By now, you're probably well aware of the Chicken Sandwich Heard 'Round the World. The Popeyes Chicken Sandwich had a viral moment, sparked a fast-food chicken sandwich war, and now, it has caused an intrafamily war among this family at Christmas. This post from Reddit's "Am I the A-hole?" is titled "AITA for giving my brother a chicken sandwich for Christmas?" and yet, you probably can't predict where it's going.
The poster explains that every year at Christmas, their family exchanges gifts. He and his brother "always give each other thoughtful but funny gifts." And earlier this year, his brother became vegan at the request of his wife, who wanted them to try a new diet. He doesn't like being vegan, but he did it to appease his partner.
So OP thought it would be funny to gift his brother a couple Popeyes chicken sandwiches...along with a new PS4 controller. He bought the sandwiches, put them in an insulated bag, and wrapped it like any other present. And when his brother unwrapped his gift, he thought it was hilarious!
He writes, "When he saw the sandwiches, he started to laugh hysterically and immediately unwrapped one of them and ate it. The gift was a big hit, except to my sister-in-law." Oh boy. Seems like there's a lot going on under the surface here.
He continues, "Afterward, she scolded me by saying she didn't appreciate me giving my brother food that goes against her beliefs." In return, he told her his brother is an adult who can make his own decisions and he wasn't thinking about her beliefs when he did it. She got mad and stormed off.
Later on, his brother texted him to say he was now in trouble with his wife for eating the sandwiches but didn't care. He thought it was funny and appreciated the gesture anyway. Now he's turned to reddit because, while some people think the gift was clever, others believed he was being insensitive to his sister-in-law.
Some said he was not the a-hole because it seemed like an innocent joke between brothers, and on one level, I agree. Vegans can be very judgmental and militant, and it's really wrong of them to try to police the way other people eat. The brother didn't want to go vegan in the first place!
That being said, he did agree to do it, and so eating that chicken sandwich could have been viewed by his wife as a kick in the face of the promise he made. It could have been construed as making fun of her and her diet choices, and that's why many others agreed OP is, indeed, wrong in this situation.
One commenter writes, "It really seems like you got this gift just to spite your brother's wife... I think that if you make a joke at someone’s expense, and that person isn’t laughing along with you; you are an AH. And sure your brother can make his own decisions about his dietary choices, but I think that should be a private conversation between him and his wife."
Very true. It seems like there are some communication and understanding issues between the brother and his wife, and this gift just stoked those tensions. "Honestly, I don’t get why he agreed to it in the first place," the same commenter writes.
"His wife is very upset because she got shamed in the middle of a family Christmas, and he doesn’t care because the sandwich was good. I think this makes your brother an AH too. Maybe the wife is a slight a-hole for 'forcing' her diet on him, but ultimately it was your brother’s decision to agree." This! This is the thing!
It really doesn't seem like his brother is enough of an adult to have a mature conversation with his own wife about what he wants to eat and what he doesn't. And that's the true problem with this story. If he and his wife had had an understanding about what veganism meant to each of them, there's no way a chicken sandwich would have derailed Christmas.