For context I’m Vietnamese and my boyfriend is Irish and his friend and roommate is Chinese but we all live in Canada and were born and raised here. My boyfriend asked me out a little over a year ago after we had met at a work conference and we’ve been together ever since.
He had made a traditional Irish stew for me the last time we saw each other, so I figured I would make pho (Vietnamese noodle soup) for the both of us as he had previously told me that he had never had it homemade before. Here in Canada most people don’t eat it for breakfast but it is actually traditionally a breakfast dish. My boyfriend knows this as he had traveled through Vietnam before we had met.
Anyway I made it at my apartment and then brought it over to his house in the morning. He loved it. I made more than we needed and offered some to his roommate and his roommate’s girlfriend. She loved it, too. But his roommate opted for a bagel, which is completely fair. You can’t really have noodle soup first thing in the morning unless you’re mentally prepared for it lmao.
Once breakfast was over, my boyfriend hopped in the shower and his roommate’s girlfriend went into a different room to take a work call. During this time I was alone in the kitchen with his roommate. As I was washing the dishes that we had all used, his roommate literally said to me, “Could you try to bring food that doesn’t stink up the whole place next time?”
I … was a little shocked at the way he had said it and could only manage to say, “Sorry, I didn’t mean to stink up the place. Eric wanted homemade pho, so I figured I would bring some to him.”
Then he said something along the lines of, “It would be okay if it were later on in the day but who eats pho for breakfast anyway?”
I replied with, “It’s traditionally eaten for breakfast but I completely understand why that would bother someone and it won’t happen again.”
He then shrugged and left his dirty dishes on the table and walked off.
It’s fair enough to not want food that has a strong smell in an enclosed space like an office building or public transit … but a house is hardly enclosed. And he literally throws pounds of garlic into everything he makes, so I would think (especially as another Asian person) that he wouldn’t be so sensitive about aromatic dishes. Even then it’s fair enough but the way he went about telling me was so rude. Like he didn’t have to say it stinks. That was uncalled for.
I guess there’s no unmistakably nice way to say it but there are ways he could have said it whilst still at least trying to be nice. Instead he went out of his way to be rude and then gave a super misinformed reply and walked off. When I told my boyfriend about it later he seemed really shocked. He said that was an out-of-character thing for his roommate to have said but didn’t deny that it could have happened and reassured me that he would speak to him about being respectful. Also even as an Irish person who is nowhere near as used to Asian dishes as us, he agreed that it didn’t “stink up the place” at all.
That was beside the point. He talked to his roommate later that day in the kitchen. They were the only ones there, whilst I was in my boyfriend’s bedroom. I heard everything. My boyfriend kept it calm and respectful and just asked my roommate about what he had said. His roommate flat-out denied it and said that I had probably just misunderstood what he had said, which I mean … simply wasn’t the case. My boyfriend maintained that he would like for everyone to be respectful to each other and left it at that.
He’s a very non-confrontational person, so for him to have even talked to his roommate about it at all was a nice thing to do and I really appreciate the effort. I just … don’t know what to do about his roommate now. This guy fully denied everything and now that I think about it we have had some weird exchanges in the past as well. Do I just not come over anymore? How do we go about working around this?
TL;DR I brought over homemade pho and his roommate privately told me not to bring food that stinks up the place. As another Asian person, I would have thought he wouldn’t so sensitive about smells but it’s okay that he is. I just don’t like the way he said it. And he also fully denied ever saying it when my boyfriend asked, so now I’ve got no idea how to interact with this guy when I’m over. Thoughts?