Living with roommates can have many conflicts, the easiest to get into is how food is shared in the fridge. Things get even more tense when one party has a medical issue related to food.
Redditor meeping_maple has celiac disease, an autoimmune disease that causes issues when she eats gluten. It can be harmful, but manageable with the right treatment and completely cutting gluten out of her diet.
However, the original poster (OP) thinks her roommate is using her peanut butter and leaving breadcrumbs in it. Her reaction caused backlash with her roommate and now OP isn’t sure if she reacted properly.
To figure out if she did the right thing, OP decided to ask the “Am I the A**hole” subReddit about what she did.
OP felt she solved the issue.
“AITA for getting a minifridge in my shared college dorm suite?”
So what is the problem?
“I (20F[emale]) am currently living with three other girls (btw 20 and 21) in a college dorm suite. We have a shared full kitchen and living room, and our own rooms and two bathrooms.”
“I have Celiac disease which is an autoimmune disorder that means I can’t eat gluten (anything with wheat, barley, spelt, rye, or most oats.) If I do, my immune system attacks my small intestine and that can lead to pretty serious health consequences and discomfort.”
“All of my roommates knew before we decided to live together about me having celiac and they were all fine with it. One girl (AN, 21) said she was actually going gluten-free so it would be perfect.”
“About halfway through last semester, she decided she didn’t want to stay gluten-free and started buying bread and bagels and other things. This is totally fine bc I just don’t eat them, but I have some personal things I buy like peanut butter and jelly and butter.”
“I have an agreement with my roommates that it’s fine if they use those things as long as they only use them on gluten-free stuff bc if someone gets crumbs into them, I’ll get sick.”
“AN never had to think about that bc she was gluten-free but after she stopped the diet, she kept using my jams and peanut butter.”
“I was getting sick all the time and I couldn’t figure out what was going on. I started talking to the school bc I figured I was getting poisoned at the dining halls and campus dining got concerned bc they couldn’t figure out the problem.”
“It all came to a head when I saw AN walking to her room with peanut butter on one of her bagels. I asked her if she’d bought her own peanut butter and she was confused and said, ‘no but I thought you said it was fine if I used yours.’”
“And I reminded her that I have celiac and because she was no longer only eating GF, it’s a serious safety concern if she puts my stuff on foods with gluten. She kinda got mad at me but promised she wouldn’t do it again.”
“I left all the contaminated jars for her and the roommates and bought some new jams with fun flavors and labeled them. I was still getting sick and then I noticed some crumbs in my new jars and I tried to talk to AN about it and she claimed that I was accusing her with no proof and being cruel.”
“I ended up buying a minifridge to keep in my room so I can make sure my food is always safe, but now AN is telling everyone that I’ve made her feel bad and like I don’t trust her and it’s impacting her mental health negatively.”
OP has some pretty serious health concerns, and she tried to settle them the best way she could, but AN is isn’t appreciative of her efforst.
Is OP being a jerk?
On Reddit, the users of the board judged OP’s purchase of a minifridge to protect her food 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
OP was beyond reasonable. She gave her friend a gentle reminder when she first noticed, continued allowing her to use her peanut butter and jellies despite this issue, and finally spent her own money so AN didn’t even have to worry about it.
On the other hand, AN didn’t even act apologetic when she made the mistake the first time, got upset about being accused of something she has a history of doing, and when OP decided to protect their own health, AN centered herself as the victim.
It was very easy for the board to vote that OP was NTA.
“NTA. Celiac or not, if you decided to no longer share your jams and PB and she continued, she’d be TAH she’s already exhibiting that she indeed is.”
“Your mini-fridge is for your health protection. If AN continues, shut her down harder. She’s far too outside the bounds at this point for courtesy.” – tosser9212
“NTA whatsoever. Even if you didn’t have celiac with roommate blatantly disregarding you.. you wouldn’t be an AH for having your own mini-fridge.”
“Your roommate is definitely an ah here.” – shepassedthebeautyon
“Also, like — okay so OP is weirdly getting sick and asks AN if she’s been using OP’s peanut butter. AN denies it. Okay, cool.”
“But OP is still MYSTERIOUSLY getting sick (how? why? who knows? must be aliens sneaking into the room at night and dipping crackers in all the peanut butter jars).”
“THE SOLUTION TO THIS PROBLEM IS STILL FOR OP TO GET A SEPARATE FRIDGE! Like, what does AN expect to happen here?”
“She goes to whine to the RA or whoever that OP is being mean to her … OP’s just like ‘Well AN says it’s not her, and I’m not calling her a liar. But somehow there are crumbs in my stuff so I’m getting a fridge.’”
“And the RA is supposed to ….. be mad at that … somehow?”
“NTA.” – sarita_sy07
“NTA I live at home with my dad and step mom and family due to personal reasons and I have a mini fridge in my room for my own snacks that I don’t want people to accidentally eat. It’s your money that’s buying the stuff so you have a say who can have it.”
“Not to mention you have a valid medical reason for it. Your roommate on the other hand is butthole because she was well aware of your condition before moving in and still ignored it after you confronted her about it.”
“She made her own bed for ignorance and she is dealing with the consequences of criticism because of her actions. Keep the mini fridge and perhaps put a lock on it.” – Hexcaster505
Others called out AN’s reaction to OP buying herself a minifridge.
“NTA. The negative impact on her mental health is total bullsh**. It’s called guilt and she deserves to feel it.” – catfoodspork
“hold on, i really love this. i feel like this epitomizes a lot of the reactions we see nowadays online when people do something shitty; they face backlash and then step away from social media because it’s ‘toxic’ or when they get called out for something, they react with crocodile tears and crying ‘all of this negativity is making my mental health really bad!’”
“when all they’re actually feeling is guilt, whether it’s guilt for what they did, guilt over getting caught, or guilt over having to deal with consequences. if i had money, i would be buying awards for your comment.” – reyballesta
“NTA She’s whining about her mental health after literally damaging your physical health. All you did was take steps to protect yourself ffs. She was told and didn’t listen” – blackley_jones
Lastly, the topic of celiac brought out those willing to share their own stories. While celiac is relatively rare, it still affects hundreds of thousands of people.
And they know the pain of the disease all too well.
“NTA. My best friend has celiac. What people may not know is the inflammation can cause permanent damage.”
“It makes it more likely she’ll get cancer. It makes it so her body can’t absorb nutrients properly and it takes time for the gut to heal after an attack. It can affect pretty much every aspect of your health.”
“When I cook for my friend I literally buy new jars of peanut butter and other things, I clean everything with a new sponge and I put foil down on my pans.” – MotherSupermarket532
“Absolutely NTA! You’re protecting your health, period.”
“I have 3 cousins that were diagnosed with celiac disease before the age of five and they now range in age from 16-21. It’s been a true struggle for them to have people outside of the family take the condition seriously, especially after gluten free diets became popular. Too many people blow off their diagnosed health issue as a dietary fad.”
“You take care of you, period.” – Angry-Beaver82
OP’s minifridge should be the least of AN’s worries. If she were any kind of friend, she’d be concerned for the health of OP, even if she genuinely did not use the peanut butter.
Any way you slice it, OP’s best option was the minifridge.