For those of us who have lived with a roommate or significant other, we know how great it can be, but also how frustrating it can be.
This is especially true when one person doesn’t respect the other’s possessions or spaces, cringed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor Elegant_Bullfrog4794 was furious when her roommate wasn’t careful with her expensive cookware, though she’d talked to her about it multiple times.
When the roommate irrevocably damaged one of the pans, the Original Poster (OP) decided to make a change that earned her some serious criticism.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for banning my roommate from using my new cookware?”
The OP shared her kitchen tools with her roommate when they moved in.
“I (19 female) had a nice set of pots and pans (well, nice for a broke college student) when my roommate (also 19 female) and I moved into our first apartment.”
“She didn’t bring any cookware when we moved in, so I shared mine for all of our cooking.”
“She’s not very experienced in the kitchen, so when we first moved in and I noticed her using a metal spatula on one of my pans, I just asked her not to do it again because it would ruin them, thinking she just didn’t know.”
“She thought I was being silly, but she said she’d use plastic or wooden utensils instead going forward.”
The OP was concerned by how her roommate was treating her cookware.
“Only, she hasn’t. Over the past six months we’ve lived together, she’s completely ruined the whole set.”
“I’d catch her using metal utensils on them probably half the time I was in the kitchen when she’d start cooking, and every time she apologizes and swears she’ll remember next time.”
“Last week I literally caught her using a knife to cut chicken that she was already cooking in the pan. Like, full-on using a hot pan as a cutting board.”
“I was really upset and told her if she did that again, I’d stop letting her use my cookware.”
“After a fight, she told me I was being ridiculous about something that doesn’t matter, and she was never going to use anything other than the first utensil she grabbed from the drawer.”
The OP decided to take action.
“So after that fight, I ordered a replacement set, and yesterday morning when they got here, I threw out the old set.”
“I also decided I am going to be keeping my new set in my locked bedroom when I’m not using it.”
“I told her that she’d have to buy her own pots and pans if she’s just going to ruin them.”
“We ended up having a pretty big fight about it last night.”
“Then today, when my boyfriend swung by before I got home from class, she made a big show of trying to cook eggs in a makeshift pan she made out of aluminum foil because, as she told my boyfriend, ‘She is being a giant b***h about the pans.'”
The OP’s friends had mixed feelings about what the OP did.
“I thought I was totally in the right here, but my boyfriend’s told me I’m being pretty controlling and possessive of my stuff.”
“He suggested that I should have at least left her the old, ruined set, rather than throwing them out.”
“I’ve asked some friends tonight and they’re divided between I’m right, I’m totally ridiculous, or I at least shouldn’t have thrown away the old set.”
“Like, I know it’s just pots and pans, but they’re really expensive for me right now, and I’d never treat someone else’s property like that, even if I thought they were being dumb about it.”
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 agreed that maybe the OP could have given the ruined cookware to her roommate.
“NTA – but the no drama solution would have been to keep the old set, which she could continue using, while giving yourself a set ‘for good.'”
“You’ve gained nothing but the satisfaction of being petty.”
“That said, they were yours to do with as you’d please.” – GrWr44
“NTA. How many times should you have to ask her to respect your property before she gets her privileges removed? It’s not that hard to use the right utensils.”
“She’s not forgetting. She just thinks you’re ‘ridiculous’ and refuses to respect your property.”
“I wouldn’t have thrown the old ones out though. I would have sold them to her.” – amethystdreams21
“NTA. But I, too, am confused as to why you didn’t just let her use the old set.”
“At the same time, the old set is yours and you can do whatever you want with your old things. She can’t spend 50 bucks and go out and get some cheap cookware? It wouldn’t be good cookware but she can get a couple of pans. I don’t like it when people disrespect my stuff either.” – Nt_A_Chnc
“I don’t think OP is an a**hole here, but why throw it out? Seems wasteful.” – starshine1988
“At first I thought this as well, that it would have been nice to leave her the old set. Then I thought if she gives her the old set, the roommate might ruin other things in the hopes of being given those too (bend utensils, scratch dishes, and so on). Not a good idea to set that precedent!” – SenderMage
But others felt it was more important for the roommate to learn a lesson about respect.
“NTA. You’re being controlling of your stuff? Oh, maybe it’s because it literally belongs to you?”
“You don’t owe her anything. Does she pay to replace the pans she breaks? Then she can buy her own set. You warned her, and she continued, that’s her fault.”
“Yes, you could have left the old stuff for her, but it was yours and she would have just broken it. I’ve never met someone who sucks so much at cooking that they cut chicken in the pan.”
“I suck at cooking, I’ve cooked a pasta meal in the oven and undercooked and burned some of the pasta at the SAME time and I’ve never ruined a pan with my own stupidity and refusal to listen.” – PopularJunkie
“OP is NTA. I am SO particular about my kitchen and my cookware. I have nice non-stick pans and cooking equipment. I also have bad food intolerances.”
“The last time I found a roommate cooking on my pans, I told them if they ever did it again, they would be replacing the set. Nowadays, I live alone specifically so no one touches my kitchen stuff.”
“I don’t think OP should take it that far, and throwing the pans away is a lot, but I would have done the same or charged her for my pans. Told her she can have them for the low price of $20. They were OPs pans and their property to dispose of.”
“The roommate needs to get a grip and go buy their own pan. If you are old enough to have a roommate and rent, you are old enough to figure out your own cooking equipment.” – DuckingGolden
“I too am particular and territorial about my kitchen stuff.”
“I have some very nice Japanese knives. They are beautiful and super sharp but will get nicks in them if they hit things like bones. And they are handwash only. They are delicate. I only let two other people use them because I know they appreciate a good blade.”
“I have said ‘if you eff with my knives, I will cut you. But not with those knives’ to people who have tried to use them that I know are careless.”
“Luckily, my kitchen is my own now, but OP’s roommate had the opportunity to use good cookware, and ruined it. It is on her to work out how she is going to source something else to cook with.” – finelytunedradar
“Roommate doesn’t care about the cookware because it belongs to OP. What do you want to bet she’ll take better care of her own stuff.”
“If she had continued using OP’s old stuff, the lesson would have taken longer to learn.”
“And she would have transitioned to using OP’s new stuff if accidentally left out.”
“OP has made it unequivocally clear she isn’t sharing. I think that message will be reinforced by the inconvenience of Roommate having to buy and then ruin her own cookware.” – Awkward-Wasabi-9262
“NTA at all. Your roommate needs to learn basic respect for other people’s belongings. It wouldn’t matter if metal utensils didn’t actually hurt the pans, they’re still your pans and it’s a reasonable request.”
“The fact that she was actively destroying your property makes you doubly NTA. Your bf and friends who say otherwise are wrong.” – Mountain-Scratch7211
A few suggested the cookware may have not been safe to use anymore anyway.
“If those are non-stick pans, especially, she’s making them actually toxic to use.”
“You are not obligated to lend your belongings to people who will destroy them. You are also not obligated to let them keep using your old ones. She can buy her own godd**n pans.” – Otherwise_Window
“Safety matters. And maybe when she actually has to pay for kitchenware she’ll learn why it’s worth taking care of them.” – spiralingsnails
“PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene) is harmless, but there were other chemicals used to apply it, that evaporate in the production process.”
“Unscratched pans are thus fine, but scratched pans may have those other chemicals trapped underneath, and flaking into the food. That’s why the use of PFOA (Perfluorooctanoic Acid) ceased.” – covert_operator100
While some could understand why it may have been helpful to the roommate to leave her the old, damaged pans, everyone was able to agree that the roommate had behaved selfishly and recklessly in the kitchen.
So much so, in fact, the majority also thought that leaving her the pans would do more harm than good, as it would reward her for poor behavior and also wouldn’t teach her responsibility or respect for other people’s things.