Saturday, September 15, 2007

And It Wasn't Even That Good...

It's happened again, and this will be the last time. I just can't do it anymore.

I've talked about this before as a minor annoyance, but now that I am spending most of my time in Florida, I have to put my foot down and nip this in the bud. I'm talking about friends who invite us to dinner, order grandly and then insist on splitting the bill in half, even when we ordered very little. It's just not fair.

I could overlook this practice when it was infrequent. But now that it has the potential to become a common event, and since I've put our household on a tighter budget, I simply refuse to subsidize other people's expensive entrees on a regular basis.

Case in point: Last night for dinner, I had an appetizer as entree, my husband had some grilled fish, and we split a salad starter. The table also shared an appetizer and ordered a bottle of wine, although my husband didn't drink any wine (due to a stomach issue), and I didn't eat the appetizer. By all accounts, our portion of the bill should have been maybe $80 with tax and tip.

But what were we asked to contribute? $130. Yes, $130, for a portobello mushroom and a piece of fish. Our dining partners had ordered grandly, not so much the Mrs., but her husband ordered several pounds of King Crab, and God knows what that cost.

So...on the way home, I told my husband that we just can't do that anymore, and we need to find a way to alter this practice without hurting anyone's feelings. These are lovely people and dear friends, and I feel bad even posting this on my blog, but the practice simply has to stop.


Anonymous said...

I totally agree with you - it's so unfair when this happens and it's hard to broach the subject without offending anyone.

We have a similar, yet slightly different problem with a couple we used to go out with (note the use of the words 'used to').

They always pleaded poverty before ordering. Then ordered ridiculously expensive stuff or created an embarrassing scene about how they can't afford anything - last time it was sharing a pizza as a main course and only ordering a glass of tap water each. Then they always helped themselves liberally to the wine or the shared salad and often offered to finish off other people's left overs. When it came to the bill, they only ever offered to pay what THEY thought was right for the meal, which often was much less than if we were to split it by the actual cost of dishes let alone splitting the bill equally! They also never left a tip...

They are a lovely couple but we had to stop going out for meals with them as it was slowly bankrupting us and they never saw that they were being unfair or rude

M said...

Not a good situation.

I was thinking back....I can't think of a single time that this situation has been reversed -- where we ordered grandly and short paid. It's always been the other way around.