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'AITA for speaking up when I saw a lady push her face into a bunch of cilantro and put it back?' UPDATED

'AITA for speaking up when I saw a lady push her face into a bunch of cilantro and put it back?' UPDATED


Sharing public space with other people can be frustrating, gross, and conflict inducing, to say the least.

"AITAH for speaking up when I saw a lady push her face into a bunch of cilantro, reject it and put it back on the shelf?"

I saw this and said..."did you?"

She huffed and I continued "you just put your face in produce and returned it to the shelf." Calmly.

Then she flipped. Yelling. Nearly screaming.

"People should wash their produce"

I said, "that's how you spread illnesses lady"

She continued on about washing produce etc. and I walked away and said "don't stick your f#$king face in produce" still calmly. But loud enough she could hear me clearly from 30 feet. Later at checkout she came back screaming "you know I was having a perfectly fine day"

I just calmly asked her to "leave me alone." "I said my piece"

The checker ushered her off and asked if I was ok.


After posting, OP jumped on with a small edit/update.

Edit: I just recalled when she cornered me at checkout I said

"Lady, you're feeding yourself poison and hoping it hurts me, I said my piece"

Just trying to be honest and as unbiased as I can with the truth.

The internet had a lot of comments and questions to share.

Existing_Joke2023 wrote:

"Mind your business"

Yall do know that cilantro is consumed RAW right? Washing it can't kill viruses from that lady's spit or whatever else was on her face.

NTA, I would've let the clerk know what she was screeching at you about so they can warn or ban her. I'm already getting flashbacks from when AHs were licking ice cream 🤢

Just_Piglet3954 wrote:

NTA that’s freaking gross of her. Just because people wash it doesn’t make shoving a face in it okay.

OP responded:

Yeah water doesn't kill germs or viruses. And I use that shit raw in my guac. Still washed it.

Former-Revolution660 wrote:

I honestly grew up being shown to smell herbs in order to tell how fresh they are. I suppose she could have ripped some off and smelled it. Though like others have said, this produce is coming from dirtier places. There are people at grocery stores who smell various citrus and ultimately that can be used for zest and so on but their face is getting pretty close to it as well. I don’t know.

Personally I figured produce is dirty. Grocery stores are filled with people touching things in all sorts of ways. Germings things up, not to mention pesticides and dirt. A woman smelling something is just a small blip in that.

Leaning more towards YTA.

Fullondoublerainbow responded:

I smell it too but I don’t put my face into it. It’s not that she smelled it, it’s how she smelled it for me. For me cilantro smells amazing but doesn’t taste anything like it smells, I’m a ‘soapy cilantro’ person so I like the smell.

But I am positive that you do not need to touch your nose to the herbs and if you do go see a doctor because I have next to nothing as far as a sense of smell due to chronic inflammation of the sinuses and I can smell it from a foot away.

Struggle_Usual wrote:

I'm just not sure how OP is describing it wasn't just bringing it to her nose to sniff. Based on people saying doing that is disgusting I wouldn't be surprised if any touching without purchase wouldn't have set him off. I do get close to herbs and other produce to smell it. You can tell a ton about how fresh it is, how flavorful, etc from a sniff.

Traditional_Maize937 wrote:

ESH. Classic conflict where two AHs collide and cause a scene because they both are crazy and don't mind their own business.

ash-leg2 wrote:

Seriously wtf is this s**t lol. Shoving your face into your groceries is a bit much, but for normal people it's just a reminder to wash your produce - not an invitation to get hysterical. But this is bull anyway, I mean come on. She's yelling, almost screaming, and OP calmly says their "piece" with clever insults. Oh please.

PrivateEyes2020 wrote:

Are you the cilantro police? Were you going to buy that particular bunch of cilantro before she had the audacity to smell it? It seems to me that the minute you start using profanity, the claim that you were speaking calmly goes out the window. And loud enough that she could clearly hear you from 30 feet away? Definitely not "calmly." I think YTA and should mind your own business. And wash your produce.

sparki555 wrote:


The funny bit is you're clearly assuming the produce was CLEAN prior to the lady smelling it too closely.

If only you understood the chemicals, handling, and transport associated with this produce... Her smelling it is the least of your worry 😂. You have no idea how many people while their noses and then touch your produce while farming it, picking it and transporting it to the store. I'm not saying hygiene isn't important, only explaining reality lol.

Sweeper1985 wrote:

ESH. She sniffed the cilantro to see if it was fresh - this shouldn't involve putting her face right in it. You, for all your assertion that you did it "calmly", picked a fight with a stranger over something that really isn't your concern. And then you swore at her. And repeatedly called her "lady" in a way that even reads as disrespectful, so probably sounded even worse.

The sad fact is that yes, you should always wash produce, because well before she put her face in it you don't know what other disgusting things might have happened to it. I have been told a lot of times from people who work in agriculture that you should ALWAYS wash EVERYTHING because you just don't know what shit it has come into contact with.

Having her sniff it is probably the least of the germs it has come into contact with. I also don't for a single second believe that this is an honest, unbiased account as you present.

You paint her as hysterical whereas so many times point out that you are "calm", and you seem to have included the statements you made as examples of being ever so rational and clever, but they make you sound passive-aggressive, rude, and smug.

Sources: Reddit
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