Reader Submission: A Family Quarrel and Lost Pie

“Danielle” writes:

My sister-in-law invited me and my husband and kids to a cookout at my MIL’s home a few weeks ago. (Because my SIL doesn’t have a traditional job she brings her two boys, and they stay at her parents’ lake home with them over the summer.)

We go over there and have a really nice dinner. When it’s over, my MIL passes out desserts. I notice my SIL begins to bang dishes in the kitchen and slam cabinet doors. Then she goes over to my hubby and whispers in his ear. I hear him respond: “No, that’s not going to happen.” Well, I just try to stay out of it after that. I figure he’ll tell me later at home. Then she walks over to me and snatches my dessert that I have not even taken a bite of! I say: “Hey! I’m not through with that.” She responds with “Oh well.’ And then proceeds to dump my dessert in the garbage!

I try to ignore it because she is always a little weird, and I just go and get another dessert. I notice she and my hubby go outside. After about 30 minutes, I go out to check on him, and she is yelling at him. When I ask what is going on, he says: “She is mad because we didn’t get up and go wash dishes for everyone.


We were invited. She never said we were hosting. Who does that? I told her if I invited her to our home, I would never ask her to do that, and she told me that would never happen because she would never come to our house! We just walked away and ignored her the rest of the night.

I told my in-laws later what she had done, but they didn’t seem to really care and chalked it up to a sibling quarrel.

Dear “Danielle,”

Ok, first let’s talk about the elephant in the room. She threw away your dessert?!

That would get you cut at my house, regardless of catty behavior. Thank God there was extra dessert or it could have turned into a Hatfield and McCoy mini-series.

No pie for you

No pie for you

This does seem like a bit of a family quarrel, especially since the in-laws didn’t seem to blink an eye. The fact you tattled on your sister-in-law would earn you a level 2 catty badge, though.

Second, let’s discuss the difference between catty and bitchy. We agree, the SIL’s behavior is a little off… Who does dishes before dessert is over? If you’re washing dishes before dessert is over, you miss out on dessert. HELL-O? Her behavior is a classic example of bitchy. These aren’t underhanded, snarky comments said with a smile. She was being overly pouty and whiney, and then taking it out on the Marie Callendar’s chocolate silk pie.

A true catty comment would have gone something like this:

“Danielle, you always have the most beautifully styled manicures. You must never do the dishes at your house. Or anyone else’s, obviously. More pie?”

More of my homemade pie?

More of my homemade pie?

With that said, when we host functions at our house, I always assume I’ll do the dishes after the guests leave. That includes family. Why clean up when you can be visiting and gossiping, right? Now, if someone goes into my kitchen and helps themselves to the dish soap, I’ll happily bring the wine and gossip to them while they do the dishes. And I don’t feel a single ounce of guilt. You know why? Because I don’t expect it of my guests, but when it’s offered, I don’t refuse it.

Now that we’ve decided that you’re not at fault for this one (except the tattling, you naughty girl), next time I would go into the kitchen and tell her that you AND YOUR HUSBAND will help her with the dishes later, and to come back and visit until dessert is over. Since your husband was the one who was originally asked, I’m afraid her anger was at him, you just got caught up in it.

The good news is that apparently you’ll never have to host the family dinner at your house because of her little tirade, but if you do, I would suggest paper plates.

The Am I Being Catty Team


One response to “Reader Submission: A Family Quarrel and Lost Pie

  1. Didn’t really tattle, because the in laws asked why we weren’t coming around. We had to tell them what happened. We didn’t want them thinking we were just dissing them. It all worked out. We just had them to come to our house which is a bitch free zone. 🙂

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