Girlfriend Orders Mac & Cheese At Fancy Restaurant, Embarrasses Snobby Boyfriend

I have macaroni and cheese at least once a week from the fried chicken place in my neighborhood. It is a perfect little treat, and I can share it with my toddler, who is always excited about macaroni and cheese. In fact, macaroni and cheese might be the perfect food. You can dress it up or dress it down, add veggies or meat, and play around with different types of cheese. But unfortunately, some people think macaroni and cheese is just for kids and heavens forbid an adult should order it at a fancy restaurant.

One Redditor is talking about how her boyfriend basically shamed her for eating mac and cheese at a fancy restaurant and embarrassing him in front of his friends—and I think she needs to get a new boyfriend ASAP. 

“I went to a pretty nice restaurant with my boyfriend and his friends yesterday. They live out of town and I haven’t met all of them before. It was us and four other people, all couples. My boyfriend has known them since he was a teenager. They’re all 7-8 years older than me and all have nice full time jobs and went to private school,” the OP explains.

“If you got an entree at the place you could choose 2 sides. I got grilled chicken and Mac and cheese on the side. It wasn’t like a bowl of Kraft, it was on the adult menu and was made with truffle oil and jalapeños. I also got potato wedges and lemonade, I was the only one not drinking wine or anything. My boyfriend said I embarrassed him by getting a ‘little kid’ food. I know my tastes aren’t super upper crust but I don’t see the issue since it’s not like I ordered from the kiddie menu. I didn’t like any of the other sides so idk why I should suffer through eating asparagus and quinoa just to seem like an adult. He already teases me for not liking salads or sushi and stuff that much.” 

“He says I’m not taking this seriously enough And I’m immature. he wanted me to make a good impression on his friends but I need to develop some better tastes before we do anything remotely fancy again. I know I’m more of a ‘burger and fries’ girl than ‘Wagyu and whatever rich people eat.’ I didn’t mean to embarrass him I just don’t know what the protocol is, I didn’t start eating at nice restaurants until after we started dating.”

Listen, there’s no sense in food-shaming a person, which is exactly what this OP’s boyfriend is doing. Plus this smacks of controlling behavior. I am seeing red flags everywhere—what do other Redditors think? 

“I have eaten a lot of ‘rich people food’ and gone to a lot of fancy restaurants in my time and your post has made me want some truffle oil Mac and cheese right now. Yum. Your boyfriend is a jerk and also is trying too hard.” said yourlittlebirdie

“My guess is boyfriend is concerned OP will look childish because he’s dating a significantly younger woman and his friends aren’t. His friends are all 7-8 years older then OP with ‘nice full time jobs.’ They went to school together. So OP’s boyfriend is presumably also 7-8 years older then her. And if age is a factor in them having full time and more ‘adult’/career type jobs, OP is likely a young woman while they are closer to 30/30s. I think you are right that boyfriend is self-conscious, but my guess is he’s worried about being judged for being with a younger woman in a different phase of life then his peers. Still, that’s not OP’s fault. He choose to date her,” noted TheHatOnTheCat

“Everyone is missing the fact that he’s being controlling and condescending and this is likely the reason he’s dating someone 7-8 years younger than him and from a lower socioeconomic upbringing. He’s pretentious and lording this over OP. He’s talking to her like she’s a little kid. This can’t be the only time he’s done or said something controlling or condescending. My husband would never dream of saying some shit like this to me and we’re similar. While we both few up very upper-middle class, he traveled the world after college and ate at tons of high end dining establishments. I was from the country and didn’t have access to shit like that. I ordered mac & cheese at Chicago Chop House FFS. That bill was almost $800 for just us and the mac and cheese was fucking amazing. Keep the mac, dump the asshole,” said passivelyrepressed

“Girl huge red flag here. I know it’s only food, but it’s a control issue. You know what you like and don’t like. You shouldn’t order food you don’t like period. It’s a waste of money and you’d still be hungry. Seems very snobbish. Mac and Cheese isn’t childish food if made with truffle oil ffs. I hope you leave his ass before the control is so bad you can’t get out safely,” said sassybsassy

“I love trying new foods and what you ordered sounds good. Your boyfriend reminds me of a friend who was so incredibly insecure that they were hypersensitive to anything I did in public because they imagined everyone was judging them for my actions and they found it embarrassing. I stopped hanging out with them once I realized I wasn’t actually doing anything weird or wrong. I’d consider this incident a small symptom of a larger problem,” noted Nyankh

What do you think? Is the OP’s boyfriend just being snobby about food or are there major red flags here regarding larger issues?

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Patricia Grisafi

Patricia Grisafi, PhD, is a freelance writer and educator. Her work has appeared in Salon, Vice, Bitch, Bustle, Broadly, The Establishment, and elsewhere. She is passionate about pit bull rescue, cursed objects, and designer sunglasses.