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Hasta La Vista! Advice for the Newly Liberated

08/30/2012

I've just moved into my first apartment with three other roommates. Right now we're all sharing food, but I've heard that's not a good idea. What's your thoughts?

                                               -Hungry in 3B

Dear Hungry,

You've heard right. Food sharing-or more precisely, the lack thereof-causes more roommate strife than any other issue. Okay, maybe not entirely true. I assume promiscuous sex, late-night smoking habits and general lack of hygiene might be more of a problem, but food ranks up there.

Imagine this: You've just spent an hour or so at Walmart and dropped a small fortune filling up the pantry. In it you've stocked your favorite S'mores Pop-Tarts, a marshmallowy snack in which you plan to divulge after your evening class. Imagine your surprise when you get home, don your flannel pajamas, only to find an empty box in the trash.

Later that week it's an empty Cheez-Its box, followed by the last banana. WTF? You're more than a little peeved, but what you don't realize is that over the past week, you've done the same to your roommates: finished off the Frosted Flakes, devoured the remaining Krispy Kreme, concluded the last of the carrot sticks.

To keep the peace, I advise separate shelves for both the pantry and refrigerator. Community meals can be a bonding experience-roommates that eat together, stay together. Okay, maybe not entirely true again. But I do know unnecessary strife can be avoided by setting ground rules with the food. It's never too late to start. Trust me-you and your S'mores will be grateful.

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