The woman shocks the family by breaking the annual tradition and deciding to spend Thanksgiving alone on the beach.
It is never a good feeling to be taken for granted in family setups. Whenever anyone faces trouble in their personal life, they turn to family for solace and peace. However, it becomes the worst-case scenario when the safe space becomes toxic. Something similar happened with u/Whorible_wife69, who was refused acknowledgment and gratitude for her yearly tradition, as well as the support she was looking for from her family. Every year, she made her entire family Thanksgiving dinner and put a lot of care and thought into it. This year, due to personal setbacks and seeing how her family members treated her during this arduous process, she chose not to do it. Her family members were flabbergasted about her decision. Also, even after learning about her emotional condition, they demanded that she go through with the dinner.
The post begins with the woman explaining how Thanksgiving worked in her family. For the last 8 years, she has been single-handedly responsible for cooking and serving dinner for more than 20 people. Every step, like "shopping, cooking and setting up," was on her shoulders. The process is long drawn as she explains, "Months before Thanksgiving, I start looking at grocery prices and tweaking recipes to fit dietary restrictions (Caribbean family, vegans and pescatarians, meat eaters). I also make enough for the college-aged kids to have leftovers."
Her menu is always gigantic and includes "3 turkeys, 2 party pans of mac and cheese and a party pan of mashed potatoes, stuffing, green bean casserole, collard greens, yams, mini seafood quiches, stuffed mushrooms, rolls and a salad from scratch." She also included desserts in the arrangement and made "desserts apple pie, sweet potato pie, cheesecake, homemade ice cream and bread also from scratch."
The whole thing kicked off on Tuesday with making stocks and doughs. The following day, she baked her bread and made cheesecake after returning from work. She spent Thursday cooking for the whole family, sitting to dine at 4, so that her aunts, who are night shift nurses, could also enjoy the food. As is the custom with every group event, there were always add-ons. Most of the time, the headcount went beyond 30. Her mother and aunt, even after knowing about her expansive menu, always requested her to make extra food for their add-ons. The worst part was that they never appreciated her for the hard work she put into the arrangement.
Every year, she deals with it and pushes it under the rug. But this year was especially harsh due to her separation. She was in no mood to bend over "backward cooking for people who don't even leave me leftovers to make a sandwich the next day." Hence, for her own mental peace, she chose not to go through with this tradition and instead spent her Thanksgiving at the beach. Her family did not take her seriously.
She shared how relatives kept bothering her about dinner, "I was asked how much the adults should Zelle me for Thanksgiving groceries at the beginning of the month and I told them I'm not cooking. Today, I received a zelle from my uncle and when I returned it, he asked why. I reminded him and the family group chat I wasn't cooking." After seeing her not giving up, they straight up asked her to cancel her plan and cook dinner, despite knowing her emotional state.
The woman came to Reddit to ask whether it would be rude of her to outright reject this demand. The comment section was completely on her side. u/FatChance68 shared that she was right in asking for space for herself and wrote, "NTA. You are going through something right now with the separation and the fact that all of these people have somehow started relying on only you to provide the meal is insane. My family has always done assigned dishes for each branch of the family. Expecting one person to do all the planning and cooking is too much. Someone else can step up, or they can skip Thanksgiving this year. Either way, have fun at the beach."
u/Antique_Ad_4413 shared their opinion about the situation and commented, "Nta, I'm a professional chef and that is a tremendous amount of food you were cooking, with basically no help. Enjoy the beach, stick your feet in the sand, dip a toe in the water and eat a turkey sandwich from a deli. If anyone complains, tell them this is their year to cook. Let them deal with uninvited guests' dietary restrictions, all those desserts and then have everybody eat their food and walk away and leave the cook no leftovers."