What's the rudest thing your in-laws have ever done? Maybe forgotten a birthday? Commented on your parenting skills? For one woman, her in-laws seems to be actively trying to kill her...and the story is totally wild. The woman wrote in to The Cut, which has an advice column called "Dear Polly," and detailed how her husband's parents refuse to acknowledge her severe allergy to mushrooms.
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.”
My husband’s sister even called me up, angry about the fact we would not be attending a party at her parents’ house. Yelling that I was overreacting and that mushrooms are “not a poison.”
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 percent, 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.
Is that not the craziest thing you've ever heard? Of course, "Polly," whose real name is Heather Havrilesky, told this woman she's NOT the one at fault, and that the in-laws are completely insane. The article are gone completely viral, and people are shocked that the in-laws could be so awful.
"Clearly the mother-in-law hates her daughter-in-law and it bending over backwards to try and kill her," Suana Batra wrote. "The rest are simply just too intimidated by her to tell her she’s being a psychotic a$hole."
"This woman shouldn’t even consider reconciliation!" Twitter user LeeLeeSt wrote. "The minute her guard is down the Mushroom Manson Family will be lacing everything on her plate with portobellos."
"People are weirdly unbelieving and downright aggressive about food allergies," someone else pointed out. "The idea that something that is good for *me* might not be good for *you* unsettles them, strikes them as a challenge."
After seeing how people were responding to her in-laws, the letter writer was pleased to know she's not alone. Havrilesky posted an update on her Twitter account.
Update: The letter writer and her husband are extremely gratified by the huge reaction to this letter. They're also shocked that so many others have had similar experiences with relatives who flat-out ignore (or, uh, attempt homicide with?) dangerous food allergies.
Obviously there are many, many people out there who believe that food allergies are invented. Imagine being incapable of googling "mushroom allergy" for the sake of your family. This is willful ignorance and it's dangerous (not to mention hurtful and potentially homicidal).
The ignorance that people will defend to the death in this country is staggering. We let people stay comfortable in these extremely aggressive stances because to do otherwise has been painted as "rude." But educating dangerously uninformed people is our shared responsibility.
It boggles my mind that there are people who'd be so careless about the health of a member in their family, but I guess there are some strange minds out there.