Dear Salty: Last weekend I hosted a casual get-together at my house. Everyone was having a great time, but I couldn’t help but notice one of the guests (I’d consider him more an acquaintance than a close friend) rifling through my fridge! Not only did he help himself to an expensive bottle of beer I hid in the back, I saw him peeking through some Tupperware leftovers and in the tray where we kept deli meats. It felt weirdly intrusive. Am I off-base for feeling this way?
Hooo boy, you’ve got my press-on nails curled into Attack position.
You are correct to feel this way, because that’s just bad house guest protocol. If I’m granting anyone access to Salty’s fridge, you better believe I’m blocking off the Smirnoff Ice or heads will roll.
But really, I can’t be that mad. You’re just going to have to assume that nothing is off-limits. If that $15 bottle of beer brewed by Trappist monks is really important to you, then stuff it in the vegetable crisper—there couldn’t be a less subtle hint. Still, if you find Nicolas Cage hunting for ham-shaped national treasures in your Frigidaire, just know that it’s a price to pay for being hospitable. It’s like if someone came to my diner and knocks over a glass and shatters it on the floor: It’s unexpected and it’s annoying, but it happens.
This really sounds like a matter of convenience, so you might want to make your drinks and food as easily accessible as possible. Put your beer and sodas in a cooler and place that on the counter. Stack your plastic cups in a column next to it. Fill an ice bucket up to the brim. Maybe organize your pepperoni slices in a nice floral pattern. Make it so that there’s no reason anyone will need to crack your fridge open in the first place.
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