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Woman On Date Upset After Allergic Stranger Confronts Her About Having Flowers In Restaurant

Woman holding a tulip bouquet
Liliya Krueger/GettyImages

Some people prefer sitting at a nice table when on a date to enhance the romantic mood, while others are perfectly content with the company and don’t mind where they’re seated.

For one couple, a table by the window was perfect. Things couldn’t get any better when, beforehand, the woman’s date bought her flowers to take with her for dinner.

But the lovely gesture became part of an unplanned fiasco.

After causing drama at the restaurant stemming from the tulips she received from her date, the woman visited the Am I the A**hole (AITA) subReddit and sought judgment.

Neuro_lavender asked:

“AITA for not changing a table in a restaurant because of a stranger’s allergy?”

The original poster (OP) explained:

“My fiance (30 M[ale]) and I (25 F[female]) went on a date yesterday. We decided to have a stroll and then go to a local restaurant, but we didn’t book a table because it was Monday, and this place is never crowded.”

“On the way to the restaurant my partner bought me a small bouquet of tulips from a street vendor, it was lovely.”

“So when we arrived there was a vacant table just at the entrance, one empty table next to a window and some seats at the bar available.”

“Of course we took the window table. Our waiter instantly brought a small vase for the flowers, but one lady in her mid-40s gave me a strange look when I put my tulips into the vase.”

“She was dining with a man who was supposedly her husband at the closest to us another window table. She was staring for several minutes before she came to us and asked us to change the table because she is allergic to flowers.”

“We told her we didn’t want to since other sitting options were not as good as our current one.”

Things didn’t end there. The OP continued:

“At this moment, the waiter came to take our order, and the lady started complaining to him. He suggested that we sit at the bar.”

“My fiance asked him why he didn’t suggest it to the lady instead since it’s her who have a problem but the waiter got kinda anxious and said something like ‘but it’s about health.'”

“The mood was spoiled at the moment, so we just left to find another restaurant. But now I’m thinking if she was entitled to this because of her medical condition?”

In edits, the OP clarified a few points raised in the comments.

“I don’t know why everyone so pissed about ‘supposedly husband’. English is not my first language so I didn’t put any negative meaning here, it could be her brother or friend, it was not obvious.”

“And yeah now I see that it was not important to mention, but in the flow of writing I just put it there???”

“No, she was not polite, the lady was quite pushy and visibly irritated. Nobody created a scene but the conversation was tense enough for nobody to think about moving flowers away, which was the best way to solve this! (I actually assumed you cannot do this for hygienic reasons)”

“And no, I’m not so pressed about showing off the flowers, I didn’t even plan to put them on the table, it was the waiter who said it would look great.”

“The lady didn’t have her food on the table yet. I also don’t get how my phrasing like ‘of course’ ‘instantly’ ‘wowow’ shows that I’m a bad person. But thank you for explaining the word ‘supposedly’, great to know!”

“And lastly, I’d like to add that I’m not implying her condition is not valid, and I’m not putting my comfort over her health, I’m putting my comfort over her comfort, deciding who is changing the table.”

Anonymous strangers weighed in by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
  • NAH – No A**holes Here

A spirited debate ensued, with some Redditors deciding, “You’re the a**hole” (YTA) or “Not the A**hole” (NTA) for how the OP reacted to her fellow patron’s health concern.


“Since she was seated first and you were the people bringing flowers into the restaurant, the gracious thing to do would be to move to a table further away even if you don’t like it as much as the table you had.”

“Taking the flowers out to your vehicle or asking that the waiter hold them for you someplace else would be another option. Leaving and finding a different restaurant was also fine.”

“Yes, she could have moved too, but accommodating someone with a legitimate health concern is always the right thing to do.”

“I have a mobility disorder and use a service dog. Sometimes I seat myself near someone with a bad allergy to dogs. Even though I have every right to have my well-trained dog with me, and he will tuck under the table and not create an issue, if asked to accommodate another disability, I graciously move so that we can both enjoy a meal in a safe way.”

“Edited to add *for those saying the flower allergy can’t be real or severe enough to justify asking someone to move or move the flowers: I tend to err on the side of believing people when they say they have a health concern.”

“If I can do something minor to accommodate them, like move the flowers or sit at another table, I will. I think this isn’t required but it is polite behavior.”

“I am not interested in grilling strangers about or making them validate their health concerns. Perhaps this lady used ‘allergy’ as a short cut to describe a smell sensitivity that can trigger migraines for her, who knows?”

“I can’t really think why someone would object to being seated next to flowers if their motivation wasn’t health-related. If people care enough about something enough to lie about it being a health concern… meh, they have a whole other issue.”

“I would rather have 20 people get ‘away with’ lying to me about their allergies than disrespect one person by dismissing their valid health needs.*” – LadyCass79

“As someone with a deathly allergy, and carry an epipen. You need to learn to live with it, and be able to make your own accommodations to keep yourself safe. I would NEVER ask someone I didn’t know to move away from me because they had what i’m allergic to with them.”

“I would actually probably move myself if it made me uncomfortable, but it is not someone else’s job to keep me safe. It’s mine. So as someone with an allergy who is shocked that someone would do this to you. I would say NTA.”

“But I would like to point out that if it were someone you were friends with or out with it would be completely different. If i’m out with my friends, they would never eat peanuts around me, so i’ve never actually had to ask them not to.” – Rude-Sandwich-830

“I disagree with you because they were there first, and the other people brought the allergens in. They made sure to pick a place with out flowers, and OP brought them in, so totally acceptable to ask the person that brought them to move.” – moctar39

“Okay, but it’s flowers.. like all you have to do is go outside, and you’ll be exposed to them again? That’s something that exists everywhere. Pollen is on everyone’s clothes this time of year, cut flowers aren’t a game changer.”

“It’s not like she came in with a handful of peanuts to a nut free restaurant, and it’s not like the restaurant was otherwise sterile.” – lovable_cube

“NTA people are going crazy with conclusions about your “supposedly” lol. I feel sympathy for those with allergies, but they shouldn’t expect others to go out of their way to accommodate them- especially strangers.”

“Its not like you were waving it around or anything, it was at your table in place too, and if her allergy is so severe that she reacts when its not even next to her shes screwed anyways cuz flowers are everywhere. In gardens in front of buildings, wild in grass, sometimes on table decorations, ect.” – Theteaishotwithmilk

“I might get railroaded for this question…. Info-did she seem to be having a reaction to the flowers? Like to the extent that it would have actually interrupted her meal?”

“Tulips are a low pollen flower (and I THINK actually get specifically selected for allergy free gardens since they rarely get airborne) so I’m having a harder time with that part of the story than if they had been Lillies or something.”

“I’ve had friends who had severe pollen/tree/grass allergies who you could tell were having a reaction,they’d get puffy and red and their eyes would water….. idk even those friends never imposed their restrictions on public places, they actually went and got allergy shots to lessen the reaction cause they knew the world around them would always have plants in it.” – peerdata

“Yeah you are right to bring this up. I think it’s highly unlikely that she is actually highly allergic to tulips. They’re basically hypoallergenic, except for the bulb. Some people have a dermatitis reaction when they handle the bulbs.”

“But that’s not what’s happening here. Perhaps she has had an allergic reaction to the bulbs and is overreacting, but still, that is unreasonable. Her allergy=her responsibility to move.”

“Anyways I think one of the other commenters had the best solution: the waiter could have moved the tulips to the back of the restaurant. NTA.” – WealthOk9637

“NTA. The lady could’ve asked to be moved. Some people act so entitled. The world isn’t going to always be accommodating to your needs and no one is obligated to accommodate you.”

“If you said no then it was no. Does it suck that someone doesn’t want to accommodate you, yes but are they obligated, NO. If she was so concerned about the allergies, she should’ve moved. I wouldn’t have left either. She was the one who required an accommodation so it was her responsibility to move.” – coolredditname1234

Ultimately, many Redditors thought the OP was not the a**hole here.

They also suggested if the person with the health concern was fearful of having an allergic reaction, she should have moved to another table instead of asking the OP to accommodate her.

Others thought the simple solution to the drama was to ensure both parties would keep their desired seating, the flowers should have been temporarily removed from the table and away from the patron with floral allergies.

Written by Koh Mochizuki

Koh Mochizuki is a Los Angeles based actor whose work has been spotted anywhere from Broadway stages to Saturday Night Live.
He received his B.A. in English literature and is fluent in Japanese.
In addition to being a neophyte photographer, he is a huge Disney aficionado and is determined to conquer all Disney parks in the world to publish a photographic chronicle one day. Mickey goals.
Instagram: kohster Twitter: @kohster1 Flickr: nyckmo