tell your roomie to back off your hand-picked strawberries!

    Dear V,

    I live in a great apartment with one of my best friends, and for the most part, things have worked out really well. Recently, though, my roommate and I have not been spending much time together; we both have really busy schedules. I’ve found myself getting really cranky with her: when I come home after a long day of class and work, I find that she’s eaten all my groceries-and these are expensive organic groceries. This has been going on for almost five weeks now. If it doesn’t stop, I’ll go broke! Or starve! Do I pick this battle, or do I let it go?

    Poor and Hungry

    Dear Reader,

    I think you should put a big padlock on the pantry door. Hopefully your roommate will get the idea and stop nibbling at your edamame and soy crisps. Or perhaps you ought to put a big sign in the fridge that says, “DON’T EAT MY FOOD, PLEASE.” Or…you could not take the passive aggressive route, and just talk to her-probably the most productive of the three options.

    It’s usually best to deal with roommate issues as soon as possible. Otherwise, even a roommate’s annoying little habits can stew in the back of your mind until they grow into colossal monsters and you explode from frustration.

    It also sounds like this isn’t exactly a minor issue-organic groceries can be very expensive, and she needs to pitch in or eat her own food. It’s not fair to either of you to let this go-you’re out a lot of money, and unbeknownst to your roommate, she has become the source of ill will in the household (I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again: if a person doesn’t know they’re doing something wrong, they can’t fix it).

    Explain to your roommate that you buy your own groceries because, well, you’d like to eat them. All you want at the end of a rough day are some hand-picked strawberries and a glass of organic soy milk, so it’s more than a little annoying when you open the fridge and find that a food thief has polished off the last of your delicious fruit. Your roommate will understand (if she doesn’t, you might want to reconsider that padlock). She probably doesn’t even realize that she’s doing it, let alone that it bothers you so much.

    At the end of the day, not only is this girl your roommate, she’s also a good friend. It’s important that you take time out of your busy schedule to maintain your friendship. Hey, maybe you could go grocery shopping together!

    Best of Luck!

    Fact’o’the Day: The average shelf life of a latex condom is about two years…so toss out that dusty box that’s been sitting in your drawer since high school, it’s time to buy a fresh pack!

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