Reddit users are expressing their support for a woman who said she decided to bow out of attending a potluck party after she was told she could not bring a pasta salad.
Taking to the popular “Am I The A**hole” forum, u/foodhogg shared in her post—which amassed more than 9,000 interactions—that her friend, “Mel,” often throws potluck parties. She cooks dishes to bring to the party but pointed out that one guest, “Claire,” buys something simple from the grocery store, while another guest, “Mark,” does not bring anything and criticizes the food.
When she was invited to another potluck party recently, u/foodhogg said she offered to bring a pasta salad, but the host asked that she prepare something else to allow Claire to purchase the pasta salad. The Redditor said she told Mel she would bring a fruit tray, but Mel asked for a specific dish, prompting u/foodhogg to bow out of the party altogether.
Input From An Expert
Elaine Swann, an etiquette expert and founder of The Swann School of Protocol, told Newsweek there were a few different ways this matter could have been handled.
She said it seemed like the host may have allowed the guests to dictate how she made the decisions for the party.
“She was letting the party get away from her,” Swann said. “The host certainly needed a little more fortification in terms of standing her ground with every guests.”
However, she said that u/foodhogg could have put the onus of her attending the party on the host by saying she could either bring the dish of her own choice or not go at all.
“Ask what’s important to them—the friendship or the dish,” Swann said.
Bowing out of the party may lead to the host and the guests to change the narrative of what happened.
Swann said that making the decision to un-RSVP from the party may impact the friendship between the guest and the host.
“Have a reasonable discussion about it,” she said. “If un-RSVPing can cause a crack in the relationship, you’ll have to see what you can do to put forth an effort to maintain your relationship while standing firm in your integrity.”
In her post, u/foodhogg explained that her friend “Mel” throws parties in which the guests bring a side dish while she takes care of the main dish.
“Every parties have honestly become something I go to out of obligation more than for fun because I end up more annoyed than anything,” she said, noting that when she previously tried to skip a party, Mel made it difficult.
During the party planning process, u/foodhogg said Mel creates an event on social media and asks the women to bring a dish and the men “if they want.”
“Then she wants us (women) to let her know what dish we’re making so there’s no doubles,” u/foodhogg said.
She explained that she often brings a side dish that she prepares from scratch.
Another guest, Claire, typically brings the “simplest” dishes to each party, like store-bought pasta salad, precut fruit or a cheese and cracker tray.
“Which whatever I don’t care about that,” u/foodhogg said. “Thing that bugs me is she always asks for leftovers and takes TONS. Including of stuff I brought.”
The other guest, Mark, does not bring food to the parties, and u/foodhogg said he criticizes what others bring.
Redditor u/foodhogg said she agreed to attend the most recent party when Mel invited her.
“Then today she posted asking what women would bring, I wanted to be petty because I’m sick of putting in effort when Claire and Mark don’t and get more food, so I said I’d make a pasta salad,” she said. “Claire jumped on and said ‘Mel I wanted to bring pasta salad.'”
Redditor u/foodhogg said Mel messaged her and asked that she bring something else, requesting a specific dish that took more effort and was more expensive to make. She declined and asked why Claire always brought pasta salad.
Mel told her it was because Claire did not know how to cook, to which u/foodhogg said she would bring cut fruit.
“She asked why I was being like this and I said that I was sick of putting in effort to cook and other people that bring nothing or low effort stuff getting majority including my leftovers,” u/foodhogg said. “And my food being constantly critiqued by someone that brings nothing.”
When Mel told her the gatherings were about friends spending time together and sharing food, u/foodhogg told her she was no longer coming.
Redditors Weight In
Although it caused some tension with others in the group, many Reddit users supported u/foodhogg’s decision not to attend the party.
“If it was really just about getting together then your offer to bring a fruit tray should have been acceptable,” a top comment read.
Another commenter echoed the sentiment.
“Clearly for them the point of you being there is to feed them, not for the pleasure of your company,” they wrote.
“This is not a friend group,” one Reddit user commented. “It sounds like acquaintances who are happy to use you.”
Newsweek reached out to u/foodhogg for comment. We could not verify the details of this case.
Other Viral Posts
Many other Reddit users have sought advice on the “Am I the A**hole” forum, including a woman who asked if she was wrong for calling her husband “insane” after he skipped work to “teach her a lesson.”
Another woman was supported for not allowing her stepsister and half-sister wear her late mother’s necklace for their weddings.
One man shared how he “ruined” his brother’s life the night before his wedding.
Are you and your friend stuck in an argument? Let us know via email@example.com. We can ask experts for advice, and your story could be featured on Newsweek.