Setting up nice surprises for birthdays can be a daunting task.
It can be especially stressful for significant others.
Everyone wants their loved ones to have a great day.
But sometimes the plan goes awry.
There is no handbook on how the birthday person is meant to react when that happens.
But maybe it’s always best to lead with appreciation.
Case in point…
Redditor SadBirthdayDinner wanted to discuss her experience and get some feedback. So naturally, she came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.
“AITA for not eating the dinner my husband made for me?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“This is about me (31 F[emale]) and my husband (30 M[ale]).”
“In our household, we don’t really cook because we both work at places with free/very cheap warm and good lunches.”
“So on weekdays, we tend to have very light dinners (think just some simple sandwiches) or sometimes even nothing if we’re still full from lunch.”
“If we’re not working on that day, we mostly get takeout or go out to eat out.”
“On the rare occasions, we want homemade dinner, I’m the one who cooks because frankly, my husband is a horrible cook.”
“Always has been.”
“So my 31st birthday fell on a workday this year and I wasn’t planning on celebrating anything.”
“Just wanted to get some nice dinner with my husband and watch a movie afterward or something.”
“I asked him if he wanted to go to one of our favorite restaurants that day and he said no, he would take care of dinner. “
“I thought cool, thinking he’d get takeout or order in.”
“Well, that day when I came from work, I go into the living room and I see my husband setting up the table.”
“He says he made me dinner and that surprised me because again, he is not a good cook.”
“But I sit down and wait for him to finish setting up the table.”
“And well, it was bad. Very bad.”
“The pasta dish he made, the sauce was weirdly grainy and oily.”
“Smelled off too.”
“He tried to make little pies stuffed with cheese, but all the pies were half burned and most of the cheese had oozed out from them already.”
“The chocolate pudding he made for dessert was still extremely liquidy.”
“It was very clear that nothing turned out the way it should have, but I thanked him and told him I appreciated the effort.”
“But we both knew that his cooking skills are bad, so he should have just gotten takeout or order in.”
“He got upset but honestly, he knew the food was messed up.”
“And I still wanted a nice dinner so I asked if he wanted to order in but he refused.”
“So, I still ordered food for him too in case he wanted it later but he only ate his portion of the dinner.”
“Afterwards, he called me a jerk and said at the very least, I should have at least tried the food.”
“It’s been a few weeks since, and sometimes I think that I was too harsh and maybe I should have just tried the food even if I knew it would be bad.”
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.
“YTA: I see a lot of people saying for not tasting it but to me, it’s all about your response of ‘thank you but you know you can’t cook why did you even bother.'”
“That’s just hurtful.” ~ thea**holethrowawa
“100% I would be hurt if my spouse mocked my efforts.”
“You could have tried the food at least and didn’t need to throw his skills in his face.”
“OP, you are TA!” ~ WonderReal
“He tried his best.”
“He’s also an adult who should have been able to gauge his best wasn’t good enough and make alternative arrangements instead of forcing OP to suffer through his sh*tty meal, birthday, or no birthday.”
“These comments about the husband’s efforts needing appreciation are galling! He’s an adult!”
“The f**k? If he knows he can’t cook, there are ways to remedy that, and if he doesn’t want to remedy that, then the spouse he supposedly cares for should not be the target of his lackadaisical ‘efforts.'”
“There’s no need for him to be coddled by strangers on the internet.” ~ your_average_plebian
“Exactly, this is a grown man, not an 8-year-old.”
“He could have laughed it off and gotten dinner elsewhere.”
“The validation expected from OP would have been veiled disappointment.”
“It was her birthday, not a random night.”
“To celebrate his ‘efforts’ while ignoring her own disappointment on her birthday is just going to breed resentment.” ~ Walchemy
“He knew it was bad when he plated it.”
“He has seen and eaten food before. He can tell that pasta sauce is smelly, oily, and grainy. He could tell that the pies were off. He could tell the chocolate pudding was liquid.”
“This isn’t a child playing.”
“It’s an adult.”
“He chose to plate food that smelled and looked weird and sat there expecting compliments.”
“He might not be an a**hole, but he’s clearly an idiot, plating up poorly made and burnt food in front of a tired person on their birthday.” ~ nahthobutmaybe
“Yeah, like they fluffed it up with some extra info about lunch and the food itself, but most of the details are identical.”
“Birthday dinner, OP asks to go out, spouse says they’ll take care of it, which birthday person assumes to mean ordering takeout.”
“OP comes home, surprised to find that their spouse has been cooking, but they sit at the table and wait for the spouse to finish setting up.”
“Thanked them for the effort but says they shouldn’t have bothered because they both know spouse is bad at cooking.”
“Both posts conclude with OP ordering dinner out and spouse refusing to eat the takeout and instead eating their home-cooked meals.” ~ ImpressionOk1458
“YTA. My partner once cooked an awful meal (several dishes).”
“I ate it, then gently remarked it needed improvement and pointed out what part was quasi-acceptable.”
‘Fast forward years later, we were discussing that meal.”
“My partner said: ‘Remember the food I cooked? It was awful. But you ate it and were gracious about it. That’s how I knew you loved me.'”
“You didn’t need to eat it all.”
“But taste it, yes.” ~ pippi2424
“Several years ago my mom made pancakes with old baking soda.”
“They were awful, but my dad ate them and said something nice about it.”
“My mom tasted them afterwards and was horrified that he had eaten them.”
“I thought my dad was pretty dumb for eating that inedible food, but also thought was still very sweet.” ~ Kisthesky
“YTA. Eating your partner’s bad cooking is like relationship 101.”
“If it is not going to hurt you physically, then at least try some.”
“You turned your nose up at his effort and mocked his act of love. Poor form.”
“I cannot tell you the number of awful dishes I have choked down for the ones I love.” ~ hilipop
“My mother is a truly awful person, but I can say that she was always very supportive of my early cooking mistakes.”
“I will always credit her with my love of and top-notch skill in cooking.”
“Even if I do question her motivation in encouraging me.” ~ Legal_Enthusiasm7748
“She definitely shouldn’t have refused to even try it and tell him not to bother, but not eating something that is inedible is reasonable.”
“If my husband makes me food that is literally disgusting, the way this is described or has texture problems, I’m not going to be able to eat it.”
“I have trouble eating good food sometimes because of weird food aversions or texture problems.”
“I’m not going to suffer through an entire meal that might make me gag just because my husband made it for me.”
“But I would try it, and I would try not to be mean about it.” ~ mithrril
“I’m going against the grain with NAH.”
“You shouldn’t be forced into eating food that you find utterly unappetizing, especially on your birthday.”
“You said you stated that it was a nice gesture, but you didn’t want to eat it.”
“I don’t eat fish (or really any seafood). I’m not willing these days to even try it.”
“If someone I knew tried making me it for dinner when they know I don’t like it, I would also refuse to eat it.”
“I don’t ever eat food I don’t like, period.”
“We don’t do much to celebrate birthdays, BUT the birthday person always picks what dinner is, how it’s made, etc.”
“I get that his feelings are hurt, so his reaction is somewhat understandable, but so is yours.” ~ Jezza-T
“This is tough.”
“My partner is a terrible cook and has no interest in being better, so I do all the cooking.”
“They once tried to serve me undercooked bacon early on, and I didn’t eat it.”
“Now they say that’s the reason they won’t cook for me.”
“I love them dearly, but learning cooking is personal.”
“Either you want to cook and go through trial and error, or you give up at the first burnt creation.”
“Cowards, I say!”
“Do and fail, but have the courage to try again! Haha.” ~ Gentle_Genie
“ESH. Yes, you should have at least tried it and been a bit more gentle with his feelings.”
“But, he sucks too, for making his first attempt at cooking in years on his partner’s birthday and trying to guilt her into eating it when it was obviously bad.” ~ No-Entertainment3435
Well, OP, Reddit is not thrilled with your dinner reaction.
Yes, it was your birthday.
You did deserve a nice dinner.
But it’s also nice to appreciate when people do nice things for others.
The thought is supposed to count.
Maybe have a chat with the hubby and clear the air.
And maybe a couple’s cooking class could be fun.