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by Abigail Van Buren

Man Resorts to Hiding Snacks When Hungry Family Drops In

DEAR ABBY: 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? -- FRUSTRATED IN THE WEST

DEAR FRUSTRATED: This is your wife's family, and she is the one who should deal with this. All she has to say is she would appreciate it if her relatives ask when they'd like some food or drinks because their foraging through your cupboards has created a problem for the two of you.

Read more in: Family & Parenting | Etiquette & Ethics