One user is asking Reddit if she is in the wrong for putting her foot down when it comes to making meals for her husband’s grieving friend.
“For context: my husband’s M33 best friend M37 (Dale) lost his wife to cancer this past March. Ever since I’ve been asked by my husband to consider sending hot homemade meals to his suffering friend and I’ve started including Dale in the meals I cook. It started off as one meal a week. Then gradually become 3-5 meals a week. Then my husband started coming with ‘requests’ from his friend dale wanting me to cook certain meals that preferred.”
But the OP was not too happy as she worked as a nurse and was already exhausted. Not to mention the costs of making extra meals. In addition, she was getting irritated when Dale would send her tips on how to improve her cooking.
“Dale would send me texts or emails thanking me for the meals I send him but at the same time kept sending
suggestions and new ways to “improve” my cooking. Like how his wife made X meal more crispy or how X meal should
have more sauce. I gotta say, I started feeling irritated especially since Dale kept texting all the time. [And when I didn’t]
respond he’d text my husband who asks me to please be more [patient stating how] this is a phase and will pass.”
But it wasn’t just a phase….
“[A] few days ago, I was in the middle of my shift at 11 am when Dale sent me a text but I was too busy in my unit. I didn’t even look at it (I work in a big hospital so the pressure is big). I got off work at 9:00 PM to find my husband at home looking upset. I asked him and he told me his friend Dale texted me early in the morning to tell me he was having guests over and wanted me to cook him a meal so he could serve it to them, but I didn’t respond and kept him hanging forcing him to order food at the last minute.”
Obviously, the OP was floored at the reaction as Dale understood she worked. It was then that she laid down her boundaries to her husband.
“I told him a) I was busy working. and b) I’m not obligated to cook for Dale much less his guests that I never met. My husband said that Dale would’ve said ok if I said no but he thinks that I work too much if I can’t take a minute to look at the text he sent. Dale said that!!! It’s funny because my job’s paying for the food Dale’s been eating since March. My husband said I put Dale
in an awkward position and should apologize and clear the air but I told him that I’m no longer cooking for his friend. Not even
weekly meals. Period.”
Her husband said that she overreacted and is selfish. The OP also adds how Dale does not have a job, Dale’s other friend’s don’t know how to cook, Dale thinks the OP works too much, and her husband thinks it’s rude to ask for Dale to pay for food aaaand also he is over at Dale’s DAILY doing chores around the house.
One user said: “Dale is without a shadow of a doubt an a******, the “give him a finger, he’ll take the whole arm” (and spit on it it seems) kind of a****** and his comments about OP’s cooking and how much she’s working and hugely inappropriate, intrusive and disrespectful. Not to mention ungrateful. But (for me) the biggest a****** here is the husband who defends and enables his friend’s s***** behavior and now tries to guilt-trip and emotionally blackmail OP into doing the same thing. Claiming she’s being cruel and insensitive instead of ‘graceful and understanding’ is borderline gaslighting (I know the term is over and misused, but he’s pushing his wife to doubt her own sanity which tells her Dale is shamelessly exploiting her). He also asks for things he can’t or won’t do himself (OP mentioned paying for the food she sends Dale herself), claiming (wrongly) that OP is a bad person if she doesn’t comply.”
While another commented: “Hey Dale, it seems like you have some great ideas for how to improve my cooking, so I think it’s time you do exactly that! Sounds like you’re halfway there to all the great meals you are going to learn to make and entertain your friends with. As you’ve seen, my job is very demanding, so much that sometimes I don’t even have a moment to check my phone. I certainly never envisioned that you would count on me to take dinner orders for your entertaining needs, but I’m glad I was able to squeeze in time to help keep you fed during your difficult transition. It seems like now that you are entertaining, you are ready to move out of this difficult transition time. Best of luck going forward and I am sure you will come up with many of your own culinary masterpieces!”
What do YOU think?
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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