Dear Abby: Relatives barge in, open cupboards and devour our food

Man has resorted to hiding snacks and beverages from his wife’s hungry family.

SHARE Dear Abby: Relatives barge in, open cupboards and devour our food

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.

DEAR ABBY: For the past few years I have encountered a problem with cashiers in stores. I pay with cash and generally have change coming back to me. When the cashiers return my change, they hand it back in one big wad along with the receipt. When this happens, I must stop, lay everything down on the counter and separate the different denominations. Then I have to place the different bills into my wallet.

I have tried asking them to place the receipt into the bag, but they usually don’t listen. Also, some of them reach for the next customer while I’m still putting my change away. It is so frustrating! Is there something I can do differently? — BOTHERED IN MARSHALL, TEXAS

DEAR BOTHERED: I have two suggestions. The first is to discuss your concerns with the store manager. The second is to shop elsewhere.

DEAR ABBY: I want to thank people who are kind, generous, big-hearted and considerate. Those unsung heroes deserve all the kudos we can give them, and they rarely receive the praise they are due. It would be a lot more difficult to get through life without folks like them. I don’t think I’d be alive today if not for the kindness they have shown me. To each and every one of you: From the bottom of my heart — thank you! — HELPED BEYOND MEASURE IN NEVADA

DEAR HELPED: I am glad you took the time to write to point out that good manners and compassion are alive and well, and demonstrated every day. Yes, there are individuals who are self-centered and others who were never taught the values you mentioned — but many times I encounter individuals who practice the virtues you are lauding. Extending kindness to someone is beneficial not only for the recipient, but for the giver as well.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

To receive a collection of Abby’s most memorable — and most frequently requested — poems and essays, send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby — Keepers Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. Shipping and handling are included in the price.

The Latest
Fire Cmdr. Walter Schroeder said one person might still be inside the home, but firefighters were not able to get into the building because it is “very dangerous right now.”
The company is focused on core menu items like Quarter Pounders and fries which, according to McDonald’s, make up 65% of sales systemwide.
A City Council panel this week could allow the main union for cops to contest firings and long suspensions behind closed doors.
The liberal political activist’s signature production was immersed in the day’s headlines while also drawing upon Lear’s childhood memories of his tempestuous father.
The Portland, Oregon, chain opens Dec. 16 at 945 E. Randolph St. The first 50 people in the door will receive “a delightful surprise,” the company said.