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‘Foodie’ At A Loss After Boyfriend Demands To Bring Ketchup To Expensive Sushi Birthday Dinner

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Food is a matter of personal taste.

Some people are adventurous eaters, willing to try all foods at least once, and always eager to try different cuisines from different cultures.

Others however are much pickier, and tend to avoid any ingredients which are even the slightest bit foreign to them.

The boyfriend of Redditor Familiar_Sign_3620 definitely fell into the latter category.

So much so that whenever the original poster (OP) took him out to restaurants, they always made sure that whatever they ordered was accompanied by a familiar condiment.

The OP’s boyfriend even expressed his intent to bring this condiment with him on his upcoming birthday dinner, something the OP begged him not to do.

Wondering if they were in the wrong for doing so, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where they asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA For begging my boyfriend not to being Heinz Ketchup to Omakase?”

The OP explained how their boyfriend never seemed to order a meal without adding a familiar condiment, and how the OP begged him not to do so on his birthday.

“Sorry this all seems ridiculous but I need a sanity check.”

“I consider myself a ‘foodie’ but my boyfriend Jay is the exact opposite.”

“Like he’ll literally eat but it’s more than that.”

“He always starts things with me when I try to take him out for good food.”

“For example last year I got us reservations at a steak house and he made a point of ordering his steak well done with ketchup.”

“The thing is he doesn’t even like eating the food this way he does it to ‘make a point’ that no one, not even I, can tell him how to eat his food.”

“Well his birthday is coming up and he likes sushi so I wanted to treat him to a nice Omakase experience.”

“It’s where you sit with the chef and eat the food in front of them.”

“It’s more than I spend on food in two weeks but I thought it could be fun for both of us.”

“Today he told me he’s only going to go if he can bring a bottle of Heinz ketchup and put it on the table.”

“I thought he was joking but he was serious.”

“I told him I’ve literally never seen him, or anyone else, eat sushi with ketchup.”

“He actually got mad at me saying that nobody gets to decide for him how he enjoys his food.”

“He went on to yell at me that it’s a sh*tty birthday gift because I’m the foodie and he isn’t.”

“I think he’s being obnoxious with the ketchup thing but maybe he’s just making a point about me forcing my hobbies on him i don’t know.”


Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:

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

While most of the Reddit community didn’t feel comfortable passing judgment based on the information given, the OP none-the-less received fairly little sympathy.

Just about everyone was confused by the OP’s choice of birthday present, as it seemed to be something which would please them much more than it would please their boyfriend.

“Why would you take him to Omakase for HIS birthday if he isn’t a foodie? “

“Sounds like a gift for you.”- Lexyeb

“Why would you take someone who has expressly demonstrated to you their food preferences to an omakase experience?”

“That would be literally the LAST place that someone who has demonstrated that they are NOT an adventurous eater would choose.”

“Because, based on what you’ve written, you are very much an **shole.”


“A thousand times, yes, your boyfriend is waving a pulsating neon sign telling you that you’re forcing your hobbies on him.”

“Find an adventurous friend to join you on food journeys.”- Diligent-Ad6365

“Your boyfriend aggressively opposes fine dining.”

“Why is that your birthday gift to him?”- NakedStreets

Others felt that the OP was clearly the a**hole, as they seemed to be knowingly dragging their boyfriend along to experiences they were well aware he didn’t like.


“So why are you taking him out to nice restaurants for his birthday?”

“Do something else!”

“Either he finds you controlling, or he’s messing with you in a way you don’t find funny.”

“Either way, there’s no good reason to try and force the experience you want, for his birthday.”

“Oh and if he did bring ketchup to dip sushi in to make a point, he’d be an AH as well.”

“And possibly not allowed by staff.”

“Yeah, you can’t tell him how to eat, but it’s still rude.”- Irish_Whiskey

“Omakase sounds like a terrible gift for him.”

“He doesn’t like people telling him how to eat and you’re gifting him a meal where the chef chooses everything.”

“He’s literally telling you he doesn’t want to go.”

“YTA for gifting him something you want and he doesn’t.”- no_good_namez

“YTA I can’t believe I’m finally saying this but the Iranian yogurt is not the problem here.”

“Listen you’re telling the story so of course you’ll do your best to paint your side in the best light, I’m not saying your manipulative, just as people we do this naturally.”

“Even so this line slipped out.”

“It seems like your boyfriend is at a breaking point.”

“It seems like this is something you’ve been pushing on him for a while.”

“Consider this if food is such a source of tension why would you think this is a good present?”

“You know from, at least, last year that eating at a fancy place wasn’t a bonding experience.”

“In fact it seemed like neither of you had a good time.”

“I get that you think it’s good because he likes sushi bug you’ve also said he doesn’t value fancy food.”

“How would you feel if he spent a bunch of money on something you didn’t value for your birthday?”

“Especially if it was a joint thing that he liked?”

“I think you need to take a step back.”

“It sounds like you are only buying presents/planning dates for things that you like.”

“This is the type of behavior that kills relationships long term.”

“IE I finally broke up with them, can you believe every year for my birthday they basically got a gift for themselves and then got mad I didn’t like it.”- exhauta


“He’s explicitly told you that he does not appreciate being dictated what/how he enjoys his food and your ‘gift’ to him is a dining experience that directly surrenders control to someone else?”

“Non-foodies don’t give a shit about omakase because to them food is food and they want what they want to eat, not an ‘experience’ that takes control away from them.”

“This is clearly a gift for yourself, not for him.”

“He will never be a foodie.”

“Either you accept that and quit trying to force it on him or you should find yourself a like-minded friend or partner you can share this interest with.”- pandaritosupreme

“Back in the day, I dated a girl who never offered to pay for anything.”

“We never went Dutch.”

“I just always paid.”

“Important to note, I did not make much money.”

“I was a barista.”

“But I thought it was chivalrous, or my role, or whatever.”

“I’ve always been that way I guess.”

“And she was not a cheap date!”

“She once ordered 200 dollars of sushi, not even on a special occasion.”

“It was a Tuesday!”

“Did not even reach for the check.”

“Anyway, I had been saving for months to take her on a mountain trip to the hot springs as a Christmas present.”

“It took a lot of gas, and we stayed in a super cute, clean, retro motel room that was super affordable but, I can’t emphasize enough, nice and clean.”

“The hot springs weren’t that expensive.”

“The rest of it was fun, food, drinks.”

“All in all my budget for the trip was like around 600-800 bucks or so iirc.”

“I didn’t have a credit card.”

“Didn’t believe in them, lol.”

“Everything was always out of pocket back then.”

“I looked up all the best places to eat and things to do when I planned the trip, and everyone kept talking about this REALLY great restaurant on main street.”

“It was expennnsssiivveee.”

“But I still wanted to try it, and I knew she’d probably like it.”

“It seemed worth a bit of budget.”

“We got in late on night one, about an hour or so before the place closed.”

“We had already eaten, but I told her about it and said why don’t we get a couple drinks and dessert.”

“We get there, and the food is incredible!”

“The drinks aren’t bad either.”

“We hang out a little longer than I meant and 2 drinks turned into 4 or 5.”

“Definitely not sticking in budget, but splurge a little I thought.”

“Anyway, she notices that they do a 12 course meal, and she says, ‘we have to come back tomorrow’.”

“The menu didn’t have a price, but I had told her we had a budget for the week on the way down. on the way to the restaurant, I even said it was the type of place we couldn’t afford to eat dinner at.”

“Backstory: I grew up in extreme poverty.”

“Back then, I could never imagine spending that much on a meal, and I could get so embarrassed that I wasn’t making more money or doing better or able to give my partner everything they wanted.”

“Well that’s how I felt before I met this girl who regularly ordered the most expensive things on the menu.”

“I super politely told her I didn’t think we could afford it.”

“She started kind of very loudly saying a lot of things about me, money, my job, etc.”

“She wasn’t quite yelling but she was pretty close.”

“It felt like everyone was looking at us, and I got really shy.”

“But I tried to stand my ground.”

“If we went over budget, I wouldn’t be able to pay for the room.”

“So she says, ‘it’s my birthday present to you.”

“Tomorrow let’s come back for dinner.”

“I tried over and over again to say no politely, but she refused to let me.”

“So I try to make the best of it the next night, and I put on my fancy clothes and get really properly cleaned up.”

“I even, although I really really didn’t want this, tried my best to just be positive and have a good experience.”

“When I came out of the bathroom, she just kept making fun of me, how I was dressed etc.”

“But I played it up and was like fancy date merits getting fancy, etc etc.”

“Sort of testing the waters to see if she too would get fancy and make it a whole evening(it sounded like it would make it more fun) or make any effort.”

“But she didn’t take the bait.”

“She wore some realllllyyy ratty jeans(no exaggeration she used them in the shop.”

“Anyway, we get to the place and the waiter is definitely a little confused trying to feel out why I’m dressed the way I am and she’s dressed the way she is.”

“But i just playfully change the subject.”

“We sit and we order.”

“And honestly the food was not like anything I’d ever had before.”

“And it was an interesting experience.”

“But it wasn’t really at all what I liked or wanted.”

“Especially for my birthday.”

“Which was a full month away still btw.”

“And all I could think was this wasn’t at all for me.”

“It was entirely for her.”

“She wanted this not me.”

“And she just seemed so selfish for it.”

“The food was great, but I never wanted this.”

“To top it all off she didn’t immediately reach for the bill when it arrived.”

“I honestly think she was trying to trick me into paying.”

“I sat there incredibly embarrassed for a long time before she finally picked it up.”

“We didn’t break up for another month or two, but I knew. I knew she didn’t know me.”

“I knew she cared more about herself than me.”

“And I knew I didn’t want to be with her anymore.”

“Anyway, OP YTA.”

“This is not a gift for him. It’s a gift for you.”

“His reaction may be childish, but he’s rebelling to your uncaring decision the only way he knows how.”

“If you want to salvage your relationship, you really need to rethink this ‘gift’.”- Rough-Culture

Some however, couldn’t defend the boyfriend’s behavior either, feeling that his reaction was unnecessarily rude.


“You don’t bring your own condiments.”

“But I am guessing you are a PIA about food, to which he reacts by ordering food that will annoy you.”

“Both are absurd behaviors.”

“Also, you don’t bring someone to the restaurants YOU want for their birthday, you go this their favorite!”- Neenknits


“He’s a contrary asshole and immature as hell, but it’s true that you’re the one who would enjoy the Omakase, not him.”

“Save the experience for your own birthday.”- AdMiserable5800

Sushi and ketchup certainly don’t seem like an obvious combination.

But one imagines the OP’s boyfriend wasn’t so much intending to put ketchup on his sushi, but rather try and make clear his relatively simple taste in food,

Making one wonder how much the OP was really thinking of their boyfriend when planning this present.

Perhaps they might see things a bit more clearly and change their plans.

Assuming this relationship remains intact.

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.