Most of us have spared a living space with a roommate or significant other, and more than likely, we had a disagreement at some point.
We have to decide if it’s better to compromise with the people we’re living with or to stand behind our boundaries, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor pumpkinthighs decided to continue their cooking habits in their apartment, though it made their roommate unhappy.
But when it caused increasing problems in their home, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if they were being too stubborn.
They asked the sub:
“AITA for refusing to stop cooking meat in my shared dorm?”
The OP and their roommate, K, had different diets.
“So me and my roommate ‘K’ are both freshmen in college. We share a two-bedroom dorm that is an apartment-style, so we have a kitchen, living room, and bathroom as well.”
“I love cooking and because I now pay and choose what I get to eat, I like to eat meat. I’m starting to work out and the extra protein is great and tasty. My roommate K is a vegetarian.”
The roommates generally didn’t let the differences get in the way.
“We really have no issues with our dietary differences and we both just buy our own food, on occasion making a plate of cookies or other sweets to share.”
“K has expressed that she doesn’t like meat because of the smell or taste, which is why she’s vegetarian.”
“I respect that and because of our schedules I only end up cooking my week’s worth of meals (that often include meat) during times when she’s in class. It just kinda happened.”
K later surprised the OP with a request.
“One day she came home early from class and saw me preparing some chicken for my pasta.”
“She got a disgusted look and I apologized that I happened to be cooking when she got home.”
“She went to her room and I opened a window to vent out the smell better.”
“Later she asked me to stop cooking meat in our dorm altogether because she almost felt like puking earlier.”
“I refused and pointed out that I have been cooking meat since we first moved in together. She just never smelt it because she didn’t get back from class till a while after I was done and had a window open. It was simply a change in the schedule which is why she got home while I was cooking.”
The OP didn’t see what the issue was.
“We use separate dishes and cooking utensils and I always open up a window after I finish cooking simply so she wouldn’t smell it when she got home.”
“She didn’t verbally say how mad she was, but it was obvious that she was not happy whatsoever.”
“We haven’t talked much then because of opposing schedules and she went home for the weekend.”
“AITA for refusing to stop cooking meat in my shared dorm?”
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 OP had a right to maintain their diet.
“NTA. Don’t apologize, don’t succumb to pressure. Your diet is your choice, hers is her choice and neither of you can tell the other what to cook.”
“You’ve been accommodating enough by only cooking when you think she won’t be there. If she can’t be somewhere where meat has been cooked, she should have asked for a dorm room without a kitchen.” – merlinsbeard999
“Your student life staff don’t have you fill out a basic roommate questionnaire about things like tidiness, preferred sleep schedule, and so on?”
“Even at small colleges, roommate assignments should never be truly random. That would lead to so much misery.”
“If dietary restrictions aren’t part of the roommate questionnaire, this would be a good reason to encourage the student life staff to add them.” – archwrites
“NTA. You shouldn’t be restricted from eating what you want because of someone else’s dietary preferences/needs.”
“You’ve been very respectful of keeping the smell from bothering her and had no ill intentions by cooking something that you like. She should be happy that you’re being as considerate as you are.”
“I’ve been a vegetarian since I was 7 and lived in a similar apartment-style dorm in university with 3 other roommates who all ate meat and none of them went out of their way to keep the meat away from me like you’re doing for your roommate but I was also never audacious enough to expect them to alter their lifestyles/preferences for me.” – Maleficient-Cold6193
Others were concerned about the motivations behind the conversation.
“Having smelt someone’s microwaved fish in an office environment I can sympathize with people for while the smell of cooked meat is revolting.”
“But really the flatmate had to expect that going into a dorm room with a shared kitchen, this was likely to happen, and if it was that bad she should have paid extra for a private room. She either needs to get over it, or move out.” – ImBonRurgundy
“It’s not the smell. It’s the virtue-signaling. Making you stop cooking meat is all about your roommate showing how enlightened and virtuous she is and how unenlightened and barbaric meat-eaters are.”
“Or, maybe it’s the smell. It reminds her of what her virtue-signaling choice has made her miss out on.”
“NTA. Keep on cooking what you like.” – TechnoRat63
“I’m no longer a vegetarian, but when I was, I was NOT militant about it at all. I never forced it or played the victim.”
“I was belittled, had raw chicken thrown at me, had an ex-boyfriend try to kiss me with meat in his mouth, and had people lie about meat being in food regularly.”
“Pushy vegetarians give the rest of us a bad name. And we get to deal with other’s prejudices as a result. NTA and the roommate need to learn what oppression really is, because respecting each other’s food preferences is not it.” – onlycomeoutatnight
Though the roommate was clearly upset by the OP’s resistance, the subReddit agreed the roommates agreed to live together and could work out a way to keep everyone happy. Just because the roommate came home early one time didn’t mean the two couldn’t still make it work.