Dear Blake,

I have a good friend who, every time I invite her and her husband over for dinner, always assumes their 20-year-old daughter can have a plate as well who lives about a black away from me. They make her a plate before they serve themselves and take it to her. I guess I don’t mind, but I wish they would ask before assuming it’s OK. Most of the time I make enough food so I have leftovers for my boyfriend to take for lunch the following day. Is she being rude? Or am I just being a not-so-nice friend?

Signed, Evette
From Washington, D.C
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Dear Evette,

I think your friend is very rude. And I think you should take aggressive steps to let her know that your home is not a “take out” restaurant. Here are some of my ideas. Have a plate already prepared for your friend when she walks in the door, and make sure all of the food has a little Ex-Lax in it. A few hours after her daughter dines on that, any suggestion in the future that she’ll be getting a plate of food prepared by you, will cause her to grab her stomach and buckle over. Tell your friend that you have joined a local cult, and you now prepare all of your meals using a witch’s cook book, seasoning every meal with bat wings, squirrel eyes, black cat fur, etc. To enhance the deception, it wouldn’t be a bad idea if you also only played Gothic music when they showed up. Or, make sure she is really hungry before she arrives and have the food set on the table before she walks in the door. Explain to her that what’s on the table is all you have, so your friend has the option of sharing it with her daughter. Also make sure everything is in very small portions… and you can have a full meal after that freeloader leaves. But turnabout is fair play, so I would suggest you do something really dramatic, so she’ll have a better idea of how she makes you feel. Encourage her to make dinner, and then enter her home with an armful of Tupperware. Put all of them food in the containers until there is nothing left on the table or stove. Tell her you are having dinner with some close friends, and as you’re walking out the door with the food, tell her you would invite her, but it’s a small private party, invitation only. I hope this helps.

Blake

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