Ask Amy

Thursday, November 19, 2009 at 11:45pm

DEAR AMY: One of my best friends at work is a guy who is a few years younger than me. We have developed a really nice "brother/sister" relationship. We often tease, share jokes, etc.

The problem is that he always eats my food without asking.

Amy, I am seven months pregnant and have even said things like, "This small single-serving popcorn bag is my lunch for the day," but it doesn't stop him.

He will literally dig his whole arm into my food to fish out what he wants. This has led to me giving him my lunch (even though he has his own), because I am so grossed out contemplating his hand-washing habits and dirty fingernails.

This happens daily. He does not do this to any other co-workers.

I have strategically attempted to dodge his greedy fingers in many creative ways, but I am finding out that the only way I can completely assure that I can eat my lunch is if I eat it alone at my desk.

I would like to resume eating my lunch in our break room, but I am now leery of venturing there, as it is guaranteed that I will not be able to eat my lunch without "Mr. Greedy" digging in.

My husband suggests that I simply talk to him about my annoyance instead of letting it build up (although it already has), but the thought of approaching my co-worker with my concern and annoyance seems petty.

How can I get him to stop?

— Concerned Colleague


DEAR CONCERNED: You are the victim here, but I can't help but wonder how you will possibly set boundaries and offer a child the discipline he or she will need if you can't even bring yourself to whack your friend's hand with a ruler and say, "Get your paws off my Cheetos, man!"

Because you are so passive, I'm going to provide you with an "out."

Pregnancy offers few real consolations, but one of them is that occasionally you can use your pregnancy to get what you want.

The next time your friend reaches his grubby hand toward your food bowl, you say, "Move another muscle and you're going to lose that hand, friend. I'm pregnant, I'm hungry and I've lost the capacity to share."

Trust me — no one wants to mess with you and face your hormone-fueled wrath.


DEAR AMY: I have often heard that a great place to meet guys is at the grocery store.

Well, they were right!

I ran into a cute, interesting guy at my local grocery.

We struck up a conversation as we weaved around the store.

I have to admit I'm a little shy and not well-versed in dating, so I didn't know how to extend this chance meeting into a date.

I feel I would be coming off as desperate by giving out my number to someone I just met. In addition, we both had frozen food in our carts so it's not as if I could have invited him out for coffee.

Any suggestions as to how to handle this in the future?

— Unbagged

DEAR UNBAGGED: You need to rethink how you define "desperate."

Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction is desperate.

Connecting with a cutie in the frozen-peas section is you being confident, awesome and assertive.

There are more cinematic ways of making this connection (dropping your produce and then accidentally bumping heads as he stoops to help you), but it's also fine to say, "It has really been fun talking to you — let me give you my number in case you want to have coffee sometime over near the dairy case."

Send questions via e-mail to askamy@tribune.com

Filed under: Lifestyles

1 Comment on this post:

By: sidneyames on 11/20/09 at 9:01

Concerned colleague: stop being so nice and dependent; tell him - yell at him - to stop eating your fricking lunch. He's not your friend; he's your dependent.