When we enter a new relationship, excited to see where things will go, we tend to be a little more flexible with our standards.
But one area we should never be flexible with is the things that challenge our safety.
One person recently realized this for themselves on the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor okayAndy1 couldn’t stay quiet anymore about their girlfriend’s habits in the kitchen when she prepared some food for them to take home.
But after seeing her reaction, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if they were being too harsh.
They asked the sub:
“AITA for refusing to eat my girlfriend’s cooking?”
The OP struggled with their girlfriend’s cooking habits.
“My girlfriend loves cooking but is not very good at it.”
“I could shovel down some poorly seasoned food, but unfortunately, that’s not the reason I refuse to eat her cooking…”
“She does not handle food safely.”
“I have seen her handle raw chicken with her bare hands, wipe them off on a kitchen towel, and then chop vegetables.”
“She will use dairy that is far beyond its expiration date as long as there is no visible mold or spoiling, even if it smells bad, because in her opinion, all dairy smells like that, even fresh.”
“She will leave cooked food out for 4-5 hours before putting it away to eat later.”
“Leftover pizza is never refrigerated at her house. It always stays out on the counter in the box for 1-2 days.”
There were also concerns with the girlfriend’s cleaning habits.
“Her cat, who has a filthy litterbox 80% of the time, walks all over her counters and will lick food left in the pan.”
“My girlfriend does not have a dishwasher and only rinses her dishes, using water, and leaves them in a drying rack where the cat will lick them because there is usually still food left on them.”
“If she does use a scrubber on them, it’s this moldy, stinking brush from years ago, and there is not soap used.”
“Her cabinets are filled with greasy, cloudy-looking dishes that aren’t clean.”
“She will also pick things out of her garden and use it without rinsing it off first.”
“This is a problem because her neighborhood is littered with feral cats that gnaw at those plants and p*ss and sh*t in her garden.”
They couldn’t see eye-to-eye on these issues.
“I’ve talked to her about this endlessly and told her it’s not safe to do these things and that they can make someone really sick or even kill them.”
“She disagrees and claims she has done things this way her whole life and nothing bad has ever happened to her.”
“I’ve explained that even though it doesn’t make her sick, it could make ME sick, because my body isn’t used to it.”
“I know she wasn’t raised this way. I’ve been to her parents’ house many times and they both handle food safely and clean their dishes.”
“Also, she is a tidy person, always clean and primped.”
“I just don’t understand why her kitchen habits are so disgusting.”
After the latest incident, the OP had to be firm.
“This weekend, my girlfriend spent a lot of time canning vegetables from her garden and making marinara sauce.”
“She gifted me a basket of 8 jars of marinara and vegetables.”
“I thanked her but said I couldn’t eat it and didn’t want them to go to waste, so she should have them back.”
“She called me an a**hole, cried, and now won’t take my phone calls.”
“I know I should have just taken the gift and tossed it when she wasn’t there, but she is very serious about food waste, and I didn’t want it to go to waste, because she would definitely eat it.”
“I know it hurt her feelings because she put in so much work, but I feel like I shouldn’t have to eat unsafe food.”
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 questioned if the relationship was meant to be.
“NTA. You’re skeeved out by food safety and if she refuses to do anything other than say you’re wrong, it sounds irreconcilable.”
“I’ll admit I’ve left pizza out overnight and eaten it in the morning, but it’s a whole different beast if I put it in the fridge for a few days afterward.”
“Her sanitation sounds really bad, OP, and I don’t think I’d eat there either.”
“It doesn’t matter she’s been doing it her whole life. Not looking both ways before crossing the street is perfectly safe too; until that one day it isn’t.” – AetheistBibleScholar
“NTA. It sounds like this is not something she understands and will not change. So likely this will always be how she handles food.”
“So you may want to think about whether or not this is something you can deal with long term.”
“It made me wanna puke just reading your post. I would honestly break up with a person over that since it would affect our entire lives if we stayed together.”
“I could never trust them to be safe and clean about food forever.” – crazycatleslie
“NTA, but how do you see a future with her? She obviously doesn’t want to change her ways.”
“You won’t eat her food. Are you going to cook daily or what? This is going to be a source of endless discussions and fights.” – LittleNoodle1991
Others confirmed the OP was not worried over nothing.
“I’ve had listeria and salmonella both this year because of overlooking prepackaged chicken smelling odd and eating improperly stored quail eggs.”
“Those are the only two food safety slip-ups I’ve made, I think ever?”
“Honestly. I got sick both times. Be safe. NTA.” – MurderPotato1
“Yikes, NTA. If you’d kept it and thrown it out, she’d continue thinking that, despite your complaints, her habits are within the realm of normal.”
“They are not and she will get someone sick if not worse if she doesn’t stop.”
“This is why I don’t do potlucks at work. There are too many people out there who have no concept of food safety.” – Old_Sheepherder_630
“Canning is serious though. Botulism is no joke.”
“I’d keep one of her cans and if a grey cloudy stuff appears in it, show her and be like, ‘This is a really deadly nerve toxin. Nation-states have tried to weaponize it. I would’ve died unless I lived in the California bay area (one of the few places in the US that keeps botulism antitoxin).'”
“However, not all cloudiness is botulism, so there’s that. NTA, However, I’d say you could’ve been kinder.” – shucksx
After receiving comments, the OP shared an update.
“We had a long talk and basically came to the conclusion that she can’t be with someone so obsessed with germs and I can’t be with someone so relaxed with safety.”
“Thank you all for your comments.”
Though the OP felt terrible for hurting their girlfriend’s feelings, the subReddit confirmed they had a right to worry about food safety.
Ultimately, the subReddit was also right to point out that this was not a reconcilable situation, since these two people live very differently. Hopefully the ex-girlfriend will not make someone ill.