All of us face various issues and problems in our lives. And when they get too overwhelming, we seek help from our friends or family. In some cases though, it feels more comfortable talking about them with complete strangers (read Agony aunts) to get an unbiased opinion on the matter.
New York magazine’s website The Cut also runs an advice column for readers by the name ‘Ask Polly’. It is managed by columnist Heather Havrilesky and a particular letter she received recently has left netizens horrified.
The anonymous letter signed “Disrespected Daughter-in-Law” is an SOS signal by a woman whose in-laws completely disregard her severe mushroom allergy and go out of their way to serve them during family meals in their home.
The most shocking part of the scenario is that both the woman and her husband have taken the time to explain the food allergy and its repercussions to her in-laws but they refuse to change their ways.
This is the full letter received by the columnist. Take a look.
I have a very severe allergy to mushrooms. I carry an EpiPen, and I have been hospitalized multiple times because of exposure to this food. One time, I began convulsing in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. My husband politely explained this to his parents when we started dating, and I was invited to family meals.
Since then, most meals we have shared at my in-laws’ house have had very limited options for me. Somehow, they manage to find a way to add mushrooms to almost everything. One time, they made a point to make a special plate of mushrooms and pass it around. My mother-in-law said, very rudely, “I would’ve liked to add mushrooms directly to the salad, but SOMEBODY has problems with it!” They even added mushroom powder to the mashed potatoes at one holiday dinner. My mother-in-law claimed it was a new recipe she’d found.
I literally held my breath as the mushrooms passed in front of me at the table that day. That was extremely dangerous for me. That food could kill me. What’s worse is my husband told me that mushrooms were not a common dish served by his parents before he started dating me.
When I was pregnant, my husband told them we would not take part in any family meals if they didn’t promise to keep the meals allergy-free. His dad said, “We can’t promise that. Everyone except your wife likes mushrooms, and we’re not changing what we eat for one person.”
This has caused a huge wedge between my husband’s family and us. We no longer spend holidays with them and rarely speak. They don’t get to see their grandkids, even though they live very close by. His sister stopped talking to us. He has a brother who still reaches out and is kind to us, but he acts as though his parents are just set in their ways and we should forgive them and move on.
Short of taking them a doctor’s note, telling them my allergy is real, I’m not sure what to do.
My husband supports me 100 per cent, and he is very angry and hurt by their actions. But at times I feel terrible that I am the cause of this rift, and I just want a happy family.
After hearing her plight, netizens are fuming with rage. People are asking her to never set foot in her in-laws’ home ever again.
What in the actual hell? Mushrooms are not a standard food that’s difficult to avoid, and to deliberately serve them at every family meal to spite the woman with the allergy is just downright vicious and hateful!
She should tell them to fuck off, straight to their faces.
— Princess Snide (@princess_snide) August 8, 2019
They are very much and very clearly trying to kill her.
— Jessica Ellis (@baddestmamajama) August 7, 2019
Seems like they resent her for the love her husband feels for her and are experiencing his relationship to her as a loss of control, which they are trying to reassert in this way. They should never go over again.
— Alexander Chee (@alexanderchee) August 7, 2019
This is a common thing. People don't believe allergies are real, so they want to prove people wrong. Nothing short of her seizing up at the dinner table is going to make them believe her. And even then they'll likely say she's faking it.
— 🏴☠️Charlie's Angels but the ones from Evangelion (@Rory__Walker) August 7, 2019
The couple should visit the in-laws. When the plate of mushrooms is passed around, they should pick it up and throw it against the wall and create a massive scene, say "F**k these mushrooms and F**k you too." Then storm out. That'll give em all something to talk about for decades pic.twitter.com/XPU4Gk0ehD
— Susan Chappelle (@SusanChappelle1) August 7, 2019
I can’t see the “mushroom powder in the mashed potatoes” as anything other than a literal plot to murder her. It’s not even surprising that her husband said they didn’t even care about mushrooms prior to her. These people *want* to hurt her & are furious she calls them out on it.
— John Lam (@AnxiousPenman) August 7, 2019
Even more macabre, I see this letter to Ask Polly as not just a plea for help but an "if I die" note letting authorities know the identity of someone who is trying to kill her. Mushroom powder? I wouldn't set foot in their house and wouldn't permit them near mine.
— John Baker (El Padrino) (@JohnBaker237) August 7, 2019
It is deeply saddening to see that someone can be so callous towards a person’s health and food preferences, especially a member of their own family! We sincerely hope that they get well soon.