Monday, November 11, 2002

Help yourself

A new book entitled Refrigerator Rights posits that there is a level of intimacy at which friends and family members feel comfortable helping themselves to the contents of your refrigerator, and that too many of us have too few people at that degree of closeness in our lives. And furthermore, that this is a bad thing. Clearly, the authors' iceboxes must be in nicer shape than mine. I do have some friends who aren't afraid to raid my fridge, but they know to sniff the cottage cheese and inspect the strawberries. Mostly, they stick to soda.

But if having friends with refrigerator rights is a sign of social success, then my daughter is doing much better in that area than I thought, because her buddies think nothing of rooting through our refrigerator, our pantry, our drawers in their insatiable search for snacks. One young amigo forayed far enough back in our fridge to find an ancient Lunchable I had forgotten was even there. She argued with me when I insisted that, at this point in its lifespan, it was neither lunchable nor edible, and then huffed off to clean us out of Pop Tarts. At the time, I just thought she was being rude, but now I understand that I was violating her refrigerator rights. And rights must be respected, mold or no.

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