When we plan an event, especially when it’s surrounding an important life event, like marriage or a graduation, we would love for all of our favorite people to be there.
But sometimes they can’t be, and we have to respect their boundaries, admitted the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
The Redditor, who has since deleted her account, struggled with this when she received the news that her sister would not be attending her pre-wedding dinner to meet the family.
When her sister refused to budge, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she should let it go.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for expecting my sister to come to my pre-wedding dinner where her options will be limited, due to dietary restrictions?”
The OP was hosting a pre-wedding dinner.
“I get married this weekend and 2 nights before the wedding, we will have a family dinner at our favorite pizza place.”
“This will be with both sides of the family so as to get all the introductions out of the way for all those who haven’t met, and this will also act as a welcome dinner.”
Her sister said she wouldn’t be attending.
“My sister is lactose intolerant and recently lactose medication hasn’t helped her greatly, so my sister asked if she could skip dinner.”
“I mentioned to her that the restaurant does have other options available so she doesn’t miss out.”
“I also said that I would want her there since this is one of the only pre-wedding events we are having and she is of course my sister, so it wouldn’t be right for her to not be there.”
The bride tried to accommodate her sister.
“I told my sister the restaurant has vegan pizzas (lactose-free), but she said she doesn’t like tomato-based pizzas.”
“I also told her they have a range of salads plus other options like garlic pizza which is free from tomato sauce and dairy.”
“Notwithstanding this, my sister doesn’t see a point in her coming because, ‘Salad doesn’t fill anyone up,’ and her opinion is that she will be starving the whole night.”
“I think she’s just not trying whatsoever to work with me to accommodate her dietary restrictions, even though she definitely will have at least some options available to her.”
“AITA for nonetheless for expecting my sister to come?”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some said the situation might be uncomfortable for the sister.
“I have a lot of dietary restrictions. When dining out, particularly in a big group, without meaning to, I always end up being center of attention, and I don’t enjoy it.”
“I get quizzed over what happens to me and my full medical history. I do not want to discuss my diarrhea over dinner, or at all!”
“When you can eat anything, there’s so much that’s taken for granted. Combine that with being introverted or socially anxious or anything else, and it’s just so difficult.”
“Please consider too that if it’s the start of your celebration, she’s got a whole weekend of this too.” – a4991
“I am relatively new to having food restrictions. Recently I was invited to a family event. Due to circumstances beyond my control, it was moved to a pizza place at the last minute.”
“Okay fine, they have salads? I’m happy.”
“Oh but Shorty, they have gluten-free crust and vegan cheese, won’t you try the pizza?”
“No, thanks. I will pass on the cardboard with plastic on the top in favor of real food.”
“I had to have this same conversation multiple times before I was allowed to order my salad. What is with people becoming the food police and arguing with you about your own food?” – ShortWoman
“My sister has an intolerance and sometimes she gets down about going out places because she feels like a hindrance.”
“It’s definitely worth approaching her sister to ask in a more emotional way, I think. Even calling the restaurant beforehand to see if they could do something different for her.” – louilou96
Others said there was no reason to pressure the sister into attending.
“OP, she doesn’t want to go and used the dietary restrictions as an excuse so it would land as a soft no.”
“You can’t logic her into coming when the truth is she doesn’t want to and it sounds like there’s no real reason she needs to. Drop it, and appreciate that she’s still coming to the wedding.” – Covert_Pudding
“It seems she really just doesn’t want to attend the meet & greet, and the pizza is being used as a cover so she doesn’t have to hurt your feelings by outright saying she doesn’t want to be there.”
“But when you throw on top of that the fact that she just ate no-no food 2 days ago and the effects of that can last more than a week, and she generally doesn’t like this place, the compounding effect is that she doubly doesn’t want to go.”
“These things are always awkward, and let’s be honest here, if everyone hasn’t already met and gotten to know one another, then there’s not going to be a lot of contact with the extended in-law families in the future.”
“It isn’t as though you all are getting both sides together for family meals and parties, etc.”
“So her not being keen to go sit around with a bunch of people she’s not going to spend time with, making awkward conversation, in a place she’s already not thrilled with, isn’t going to have a long-term impact.”
“I get you wanting her there. I do. But I’ve also attended a whole s**t ton of these pre-wedding-meet-everyone dinners, and I don’t blame anyone for not wanting to sit through that.”
“Not even touching on the whole there’s still a raging global pandemic issue, you are going to have to accept that in the grand scheme of things, everyone meeting right now (or not) isn’t going to have any significant impact down the line.”
“She’ll be there for the wedding, so maybe just cut her some slack. I really do understand why this is important to you, but I think you need to step back a moment and look at the broader picture.” – CatteHerder
Some were concerned if there were other issues going on.
“This event isn’t about spending time with the hosts. It’s specifically to introduce the two families. The bride’s sister deciding to skip it is definitely going to be noticed and remarked on.”
“It’s not a huge deal, but I would have definitely been embarrassed if I planned a dinner to introduce my immediate family to my husband’s immediate family, and one of my family decided to skip it for no real reason.” – bananapanda123
“I was a vegetarian from 1990 to 2008. You know how many vegetarian options restaurants had back then? Often fewer choices than the sister is being offered now.”
“I went to a wedding reception once where the vegetarian option was literally plain spaghetti. Not even salt. And I wasn’t warned in advance.”
“Plenty of recovering alcoholics drink seltzer at parties.”
“Plenty of people eat before they go to a dinner and don’t tell the host that they aren’t coming because the host didn’t give them enough options.”
“She absolutely is making it about her.” – re_nonsequiturs
While it was really important to the OP for her sister to be at the pre-wedding dinner, it was clear to the subReddit that this wasn’t going to happen.
Whether she actually had dietary concerns at the restaurant, or if she simply didn’t want to attend the dinner, it seemed the best course of action was for the OP to respect her sister’s wishes and see her at the wedding instead.