Dear Blake,

A couple of months ago, I moved from my mother’s into an apartment with a friend I had rekindled a high school friendship with a few years back. The first month in, I noticed she had eaten a few of my freezer meals, so I confronted her about it. She started crying and told me she was waiting for a new debit card in the mail and had limited cash to get her through until the card arrived. I told her she should have said something, and I would have happily let her have some of my food, but for her not to ask was rude because I rely on those freezer meals for quick and easy lunches at work.

I finished the box of meals and bought a new one. It was a large box with six packages inside. I intentionally left it unopened to see if she would steal food from me again. Lo and behold, a month later, I went to open the box and saw she’d taken two of them.

How do I confront her a second time? She doesn’t have a car so she Ubers to work, which adds up, and she spends hundreds of dollars on her anime hobby. If I can’t trust her with small things like food and snacks, how am I supposed to trust her at all? We just signed a two-year lease, and I cannot sublet.

Signed, Chanelle
From Green Bay, Wisconsin

*                    *                    *                    *                    *                    *                    *                    *

Dear Chanelle,

It sounds to me like you have a version of the roommate from hell. Confronting her is ok, but an aggressive frontal attack is even better. Here are some ideas. Every time she eats some of your food, pawn one of her possessions to cover the cost, and then give her the ticket where she can recover her property, probably at a ridiculously inflated price. Or, let her see you googling for untraceable fast acting poisons, and give her a twisted smirk as she looks at the computer screen in disbelief. Maybe you can give her a hint by purchasing a portable safe and put it on the kitchen counter, where your roommate can see you storing your food. Finally, this last idea. Use an adapter on your cigarette outlet in your car to power a portable microwave, store your food in the trunk, and eat nothing in your apartment. Once your roommate starts showing signs of starvation, take her to the hospital, change the locks, and get a restraining order against her, alleging because you won’t feed her, she is threatening you with cannibalism. I hope this helps.