Gift-giving can be challenging, particularly when balancing fulfilling a recipient’s wishes and meeting a parent’s preferences. This dilemma is especially true when buying a gift for a teenager. The debate becomes more pronounced when the teen’s wish conflicts with the parent’s choice, and a decision have to be made on whose preference to prioritize.
The author was invited to a birthday party of a friend’s daughter and asked for gift recommendations. The friend suggested a karaoke machine, but the author’s younger sister advised against it and suggested messaging the daughter to ask what she wanted.
The daughter chose a few expensive items, and the author chose the cheapest one, a 320-dollar bag. At the party, the author gave the bag as a gift, and the friend was upset that the author did not get the karaoke machine and that the author had messaged the daughter behind her back.
The daughter confirmed that she never wanted the karaoke machine, but the friend is still upset and calls the author a “j***.” The author seeks opinions on whether they were in the wrong.
The author is in the right place based on the details provided. One commenter states, “NTA. It sounds like mom wanted the karaoke machine.” It is reasonable for someone to ask for gift recommendations, especially for a child they do not know well.
It was appropriate for the author to message the daughter to ask what she wanted. The daughter provided suggestions, and the author chose a gift within their budget. The friend’s suggestion of a karaoke machine was not necessarily the best gift for the daughter, as she had no interest in it.
“This. OP, you can get your friend the karaoke machine for her birthday; she needs to leave her daughter out of this. NTA.” This comment rings true because if the mum really wants a karaoke machine, even if it’s for the sake of the family, she can get one when she wants to make the investment or get one as a present from someone on her actual birthday, not her daughters.
It sounds selfish as if the mother wanted the karaoke machine more than the daughter and the author looks out for the kid’s needs. “Totally agree! NTA. Mom wanted a karaoke machine, so she pretended her daughter wanted one. Wonder what else her daughter got that mom actually wanted!” So, the author was doing the right thing in this scenario.
The friend’s reaction seems unwarranted, as the author had no ill intentions and acted in good faith. Understandably, the friend might have been upset if the author had utterly ignored her suggestion and gotten something drastically different.
However, the author still got a gift for the daughter, which was within their budget. The friend’s insistence that the author is a “j*rk” and bringing it up even a week later seems excessive and unnecessary.
However, it also sounded like the mom may have wanted the karaoke machine for more significant, wholesome reasons than her own selfish gain. “And mom was so excited. She had visions of family and friend get-togethers where everybody is sitting around listening to her undiscovered talent.” So, in fact, she wanted the machine for the family’s sake, not just for her enjoyment.
That being said, underlying issues in the relationship between the author and their friend might have contributed to the friend’s overreaction. Therefore, it may be worth conversing with the friend to understand why they are so upset and see if any underlying issues need to be addressed.
Overall, though, it seems the author did nothing wrong and was trying to get the best gift for the daughter.