Family dinners allow family members to gather together, develop bonds, and create stronger relationships. In this story, a lady made certain that all of her family members had the best meals possible. However, things did not go as planned. Read the whole article to find out what occurred at this family dinner and share your thoughts on what she should do.
I (27F) am not a professional chef, but I have taken a bunch of cooking classes and love making elaborate meals for friends and family. About two years ago, my brother, Greg (25M) married Cheryl (34F). Cheryl has a daughter from a previous relationship (Becca, 9F) who has several health conditions, including celiac and a severe dairy allergy that requires her to carry an epi-pen.
Last weekend, I hosted a dinner at my house for my parents’ wedding anniversary. I made a fancy five-course dinner, and in addition to my parents, I invited four close family friends, Greg, Cheryl, and Becca, and my sister, her boyfriend, and their twins (both 8M). Because of Becca’s food restrictions, I found a restaurant in town that specializes in gluten-free, dairy-free (as well as other allergen-free) food, and arranged for them to make a full meal for Becca that I could pick up in advance of the party. I have made a variety of specialty meals in the past (for example, keto meals when my friend was following that diet), and I like the challenge, but knowing how serious Becca’s restrictions were, I didn’t trust myself to make her meal. I have ADHD and get easily distracted, and if I even used the wrong spoon or didn’t completely wash some flour off a bowl, it could make her incredibly sick.
I thought the “take out” solution was fine, but when I served the food, I saw Cheryl looking at Becca’s plate with a stony face. For her part, Becca started eating and seemed fine. Cheryl whispered to Greg, and Greg asked if he could talk to me in the kitchen. When we got there he said that it was “unbelievable” that I couldn’t be bothered to make something for Becca, that they’d been bragging about what a great cook I am to her, and that he knew I’d made keto, vegan, and other complicated kinds of food in the past; now she would feel left out because she didn’t get to eat what the rest of the family was eating. He said that it was obvious that I didn’t care about making his stepdaughter feel like a part of the family, and that they were leaving. Greg, Cheryl and Becca then left, which put a damper on the rest of the party.
I felt like I did my best at the time, but in hindsight, I wonder if I should have tried harder to make Becca feel included since she is a relatively new addition to our family. Am I A Jerk?
Here are a few comments on the story where it was originally posted: