A woman has revealed how she walked out of her own surprise birthday party after being played a ‘cruel’ prank by friends and family.
People like surprises. Or, at least, they do in theory. In 2001, scientists from Emory University and Baylor College conducted a study to see how the human brain responds to pleasurable stimuli.
In this case, the stimuli took the form of fruit juice or water that was sprayed into the research participants’ mouths via a computer-controlled device. The pattern of juice and water sprays was designed to be predictable or totally unpredictable.
What the researchers found was that the human reward pathways located in the brain responded best to the unpredictable spray, while the brain’s pleasure center, the nucleus accumbens, had a particularly strong response to the unpredictable sequence.
In this case, the element of surprise enhanced the experience of those involved. But sometimes things can go a little too far.
That was obviously the case for the 20-year-old who took to Reddit to detail how she ended up ducking out of her own surprise party.
Writing in a post upvoted over 12,000 times, it’s fair to say she had her reasons.
According to her version of events, from the moment she woke up, no one ‘recognized’ it was her birthday.
“I went down to my kitchen and my mom was reading her diary, completely ignoring me. She even had requests regarding cooking and cleaning, so my day has already started a bit,” she wrote. “My dad and my brother also ignored me. Normally my dad wishes me at least a ‘happy birthday’ but today he didn’t say anything.”
She said the problem persisted with her friends ‘literally not saying anything’ while it was the same at work where co-workers, whom she had told about her birthday just the day before, had said nothing about it. topic. “I felt so miserable and ignored,” she wrote.
Coming home from work with a birthday cupcake, she wanted nothing more than to relax and try to forget how badly her big day had gone.
However, when she opened her front door, she was greeted by family, friends and co-workers who, unbeknownst to her, had planned a surprise party and intentionally ignored any mention of her birthday.
Unfortunately, they didn’t have the reaction they would have hoped for. “They told me they were all delighted to surprise me, but I couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed,” she said. “They ignored me all day and now they want me to be happy and talkative.”
Angry and upset, she instead simply “walked out” and headed to a nearby McDonald’s where she was inundated with messages on her phone criticizing her for leaving the party.
But while those present were clearly unhappy with her response, others on social media felt she was well within her rights to leave given the way she had been treated.
Brianreus08 said, “It’s not a surprise party…it’s a prank. And a villain.” CuriousBelgian agreed it was a “cruel prank” to perform on someone’s birthday.
IAMA_Shark__AMA commented, “It’s like they think they have to be horrible all day for her to be even more surprised… You don’t have to make someone sad before you can make them happy.”
NickyFrags69, meanwhile, felt that her friends and family clearly don’t understand how a surprise party is supposed to work. “Surprise parties don’t mean you go all day without acknowledging the birthday and making someone feel a little shitty,” they said. “It just means you don’t recognize there’s a party going on.”
Air0729 commented, “The point is to surprise and make the person feel special, not like they’re invisible,” while Owlsandmoths felt the damage had already been done by the time she got home , writing, “Throwing a party doesn’t make up for completely destroying someone’s self-esteem in one day.”
“Anyone would be upset if you felt ignored by just about everyone you know, and suddenly had to absolve the shitty treatment because ‘we threw you a party’, it’s toxic and disgusting. “, they added.
It’s not the first time a birthday surprise has gone wrong, sparking debate on social media. Last February, a dad enjoying a birthday trip to Hawaii with his wife reacted hilariously when his son decided to make a surprise appearance.
In another slightly more bizarre case, a man scared his guests after pulling a gun on them as they tried to surprise him with a party at his house.