The Original Poster (OP) has well-documented food allergies to dairy and gluten. Tensions flare after she discreetly brings her own food to a family cookout. Despite the 22 years her mother-in-law (MIL) has known about her dietary restrictions, a dramatic confrontation ensues, leading to an abrupt and emotional exit from the gathering.
The BBQ Invitation
OP is invited to a BBQ at her MIL’s house. However, with serious food intolerances and allergies, attending such gatherings is always a challenge for OP. Her MIL has been aware of these allergies for the 22 years of their relationship.
MIL’s Stubborn Views
Despite knowing about OP’s food restrictions, MIL believes everyone should eat what’s served. She also harbors skepticism toward the legitimacy of food allergies. This stance has consistently posed problems for OP.
Before attending, OP asked her MIL about the BBQ menu. She hopes there might be something safe for her to consume, like corn muffins or baked potato wedges. Unfortunately, most dishes contain ingredients hazardous to her health.
A Thanksgiving Flashback
This isn’t the first time OP has faced such an issue. Two years ago, at a Thanksgiving dinner, the only foods safe for OP were dinner rolls and salad. MIL took offense, branding OP as overdramatic for her cautious approach.
The Preemptive Meal Dilemma
If OP eats before the event and refrains at the gathering, MIL attempts to guilt-trip her. This has left OP trapped in a lose-lose situation during previous family events. The challenge of navigating these gatherings has become a recurring theme.
A Collaborative Decision
Discussing the dilemma with her husband, OP considers bringing her own food to the BBQ. Her spouse, understanding the predicament, agrees but cautions discretion. They hope to avoid any confrontation with MIL.
The Secret Stash
OP discreetly packs her meal of baked beans, potato salad, and grilled chicken in two small containers, hiding them in a cooler bag. During the BBQ, she discreetly places the containers under her chair.
The Unexpected Outburst
As mealtime commences, OP discreetly serves herself from her containers. However, MIL soon notices the different dishes on OP’s plate. Accusations of rudeness and seeking attention quickly follow.
OP tries explaining the health hazards of MIL’s menu. Her husband chimes in, reminding his mother of the longstanding knowledge of OP’s allergies. This isn’t a whim but a decades-long necessity.
FIL Joins the Fray
The father-in-law, seeing the confrontation, intervenes. He sides with MIL, highlighting the effort and money she put into the BBQ. In his eyes, OP and his son are being disrespectful to the family.
An Abrupt Departure
Unable to reconcile, OP’s husband decides it’s best to leave. They gather their belongings, sharing a few sharp words with the in-laws on their way out. The festive BBQ has taken a sour turn.
After the BBQ, OP and her husband’s phones are inundated with messages. While some agree that MIL overreacted, others suggest OP should’ve been more accommodating. Opinions are sharply divided.
Caught in the crossfire, OP grapples with her feelings. She never intended to cause a scene or hurt her husband’s standing with his parents. All she wanted was to enjoy a meal without jeopardizing her health.
Reflecting on the Conflict
OP contemplates the entire incident. Was her approach justified, or did she unknowingly fan the flames? The thought of having offended her MIL, especially during a family gathering, weighs heavily on her.
Was The Woman’s Behavior Appropriate?
OP posts her story online for feedback and perspective from the internet community. The readers in the forum had strong opinions on the matter.
One reader said, “You’ve got a good spouse there. It seems like well past time for a long talk about how much contact you should have with your in-laws, individually and collectively.”
Another Commenter Thinks
Another responder wrote, “Either don’t eat there or always bring your own food. This sounds like a person who would hide ingredients in a dish to ‘show you allergies aren’t real.’”
A Third View on The Story
A different person stated, “I would just stop going over for meals altogether. MIL clearly cannot be trusted with OP’s health. That’s simply awful.”
A Final Perspective on the Matter
Another reader commented, “MIL consistently neglects your health needs. I think you might not want to go to any more meals at their house just to avoid the stress.”