Spreading germs at Christmas dinner?
Published 11:30 am Monday, January 1, 2024
Dear Aunty Pam,
My husband and I are barely speaking to each other after Christmas dinner at his parents’ house and I can’t believe I’m being blamed for anything.
I’ve been really nervous about catching COVID again but went along with going to this family dinner Christmas Day. There were eight or 10 relatives there. While I heard one person sneeze a couple of times, I thought everybody was OK and I just tried not to sit around the kitchen counter with them all while my husband’s mom was cooking.
I asked her if I could help but she said she had everything under control, so I just watched. While I was watching I started to freak out because she would cut some vegetables, or spoon some ingredients into the stuffing, then lick it off her fingers and touch the food again! I started to feel physically sick watching this. She even dipped her finger in the cake batter and licked it. I left and asked my husband to help bring presents out of the car so that I could tell him. He said to relax, that I was making a big deal out of it and baking would kill any germs anyway. But she was touching all the food, including the salads and marshmallows in the sweet potato casserole.
When we all sat down to eat, I ended up having to sit next to the person who had been sneezing and I could tell they had a runny nose and were congested. Then the food was served and while I ate some turkey, I wouldn’t touch the stuffing, salads, green beans or casserole. My husband was glaring at me and my MIL asked if I didn’t like the food. I lied and told her my stomach was bothering me a little.
When we got home my husband said I was acting like a big baby and that I embarrassed myself by being such a drama queen. I told him I’d already had COVID once and I wasn’t going to get it again from somebody who puts her saliva all over the food and is so unhygienic that if it was a restaurant, it would be closed down. I also told him I’m never going over there again for a meal and he said ‘Fine, then spend Christmas alone.’
How is any of this my fault? Aunty Pam, would you have eaten that food?
That whole kitchen scene is playing in my head like a scene out of Annie Hall. Remember when Annie’s brother, played by Christopher Walken, divulges to Woody his temptation to drive his car into the headlights of other cars, seeing the carnage that would result, only for the film to cut to the next scene with Walken driving Annie and Woody to the airport on a rainy night—with Woody about to pass out from fear? That’s what I’m seeing in your MIL’s kitchen which is, I’m assuming, from your mention of everyone hanging around the counter, open plan, but no one else is noticing the horror unfolding in front of you.
And even worse, I can’t stop laughing. Dark humor, sorry.
Not only would I have not eaten food tainted by the spittle of another human being, especially with flu and COVID running rampant, I’d have left skid marks getting out of there. I think, however, you could’ve handled it better. Maybe telling your husband that his Mom is spreading her germs all over the meal wasn’t the best way to go. Instead, feigning that tummy ache and saying it’s just terrible that you have little appetite in front of all this scrumptious, and possibly, glistening (EWWWWWWW!) food would have been best.
I’m with you, ducky.