Ah, the joys of the holidays: Being asked uncomfortable questions by family members, bargaining with your children to just try the stuffing, diverting the conversation away from politics to avoid a total blowout, sweating under the pressure of cooking a meal fit for an entire army platoon. ‘Tis the season, and this Reddit woman is feeling good tidings of it all thanks to her mother-in-law refusing to eat her Thanksgiving feast.
The frustrated daughter-in-law took to the platform’s “Am I The A—hole” forum to explain her holiday woes. She wrote, “This year I (32F) am hosting Thanksgiving at my house and I have been working all month on coming up with the menu and testing all my recipes. I am so excited to share my cooking with my family and my husband (35M) has been supportive and helpful through all the planning and prep work. I have bought all the ingredients and I have a beautiful variety of dishes planned (both traditional and a few unique additions).”
Her spread truly sounds like something worthy of its own Food Network show — she writes that she’s making “roasted turkey, stuffing, classic creamy mashed potatoes, potatoes au gratin, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, roasted carrots, homemade bread rolls with apple butter, roasted squash with goat cheese, honey glazed ham, braised short ribs, spinach, bacon, & feta cheese pies, special lasagna with white sauce, stuffed mushrooms, creamed corn with cheese, and then pecan pie, pumpkin pie, and apple pie for desserts.” It’s beyond us why her MIL doesn’t want in on any of that delectable action — we’re wondering if we can take her place at the dinner table!
The woman continued, “Today my husband dropped the bombshell on me that his mom wants to bring her own dinner to eat when she comes over. I asked him why she would need to bring her own food when I will have more than enough here. He just made excuses saying I know how his mother is a ‘grade A picky eater’ and she won’t ‘like’ anything I have prepared.”
“I thought that was ridiculous; I am not making anything unfamiliar to her and there will be plenty to choose from,” she wrote. “He argued that her bringing her own dinner would be a good compromise and I disagree. It will be hugely obvious that she’s making a comment on my cooking and it would be humiliating to have her there eating something completely different in front of everyone, it’s like she’s trying to make a point of showing that my cooking isn’t good enough for her.”
We aren’t given context as to if the woman’s cooking is an ongoing point of contention between her and her MIL, or if they simply don’t get along in general, but it seems like the woman’s frustration is rooted in more than just this instance of her MIL refusing her meal. We can’t help but feel for her due to the clear amount of thought, love, and dedication she’s put into creating a truly spectacular Thanksgiving feast.
The woman continued expressing her frustration, sharing, “I think she is being incredibly rude and disrespectful of the time, money, and labor I have put into this upcoming meal. I told [my husband] if she can’t eat anything here then she is welcome to stay home and eat whatever she wants. My husband is now calling me insensitive and petty. He says I am ruining the holiday. I don’t see it that way. I only want friends and family around who are appreciative and kind — I don’t need the negativity of someone rejecting everything I’ve cooked and insulting my cooking when I’ve worked so hard.”
She concluded, “This has truly been a labor of love and I took on this responsibility to share that love with my family and friends,” asking, “AITA for not wanting my MIL to come if she’s going to reject everything I’ve made?”
Redditors flooded the comments with support and mature advice, with one user writing, “Yes, your MIL is being rude and disrespectful, but uninviting her is not the answer. Here’s what you do: Welcome her and her special meal with open arms. Kill her with kindness.”
They continued, “Offer to help her heat up her meal. Tell her it looks absolutely delicious and ask for her recipes and ask her is she could bring one of her wonderful dishes to the next gathering. Meanwhile, you and your other guests can enjoy your fabulous meal and your MIL can listen to all the compliments you get for it.”
Another user wrote, “OP, I think your menu sounds fantastic, but I don’t think you even need to pay it any mind if she brings her own food. You have a fantastic spread and I feel like MIL is going to regret bring her own and struggle to not abandon it when presented with the feast you’re going to lay out. At the very least, she’s making herself into an odd minority person when everyone else will be enjoying the meal you prepared. Why go out of your way to be snarky about it? With all that food, you must be having quite a few people over — with all of them enjoying the food, don’t you think you’ll make yourself look kind of bad by focusing in on the one person who’s already cast herself out of the group in this way?”
Many people speculate in the comments that the MIL could have an eating disorder, sensory challenges, or food allergies, although the daughter-in-law doesn’t give us that information or hint that any of those things may be the case. With this in mind though, one user wrote, “Kill her with kindess. But making a big song and dance out of it isn’t killing her with kindess. Just help her make sure she’s happy and settled with her own meal and enjoying the festivities. That’s it.”
OP responded graciously, writing, “Omg there’s a lot of replies, thank you all for weighing in. I’ve been reading all your responses and have been thinking a lot — and as much as it hurts my feelings, I think the kill her with kindness route will be the best thing to do.”
She continued, “I am so overwhelmed and exhausted and I just want to have a perfect Thanksgiving for everyone. I will let her know she is welcome and will ignore her and focus on my other guests. I won’t let her ruin my day and will be the bigger person. That’s what family does, as much as I will be irritated on the inside… (Who knows maybe she will try something and like it! But if she doesn’t that’s okay too).”
She said it best — sometimes gritting your teeth and taking the high road is the only way to make holiday gatherings with family bearable. Here’s to the spirit of the season!
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