A woman lived with her husband and their two daughters, but the household would be soon expanding due to a relative moving in. The woman was fine with this, but she would discover that the relative had some hefty demands that she wouldn’t be willing to accommodate.
A few months ago, the woman had received a request from her sister, asking if her 19-year-old daughter Kate, the woman’s niece, could stay for a while. Kate had embarked on her college journey in the woman’s city and needed a place to stay while she became familiar with her surroundings.
Without hesitation, the family welcomed Kate. “I remembered Kate to be a sweet kid”, the woman recounted. “We discussed it and agreed she could stay. Kate moved in around two months back. She was fine, came home on time, let us know her whereabouts, no partying, etc.”
The Culinary Challenge
Everything was going fine, except when it came to food. Kate was vegan, and she therefore had completely different meal preferences to the rest of the family. “Normally I cook for my family”, the woman explained. “I cook just one meal for all, and we are all diary-obsessed people. Milk for cereal, butter in pancakes, cheese in everything. Eggs were our staple.”
Primarily, the woman’s worries regarded money. “Kate needed vegan ingredient substitutes”, she explained. “Since those are way more expensive, I told my sister she should give money to Kate so she can buy them.”
She Should Pay
However, Kate’s mother was not happy about this request. “She started telling me how family doesn’t take money from family to feed kids”, she explained. “I told her I would feed Kate the same as other kids but I won’t spend excess money on her.”
The Middle Ground
Compromises were reached. Kate, with her pocket money, purchased vegan substitutes. For specific dishes like pancakes, the woman made an effort to prepare vegan versions with the alternative ingredients that Kate had purchased.
The Breaking Point
However, tension began to simmer when it came to dinners. “Every time I made a non-vegan meal for my family, Kate expected me to provide equivalent vegan meals”, the woman recounted. “I drew a line at that. I can’t spend time cooking a whole other meal.”
The Barbeque Conundrum
During a family barbeque, tensions reached their boiling point. Kate’s simple salad, without chicken, left her unsatisfied. The woman pointed out that Kate was welcome to cook her own meals, but she became furious at this suggestion. Her frustrations mounted and she called her mom in tears, claiming that her aunt wasn’t feeding her properly and left her to ‘fend for herself’.
Her sister’s reaction was swift and angry. She accused the woman of not caring for Kate and intentionally excluding her, and to the woman’s amazement, her parents took Kate’s side too. Whilst she did feel bad for Kate’s predicament, she simply didn’t have time to cook her separate meals and truly believed that the solution was for Kate to start cooking for herself.
Venting Her Frustrations
The woman headed online with her conundrum, expressing her frustration about Kate and her family’s demands. To her relief, the internet proved that she wasn’t acting crazy. “She’s an adult, she can cook her own food”, pointed out one commenter. “Moreover, she’s living there seemingly for free or at a discount, so again she can eat what’s provided or prepare her own.”
Many people pointed out that Kate’s parents should have communicated better with the woman about their daughter’s preferences. “Your sister should have told you upfront that her daughter is a vegan so that you could have made an informed decision”, one reader stated. “It’s a pretty big condition to have been missed out.”
Another reader found this suspicious. “I feel like your sister deliberately missed out this huge detail because she knew you would say no to Kate staying if you knew the truth…”
Kate Should Learn to Cook
The most popular comment in the thread pointed out the obvious. “What would she have done if she was living in the dorms or off campus?”, the commenter asked. “I’ll tell you what – she’d need to learn to cook, and by the sounds of things, that is exactly what she needs to do under your roof too.”
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