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Gaslighting Is My Least Favorite Side Dish

, , , , , , | Related | November 24, 2022

A few weeks before Thanksgiving, I ask my mother-in-law what I can bring as a side dish for dinner. She asks me to bring mashed potatoes.

On Thanksgiving, I make homemade mashed potatoes with the skin still on and lots of milk, butter, and garlic. They’re rich, creamy, and full of flavor. I am excited to share them with the family.

This happens when we arrive at their home.

Mother-In-Law: *Making a face* “Why did you bring mashed potatoes?”

Me: *Confused* “You asked me to?”

Mother-In-Law: *Sighs* “[Sister-In-Law] brought mashed potatoes. Oh, well. I guess we’ll just have two things of mashed potatoes.”

I can tell she’s irritated at me but I don’t say anything. [Sister-In-Law] has brought instant mashed potatoes, and even though everyone takes both types of mashed potatoes, everyone compliments mine and eats all of it. [Sister-In-Law] is furious.

After dinner, my mother-in-law pulls me aside.

Mother-In-Law: “Next time, don’t bring the same dish that someone else is bringing.”

Me: “I’m sorry. I thought you asked me to bring mashed potatoes when I offered to make a side dish.”

Husband: “She’s right, Mom. You told [My Name] to bring mashed potatoes a few weeks ago.”

Mother-In-Law: “No, I didn’t. I would have remembered that. I wrote it down and had [Sister-In-Law] bringing mashed potatoes. [My Name] clearly hurt your sister’s feelings by bringing potatoes that everyone else liked more. You owe her an apology.”

I refused to apologize and to ever cook for them again. My husband now makes our side dish for Thanksgiving with them.

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