When this dad feels awkward for making his SIL feel uncomfortable, he asks Reddit:
This is ridiculous, however opinions seem to be divided in the family so I want something unbiased. I (33m) have been married to my wife (32f) for 4 years and we have been together for 10. She has an older sister Emily who moved out when she was 18-19.
My wife 'Kate' has great relationship with Emily, she visits us a few times a month, sometimes she takes our kids out and we also do some activities as a family with her like hiking, going overseas and so on. We do not ask her to babysit our kids as they have nanny and my mother to do so (my mother has left her job to spent more time with her grandchildren on her own free will and we do reimburse her).
Now Emily is a lot into make up. In fact I have never seen her without heavy make up. Even when she stays over she comes out from her room with full face on and wears water proof make up to the swimming pool or to the beach. From what Kate told me she has been like this since Emily was 13.
Over the weekend our daughter who is 7 has sneaked into Emily's room when she was staying over and decided to play with her make up and hide it. That was early in the morning. When I woke up I bumped into Emily in the hallway while she was looking for her make up and did not recognise her at all.
She looked completely different from what I'm used to and looked like a middle aged woman. I have nearly called the police as I thought someone broke in our house, but Kate stopped me. However Emily already heard me saying 'who the hell are you' and is aware I have not recognised her.
I have apologised and have explained to my wife and my SIL that I didn't recognise her and thought a stranger broke in as Emily looks so different without make up. However Emily got upset and she and my wife called me an asshole for this. Emily left and Kate is giving me a cold shoulder. My FIL and MIL are on my side, but I am wondering if I was really an AH.
NTA. It was a genuine mistake. But you need to have a lengthy chat with your 7 year old about how inappropriate it is to go into someone else's stuff and hide it. Perhaps something that's a favorite of the child's should be hidden so the child can see how unpleasant of an action that actually is.
I actually think your SIL is a bit of an AH here. If she constantly goes around wearing heavy make up, she shouldn't be shocked when people who know her don't recognize her if she's wearing none.
That's the problem with 'heavy' make up. Maybe it was a hit to her ego that you viewed her as a stranger after knowing her about a decade but her residual image data in your head is much different from what she looks like without makeup on.
If SiL really does do the full face %100 before leaving her room I can guarantee OP would NOT recognize the woman in the early morning while not fully conscious if he has never seen her sans face before. Heavy, well practiced makeup make a huge appearance difference that can cause a cognitive dissonance.
It's like running into a friend you haven't seen at all in 20 years. You see someone that you feel is familiar but you just can't place them... source: spent my 20's with a strip club as my local bar, had dancers I hung out with who were in their 30's and would regularly see them without makeup before their shifts. And this isn't even counting today's very heavy IG style looks. NTA OP.
This. You knew a middle aged woman was staying over. One who normally wears a LOT of makeup. People normally remove their makeup at night, which could make them look very different. It should have logically occurred to you that the makeup-less middle aged woman in your hallway was that person. YTA.