Meeting new people can mean having the opportunity to put your best foot forward.
Unfortunately, that isn’t always the way it happens.
So what happens when strangers meet for the first time and each thinks the other has been entirely inappropriate?
That was the issue facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) noveganoptions when she came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for judgment.
“AITA for making my brother’s vegan gf feel “alienated” at my engagement dinner?”
OP got right to the setting at hand.
“I (24F) recently got engaged and had an engagement party dinner this past weekend.”
“I am currently still receiving backlash from this and want to get some outside opinions if I was in the wrong.”
“My fiancé and I invited both of our immediate family and close friends to this dinner (about 30 people).”
“The dinner was held at a nice Italian restaurant in my city.”
“Our invites gave our guests the option to choose between a meat option and a fish option for their mains.”
“It’s important to note the only people in both mine and my fiancé’s family that have I guest food restrictions are my dad and stepmom, as they’re pescatarian.”
“But a lot of people in our family love seafood, so the fish option was chosen more than the meat option.”
“My younger brother (20M) contacted me about a week before the dinner to RSVP and ask if he can bring a plus one, his new girlfriend.”
“He chose the meat option.”
“Now, my brother dates around a lot and is always bringing new girls around, so I wasn’t aware that he was even in a relationship. I told him sure and that I’d have an extra seat for her.”
Everything was fine until…
“Night of the dinner comes, and everyone is having a good time. I met my brother’s new GF, she seemed very sweet.”
“When it came time to eat, she pulled one of the waiters aside and LOUDLY asked him, ‘is there any vegan options?'”
“The waiter looked confused and said, ‘we have a fish and a meat option for the mains. I can offer you a salad and some roasted potatoes and other veggies as a substitute if you wish'”.
“Brother’s GF started get mouthy with him and said, ‘well what if I don’t want a salad, huh? You just assume because I’m vegan, I only eat salads? What if I want some pasta? What kind of restaurant is this? This is discrimination.'”
“My brother started trying to calm her down, but she started going off on ME saying how ‘why would you pick a restaurant that doesn’t have vegan options?'”
‘”MANY people are vegan nowadays; it makes me feel alienated that you couldn’t even think to accommodate me”.’
“I explained to her that the only people that have food restrictions here are pescatarians, so that’s what I considered when I chose the restaurant.”
“I didn’t even know she was coming until a week ago. The reservation had been booked a month ago.”
“She started saying it’s embarrassing on my part that I can’t accommodate all my guests, and called me ‘small-minded'”
“I told her, ‘sorry I didn’t think to accommodate you. I’ll consider that in the future, hopefully, you’ll be around long enough for me to do able to do so'”.
“She ended up leaving.”
“My brother walked out with her and has been messaging me that I should apologize to her because I embarrassed her in front of everyone.”
“I told him she embarrassed herself. My moms has also been on my case to apologize to be the bigger person and keep the peace.”
“AITA for making her feel alienated?”
Having explained the situation, OP turned to Reddit for judgment.
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
Some pointed to a lack of manners.
“Plus, they had vegan options!”
“They probably would have made her pasta too if she had asked nicely for it.”
“The waiter seemed attentive and offered some options off the top of his head. Her meltdown was entirely her own fault.” ~ jshaf007
“Oh, for the love of god, do not apologize to her.”
“Who does she think she is to complain like that?”
“The way she talked to the waiter proves that she has no manners, and the way she talked to you tells me that she is rude, spoiled, and a brat.”
“She embarrassed herself in front of everyone with this inappropriate attitude, and you were too kind to her. Bravo.”
“Easy NTA. Your brother is TA for taking her side, and she is THE TA here.” ~ Wingardiumis
Others thought this was about attention.
“Well, if they let people know in time to get accommodations made, then how are you going to get to be the center of attention and play the victim?” ~ Objective_Dark_4258
“Anyone who’d make a scene, like OP’s brother’s date, IS an attention wh*ring spotlight stealer. Too bad the parents and brother ‘feed the troll’ by telling OP to apologize.” ~ Lucky-Tree-8332
The brother was not spared judgment.
“For me the brother is the bigger AH. He must have known his gf was vegan but said nothing to OP.”
“I mean the gf is definitely also a huge AH, but she’s very clearly loud about being vegan, so why wasn’t this communicated?” ~ idkausernameeee
“OP’s brother is the biggest a-hole here, and it sounds like he’s The Golden Child considering the pressure from mom to apologize to him.”
“He was responsible for making sure OP knew his girlfriend was vegan.”
“He was responsible for telling his girlfriend what restaurant it was held at to make sure they had vegan options.”
“His girlfriend made a scene at an important family dinner as if trying to establish some sort of dominance right there.”
“From that, it sounds like the girlfriend knows that the family pattern is to favor the brother over OP.”
“He allowed his girlfriend to disrespect OP at dinner and ruin the dinner.”
“HE allowed that to happen with his incompetence prior to dinner and his behavior during dinner.”
“He is the one demanding an apology and making the issue bigger than it had to be. HE is the one creating a problem, not OP.”
“OP should RIGHTFULLY be furious at him for setting his girlfriend up for failure and trying to ruin OP’s dinner + being so self-unaware to demand an apology when he is in the wrong.”
“OP, I hope you’re taking notes and making a list to confront him with.”
“HE is the one who failed here and created this mess, but I suspect this is a pattern for him. This is how he shows that he’s The Golden Child and top-dog-sibling.” ~ Academic_Frost
“Or he doesn’t care or pay attention.”
“If he goes through girlfriend’s quickly, I’d imagine that’s a bit of a theme with him.”
“He probably only knows how to have casual relationships and doesn’t really take into account the other person’s needs, but instead just moves on to someone else.”
“And I mean, no judgment there, as long as you’re both on the same page about it not being all that serious.”
“But if he’s introducing her to family and bringing her to big family dinner parties like this, the expectations are a bit different.”
“That’s not exactly a fun and cool date for someone new.”
“There’s an implication that it’s serious, though he may not see it that way.”
“Sounds like he just brings new girls around all the time, and he thinks nothing of it.”
“So when some random chick makes a scene, what else are you gonna do but go along with it when it’s your fault she’s here?”
“This doesn’t sound like a guy who would admit he wasn’t thinking ahead or taking her needs into consideration.”
“But it’s really baffling that she blames the restaurant/OP for not having vegan options when everyone else was offered the menu options in advance, and it seems like she went in blind.”
“That’s clearly her boyfriend’s fault if he didn’t share the menu with her, vegan or otherwise…” ~ floatingwithobrien
OP was commended for their response.
“I think all other behavior even aside – the fact that the GF spoke to someone unrelated – a waiter – this badly is reason enough for me not to apologize”
“I loved OP’s response. Classic manner of a repartee once between GB Shaw and Churchill”
“GB Shaw sent Churchill 2 passes to a play for opening night. The note read: for you and a friend if you have any.”
“Churchill responded back with: regret I cannot attend that night. Will attend at a later showing – if any.”
“OP’s ‘hopefully you’ll be around long enough’ reminds me of that. So much!!”
“Good on OP” ~ KeepLkngForIntllgnce
There is a real difference between requesting accommodation and demanding special treatment.
People like to conflate the two, but they are quite different.
Accommodations are made where and when possible to treat everyone involved with equity and respect. This is a vital part of our world going forward and should’ve been a default from the start.
Special treatment is when someone decides that they deserve more than you do by virtue of them. This is about power or attention and ends up making everyone feel uncomfortable.
Here, according to Reddit, we see the latter and the repercussions it can have on something as simple as a dinner party.
So, as always: be kind.