We’re all unique, and we’re not going to agree with each other all the time. From the clothes we like to wear to the foods we enjoy eating, there are going to be things we have in common and things we don’t. It really should be as simple as that.
But some turn what should be a difference in preferences into something to fuel their hatred, especially when it comes to racism, cringed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor Pastel-Clouds-808 was surprised at first when another mom at school approached her and inquired about her packing different lunches for her daughter in the future.
But when she found out why this mother was making the demand rather than request, the Original Poster (OP) was quick to set a boundary with the woman and her son.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for telling one of my daughter’s classmate’s moms to f**k off about what I put in my daughter’s lunch?”
The OP enjoyed cooking meals that represent her family heritage.
“I (38 Female) cook Asian foods regularly for dinner and for my daughter Lily’s (7 Female) lunches at school.”
“This is because my family enjoys these foods, I like to cook these foods, and my mom cooked a bunch of these foods growing up since she’s half Japanese.”
“Oftentimes, I’ll either give my daughter some leftovers from last night’s dinner, plus a side of fruit or veggies and a snack, or I’ll make her a quick little bento box or some other really quick option.”
The OP was later surprised when a fellow mom approached her about her lunches.
“So, after school one day, my daughter wanted to play on the playground for a bit before we went home. I said she could play for a few minutes, and she ran off to play.”
“I was waiting next to this other parent, who we’ll call Debra. While I was waiting, Debra came up to me.”
“Debra: ‘Are you Lily’s mother?'”
“Me: ‘Oh, yeah, I am, why?'”
“Debra: ‘Well, your daughter’s lunches have been bothering my son, and I would like to ask you to pack something else.'”
“Me: ‘What? How are they bothering him?'”
“She then proceeded to start talking about how her son was complaining about my daughter’s lunches smelling terrible and that he thought it was disgusting.”
“She also said her son didn’t eat most of his lunch because he was so grossed out.”
The OP felt there must be another solution.
“Me: ‘Okay… I understand your son doesn’t like the smell, but can’t he just sit somewhere else?'”
“Debra: ‘Are you kidding me? My son shouldn’t have to put up with whatever crap you make your daughter bring to this school. It’s disgusting!'”
“And she started making more vaguely racist complaints, but I was fed up at this point.”
The OP put a stop to the conversation.
“Me: ‘Listen, I understand your son might not like my daughter’s food, but he can very easily just not sit next to her. I’m not changing what’s in my daughter’s lunches because you and your kid don’t want to exist near Asian food. F**k off.'”
“She angrily stomped off with her kid then, and my daughter finished playing soon after, so we went home.”
“I talked to my husband about it, and he said that maybe I shouldn’t have told her to f**k off to avoid her bothering us in the future.”
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 reassured the OP that the other mother was out of line and potentially racist.
“NTA, racism should always be called out, and you were right to blow up on her.”
“Though I will admit your husband could have a point as it is a possibility this is not the end of this conflict. If your child brings up anything about the other lady’s kid bullying her or anything, act on it quickly.” – BoyoDee
“NTA. That woman 100% earned the f**k off. We need to start telling more people to f**k off when they think that they should be able to tailor their experience of the world by controlling what other people are doing.” – hannahkelli
“NTA. She was openly racist and aggressive, so she gets what she gives.”
“OP, I would contact the school and your kid’s teacher and let them know, ‘At this point, I think that Debra’s son is sitting near my daughter because he likes bullying her about her lunch.’ Maybe a teacher intervention could prevent further harassment and would discourage Debra from approaching you again.” – Vegetable-Cod-2340
“First, Debra is being racist.”
“Second, Debra’s son is going to have to learn that things he doesn’t like exist and will continue to exist no matter how he feels about them.”
“I’d tell that entitled turd to f**k off, too. And if her brat starts bullying your daughter, contact the school and put a stop to it immediately.” – griffonfarm
“Oh, but her precious little child shouldn’t have to move to cater to someone else, didn’t you know that? (sarcastic comment)”
“Meanwhile, OP’s kid should get used to a whole new food menu to cater to this other woman’s child.”
“This should’ve been a learning moment for her child, about different foods and different cultures. But no, she’s too busy raising a little racist (I don’t believe kids are racist nor is he racist for not liking the smell; he’s not old enough to associate that with race, but the mother sure is, and he’ll clearly grow up ignorant and racist bc of his mother).”
“Some people shouldn’t have kids.”
“NTA for standing up for your child, but as some comments state, maybe swearing wasn’t wise, even if it was 100% called for. Just because the two children still have to see each other and the mum might encourage the boy to dislike it more or comment on it himself.”
“Communicating the issue through the school is usually the best method but good on you for standing up for your kid and culture.” – sugahbee
“NTA. Tell the school. She was bothered by her son being bothered by your daughter’s lunch. Nothing you would have said would have appeased her unless you promised to only bring jam sandwiches and even then she’d find something to complain about.”
“I made a kid’s day when I complimented his lunch. It was Asian food lovingly packed by his mom. He lit up when I said I ate those things too.” – EquivalentTwo1
Others agreed with the husband that OP shouldn’t have gone quite so far.
“ESH. She was rude and ignorant, but your husband is right; you shouldn’t have told her to f**k off.” – Ok-Border4341
“ESH. The mother was out of line in talking with you, but I don’t think telling her to f**k off is great either.”
“I read in your additional comments that you sent teriyaki chicken, broccoli, and strawberries. Cooked broccoli when placed in a closed container and then opened a few hours later really gives off a pungent odor. The same thing goes for hard-boiled eggs, tuna, and feta cheese.”
“These are all things I happen to like. However, I am not the only person in my class, and we eat in a small, enclosed space, so I don’t include those things in my lunch. Being considerate of others is never a bad thing.” – 1PreschoolTeacher
“ESH. She’s an a**hole for asking you to change your daughter’s lunch, but I think you are the a**hole for telling her to f**k off. You should have ended after your explanation of not changing. The f**k off was an a**hole move.” – MissDuckie06
“ESH. The other mother, for the obvious. You for the also obvious. No reason to go nuclear. Just tell her no, you won’t be changing your daughter’s food, and she and her son will need to figure out something else to do.” – rbrancher2
“You are not as big of an AH as the other mother. She deserved your anger. But as someone who has sensory sensitivities, sometimes ‘just sitting somewhere else’ isn’t an option.”
“You’re basically being the person who microwaves fish in the office. That’s a jerk thing to do. This is not much different.”
“Compassion would have resolved this issue. Understanding that you (not your daughter, because you’re packing her lunch) are affecting a small child and telling him, ‘too bad, suck it up.’ I understand why the other mother got mad. She didn’t approach you in any kind of the right way, though.”
“Either way, I digress. ESH. Next time put your anger aside, talk it out like adults, don’t be selfish, and try to be compassionate and accommodating. It’s a lunch. Packing something different wouldn’t have hurt you or caused you any issues that isn’t a minor inconvenience.” – Puzzlehead8675309
“ESH. I would have wanted to tell her to f**k off but would have refrained because it’s kind of an AH thing to say. I am with you. She’s an AH for requesting you change your daughter’s lunch just because her son doesn’t like it. And I agree with suggesting her son sit elsewhere.”
“Not hearing the conversation first-hand, it’s hard to say whether or not she took a racist approach, but I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt. I just always think it’s better to take the high road. Stooping to her level makes you just as bad as she is.”
“PS. ‘F**k off’ is one of my favorite phrases, but I tend to reserve it for really special people, and this mom doesn’t strike me as deserving!” – callalind
The subReddit was deeply appalled by how the OP was approached about this issue when having the kids not sit next to each other would have been an easy solution.
Though some thought the OP could have taken more of a high road by not using the language that she chose, they otherwise felt that she was right to hold her ground and defend the food that reflected her heritage.
As long as the other woman’s son was not allergic, which did not seem to be the case in this situation, it should have been easy enough for him to sit next to someone else who carried a lunch that he preferred to interact with.