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Woman Called Out For Offending Her Boyfriend’s Mom With Her ‘Strange’ Food-Mixing Habits

A woman eating a bowl of ramen noodles.
Images By Tang Ming Tung/Getty Images

Taste in food can often be a complicated, if not downright polarizing issue, between friends and family.

While some people are willing and eager to try anything and everything at least once, some folks are so picky they always stick to the familiar and never stray from the path.

Others are so picky that they simply can’t tolerate being around those who don’t share their limited taste in food and do not stay quiet when their friends or family members order something they wouldn’t try in a million years.

Even if said ingredients never make it anywhere near their mouths.

Redditor Clarice_Raven was lucky in that she had a fairly good relationship with her partner’s family, even making regular stays at their house.

However, things took an unexpected turn for the worse when the original poster (OP) decided to mix and match some of the dishes her partner’s mother cooked.

A gesture that was not at all appreciated by her partner’s family, causing such a scene that the OP made the choice to get up and leave.

Worried that she may have overreacted, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where she asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA for mixing food and offending partner’s family?”

The OP shared how her decision to mix certain ingredients ended up putting her at odds with her partner’s family:

“I (23 F[emale], Chinese Australian) have been dating Andrew (26 M[ale], Half Vietnamese half Australian) for 4 years, and regularly stay at his place on the weekend.”

“He lives at home with his parents and older sister Hayley (30 F).”

“Not too long ago, Hayley suggested that since I stay over often, I should start paying them for groceries and bills, though I’m still a student so they aren’t too strict with the amount.”

“I transfer them $50-100 here and there to cover my share.”

“His family treats me very well and I respect them, I have been really happy in my relationship so what happened today was quite shocking to me.”

“Andrew’s mother, Louise (60 F[emale]), is Vietnamese and cooks amazing food regularly.”

“I love her cooking!”

“Today she had cooked a delicious pork rib and taro soup, and I ate some for lunch.”

“At dinner, Andrew was going to make some instant noodles, so I asked him to make me a pack of Shin Ramen (Korean spicy noodles).”

“When it was done, I decided I wanted some of the pork rib in my noodle, and mix some of the soup in my bowl.”

“Louise hastily stopped me, saying that no, I should not mix the soup with my ramen.”

“I was confused.”

“Andrew came over and said the pork rib soup should be eaten alone and not mixed with my spicy noodles, since the flavors are different.”

“I argued that Koreans also eat spicy rib soup, so it shouldn’t be too weird, and since I’ve had the rib soup by itself for lunch, I wanted to try a different flavor.”

“However Louise insisted that the way I mix food is wrong, and Andrew said I should just eat my spicy noodles and maybe come back for a bowl of soup later.”

“The argument got quite heated as I didn’t understand why mixing food is such a crime (this had happened a few times before, when I added different condiments or mixed stir-fry with noodles, Louise pointed out that my eating habits are strange, but she never said more than that).”

“Then I got overwhelmed and ran to Andrew’s room and started crying.”

“Hayley barged in and began yelling at me (she’s normally kind to me, but she does have a bit of a tempter) ‘why are you throwing a tantrum in someone else’s house?'”

“‘We are feeding you food, and you’re so ungrateful!'”

“I was really upset because I think I did nothing wrong, so in the heat of the moment, I stood up and screamed back, ‘I paid for the food, why should you care how I eat?'”

“‘I’m not forcing you to eat what I eat! If I go to a restaurant and pay for a plate of food, you think they’d kick me out for eating the food wrong?'”

“‘How ridiculous!'”

“In the end, I was so angry I packed my bags and stormed out of their house (after Hayley got so mad she said I’m no longer welcome at their house), and now I’m on the way home and crying, wondering what I did wrong.”

“It really doesn’t make sense!”

“I tried to put myself in their shoes and say if Andrew wanted to eat Chinese dumplings with tomato sauce, my Chinese family and I would not care at all (we’d just laugh it off due to personal tastes).”

“So AITA for mixing food/having different food preferences and upsetting my partner’s family?”

Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

The Reddit community generally agreed that the OP was not the a**hole for wanting to mix up different flavor profiles.

Most agreed that how the OP wanted to mix and match her food should not have mattered at all to Andrew and his family, especially not in the over-the-top reaction she received, with many urging the OP to severely question whether or not staying with Andrew was a good idea.


“I probably would’ve had a similar reaction if my SO’s family had ganged up on me like that, and Hayley’s barging in on you while you were trying to calm down makes her a huge a**hole.”

“That being said, it sounds like you might want to reconsider your relationship with Andrew because it doesn’t appear that he’s going to have your back in anything.”- Jaded-Permission-324


“Your partner’s family sound controlling to me.”

“Sure, it is their house and their ‘rules’; that doesn’t change the fact that it is YOUR MOUTH, and you can put whatever the f*ck you want in any combination in it.”

“Just because it is their house doesn’t give them the right to disrespect you and force you to eat how they eat.”

“If anyone thinks that way they need checked out.”

“Just because someone is in your house DOES NOT give you control over them and how they eat food.”

“WTF.”- StinkieSloth


“I will never understand the food police and their need to correct how people eat.”

“Who gives a rat’s backside if you want Vietnamese pork in Korean noodles.”

“Has your boyfriend in his family ever heard of Asian fusion?”- Peony-Pony

“How you eat shouldn’t matter to anyone as long as you’re not forcing others to eat it that way.”

“Who cares how you mix up food?”

“The food policing is crazy.”

“I also think that maybe they’re not so happy about hosting you as they seem.”

“NTA.”- mushroomgyal

“This family sounds crazy.”

“Everyone defending their right to dictate how someone eats ‘in their house’ when she literally pays them for food.”

“And asked for that money after being continually invited over as a guest, mind you.”

“‘You’re not allowed to do this because I think it tastes weird’ is so stupid.”

“Ditch these people OP.”- cestkameha

“Everyone has different tastes.”

“If it’s not enough that the other person is enjoying your food in a way they like best, then you probably have some egotistical reasons to be cooking.”- CamilaSBedin

“I’m Viet and my mom and I were just laughing about this exact issue two days ago.”

“It’s true that some of the Viet people are super anal about how their food should be eaten.”

“Next time it happens, sit down calmly and tell them the crocodile story.”

“It goes like this, ‘A man with a wooden leg went down to the side of the river one day’.”

“When he saw a crocodile, he went near it to test out its reaction to his leg.”

“The crocodile immediately went for the wooden leg, violently trying to bite and to eat it.”

“Panicked, he pulled his leg out of the water.”

“Suddenly, he realized, there was a young kid sitting a few feet away from him with both his chubby legs soaking in the river, and yet the crocodile ignored the kid completely.”

“He went over to sit next to the kid, and the crocodile attacked his wooden leg again.”

“As he was fighting to pull his leg out, he started yelling at the crocodile, ‘Why must you go for my leg and not his ah? Are you stupid???’ “

“The crocodile answered, ‘I eat what I want to eat, it’s none of your business!””

“P. S. We use the same rib soup for ramen all the time. “

“Your bf family is literally just weirdly fragile about it.”- Demoniokitty

There were others, however, who still felt that Andrew’s family badly overreacted, but the OP didn’t need to stoop (or, in this case, rise) to their level and could have de-escalated the situation.

“ESH but not for mixing the food, just for how this escalated.”

“My granddad was famous for dipping his chips in ice cream, which some people thought made him weird, and some people thought made him a legend.”

“My grandmom would yell at him for it, but it was all in good humor.”

“This whole thing should have been de-escalated by BOTH parties.”

“This was not a hill to die on.”- RumSoakedChap

One can’t help but wonder if Hayley’s suggestion that the OP pitch in for bills may have been her way of hinting that the OP was overstaying her welcome.

Further suggesting that perhaps this particular blow-up was less about the OP’s decision to mix certain foods together, and more about an underlying dysfunction?

Regardless of whether or not this is the case, the OP, there’s enough going on for the OP to re-evaluate her relationship with Andrew and decide whether or not this is a nurturing, healthy relationship.

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.