Here is a radical idea: when someone tells you their food restrictions, whether it's for medical reasons or by choice, just respect that! Just let it be, because it is not your business and it's not about you. You should be especially respectful of the person if they are your grandchild, whom you presumably love and care about a great deal.
But that wasn't the case for this one mean old woman. In a post on Reddit's JUSTNOMIL, one mother explained how her mother-in-law tricked her 9-year-old vegetarian daughter into eating meat because she thought it was ridiculous for her to be a vegetarian. This story will have you seeing red.
The poster explains that her daughter became a vegetarian about eight months ago and takes it very seriously, even though she's only 9 years old. For some reason, her mother-in-law, her daughter's grandmother, hates that she and her husband have allowed their daughter to make this choice. They argued about it months ago, but according to the poster, "she seemed to back off after I made it clear I wasn't interested in her input."
They recently went to dinner at her in-laws house, and her MIL served spaghetti. "It was meat sauce for the rest of us," she explained, "but when she gave my daughter her bowl, she said, 'and a special veggie sauce just for you' all sweetly." But halfway through the meal, OP's daughter started to panic that there was actually meat in her bowl. Upon inspection, there was, even though her grandmother insisted there wasn't.
Obviously, when she found she'd been eating meat, the poor girl started to cry. Her mom took her into the living room to calm down while her dad spoke to his mother about it. "She at first insisted it was an accident," mom wrote, "but after he established he didn't buy that for a second, she admitted it was intentional. She said she thought by reminding her how delicious meat was, she would 'give up that vegetarian nonsense.'
"She said she couldn't see what the big deal was and suggested we get [our] daughter therapy because the fact she cried over it was 'very troubling and a sign something is wrong with her.'"
Who is this witch?! First of all, being vegetarian is not a character flaw! It's very responsible when it comes to the environment, and even if that's not the reason she's doing it, she deserves to not be tricked into eating meat. Did this woman honestly think this stunt would make her granddaughter realize she wanted to eat meat? Was she planning to reveal her master plan after she'd finished her bowl of spaghetti?
What this woman did was horrendous, and her daughter-in-law knew it. She insisted they leave right then, and they did. MIL sent a sort-of apology a few days later that still said she believes her granddaughter overreacted. While her husband is trying to figure out how to explain to his mom how wrong she was, the poster is completely livid, and I don't blame her.
"We shouldn't have to defend our daughter's personal choice not to eat meat and her right to have that respected. We shouldn't have to try to validate her feelings of being deeply upset after she was tricked into doing something she is strongly morally opposed to by someone she trusted," she wrote. She told her husband she doesn't trust his mother to feed their kids anymore, and he thinks she's overreacting.
Is she though? She also mentions her other younger daughter has a peanut allergy that her MIL "scoffs at." She wrote, "She's never tried to sneak her peanut products, but she's dismissed it as 'probably not serious' and has said how people 'outgrow allergies, so she probably will too.'' She's now scared the MIL will also ignore the peanut allergy, which is potentially much more actually dangerous than the meat incident.
She was seeking advice on Reddit because she wanted to know if she was overreacting, if what her MIL did was, actually, not the big deal she made it out to be. But most people took her side. One commenter wrote, "You are not overreacting. Your husband is under-reacting. I'd say no more meals at MIL's for some time, maybe ever."
This commenter hit the nail on the head when it comes to her MIL: "Your MIL doesn't need to understand your daughter's feelings, she just had to respect them." She couldn't do that for her own granddaughter. That points to something very wrong here.
Like this commenter write, "Your daughter has made a lifestyle change that she believes in... But grandma just says, 'Oh, that's weird, she needs to stop and do the normal thing.' So what happens if daughter decides she wants to pursue a non-traditional career? Identifies as a different gender or sexuality? Doesn't support grandma's political choice? Bottom line is grandma forced her wants over your kid's choice. And kid is old enough to be hurt by it. Grandma needs a reality check and needs to apologize to kid without a 'but' in there."