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Dad Loses It On Adult Stepson Who Makes Food Directly On Kitchen Counter Instead Of Using A Plate

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We are all the product of our pasts.

Our histories and the lessons we learned as children form us into the people we are.

What happens, though, when those lessons conflict with the lessons imparted to our children?

This the issue that brought Redditor and Original Poster (OP) newtoid18 to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit to seek outside opinions.

He asked:

“AITA for asking my son to use plates?”

OP wasted no time in getting to the issue at hand.

“This morning, my son was cooking bacon for breakfast.”

“When it was done, he put it directly on the counter and then put HP sauce on it and started eating it from the counter.”

“I asked him to use a plate.”

“My wife immediately replied saying it was ok, and that her dad and his brothers had done this and she had never told our son that you needed to use a plate or a board when making food.”

“I’m a little annoyed because I think it’s common sense that when you’re cooking food you should use a plate or a chopping board or something at least.”

“and she jumps to his defense instead of saying well actually it would be better to use a plate when you’re making a sandwich or cooking any kind of food because it makes less mess than doing it directly on the counter.”

He did take a step back to give context to the argument.

“I feel like I’m dwelling on this but I’ve been asking him to do the same thing for about 8 years.”

“He’s 24.”

“I feel like I can’t say anything to him about anything.”

“It’s difficult being a stepfather without being the enemy, but this just seems like a no-brainer.”

OP was left to wonder: 

“Am I the asshole?”

Having explained the situation, OP turned to Reddit for guidance. 

Redditors weighed in by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Redditors decided: NTA

There were concerns about cleanliness.

“At 24, she raised an unsanitary man”~NoNameNoPlan


“Also, wouldn’t u have to be constantly cleaning the counter creating more work than if u just used and cleaned a plate? Or used a paper plate and threw it out?”~MistressCutie420

Others saw a troubling future ahead. 

“I’m gonna bet that if he ever gets someone to move in with him, we’ll find one or both of them right here on AITA shortly thereafter.”

” ‘AITA? My BF won’t use plates!’ and ‘AITA? I think plates are wasteful, and I know hygiene is just The Man keeping me down, but my partner thinks I’m wrong lol’. “ ~FeuerroteZora

But also,


“Your wife has raised an unhygienic gorilla who is probably never going to get married or move out of the house because I doubt there is another human being on earth outside of his mother who will defend this ridiculous behavior.”

“I would ask if her family was raised on a farm or in a trailer park, but my experience with farmers wives is they’ll beat you green with a wooden spoon if you act like a lower primate in their kitchen or dining room, and even the most classless hillbilly will use a cool whip container or repurposed hubcap to eat off of.”

“If you want this to change, you’re going to need to take a stand with your wife, because your stepson will never stop doing this if she rushes to defend him.”

“Try to get your son to move out because it seems like he needs a dose of reality or a couple lessons from the School of Hard Knocks or something.”~TarantulaPets

Responses also questioned how well OP’s son cleaned things.  

“Does this 24 year old know how to correctly clean a counter though?”

“I’m 21 and would not feel comfortable enough to eat off of my counter if it weren’t for my mom (who is a professional cleaner).”

“Is he just taking a paper towel to it and calling it good?”

“There is ‘next to zero no germs’ clean and there is ‘it looks clean’.”~luckyapples11



“Does he put hot, greasy bacon on the counter, not to even mention the sauce?”

“You’d have to not just wipe it off, but get out some grease cutting cleaner.”

“I guess if he’s using the pan on a heat resistant counter, it makes a little more sense, idk.”

“If in a regular counter, what does that kitchen even look like?“~BreadfruitAlone7257

Of course, Mom didn’t escape unscathed.


“She’s undermining you in front of your stepson so of course, he’s not going to change.”

“She apparently raised him that way and thinks it’s perfectly fine.”

“Something tells me he won’t find a partner who’ll love that about him unless they’re the same way.”

“How are his manners in a restaurant?”

“Edit: You reminded me of a little dinner party several years ago.”

“The hosts and their teenage kids would roll their corn on the cob all over the butter in the butter dish, even after eating part of the corn, like double-dipping with a chip into dip.”~LoveBeach8


“Omg, that is so gross.”

“You are NTA.”

“But it’s weird that your wife is so adamant this is normal.”

“Have there been other disputes between you and your son and does she feel the need to protect him?”

“Are you and your wife otherwise OK? This is just so odd?”~firefly232

Though some did find it ridiculous enough to be funny.


“But can you, and hear me out here, can you spray him with a squirt bottle when he does this and yell ‘Get off the counter!’ ? “

“Like a cat?”~LegitimateCut5876

Still, the overall reaction was pure disbelief.




“Did your wife intend to raise a caveman?”

“Has he no respect for anyone?”

“Obviously, no common sense! My 14-year-old son is a brilliant idiot (very smart but no common sense) and he knows to use a plate.”~scarletfemme1968

Our histories mold the people we become.

The problem, of course, is that not everyone is raised the same way—so we all agree on certain basic things.

Like Hygiene.

Remember that whether you’re sharing a space with family, or friends, or perfect strangers, that space is shared.

Respect isn’t just about people, but the spaces they occupy.

Written by Frank Geier

Frank Geier (pronouns he/him) is a nerd and father of three who recently moved to Alabama. He is an avid roleplayer and storyteller occasionally masquerading as a rational human.