Family gatherings are often a time for celebration, bonding, and sharing meals. However, they can quickly turn sour if not planned carefully.
Even when you think you’ve considered everyone’s needs, it’s possible that someone will still be unhappy at the dinner table.
What’s The Question
We came across one such incident on internet. A user asked, “Am I wrong for making homemade food for everyone except my brother’s stepdaughter?”
The original poster (OP) is a 27-year-old female, not a professional chef. However, she loves to cook. She has taken many cooking classes and loves making elaborate meals for friends and family.
What About Family
In 2021, her brother, Greg married Cheryl (who already had a daughter named Becca from a previous relationship). Becca has health conditions, including celiac and a severe dairy allergy that requires her to carry an epi-pen.
Last weekend, the OP hosted a dinner party at her house to celebrate her parent’s anniversary. She invited Greg, Cheryl, Becca, OP’s sister, her sister’s boyfriend, and their twins. She decided to make a fancy 5-course meal for all the invitees.
As you may remember, Becca has strict food restrictions. So, the OP found a restaurant that specializes in gluten free, dairy free and allergen-free food. She arranged them to make a full meal for Becca that the OP would pick up before the party.
What Does OP Say
OP also added “I have made a variety of speciality meals in the past (for example, keto meals when my friend was following that diet) and I like the challenge, but knowing how serious Becca’s restrictions were, I didn’t trust myself to make her meal. I have ADHD and get easily distracted, and if I even used the wrong spoon or didn’t completely wash some flour off a bowl, it could make her incredibly sick.“
The OP was completely sure of the take-out solution, but when she served the food, she found Cheryl looking at Becca’s plate with a stony face. Becca, on the other side, seemed fine and started eating.
What Did Cheryl Do
Cheryl whispers to Greg and Greg aksed if he could talk to the OP in the kitchen, privately. On getting there, Greg told the OP that it was “unbelievable” that she was not bothered to ,make something for Becca. He goes on to add that they had been bragging about her cooking to her and he knew she knows a variety like keto, vegan, and other complicated kinds of food in the past.
Greg also added that Becca feels left out because she doesnt get to eat what the rest of the family was eating. He went on to say that the OP did not care about making Becca (who is a stepdaughter) feel like a part of the family and that they are leaving.
Greg, Cheryl and Becca then left, which put a damper on the rest of the party.
What Does Want To Know
The OP asks the people “I felt like I did my best at the time, but in hindsight, I wonder if I should have tried harder to make Becca feel included since she is a relatively new addition to our family. AITA?”
Most of the Redditors sided with the OP, telling her, she was NTA (Not the A…hole).
One explains “For some reason, I read that and felt sad for you. I’m honestly in disbelief you thought you did something wrong. You were incredibly thoughtful in how you handled ensuring she had a meal suitable for her. You have ADHD and are well aware that mistakes are so easily made so to ensure you didn’t seriously put this child’s health in danger, you decided the safest option was to contact a restaurant to provide something. I can’t stress this enough, YOU ARE NTA”
Not A Jerk
“Not wrong. Celiac and dairy allergies are no joke, and while it’s certainly possible to make a gluten and dairy free meal in a regularly home kitchen, there’s always a possibility of contamination. You did what you thought was safest. They are the AHs for overreacting and making the event all about them, especially when it seems like Becca wasn’t bothered” added another.
Was OP right to order takeout instead of cooking something for Becca? Was it inappropriate for OP’s brother and sister-in-law to leave the dinner because of this? How would you have reacted in this situation?
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