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Auntie SparkNotes: My Friend Steals My Lunch

Auntie SparkNotes: My Friend Steals My Lunch

Hi Auntie.
I have a question concerning my friend. And her eating habits. This is going to sound really petty, but she keeps stealing food from my lunch (*gasp*). I know this sounds like a stupid thing to write about, but she takes food almost 2-3 times a week from my lunch at school. It is really annoying because I pack the amount of food I need (I eat a LOT, not joking), and she takes food that I need to snack on to keep me from passing out later in the day (a little dramatic, but still). It started when I noticed she never brought a lunch, and I would offer her food. Later, she would ask permission to steal from my lunch, and now she just takes without asking. She doesn't eat very healthy, and her health is so bad from a lack of a certain nutrient that her doctor basically told her she should be dead by now. She mostly eats junk food, and it is affecting her health. I guess I should feel happy that she is eating something, and something nutritious (I am a health freak, so my lunches are all super healthy), but at the same time, I feel like yelling at her, "I want my carrot sticks back!" She is my best friend, and I love her to death and care about her, but I feel taken advantage of. It's not like her family can't afford food; her excuse is "I got lazy". So, should I tell her that she needs to start eating healthier and to stop eating my apples, or do I stand back and watch as she eats my beloved chicken and rice lunch?

Let me make sure I've got this straight: you claim that your friend eats nothing but junk food. You blame her medical problems on an unhealthy diet. You take her at her word that she's just too lazy to pack a lunch.

And yet, she never has food. She never buys food. In fact, she never ate any lunch at all until you offered her food—and even now, you never see her eat except when she's bogarting a snack from your stash a couple times a week?

...Er. Sparkler? Unless there's something you're not telling me, I don't think your beloved carrot sticks are actually the issue, here.

And while I can't say for sure what's going on, I wonder if you could—that is, if you can look at this situation objectively, based solely on the facts, and without being quite so smug about the superiority of your diet as compared to hers. Tell me: when you stop making assumptions about your friend's health, habits, and motivations, what do you really know about her? And when you say, "It's not like her family can't afford it," where are you getting your information? Have you met her family? Have you seen them eat? Have you been to her house? Have you opened her fridge to see what kind of food, if any, she has access to?

Basically, what makes you so sure you have any idea what's actually going on here?

Because where you see an unhealthy junk food addict who's blithely thieving what doesn't belong to her, I see at least the possibility of a person who takes little things from your self-described large, healthy lunches because something is very wrong, because she's desperately hungry, or because it's her best shot at getting something nutritious to eat. So before you go yelling at her for depriving you of your afternoon snacks, I hope you'll first consider asking her, privately and kindly, if everything's okay—and maybe asking yourself whether, all things considered, it wouldn't just be easier to let it go and start packing an extra apple.

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Topics: Advice
Tags: etiquette, food, auntie sparknotes, friends, awkward situations, lunch

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About the Author

Kat Rosenfield is a writer, illustrator, advice columnist, YA author, and enthusiastic licker of that plastic liner that comes inside a box of Cheez-Its. She loves zombies and cats. She hates zombie cats. Follow her on Twitter or Tumblr @katrosenfield.

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