At Lexie’s recurring BBQs, the Original Poster (OP) consistently finds himself burdened with the unexpected role of sole food provider, leading to tensions that reach a climax during a contentious grocery run. As cultural norms and personal expectations clash, the atmosphere grows thick with unsaid accusations and unmet expectations.
Love in London
OP and his fiancée live in London and have been a couple for the past year. Recently, OP asked her to marry him, and she ecstatically said yes. Soon after, OP was introduced to her family and friends, including her best friend, Lexie.
Lexie and OP’s fiancée have been close since childhood when their families were next-door neighbors. The fiancée was very close to Lexie’s family, too, but over the years, she has seen them less and less.
Reunion and Family Invites
When Lexie meets OP, she is very intrigued and asks him all sorts of questions about his job, his background, his income, and his aspirations. OP finds the questions intrusive but answers as politely as he can.
Lexie becomes particularly interested in OP’s lifestyle and affluence, working as a hedge fund manager at one of London’s premier investment firms. Lexie and OP’s fiancée grew up in lower-income families, and his wealth seems to fascinate her.
After Lexie tells her family all about her friend’s husband-to-be, they start extending him and his fiancée invitations to their gatherings. OP’s fiancée hasn’t seen Lexie’s family in years and eagerly accepts, excited to see the old neighborhood.
OP and his fiancée are invited to a BBQ at Lexie’s house, marking the third occasion. Expectations were set from previous experiences. Upon their first arrival, OP notices an empty BBQ grill.
The First Grill Gathering
Believing it was customary to bring just a share of the food, he soon realized he was expected to provide for everyone present. Lexie, along with her family, waited for OP’s food supply. The atmosphere was slightly tense as OP felt this was an unusual hosting etiquette.
A Less Generous Second Round
OP is invited again. Having learned from the first time, he decides to bring less food, especially after having a prior lunch. Lexie’s family is noticeably disappointed by the reduced amount of food. OP, trying to be fair, limits his own portion to ensure others have enough.
During the latest invitation, OP decides to bring no food at all. A decision based on principle, believing that Lexie’s hosting expectations are skewed. Upon arrival and discovery of the lack of contributions, the mood quickly shifts.
The Tense Atmosphere
It’s evident that Lexie and her family were counting on OP’s provisions. Seeing the empty grill, Lexie suggests a trip to the store. OP agrees, offering to drive and accompany her. At the store, Lexie picks out costly meats, rolls, and snacks.
The Checkout Standoff
As they prepare to pay, Lexie expects OP to cover the bill. A moment of tension ensues in the store. OP declines Lexie’s unspoken request to pay for the groceries. A bold move that showcases his disagreement with her expectations.
The Awkward Drive
The car ride back to Lexie’s house is filled with silence and discomfort. The air is thick with unspoken words and unresolved feelings. Upon returning to the BBQ, OP and his fiancée decide to leave immediately.
The Fiancée’s Perspective
The situation has become untenable, and they feel it best to remove themselves. OP’s fiancée acknowledges the oddity of the situation. However, she wonders if it would have been better to oblige just one last time.
Sticking to Principles
OP believes he did the right thing. He feels it’s crucial to inform Lexie and her family of the cultural discrepancies in their hosting etiquette. For OP, Lexie’s expectations defy his upbringing and understanding of social gatherings.
Was The Man’s Behavior Appropriate?
OP posts his story online for feedback and guidance from the internet community. The readers in the forum had a lot of mixed views on the matter.
One reader said, “This isn’t normal at all. When I have BBQs, I don’t tell people to bring anything. I know some people will bring things like potato salads or a veggie tray, but that’s about it.”
Another Commenter Thinks
Another responder wrote, “Even if the expectation is potluck, it’s not normal for the nominal host to not provide food. Like, the expectation is that the host will at least provide a couple of mains and a side.”
A Third View on The Story
A different person stated, “Who hosts a BBQ and expects someone else to provide the meat? Asking someone to bring drinks or a side dish is perfectly acceptable. Expecting someone to bring everything is wrong.”
A Final Perspective on the Matter
Another reader commented, “I have done reverse BBQs where the host did all the sides, drinks, and buns and told people to bring what they wanted to be barbecued, and most people bought slightly more than they wanted, but they communicated this very clearly in advance.”