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Indian Woman Irate After White SIL Throws Away Her ‘Uncivilized’ Beauty Oils To Make A Point

young woman pouring hair oil in her hand
Deepak Sethi/Getty Images

Xenophobia is defined as “dislike of or prejudice against people from other countries.”

That prejudice includes disrespect or disregard for other cultures including their customs, traditions and cuisine.

When couples come from different cultures, xenophobia can be an issue if one family feels their culture is superior.

A woman is dealing with xenophobia from her husband’s family, so she turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for an outside perspective.

Alarmed-Advance-1658 asked:

“AITA for asking my sister-in-law (SIL) to pay me for the cost of hair and skin oils she threw out?”

The original poster (OP) explained:

“I (32, female) and my husband Alex (34, male) have allowed my SIL Julie (34, female) to stay in our house due to her soon-to-be ex (STBX) kicking her out after filing for divorce.”

“Julie still has her job, but doesn’t want to go through the ordeal of getting a new apartment while dealing with her STBX and we didn’t want her to have to stay dura hotel during that.”

“I’m Indian, and Alex and the rest of his family are White. I feel like that may be relevant to what happened here.”

“I use oils for most of my hair and skin care, I also use chemically manufactured products, but I found that oils are better for my hair and skin. That’s also how my mother cared for me when I was younger.”

“Julie disapproves of this and thinks that I’m just going around town an oily and greasy mess, despite me repeatedly explaining why I do this to her. She’s tried to convince me to switch to all chemical products she uses, but I politely decline each time.”

“When I woke up today after sleeping in with Alex, I walked into our shared bathroom and saw the case of my oils was not there. I looked further around the bathroom to see where it could be and asked my husband if he had moved it.”

“Alex said no, and that’s when I went into the living room and asked Julie about the case.”

“Julie gave me a smirk and told me that she had woken up early this morning and took my case out of the bathroom to drive to the other side of the community we live in and dump it into the garbage bin there.”

“I was tired and thought she was joking until Julie bragged about it, saying that she did me a favor and that I wouldn’t have to use such uncivilized ways of taking care of myself.”

“Once her words sunk in, I was pissed and called Alex into the room to explain to him what she did. Alex seemed disappointed, but not surprised about what Julie did and told her what she did was disrespectful.”

“Julie tried to defend herself, saying that she only did what she thought was best and it shouldn’t be such a big deal. I cut her off, saying that I wanted her to give me $76, which was the cost of the oils so I could replace them.”

“Julie got nervous and said she was in a tight spot financially so she couldn’t pay me back right away. I said that was fine, but I expected her to pay me at some point.”

“After a small back and forth Julie eventually packed a bag and said she’d be staying in a hotel to give me time to cool down and realize how irrational I was being.”

“A few hours later, my mother-in-law (MIL) and father-in-law (FIL) scolded me for making Julie uncomfortable in my home and that I shouldn’t force her to pay for something so small.”

“My husband asked his mom how she’d feel if Julie tossed out the hundreds of dollars of skincare she owned because Julie thought it wasn’t good for her.”

“My MIL just replied with ‘That’s different’ before telling us that I should apologize and then hanging up.”

“My MIL and FIL are paying for Julie’s hotel and apparently are going to do so until she comes back to our house.”

The OP summed up their situation.

“I could’ve just decided to pay for the oils myself, and Julie wouldn’t have left to go stay in the hotel.”

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 unanimously declared the OP was not the a**hole.

“NTA. She stole your items. It doesn’t matter if she used them, gave them away, or trashed them.”

“She stole YOUR items, and you don’t have them anymore. This is after you graciously let her live in YOUR house!”

“‘That’s different’? Bullsh*t. ‘Something so small’? Then the FIL/MIL can give you the $76! ‘Tight spot financially’? Then maybe not incur costs by stealing other people’s sh*t?”

“‘She thought was best’—how about NOT doing that in someone else’s house‽‽ Does she throw out things she doesn’t approve of in every host’s house or just yours?”

“I am curious why her ex threw her out, but I have my suspicions.” ~ kuken_i_fittan

“…’until she returns to our house’. That would be never. Not even for a visit. She stole from OP. I would never trust her in my home again.” ~ jilliecatt

“Right? She would not be coming back.”

“I also find MIL’s ‘That’s different’ comment very telling…seems the racist apple doesn’t fall far and all that.”

“OP is NTA. I have sensitive skin and use oils..if somebody just threw them out I’d be beyond livid.” ~ just_reading_along1

“I agree about MIL. Personally, I’d be talking to my husband about his family—at least those mentioned in this post.”

“SIL definitely wouldn’t be returning to my home again, and parents may not either if they continue to believe that neither I nor my belongings should be respected in my own home, especially by a guest who I’ve inconvenienced my household for to help them.”

“Husband needs to talk to his family for sure about the levels of disrespect they’re showing his wife and his home here.”

“I never used oils, as I have really dry skin and have seen research that oils could actually dry it out more. But you don’t throw out things that aren’t your belongings.”

“I don’t even attempt to toss things that look like trash in another person’s home because that receipt might be important, or that random piece of paper with scribbles on it might be a child’s drawing or something sentimental somehow.” ~ jilliecatt

“NTA 💯%. But your husband’s family certainly is. Not just AHs, but racist AHs, which makes it so MUCH worse.”

“…’use such uncivilized ways of taking care of myself’.”

“That’s racist af. Seriously. You should be furious and absolutely not let her back in your home until she profusely apologizes and starts paying you back.”

“Your husband needs to explain to Julie that she is racist and such disrespect won’t be tolerated in your household. If not blatantly racist, then horribly ignorant of other cultures/customs.”

“…’to give me (OP) time to cool down and realize how irrational I (OP) was being’.”

“Oh dear god, Julie has that completely backwards. Please don’t let Julie back in your house until she comes to her senses and realizes how racist and close-minded her words and actions were.”

“‘My MIL replied with “that’s different”’.”

“Ask her to explain how that’s ANY different? It’s horrifically disrespectful of your culture and customs. She needs to both explain herself and apologize.” ~ 

“I’m sorry you married into such a closed-minded, racist family with no respect for other cultures. Your husband needs to make this right by getting them to understand just how awful their words and actions are.” ~ AppropriateScience71

“Just don’t let her back in the house at all.”

“She’s exhausting and revoked her own guest rights.”

“Also, given how racist and ugly her actions and comments, I wouldn’t trust having her there anyway.”

“NTA and ignore the rest of their racist family. Sounds like hubby is the only good egg from the bunch.” ~ WholeAd2742

“NTA for me. Yeah SIL is definately the massive AH and not to mention a racist too.”

“Most people have sensitive skin and we all have different skin care routines. The audacity of Julie to smirk and with the racist ‘uncivilized methods’ and not even replacing them.” ~ wolfram127

“NTA. She stole from you. She STOLE from you.”

“When confronted with that fact, she decided she would rather pay roughly the equivalent of what she stole from you to a hotel for a room to stay in so that she could wait out your anger.”

“She’s so ridiculously in the wrong here but yet also so fabulously stubborn that she sounds like she’s willing to die on this hill. Let her.” ~ Some-Negotiation2493

“NTA. Don’t apologize, don’t ever let SIL back into your home, and don’t let go of the money she owes you for your beauty products.”

“SIL is snotty and self-righteous, and if you let this slide this time, it will only get worse from here.”

“Same for your MIL: if it is ‘so small’ then she should have no problems to pay for the damages herself. She is toxic af.”

“Your husband is standing behind you. That’s a great relief. Maybe go no contact with SIL and at least low contact with MIL.”

“You haven’t done anything wrong!” ~ Diesel-King

“…’SIL is snotty and self-righteous…’.”

“And racist. Don’t forget racist.” ~ TheRipley78

“If SIL is staying gone until you apologize and the in-laws are paying for her hotel room, I’d call that natural consequences. They can reap what they sew while not hearing a peep from OP.” ~ Bnhrdnthat

This issue seems to go far beyond the oils.

It looks like the OP and her husband need to decide if Julie should be welcomed into their home again.

Written by Amelia Mavis Christnot

Amelia Christnot is an Oglala Lakota, Kanien'kehá:ka Haudenosaunee and Metís Navy brat who settled in the wilds of Northern Maine. A member of the Indigenous Journalists Association, she considers herself another proud Maineiac.