it showed that you were listening to her daily thoughts and wishes, and the necklace hung around the blender when she opened it to show that you were also listening to him express his gift preferences and need for romance,” u/AllDone19 suggested.
“Why did you ask what she wanted if you were going to completely ignore her and buy what you wanted? [You’re the A**hole]“wrote u/GlitterSparkleDevine.
“Do you honestly think a blender is romantic and cute? Seriously, why did you ask if you were going the complete opposite direction? Not sure of the judgment yet,” u/cattripper wrote. “[You’re the A**hole] I don’t think you were deliberately mean about it, but I understand why your girlfriend’s face fell when she saw the blender.”
Newsweek contacted u/penguinblinders for comment.