Sharing food can be a delicate issue.
For one thing, one should always proceed with caution before offering someone your food, as you don’t know what they might or might not be allergic to.
And while someone offering to share their food is always considered polite, some find it rude if you ask to have a bite or two of their food.
Primarily owing to the fact that they simply don’t like to share food.
Redditor Lynnabis was horrified to discover that their boyfriend said no when the child of their neighbor asked for a bite of the food he was eating.
Even though the original poster (OP)’s boyfriend didn’t think he did anything wrong at all.
Wondering if they were justified in their shock, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where they asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for telling my boyfriend he’s not allowed to eat in front of the neighbor’s kid unless he’s willing to share?”
The OP explained the situation in a short, concise post.
“My boyfriend made himself a plate of leftover Chinese for lunch today.”
“At the time we had the neighbor’s kid over to play with our kids.”
“The neighbor’s kid asked if he could have some too.”
“My boyfriend said no and ate his plate of food.”
“The kid is 5, when I heard this story it broke my heart.”
“I told my boyfriend in the future to either send the kid home first, or only eat what he’s willing to share with him.”
“My boyfriend thinks he should do whatever he wants in his own home, regardless of who’s over.”
“He also said if it was one of our kids that asked he would of course share.”
“He doesn’t like the neighbor’s kid and feels feeding him isn’t our responsibility.”
“AITA for expecting him to share or at the very least send him home so he isn’t eating in front of him?”
“There was enough to give the kid his own plate.”
“I wasn’t expecting my boyfriend to share his actual plate with the kid.”
“I have asked his mom about allergies, he has none.”
“I wouldn’t feed someone’s child without that info.”
“Also, he comes from a rough home.”
“He’s been in and out of foster care and his mom’s income is disability, they don’t have much.”
“Also, I work at a foodbank, food sensitivity is near to my heart so maybe I’m extra sensitive.”
“I wasn’t home as I had stepped out to run to the store.”
“Boyfriend said it was OK.”
“I was gone 30 minutes, max.”
“I have open-ended permission from the kids mom to feed him.”
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
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
The Reddit community was somewhat divided on whether or not they felt the OP’s boyfriend did anything wrong by denying their neighbor’s child leftovers.
Many agreed with the OP, that if their boyfriend was going to eat in front of their neighbor’s child, he should only have eaten something he was willing to share, or at the very least offered them an alternative.
“I would never eat in front of someone else in my own home without offering them food or drink.”
“That’s how I was raised.”
“If someone is doing work in my home, I probably wouldn’t cook for them but I’d offer them drinks and probably take my food to a different room.”
“I can’t imagine not feeding a child who asks for food.”
“I’d call his parents first to get their approval & check for allergies.”
“But the idea of eating in front of a hungry kid – I couldn’t do it.”- Mermaidtoo
“Maybe it’s just me and my Southern charm, but NTA.”
“Mama always said you don’t eat in front of guests unless you got enough to share.”
“It isn’t your responsibility to feed the kid, but if the kid is there at dinner time let him know it’s time to go home or feed him.”- CatsInAOvercoat
“But, your BF seems oblivious to a situation where this child may not potentially be being fed at home.”
“This doesn’t mean he has to share his food–but personally I’d ask ‘Have you eaten today? Are you hungry?'”
“If there are a bunch of neighborhood kids out and about, I’d just give them all snacks or something.”
“Although, not sure if these days that sort of act is taboo.”- GottaKnowYourCKN
Others, however, felt that the OP had every right to say no, and that it was rude for the neighbor’s child to even ask, and felt that the OP overreacted.
“YTA, people who say it’s rude to eat in front of guests without sharing are misinformed, it is only rude towards adults, not towards kids, so don’t give me the manners BS.”
“I might refrain from eating in front of an adult guest.”
“I might even share my food, but in the end, I’m free to do what i want in my own house, and that includes saying no to a child that wants my lunch.”
“Especially if saying no to a child isn’t considered rude, no one can tell me what to do, even if that child isn’t well fed at home, it isn’t my responsiblity.”
“It’s his parents responsibility, they’re the ones responsible for feeding it or not.”
“I’ve been in your bf’s situation before, this time with my little sister’s friends.”
“I was eating McDonald’s and they wanted the fries.”
“I said no, my sister and mom said I should be nice and share.”
“I still didn’t and ate the fries.”
“They were both mad at me, but guess what I, was mad at them too, and we had a bad fight later that day about how I embarrassed them in front of these kids.”
“But that’s my fries, and Im the one eating them.”
“Anyway, just don’t create problems because of some kid.”
“Think of it like that, who do you value more, your bf or some strangers kid?”
“If you think long and hard about that question, then you’ll know the answer without having to ask on reddit, you’ll also know you should go apologize to your bf, because you were the one rude to him because of some strangers kid.”-_UnOrdinary
“This is insane.”
“While it would be nice to feed the kid, it is in no way shape or form a requirement, and I fully empathize about not wanting to share restaurant leftovers with someone just because ‘they are a kid!'”
“Most importantly, the kid didn’t want food, from the sound of it he wanted food your BF was already eating.”
“If you want to feed the kid, feel free.”
“I think most people would.”
“But your BF is just as much in the right as you are, he lives there too, and ‘no’ is always an acceptable answer when someone asks you to do something in your own home.”
“Wanting to eat lunch without getting pestered to share your food seems like a more than reasonable request.”
“I would say that if BF fed your own kids while simultaneously excluding this child for lunch, then that would be a problem.”
“However, that does not seem to be the case here.”- horrifyingthought
“So this wasn’t a formal playdate, the neighbor kid just comes over to play sometimes.”
“To me this doesn’t really count as a ‘guest’ in the typical form and therefore doesn’t really reach the point of ‘must be offered food if the host is eating’ level.”
“Sure, it would have been nice if your boyfriend offered a snack, but according to you, you just popped out to the store for a quick 30 minutes, so the kid wasn’t about to collapse from starvation.”
“Honestly, if you’re this concerned about the kid eating, why didn’t you offer a snack before you left?”
“Dude just wanted to enjoy his damn leftovers without being pestered for a few minutes.”
“Also it doesn’t sound like the kid went ‘I’m hungry mister, do you have any food?'”
“Like some Orphan Oliver, he went up and was like ‘heyo, that chinese food smells goooood, could you fix me a plate?'”
“Sure sounds like the kid was more interested in delicious leftover Chinese food than ‘food’ in general.”
“Nah kid, bugger off for a minute so I can eat, you annoy me and the lady who is making me keep you from falling down a well will feed you or send you home when she gets back.”
“You also repeatedly say that the neighbor told you the kid has no allergies, I haven’t seen you say this has been further communicated to your boyfriend.”
“I don’t know if this is relevant to his decision, but you’re using kind of weasely-language to try to sound justified.”
“Unless you literally share a brain with your boyfriend and therefore all your knowledge is immediately his knowledge?”
“This seems unlikely.”
“Also your solutions are ridiculous?”
“Don’t eat in your own house unless you send the kid back to his ‘rough’ home life where he is repeatedly sent to foster care?”
“Why not just put out some snacks and tell the kid that he’s free to eat one when he gets hungry and let your boyfriend eat whenever he gets hungry in the house in which he lives and isn’t just the weird neighbor kid who comes over to play randomly?”
“This whole situation could have easily been a no a**holes thing, but you’re kind of an asshole even if ‘your heart is in the right place’.”
One could argue that it was fair that the OP’s boyfriend wanted his leftover Chinese food all to himself.
Especially if there wasn’t much to spare.
But, one can’t help but raise their eyebrow at the fact that he didn’t think to offer him something else to eat or drink.
Especially knowing the poor boy’s situation.
One hopes he might think a bit more carefully, should he ever find himself in this situation again.