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Woman Offended After Sister Lets Kids Eat Elaborate Meal She Cooked For Them In Their Rooms

A woman sets a dining room table
gpointstudio/Getty Images

How a family unit operates is an intimate conversation between the unit.

What time do kids go to bed…

What plans a parent can miss…

Where and when everyone eats…

All private choices for different families.

But that doesn’t mean people don’t have remarks on all those issues.

Remarks that aren’t always appreciated.

Case in point…

Redditor amithea**hole970 wanted to discuss her experience and get some feedback. So naturally, she came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

She asked:

“AITA for saying my sister doesn’t have to dictate what I do in my own home after she insisted on setting the table for dinner?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“I’m (42) the eldest of 8 siblings.”

“This concerns my youngest sister Elina (23).”

“Me and my husband have two kids (16 and 13).”

“Elina’s staying with us for four months because she started at a new college, and she needs some time to sort out housing.”

“She’s been here for a couple of weeks so far. Last night she made dinner for everyone (she said she wanted to).”

“The way dinner usually works in my household is I dish up the food, and then my kids take it to their rooms to eat.”

“We obviously have family dinner too, but this is just more convenient for all of us as we don’t have to spend time setting the table every day.”

“And we can eat at different times if needed (also, by different times, I don’t mean someone eats at 7 pm and someone eats at 3 am, just a small gap).”

“I know this isn’t for everyone, and that’s okay, but this is what works for our family.”

“Elina knows this.”

“So last night she made fried dumplings, orange chicken, fried rice, and chocolate cake for dessert.”

“I went into the kitchen to thank her and saw her setting the table.”

“I told Elina she doesn’t need to do that, and we’ll take food from the pot.”

“My 13-year-old started saying she was hungry so I went to get food since everything was done.”

“But Elina stopped me and said to wait a few minutes, and we’ll eat together.”

“Again, I told her that’s not how it really works here, one of my kids is hungry now, but my 16-year-old usually eats a bit later.”

“Elina then said she was going to serve the dumplings first, then chicken and rice and cake after.”

“I repeated to her, again, we can get the main food at once, cake later, and if anyone wants seconds, we’ll come and get it. It’s fine. No need to set the table.”

“She looked upset and said she wants to have a ‘nice dinner together’ and ‘involve the kids.'”

“I had enough at this point, so I told her I know my kids and family. She doesn’t have to dictate what we do in my home.”

“My husband saw what was going on and told Elina thanks, but we know how to serve ourselves.”

“Elina eventually understood, but she was acting sulky and giving me the cold shoulder this morning.”

“So AITA?”

Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA:

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

Many Redditors declared OP WAS the A**hole.

“YTA. Your sister made a three-course meal and wanted to eat together.”

“Would it be such a big deal to break the disjointed mealtime tradition just once?”

“Tell her I’ll sit at the table and eat all that.” ~ ohmeatballhead

“LOL OP is either deliberately being obtuse or needs some neurological checkups because ‘dinner together’ does not in any universe mean ‘everyone eats at different times in different rooms apart from each other.'”

“OP. YTA.” ~ AdEmbarrassed9719

“Honestly, I think it’s a real shame that they are encouraging their kids to be antisocial like this.”

“I mean, everyone needs time to themselves every so often.”

“And I really do get that, but a family meal together each evening or at least way more often than they do it is a real bonding experience and is good for development, I think.”

“It encourages social skills in a safe space etc.”  ~ Silvermorney

“YTA OP – your family life sounds sad, and you sound insufferable.”

“Your sister planned a nice dinner, and you and your kids couldn’t sit down with her?”

“Like what? Do you even like your family?”

“My kids and I sat down every night together so that we could (barring activities).”

“Sometimes at the table, sometimes with the TV, but we are always together and we talked about our day.”

“I think this is what your sister was looking for, and you blew her off.”

“YTA and extremely rude as well.” ~ bookworm1421

“OP can do what they want when they’re the cook, but wow, that sounds so depressing.”

“My husband and I picked up a habit of eating separately by accident when we were both working insane hours and only making easy meals.”

“And when I changed jobs, found time, and started cooking more elaborate meals (ie, normal difficulty meals) it took one day of me spending an hour in the kitchen to put my foot down on eating separately.”

“Because it just felt so damn shi**y to spend so much time on a meal for someone and then sit alone and eat it.” ~ Kittenn1412

OP came back with an update…

“It’s pretty early in the morning, but I’m up and wanted to post an update.”

“Couldn’t reply to all the comments, but I’ll cover some questions people were asking here.”

“Firstly, thanks to the comments who were kind and tried to understand both mine and Elina’s side, and I can see we had some communication issues.”

“I knew even before I posted a lot of people would gloss over the question I was even asking and immediately jump on we have our dinners separately.”

“As I mentioned, I know this doesn’t work for everyone. That’s fine.”

“This is what works for us.”

“I don’t neglect my kids. They’re happy, healthy teens.”

“A lot of comments about what we do at restaurants.”

“We eat at restaurants how everyone eats at restaurants.”

“My home isn’t a restaurant, so we eat here how we eat at home.”

“Some comments saying Elina wanted to make dinner because she was feeling lonely and we made her feel lonelier.”

“No, she said she wanted to make a meal because she had some news to share.”

“I never asked her to make food, do any chores, etc. She’s free to do as she wishes.”

“I did have a chat with Elina that we appreciated the meal, but she’s been here for a few weeks already and knows very well what our eating routine is like.”

“I did apologize for a misunderstanding on my part, but having dinner exactly the way she wants isn’t the only form of appreciation.”

“We all told her the food was delicious because it was, and that should be enough.”

“She seemed to understand and said okay, but was still a little quiet around us, so I think I’ll let her cool off for a bit.”

Reddit continued…

“You’re still the AH. Your update makes it even worse.”

“She literally asked you in advance could she cook for you guys and set a date in advance to have time together to share the news.”

“One dinner. One meal.”

“She’s not dictating your lives, but you shut down hers.”

“I hope the meal was wonderful, Elina, and that at least one person was with you for your news.” ~ Ok_Jackfruit_2706

“There wasn’t a communication problem.”

“You deliberately misinterpreted her words, and now you’re trying to act like she was wrong for trying to organize a family sit down.”

“Also, you mention how people ‘gloss over’ things, while YOU’RE THE WORST OFFENDER FOR GLOSSING OVER WHAT YOUR SISTER SAID!!”

“YTA… if it wasn’t painfully obvious.”  ~ Stumpyz

“YTA, you didn’t apologize.”

“Saying ‘I’m sorry, BUT…’ is not an apology.”

“And then you doubled down on why SHE was wrong to assume she could plan a dinner with everyone for a special occasion.”

“And no matter how you try to hide the lede, a Scholarship is awesome news!!!”

“I get the feeling you like to rip the wind out of your sister’s sails deliberately.”

“She ASKED for a special family dinner. You told her she was ‘dictating (your) household.'”

“She said she wanted to share news. You say it was old news, you knew he was coming, but you ignore the amazing news and tell her she was still wrong to want to share with the family.”

“You’re just mean and bitter.”  ~ Tulipohoney

“Listen. If your brain could, but listen…”

“This was not a communication problem.”

“If someone says X and you heard Y, that’d be a communication problem.”

“Even if X was something that you might’ve misinterpreted.”

“The problem is that X entailed something. It was a request, with a date, and a very obvious expectation: a course meal with your family, prepared by Elina.”

“You CHOSE to misinterpret X because you didn’t want to be bothered to change your family dinner time ONE TIME, ONE TIME, so your sister could share the news with her hosts.”

“You are still TA because you keep trying to paint this as her not wanting to abide by your eating routine.”

“She is very well aware, which is why she set up a date, a time, and a course meal with your whole family.”

“You are still TA because it is obvious that you have very little regard for her existence.”

“Nobody is saying to flip your life. Just sit your @ss and your children’s @sses on a chair for ONE meal that your guest wanted to do for you in appreciation and to share her good news.”  ~ gatamosa

“OP, not only are you a massive AH, you lack any kind of awareness regarding it.”

“Get a grip on reality.”  ~ adeviouslemon

Well OP, you and your family are doing what makes y’all feel comfortable.

That is your right.

Reddit still has some major issues with it all, though.

Hopefully, you and Elina can find common ground and get past this.

Maybe one dinner?