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People standing around food | Source: Shutterstock
People standing around food | Source: Shutterstock

My Entitled SIL Kicked Me out of the Family Potluck Because I Couldn’t Bring Delicacies – Karma Taught Her a Better Lesson Than I Ever Could

Prenesa Naidoo
Jul 02, 2024
12:38 P.M.

When Emily's sister-in-law plans an elaborate potluck, she feels nothing but dread at the things that Jessica insists she take along. Trying to keep her budget in mind, Emily makes a casserole to take with, but Jessica dismisses it, and her. It's only when karma steps in, that Jessica has no choice but to eat humble pie.

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I never imagined that a family potluck would turn into such a dramatic affair. I had always had a strained relationship with my sister-in-law, Jessica.

A smiling woman | Source: Midjourney

A smiling woman | Source: Midjourney

Despite how hard I tried to make things work with her, she just had a knack for making me feel small, always flaunting her luxurious lifestyle and expensive tastes.

A rich woman sitting in an airplane | Source: Midjourney

A rich woman sitting in an airplane | Source: Midjourney

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And of course, it didn't help that my husband, Mark, and I had been struggling financially for the past year after he lost his job.

"I can't make any apologies for my sister," Mark said one day when I was complaining about something that Jessica said. "I know how frustrated you get, and I wish that I could help make it better."

"No, I know," I said to him. "I don't want you to do anything and strain your relationship with the family. I'll just ignore her as much as I can."

When Mark lost his job, it was due to the company wanting younger blood in.

A frustrated man | Source: Midjourney

A frustrated man | Source: Midjourney

"I don't understand why Steven would want younger people with basically no experience to come in and take over," Mark said, talking about his boss.

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The burden was crushing on our lifestyle. We had no choice but to cut back on everything just to make ends meet. I was working two part-time jobs, and Mark was picking up any odd jobs he could find.

A woman working in a grocery store | Source: Midjourney

A woman working in a grocery store | Source: Midjourney

Recently, he was working with a mechanic, learning more about the trade as he went.

Our evenings were spent poring over bills and bank statements, trying to stretch our budget as much as we could.

"I'm so sorry, Emily," my husband told me. "We're going to get through this. I promise you. I'm still doing everything I can to get back into the financial industry."

A couple sitting at a table with paperwork | Source: Midjourney

A couple sitting at a table with paperwork | Source: Midjourney

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"I know," I told him, squeezing his hand. "I know that we just need a lucky break, and we'll get it soon."

I believed my own words, but the weight of it all was relentless, pressing down on us constantly.

A worried woman | Source: Midjourney

A worried woman | Source: Midjourney

Naturally, it had to get worse before it got remotely better.

"Hi Emily," Jessica said on the phone, her words dragging as she spoke.

"Jess, hi," I said, instantly regretting answering the phone.

A woman talking on the phone | Source: Midjourney

A woman talking on the phone | Source: Midjourney

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"Don't forget about the potluck this weekend," she said. "But I have a theme, and it's luxury foods. I'll send out a message with everything I want you all to bring."

If I thought that I was dreading the potluck before, Jessica's message to the family group chat solidified how much I didn't want to go.

A woman talking on the phone | Source: Midjourney

A woman talking on the phone | Source: Midjourney

Hi family, remember that the theme for the potluck is luxury. Here are some of the things that you can bring:

Gourmet cheeses, imported chocolates, and high-end wines. You can go ahead and choose which country you want to pick.

Gourmet cheese on a platter | Source: Midjourney

Gourmet cheese on a platter | Source: Midjourney

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I couldn't believe Jessica. It was easy for her to dictate to everyone because her husband was as wealthy as they came. So, money was nothing for her.

"I know you want to skip the entire event," Mark said when I read the list out to him. "But you can't miss this. It's for my father at the end of the day, okay?"

A man talking | Source: Midjourney

A man talking | Source: Midjourney

I nodded. If it were any other dinner, I would have skipped it altogether, but this one was particularly important. It was a celebration of my father-in-law's retirement, and I knew that it meant the world to Mark.

"I can't afford to skip my shift at the mechanic shop," he said. "I have no choice but to go. So you have to represent us there."

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A man working as a mechanic | Source: Midjourney

A man working as a mechanic | Source: Midjourney

"No, I know," I agreed with him. "It's just that your sister makes everything so difficult."

My husband sighed, rubbing his forehead.

"I don't know how we can afford to get anything on the list Jessica sent," I said.

"We'll figure something out. We always do," Mark said, sitting down to eat dinner.

Food on a table | Source: Midjourney

Food on a table | Source: Midjourney

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"Actually, love, you know what?" he asked, putting his fork down. "Make something. Make a casserole or something to take. I don't see how Jess can complain about you taking over something home-cooked."

"That sounds like a plan," I said, smiling.

A smiling woman | Source: Midjourney

A smiling woman | Source: Midjourney

I decided to make a hearty homemade casserole. I used the age-old recipe that my grandmother had passed down, and with a few tweaks, it had become my version of the dish.

"It's delicious and always a hit with me," Mark said as he got ready for his shift on the day of the potluck.

A close-up of a man shaving | Source: Midjourney

A close-up of a man shaving | Source: Midjourney

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It was a dish that was always popular with my side of the family, and I figured that it would be enough.

I arrived at Jessica's house with my casserole, hoping she wouldn't make a scene. As soon as I stepped into the kitchen, she eyed my dish with disdain.

"Emily, what is this?" she asked, her nose wrinkled.

A casserole of food | Source: Midjourney

A casserole of food | Source: Midjourney

"It's a family recipe," I said. "I thought that it would be nice to bring something homemade among all the things you wanted."

"Homemade? Emily, this is a potluck for goodness' sake, not a soup kitchen. Everyone else is bringing delicacies, and you decide to show up with this? Don't you know that Gretchen is bringing three different types of caviar? Why would you choose to embarrass yourself like this?" she asked.

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Caviar on a table | Source: Midjourney

Caviar on a table | Source: Midjourney

She waved her hand dismissively over my dish and sighed.

I felt my face flush with embarrassment and anger.

"I couldn't afford the things on your list," I said. "Your brother and I are doing the best we can."

She crossed her arms and smirked at me.

A close-up of a woman | Source: Midjourney

A close-up of a woman | Source: Midjourney

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"Maybe if you and Mark managed your money better, you wouldn't be in this situation. Honestly, Emily. This is just embarrassing. I can't serve this to my guests. I think it's best that you leave."

My sister-in-law's words stung. I had never felt so humiliated before. Without saying another word, I picked up my casserole and left the kitchen.

"Where are you going, Em?" my mother-in-law asked me as I was almost out the front door.

A close-up of a woman | Source: Midjourney

A close-up of a woman | Source: Midjourney

"Home," I replied softly. "I'm not feeling well and it's not fair that I get to be here without Mark."

My mother-in-law looked me up and down, her eyes softening.

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"Are you sure?" she asked.

I nodded.

A sad woman | Source: Midjourney

A sad woman | Source: Midjourney

I knew that she wouldn't ask me anything else. Not in this setting anyway. And I hoped that she would just walk away. I was on the verge of tears, and if she had anything else to say, I knew I would just break down.

"Okay then," she said. "I'll call to check up on you later."

As I walked to my car, the weight of the past year bore down on me. The sleepless nights, the constant worry, the feeling of never being good enough for the family.

A parked car | Source: Midjourney

A parked car | Source: Midjourney

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I drove home, my heart heavy with disappointment.

"Come on, Emily," I muttered to myself as I got into the shower.

I was determined to wash off the day and all my feelings before Mark got home.

"You're home?" my husband asked as he walked into our bedroom. "I didn't expect you to be in."

A woman driving | Source: Midjourney

A woman driving | Source: Midjourney

I sat up and told him everything, watching the display of emotions race across his face.

"I'll call her in the morning," he promised. "She will not speak to you like this again."

But karma played her game first.

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The next morning, as I was making pancakes for Mark and me, my phone buzzed. Sarah, Mark's cousin was on the phone.

A plate of pancakes | Source: Midjourney

A plate of pancakes | Source: Midjourney

"Em," she said the moment I answered, giggling away. "You won't believe what happened last night!"

"What is it?" I asked, my curiosity piqued.

"Jessica's potluck was a complete disaster. Apparently, her helper didn't plug the fridge in properly after cleaning it and everything that she had prepared was spoiled. The smell was something else!"

A woman laughing | Source: Midjourney

A woman laughing | Source: Midjourney

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"Oh, my goodness," I gasped.

"Everyone left early, saying that it was the worst dinner ever. Serves her right. Her dad was quite upset, though. And her mom said that the only thing that would have saved the evening would have been something you made."

I couldn't help but laugh with Sarah. This was karma, pure and simple. Jessica's insistence on perfection and her dismissal of my food had backfired spectacularly.

A woman laughing | Source: Midjourney

A woman laughing | Source: Midjourney

What would you have done?

If you enjoyed this story, here's another one for you |

I Hired a Fake Boyfriend for Our Family Dinner – It Turned Out to Be the Best Decision of My Life

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Family gatherings were the worst for Lara, especially since her sister, Emily, began to make fun of her love life, or lack thereof. Determined to sit through her father's birthday dinner, Lara decides to hire a boyfriend for the night. Little did she know that something reminiscent of a romantic comedy would soon play out.

I love my family, but family gatherings used to be a nightmare for me. Every single time we got together, my sister Emily would find some way or the other to poke fun at my single life.

Two smiling women | Source: Midjourney

Two smiling women | Source: Midjourney

Last Thanksgiving, she took it too far and even set a place at the table for my "imaginary boyfriend," complete with a hand-drawn face on a napkin. Everyone around the table laughed while I forced a smile.

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"It's funny, Lara!" she would say whenever I brought up the incident.

It was anything but funny.

A dinner table | Source: Midjourney

A dinner table | Source: Midjourney

Now, my father's birthday is coming up, and of course, it was to be celebrated with a family dinner.

"There's no way I can sit through another one of those events with my family," I told my friend, Kate, when we met for coffee.

"I'm telling you now, Emily probably has something up her sleeve already," I grumbled.

Two women at a coffee shop | Source: Midjourney

Two women at a coffee shop | Source: Midjourney

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"Then just hire someone out for the night!" Kate chuckled, adding sugar to her coffee.

"Hire a man?" I exclaimed.

Read the full story here.

This work is inspired by real events and people, but it has been fictionalized for creative purposes. Names, characters, and details have been changed to protect privacy and enhance the narrative. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental and not intended by the author.

The author and publisher make no claims to the accuracy of events or the portrayal of characters and are not liable for any misinterpretation. This story is provided “as is,” and any opinions expressed are those of the characters and do not reflect the views of the author or publisher.

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