Blake’s Advice Column
My wife’s family drops by our home several times a week, usually unannounced. I don’t mind them dropping in, but what does bother me is they bring their kids and expect us to feed them during the visits. It has gotten to the point that I hide our snacks and beverages in the bedroom because if I leave them in the cupboard, they disappear. They often end up eating the leftovers I had planned to be my lunch for the next day. I have talked with my wife several times about this situation. She agrees with me, but she says there’s nothing she can do about it. I wasn’t brought up that way. I would never think of going to someone’s home, opening up cupboards and helping myself to food without an invitation. Also, I’m retired and on a fixed income. Am I overreacting, and must I just keep my mouth shut?
From Trenton, New Jersey
* * * * * * * *
Unexpected guests that regularly consume your food, can often create problems in a household. Probably the best course of action for you to take, is to put them in a position where they don’t want to set foot in your home no matter how hungry they are. Here are some tips that can keep them away. When they come over, adjust the temperature when they walk in the door. If it’s winter, open all the windows and turn on the air conditioner. If it’s summer turn on the heat, and light up the fireplace, if you have one. Or, you can replace all the tasty snacks with a bowl full of Milkbone (for dogs). If they decide to eat it anyway, once all of their teeth break off, the only snacks they’ll be eating will be oatmeal and apple sauce. Or, you can even replace all the soft drinks with castor oil. Hopefully the parents will inform their kids about the horror stories when they were forced to drink it by their parents. And this is my last idea. Go to their house everyday at about noon demanding lunch, always requesting a lot more than you can eat. Take the leftovers with you, and the next time they come over to your place unannounced, feed them that exact same food when they show up. And to make sure they don’t want to eat over your house again, serve them those leftovers, that you kept in your backyard… unrefrigerated. I hope this helps.