We’ve all had to handle unexpected guests. Family will come over unannounced and sometimes it’s a struggle to ensure everyone is happy at the end of the visit.
Redditor aitafamilyissoweird is having their own crisis with their brother-in-law (BIL) and sister-in-law (SIL). But how far should you go to appease family you maybe don’t see very often?
To find out, the original poster (OP) took their question to the premier source of judgement, the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.
“AITA for not having ketchup on the off chance my in-laws come visit?”
Then they explained their situation:
“My husband has three nephews who visit infrequently with my BIL and SIL. It’ll be a long day of entertaining everyone and running around with little kids and we’ll have late lunch or early dinner.”
“Two visits ago, one of the kids had a meltdown because when I made chicken, I’d cut it up into “nuggets” for him before serving him, but we didn’t have ketchup or ranch dressing. I tried throwing together a greek yogurt dip with seasonings similar to ranch but it wasn’t good enough.”
“I suggested they stow away condiments from fast food for travel. I have friends who have their travel bottle of hot sauce.”
“SIL said that I should just have those things around to begin with. She made it into this big deal about how it’s strange and unwelcoming that we don’t have ‘basic condiments’ but I have a whole closet of designer clothes.”
“My husband said that’s because we don’t really eat the condiments that are more geared towards kids.”
“Maybe I would eat ketchup at a restaurant? But there’s nothing we would normally eat that would require things like ketchup, ranch dressing, or mayo. We have things like soy sauce, mustard, hot sauce, salsa, and greek yogurt.”
“The latest time I made tacos, and I guess wires got crossed on what we meant.”
“We meant… idk, tacos? Tortillas with a little bit of meat, some onions and cilantro, maybe a dash of hot sauce or salsa?”
“They were upset. I’d even taken off the cilantro for theirs. SIL pulled me aside and asked if we had cheese and sour cream. I showed her the greek yogurt as an option.”
“She scowled and ripped it out of my hands and grabbed the cheese and was just pissy the whole rest of the day.”
“A few days later she texted me this LONG message asking me if I don’t like her or her kids, because it didn’t seem like I did.”
“I spend so much time on how I look, but I can’t do something basic like have a bottle of ketchup for my nephews or make ‘normal tacos’ for everyone (WTF ARE NORMAL TACOS THEN?!).”
“She accused me of being narcissistic and conceited, saying that I have my priorities all wrong, because I can sit down and do my makeup and hair and spend thousands of dollars on my wardrobe, but again can’t have a simple bottle of ketchup.”
“I didn’t respond to her. I haven’t shown my husband the message either.”
“We invite them to our home and have a great time with them playing around, she kicks back and downs a few margaritas and BIL drinks our beer, but she throws a tantrum because we don’t have ketchup?”
“I’m baffled by this one. AITA?”
OP is very confused how all their effort to make good food can be discarded in the name of not having simple condiments. But they’re also condiments that OP and their husband do not want.
Judgement on AITA is rendered with one of the following acronyms:
- NTA – Not the A**hole
- YTA – You’re the A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everybody Sucks Here
There was a lot of discussion, but it was determined that OP was NTA. But it wasn’t easy to come to that decision.
While many voted OP as NTA, they also qualified their vote with exemptions.
“NTA, but, like, for the sake of your sanity, stop hosting them or buy a bottle of ketchup. Stuff lasts for ages in the fridge, you can just shove it in the back of the fridge and ignore it until they come over.”
“…Pretty sure on her end, the whole conflict is that she feels insecure about not being refined enough, and is spinning it to make it like this is your fault for being out of touch. You don’t have to play into her unreasonable concerns, but it may be useful to know what her problem is in case you want to salvage the relationship.”
“I mean, she’s being an a**hole, but I assume you’re not trying to cut her out of your life entirely, so… yeah.” – what-are-you-a-cop
“I’d also float the hypothesis that SIL has a touch of the ol’ Mommy Martyr syndrome — and she’s salty because there’s no point in being a martyr when other women are just out there unapologetically living nice lives and not paying tribute to the sacrifices the Mommy Martyr makes.”
“Anyway, OP: Forward the messages to your husband with ‘This message is ridiculous and if YOU feel like you need to pick up ketchup before she visits next, be my guest,’ leave your SIL on read, and keep living your fabulous life with your delicious tacos. NTA.” – lschmeiser
“I think she’s an a**hole but also I think part of being a good host is having things you know your guests will like. If they’re just showing up, then no don’t go out & buy ketchup but if you’re inviting them for meals…yeah, I think you should stock up on condiments.”
“I wouldn’t call you an a**hole, I just think it’s good hosting skills. I actually have ketchup in my fridge…that’s never been used aside from family coming over lol” – Coffeehorsee
“I think you’re NTA but I also think you’re kind of a dick about tacos and condiments. They’re used to different tacos than you, and that’s ok. Their attitude wasn’t, but their idea of tacos is valid. And liking “kids condiments” is also perfectly fine? I don’t even see how those are for children?
I don’t think you need to cater to your inlaws but you sound kinda snobby.” – Imnotawerewolf
Other comments were less generous to OP, citing how long ketchup can last, or telling the family to just bring their own condiments.
They call out OP for acting like stocking these condiments is weird.
“I cannot believe I had to come down this far for this comment. But wait, it’s reddit, so I totally can.”
“A few of my close friends do not have children, and they have no intention of having kids. They find out I am coming to visit? They ask if there is anything special to buy for the kids.”
“It’s called being a good host/hostess. Ketchup is like $3 and lasts years. Literally.”
“If there was an issue last time with lack of ketchup, you would think OP would have the decency to buy one small bottle that you stuff in the back of the fridge. It’s really ridiculous to tell someone to carry a bottle of hot sauce around with them in their car.”
“Does OP not realize that’s not normal? Many small children do not like spicy things or things like greek yogurt and mustard. It is completely rude to invite people other for food and only cook things you yourself like.”
“That’s intolerant and rude. Any normal person would think they have a problem with having the kids over. YTA, OP.” – wtfevernstuff
“You are kinda the AH. How difficult is it to have a bottle of ketchup in the fridge? That stuff lasts forever and it will be available to the kids when they come see you.”
“Tacos are usually some kind of meat or fish, inside a hard or soft shell, with shredded lettuce, cheese, maybe onions, some sour cream.”
“IDK. I was taught to be a hostess who cares about my guests and tries to make them as comfortable and ‘at home’ as possible. That would include finding out food preferences and trying to make those happen. It’s not hard.”
“I’m changing my judgement to YTA, definitely.” – IcyIssue
“ESH The mom is waaaaay out of line and insulting. Her and her husband need to bring extras just in case.”
“But if you invite children to your home for dinner and act like kid staples (ketchup, ranch) are completely alien to you, then it doesn’t look like you consider their needs much. A good host makes an attempt to cater a bit for different diets because…humans have different eating styles.”
“It really looks like you had no interest in finding out what her children typically eat. If you and your husband actually cared, a simple question like, ‘hey we are going to have xyz, do you think your kids would like it or should I have abc available?’ It’s a common courtesy. It takes hardly any effort.”
“Yes, you are right to feel insulted completely by the adults BUT as an adult yourself I find it suspect that your more concerned the children had tantrums over not having anything they felt they could enjoy eating than the fact that you don’t attempt provide food for their enjoyment. What’s the point in inviting others over if to eat if you don’t make some attempt?”
“Also all the taco snobbery in the comments is a bit yuck. Nothing wrong with cheese or more Tex-mex style tacos, especially for children. Also ‘authentic’ tacos can have cheese. Queso fresco anyone? Lol. Odio gente presumida.” – Far-Side2489
It’s hard to believe that people can have such strong opinions on the subject of condiments, but they do. And there’s more at play here.
It’s also about hosting guests, how you treat others, and possible snobbish behavior. It’s the SIL’s insistence that OP accommodate her family, when they don’t visit very frequently.
While both sides are easy to see, which one you agree with will depend on what’s more important to you.