Q.: The night before last, I tried to give a neighbor-friend a frozen delight that I had prepared. She said she was defrosting her refrigerator, and asked that I hold onto the goody for her.

My question is: How long? Is it up to me to re-initiate the offer, or should my friend assume the responsibility of reasonably prompt pickup? Am I obliged to keep the goody for her, or is it proper to give it to someone else after an appropriate period of waiting for her refrigerator to re-cool?

What is my answer to her when, after some period of non-pickup waiting, she should inquire about the once-proffered goody?

A: A.The last time the Etiquette Council met, it again forgot to set a timetable for the number of days a person can decently be said to be defrosting a refrigerator.

Therefore, you must assume good will on the part of your friend. Before you are tempted to eat or give away the goody you offered her, call her and inquire whether she can pick it up right away. If she claims that either she or the refrigerator cannot take advantage of your renewed offer, you are free to say, "It shouldn't be frozen that long. I'll make you another one some time." It is generally understood that "some time" in this context means "never."