Not everybody has the cooking skills of a celebrity chef.
Heck, not everyone can make microwave ramen without having to call the fire department.
Those folks may just need to hang out in other rooms of the house, far from the kitchen.
But a nice gesture is a nice gesture.
When a bad cook concocts a meal that may not be edible, does one show grace or dish out some hard truth?
Case in point…
Redditor lukeeee55 wanted to discuss his experience and get some feedback. So naturally, he came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.
“AITA for telling my wife she should’ve saved herself the trouble of cooking me a birthday dinner, considering her cooking skills?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“My (28 M[ale]) wife(24) has terrible cooking skills so she rarely even attempts to cook.”
“We have a housemaid who cooks except for Sundays, so we rely on takeouts every Sunday.”
“My birthday was on last Sunday.”
“I don’t really celebrate it, so we planned that I’ll have lunch with my friends and dinner with my wife.”
“I asked her if we can go eat at some nice place and she declined saying she will arrange the dinner.”
“I thought she was going to order something.”
“By the time I reached home in the evening, the whole house smelled weird.”
“She said she had cooked me a dinner.”
“I was stunned because that was the thing I least expected, but decided to go along with that and waited until she set the table up.”
“I won’t go into details, but one dish looked half burnt, and the other was more like tasteless water instead of what she was calling a soup.”
“The dessert was barely edible.”
“She knew she messed up but expected me to try them all.”
“I thanked her and told her we can still order in or go out and she should not have bothered cooking because she knows of her poor cooking skills very well.”
“She got upset and told me at least I could’ve tried it before she cleaned the table and told me I can order for myself.”
“She had her own cooked meal and did not touch what I ordered.”
“Now I look back and think maybe I was a bit too harsh, does this make me an AH?”
Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Many Redditors declared OP WAS the A**hole.
“Let me be clear it’s about your phrasing and breakdown of communication.”
“You saying ‘She should not have bothered cooking because she knows of her poor cooking skills very well’ is so tactless.”
“Even if it didn’t turn out well, this way of delivering the comment just completely shuts down her efforts.”
“I understand it was your birthday as there are, as you pointed out, OP, other ways to celebrate the occasion better.”
“It was also unrealistic of your wife to expect you to try all the dishes and expect you would eat them.”
“However, there are other ways to navigate the situation without being crass or bringing up your wife’s cooking skills.” ~ TransportationIcy896
“At the same time, though, why did OP’s wife make her husband a gift that she knew would most likely be a failure?”
“Why not try the recipes a few times before?”
“Why not give him a gift he would actually enjoy?”
“Why refusing to go out/order takeout when it was clear the food was inedible?”
“I honestly feel like, while OP was an Ah in his response to the situation, the wife had a bad judgment when it came to the gift.”
“They both should’ve acted better. 100% ESH.” ~ Underagreysky
“WTF. If your partner repeatedly f**ks up your birthday and gives you shi**y gifts, that’s one thing.”
“But if your usual loving and great partner gives you a painting they painted for your birthday, and you tell them it’s sh*t, you suck.”
“My husband could give me a handmade card with a crappy heart drawing that says he loves me, and I’d be over the moon because he put effort and thought into making something for me.” ~ Affectionate_Shoe198
“No, YTA — Period. Nothing soft about it.”
“What about saying ‘Thank you so much, Sweetheart, for trying so hard to do something so special for my birthday! I really appreciate it and I love you!'”
“‘Too bad it didn’t turn out quite as well as expected, but let’s go out, share a bottle of wine and laugh about it at our favorite Italian place.'” ~ Davidred323
“YTA – It’s fine not to like her cooking, but you didn’t have to insult her and belittle the effort she put in.”
“She clearly wanted to do something nice for you.”
“Also, how is she supposed to learn how to cook if all you do is mock her efforts?” ~ AngeloPappas
“She can learn to cook on the other 364 days of the year.”
“Someone’s birthday is just the wrong time to try cooking for the first time in a while.”
“OP definitely took it too far, but I can’t feel like his wife put him in a no-win situation.”
“I’ve been in his shoes and frankly, it sucks.”
“You’re rightfully disappointed, but expressing it makes you a jerk.”
“Your partner’s got themselves anxious and upset due to their own decision making, and now the ‘right thing to do’ sacrifices your own contentment and happiness to their misguided attempt at a kind gesture.”
“Which just isn’t fun to do on your own birthday.” ~ TheRalphExpress
“I’m going to go against the grain here and say ESH.”
“I mean, clearly you’re a massive AH.”
“Your wife wanted to do something special for you and put in a huge effort to cook you a meal from scratch instead of just ordering from a restaurant.”
“She likely spent hours choosing recipes she thought you’d like, grocery shopping, doing food prep, and cooking, not to mention setting the table, etc.”
“And she did it all because she loves you so much, and she wanted to show you in a really personal way.”
“And while you didn’t have to like food that turned out terribly, there was literally no good reason in the whole world why you had to be extraordinarily rude, belittling, and repeatedly denigrate her.”
“Like . . . why?”
“Why would it even occur to you that the best response to someone going to all that trouble to do something nice for you is to humiliate and insult them?”
“You could have been appreciative and told her how much her effort meant to you, but that despite that, clearly it didn’t work out as she’d intended, and while it was so sweet of her to try.”
“You’d love to treat her to a really nice takeaway for all the hard work she put in.”
“HOWEVER . . .”
“Where I’m going to part ways with all the other commenters is that I think she’s an AH too.”
“Not for cooking you dinner – that was really sweet of her – but because she has eyes and tastebuds.”
“And was clearly aware that somewhere along the way, it went seriously wrong.”
“She knew that the food didn’t turn out correctly and was barely edible, and yet she became weird and stubborn and tried to force you to taste it all anyway.”
“Again . . . WHY?”
“She can want her hard work acknowledged with words, but it’s weird and unfair to actually want to PUNISH you by forcing you to ‘taste’ food that she already knows is going to taste terrible.”
“It was your birthday, and the whole point of the meal was that it was supposed to be a gift and a treat for you.”
“Her weird power play of insisting that you choke some of it down, knowing that it was bad, was super inappropriate.”
“When a meal doesn’t turn out correctly, you don’t force people to eat it. You shrug your shoulders, acknowledge the loss, and move on.”
“ESH here. You were rude, she was controlling, and honestly, it sounds like you deserve each other.” ~ Sorry_I_Guess
“YTA. I hate cooking and baking, but a couple of years back, I made my husband a birthday cake.”
“It was an utter disaster.”
“He told me it was great, and he appreciated the effort (my kids weren’t so kind and told me it tasted like a wet cat, which it kind of did).”
“It’s all about the effort.”
“She tried because she cares, you sh*t all over that effort.” ~ Intrepid-Camel-9797
“The only reason I have is that it was your birthday, and you asked to go out, and generally, the birthday person gets to decide.”
“Assuming her reason wasn’t related to social distancing or some other important reason.” ~ CardiologistMean4664
“Dude… I decided to make my wife stir-fry once.”
“She loves stir-fry.”
“I proceeded to buy the shi**iest WOK on God’s green Earth.”
“And (found out upon tasting my own cooking) that I did not get all the adhesive off the bottom of the inside of the pan where the price/brand sticker was.”
“That lovely woman of mine took several bites and thanked me with a straight face.”
“I took one bite and spit it out and then knocked her plate away from her.”
“I then ordered pizza and later returned that damn wok and have never made stir-fry again.”
“My wife made me baked Mac and cheese with five different cheeses (I love Mac and cheese).”
“I swear to God, I think she put an entire pound of salt in that nasty a** Mac and cheese.”
“I ate half a bowl while thanking her profusely.”
“She sat down and took one bite, spit it out, and grabbed my bowl from me, and we laughed till we cried.”
“Then we ordered pizza.”
“Consideration isn’t about outcome; it’s about effort. YTA.” ~ Forward_Increase_239
Well, OP, it sounds like Reddit has some issues with your dinner conversation.
She tried to do something nice.
It’s understandable that you were frustrated.
Maybe next time focus on the good intention first.
Good luck next year.
And Happy Birthday!