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Woman refuses to eat 'really scary and gross' food from in-laws' broken fridge. AITA? UPDATED.

Woman refuses to eat 'really scary and gross' food from in-laws' broken fridge. AITA? UPDATED.


"WIBTAH if I refused to eat food from my in-law’s house during our visit?"

My husband (23M) and I (23F) have families who live far apart from one another, so we always split the holidays. This year, we are spending Thanksgiving with my parents, and Christmas with his. Because of our work schedules, we’ll only be with his family for about 3 days at Christmastime.

Recently, my husband visited his parents for a few days and stayed at their house. When he returned, he told me that the refrigerator and freezer at his parents’ house was completely broken, and all the food within it was spoiling within days, if not hours of being purchased.

I told him that that was a bummer, and asked when his parents were planning on getting it fixed. He then told me that (against his own wishes), his parents had no plans to get it fixed anytime soon. In fact, the refrigerator had apparently already been broken for weeks before he arrived. His parents and younger sibling were eating spoiled or semi-spoiled food.

I told him that I thought that was crazy, and he agreed with me. He said that he refrained from eating anything that needed to be refrigerated while he was there, which was easy to do because most of the time he was hanging out at a friend’s house and eating restaurant/fast food.

But this won’t be the case around the holidays. This is where I could potentially be TAH: I told him that if we arrived at Christmastime and the fridge/freezer still wasn’t fixed, then I didn’t want to eat any food that came from his parent’s house.

I have kind of a sensitive stomach already, and the thought of eating spoiled food is really scary/gross to me. My husband said that he understood, but that this would likely offend his parents.

I am scared of offending his parents by refusing to eat their food, as I grew up in a region where food is seen as an act of hospitality. I also come from a family that is a bit wealthier than my husband’s, so I worry about coming across as snobbish or stuck up. But I really can’t fathom knowingly eating spoiled food. WIBTAH if I refused to eat the food at my in-law’s house?

Here's what top commenters had to say about this one:

CreativeMusic5121 said:

NTA. That's disgusting. Eating spoiled food is not snobbish or stuck-up. They are delusional. Your husband should tell them they either buy a new refrigerator, or you will get refunds on the tickets so you can buy them one (and then they won't see you).

south3y said:

NTA. I don't see that you have any choice. Are you in a position to be able to buy them a fridge for Christmas?

Laquila said:

NTA. Your husband's being a wuss. There's nothing wrong with him TELLING his parents, point blank, that what they are doing is unsafe. That they need to get their fridge fixed or you will not be coming for Christmas.

Our parents aren't our holy superiors that we can't ever disagree with or tell them they are wrong about something. I'd be perfectly okay with either of my kids telling me that.

It's not being snobbish saying you won't eat food that's likely spoiled or going off. It's common sense to not want to get sick. If his parents get offended, they're either stupid or aholes. I wouldn't go there for Christmas.

imothro said:

NTA. If their fridge isn't fixed, please just don't go. You shouldn't stay with someone who lives in an uninhabitable condition. Maybe you guys can offer to pay to get their fridge repaired or something before the holidays as a christmas gift?

Hawkfan4_life said:

How are they going to host a holiday if they can't afford to fix the fridge? They're just asking for everyone to get food poisoning.

shadenmeh said:

It sounds to me like they are fishing for contributions from the family. I like your idea of just showing up with an affordable used fridge and showing them the problem can be solved pretty simply. and no I wouldn't eat any of that stuff.


I was very relieved to hear that I’m not being stuck-up or uptight for not wanting to eat probably-spoiled food! My in-laws still haven’t made any effort to purchase a new refrigerator/freezer. At this point, it’s been broken for almost 2 months.

They do have a styrofoam container/box that they keep in the garage that they’ve been using as a freezer, so that’s good - I believe it’s mostly meat that’s kept in there.

But as for refrigerated items (and freezer items that can’t fit in the box), they all go bad within days, if not hours. My husband mentioned to them that he didn’t think that refrigerators all cost $2000, but my MIL is doubling down that a replacement fridge would cost $2K.

I have no idea where they’re getting that number from. But they won’t budge, and keep insisting that they cannot afford a new one. So, it’s not looking great.

If they haven’t fixed the fridge by Christmastime, my husband is going to send his little brother (who is in high school and lives at home) a few hundred bucks to go buy a mini or used fridge before we get there, lol. Thank you for your concern!!

Here's what top commenters had to say about the update:

Suckerforcats said:

I bought a fridge last December for less than $1,000. Was 900 something. There’s even cheaper ones around $800. A fancy fridge is $2k but not a basic one.

issuesgrrrl said:

Sounds like Mum & Pops are holding out for the fam to kick in for the '2K Fridge' that they think they are entitled to...yeah, naw, scratch & dent sale at Appliances R' Us for as little as possible, if not some third hand FaceyBookes MarketPlace cheapo.

And that is ALL they are getting this holiday, no visits, no meals, no nothing. Selfish, Stubborn and Greedy can all hang out with them through New Year, never mind Boxing Day....

crapatthethriftstore said:

Your in-laws have bigger problems than their fridge situation, methinks

the_esjay said:

The money they’re wasting on food that’s too spoiled even for them to eat would probably have bought them a fridge freezer by now. I had neither when I first started renting, and it’s hellishly expensive to feed yourself without them.

Everyone here was on OP's side. What's your advice for this awkward situation?

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