Getting along poorly with your mother-in-law is an old stereotype. However, sometimes things happen that you can’t quite prepare for.
Redditor milwateraita explained their situation with their own mother-in-law. The MIL is upset with the original poster (OP) for using the same pitcher to pour water in the dog bowl, and also to pour water in drinking glasses.
OP doesn’t see what the issue is, since the water is going from a clean pitcher, but with how upset their MIL is, decides to ask the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit in case they’re missing something.
OP asks the online board:
“AITA for serving my MIL the ‘dog’s water?’”
They then explain everything that happened to make sure they aren’t missing something wrong.
“A couple of nights ago my in-laws came over for dinner. I had glasses on the table with ice and was filling them with water from a pitcher.”
“I set the pitcher down to go grab something off the stove and my mother-in-law resumed filling the glasses. My 13-year-old stepdaughter walked in and stopped her, saying ‘don’t use that, that’s the dog’s water!’”
“My mother-in-law was confused and said I had just been using it and my stepdaughter replied with ‘no, that’s gross. That’s for the dog.’”
“To clarify, the dog’s food and water is across the kitchen from the sink. When I fill her bowl I do use this pitcher, then I leave it sitting on the nearest counter to the dish because the pitcher holds more water than the bowl.”
“I can just walk by, top the bowl off, you get it.”
“I told my mother-in-law that, yes, I do pour water from this pitcher into the dog’s dish, but the dog doesn’t actually touch it or drink out of it directly so I assumed that was that.”
“However, later at dinner when the water glasses needed to be topped off my husband reached for the same pitcher and my mother-in-law told him not to use it. Apparently, she’s offended that I filled dinner glasses with the ‘dog’s water.’”
“I definitely get it if it were something the dog was touching or interacting with, but in my mind there’s no difference between that water and pitcher versus any other water and pitcher I pour from.”
“Just to be sure though, is there something here I’m missing? Do I owe my mother-in-law (who now thinks I’m trying to poison her with dog germs) an apology?”
OP doesn’t think they did anything wrong. The water wasn’t touching the dog bowl, nor was the dog drinking out of it.
But the MIL is associating the pitcher with the dog, and it’s grossing her out. Does OP need to apologize for this?
On Reddit, the users of the board judged OP for using the same water pitcher on both the drinking glasses and dog’s water bowl by including one of the following in their response:
- NTA – Not the A**hole
- YTA – You’re the A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everybody Sucks Here
There was almost unanimous agreement among the commenters about OP’s situation. The pitcher is just being used to deliver the water, there’s no contamination.
It’s no different from water coming from the sink to fill both of the drinking waters.
However, because of the way the AITA board works for final judgments, a joking comment ended up giving OP the judgment of AH.
But people seemed to have fun with it.
“YTA how dare you make your dog drink the same water your MIL drinks. Don’t disrespect your dog like that” – guoD_W
“As you currently have top comment you might consider adjusting your vote so the post doesn’t get labeled AH off a joke.” – PsychoTink
“This post was delightfully innocent. It’s nice to see a low stakes AITA that hurts no one.”
“Stepdaughter and MIL need to chill though” – Zealousideal-log-152
“My stepdaughter laughed about it and moved on as soon as I pointed out the pitcher doesn’t actually touch anything the dog touches. My MIL? Who knows…” – milwateraita (OP)
“Do you force your dog to breath the same air that your MIL breaths?” – Aggressive-Fudge5759
“Yup OP should break out some fancy VOSS bottled mineral water for the dog and just drag in the garden hose through the window for MIL to top off her glass. Bonus points if she ‘accidently’ spray her with it.” – APotatoPancake
Despite being accidentally labeled as YTA, OP was reassured by the other comments and found the whole situation in good fun.
They updated their post to express their own amusement that this would happen on such an auspicious day.
“ETA: for everyone who’s asking, no, it doesn’t hurt my feelings at all that the top comment was a facetious YTA and hence the judgment/flair on the whole post went that way.”
“Bots don’t have a sense of humor, apparently 😂 But let’s just all appreciate that has happened on April Fools Day”
But the overwhelming agreement was the OP was NTA. The pitcher is just a water delivery device. It’s not being contaminated with dog germs just because it’s used to fill a water bowl.
That said some people could be uncomfortable with the situation. But that’s a matter of perception.
OP’s MIL doesn’t have anything to worry about.
“NTA. The pitcher literally just holds water.”
“You can even water your flowers with it for what it’s worth.” – bloodZen1
“I do keep a separate container for watering the plants because I’ll occasionally mix in fertilizer and plant food, but I’m not adding chemical supplements to the dog water so I figured I was in the clear.” – milwateraita (OP)
“It reminds me of an ad I saw for bottled water once with the caption ‘The water in your sink is the same as the water in your toilet’.”
“While factually true, since they come from the same pipes, the association is completely spurious.” – Hi_Im_Dadbot
“And the water in the bottle, nine times out of ten, is nothing more than the tap water from some other city.”
“I live in Indianapolis. Last time I checked, the Wal-Mart house brand of bottled water sold here said in fine print ‘Source: Columbus OH municipal water’.”
“So basically tap water from a city 2-1/2 hours away. Real special, I’m sure. I wonder where they’re selling our municipal water.” – PingPongProfessor
“NTA. Maybe have a talk with your daughter about the innappropriate wording of her comment.”
“It could be she didn’t understand, but your MIL is more than old enough to understand that ‘the dog’s water’ is very different from ‘water from a pitcher also used to fill the dog bowl’.”
“She needs to engage her logical brain, but I’m sure she can get there.” – VixNeko
“NTA – I don’t think you owe her an apology as all that happened was that she poured herself a glass of water that hasn’t been cross contaminated.”
“It sounds like now your step daughter has linked the pitcher and the dog bowl, it’s just a mental block that your MIL can’t get passed.”
“Not everyone is comfortable with sharing utensils or dishes (or pitchers) associated with pets food and drink – especially those who do not have pets themselves.” – Dramatic-Dish8009
“NTA-you do not owe her an apology. I think it’s just one of those things where she just is grossed out by something that doesn’t really make sense and so that’s just her.”
“My BF has some weird quirks like that where he gets grossed out by stuff that I think most people wouldn’t find too gross. I just accept it because i’m not going to change it but he doesn’t expect me to apologize for his personal thing.”
“We just work around it so that I do certain things and he does certain things and so I would just maybe not use that pitcher in the future when she’s over to avoid problems. But definitely you don’t owe her an apology.” – Orphan_Izzy
“I have this exact same issue. I have a specific glass that I use to fill the dogs’ water bowl – like, fill from the tap, carry to the dog bowl, pour it in.”
“It never touches the dog’s bowl, the dogs don’t ever drink from it. But for whatever reason, in my head, that’s all the glass can be used for, so it’s just ‘the dogs’ glass’. It makes no sense.”
“I recognize that it’s completely bonkers to think this way, but it’s just how my head works.”
“I would never use that glass to fill someone’s water dish, but I also recognize that it’s just a me issue, and would certainly never tell someone they’re ingesting a bunch of germs if they used it.”
“(the best part about exactly how my brain works here is that on the rare occasions I’m drinking a glass of water and the dogs do drink out of it, I just run it through the dishwasher and never think about it again. My brain is fun)”
“Also, if it’s not clear – NTA.” – Grrrrrarrrrrgh
It might take a little bit to convince the MIL that this isn’t an assassination attempt, but it also might be easier to just use a different water pitcher when she’s visiting.