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Old 05-17-2014, 06:35 AM
 
Location: Loudon, TN
5,652 posts, read 4,762,380 times
Reputation: 18892

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Every year for many years I have been attending a weekend trip with a group of 8-10 ladies. It seems like we have the same issues at dinner every year. They always pick some overpriced, upscale restaurant and there are always people at dinner that order a bunch of things "for the table" that others didn't really want or ask for and then the same people who order this stuff want everyone to split the tab equally or they are surprised when people only put in the amount for what they actually ordered (plus tax and tip of course). Somehow the money is always short and the people who didn't order all this stuff (and didn't eat it either) end up being asked to chip in more money to make up the shortfall. One year, on principle, I refused to be bullied into splitting the tab after several girls ordered $200 worth of wine that I didn't drink a drop of.
This year I traveled clear across the country to attend because I moved away. I had spent over $500 just to be there, so was on a tighter budget than in the past and I ordered a cheaper item on the menu and didn't drink any wine or eat any appetizers or dessert that I didn't order. Once again the bill comes up short after everyone puts in their money. I know it seems like I'm being a tightwad, but I didn't ask for or eat the food and wine, so I really didn't want, and didn't have the cash on hand, to put in for the apps and wine that others ordered and ate. I know the other ladies feel that this is a once a year thing so they just want to splurge and celebrate, but I splurged on my plane tickets and rental car. Is it selfish of me, or acting like a jerk, when I put in the cash just for what I ordered plus 30% for tax and tip??
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Old 05-17-2014, 06:47 AM
 
Location: Arlington, VA and Washington, DC
23,571 posts, read 33,297,972 times
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I don't know why you even bother to subject yourself to them dinners every year. It is obvious it puts you in an awkward position. I don't think you were selfish for what you did, especially since you came from a long way and already incurred great expense for them. I personally think you should forget the dinner next year and every year after. I wouldn't keep friends who subjected me to that. Mine are fine with pizza, wings, and a 6 pack of beer in a basement when we get together.
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Old 05-17-2014, 06:51 AM
 
Location: Texas
43,434 posts, read 52,425,333 times
Reputation: 70405
If you know how it's going to be and how they're going to be, it's hard to complain about it if you still go be with them.

Have you talked about it directly and face-to-face? If you have and they still insist everyone put in the same amount, then that would be the end of it for me.

If the people and the trip mean a lot to you, it may be something you have to suck up.

I do agree that it's obnoxious (if I ordered something "for the table," I would still pay for it), but be sure the lines of communication are open.
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Old 05-17-2014, 07:13 AM
 
Location: sumter
8,509 posts, read 5,327,480 times
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Maybe this is something that should have been discussed with everybody prior to this annual get together. Some sort of guidelines or what is expected should have been talked about so everybody is on the same page about everything. They must be really special friends if you traveled across country just to have dinner with them. That turn out to be a really expensive meal on your part so I wouldn't worry about it. You can also meet new friends in your new location and start the tradition over there. Will you be playing host next time, I'm sure they wont mind the travel across country to have dinner with you.
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Old 05-17-2014, 08:05 AM
 
25,953 posts, read 26,683,442 times
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Talk to the person who coordinates the trip and location. Have a conversation about it then.

I often went to dinner every weekend with a rather large group of people. It always worked without a hitch. Separate checks, unless you brought a date then that was your responsibility too.

On occasion one of the gentlemen wanted to save himself a trip to the ATM and we paid him and he put the whole thing on his American Express giving him cash flow for the night.

Out of all of my friends there is only one who I do "This is my turn, you get next time." And we do trade off back and forth without a problem and we've been doing it for years - I trust no one else to do this.

One other thing you could do is trade off who picks the restaurant.

Bottom line - never, never ever split an entire table evenly. Someone always gets screwed. If you decide to go this next dinner just simply say at the table, "I'm sorry but I can't do the tab split this year."
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Old 05-17-2014, 08:08 AM
 
25,953 posts, read 26,683,442 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Dissenter View Post
I don't know why you even bother to subject yourself to them dinners every year. It is obvious it puts you in an awkward position. I don't think you were selfish for what you did, especially since you came from a long way and already incurred great expense for them. I personally think you should forget the dinner next year and every year after. I wouldn't keep friends who subjected me to that. Mine are fine with pizza, wings, and a 6 pack of beer in a basement when we get together.
What you doin' this weekend?!
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Old 05-17-2014, 08:13 AM
 
1,167 posts, read 1,097,066 times
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Yeah in that situation I'd definitely make sure the bill is divided individually.

We often dine with friends and as long as it's in the ballpark of the same amount we split it evenly, and even if it's a little skewed one time, it evens out the next time but this is only with people we dine with on a regular basis.

If it were once a year or infrequently and there was a huge difference between who had what, I wouldn't "just split it," nor would I expect anyone else to.
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Old 05-17-2014, 10:49 AM
 
4,787 posts, read 9,252,812 times
Reputation: 12632
OP- you have to discuss the situation ahead of time with that group of friends. Not with us, with them.

Its seems here is a big disparity in what people order and drink. If that's the case and some of you are resentful about splitting the bill, then bring it up before you attend the next function. It appears there are non drinkers and nibblers as compared to those who want to sample wines and lay out a multi course spread for this yearly special occasion.

Your eating styles are not on the same page and that is the source of your resentment. I'd try to reach some sort of agreement with the group. I wouldn't wait until the bill came to announce that you're only paying for what you ate. Perhaps send an email to the whole group long before the next meeting explaining your position. State the fact that you will only be paying for what you eat in the future. You might get some interesting comments back, but at least it will be no surprise when you chip in just your amount, plus tip.
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Old 05-17-2014, 11:15 AM
 
Location: Dallas
5,599 posts, read 4,907,321 times
Reputation: 16445
Nothing worse than haggling over the bill at the end of the dinner. Solution: separate checks. If someone wants to order something "for the table" they should consider it their treat, and the cost added to their own check.
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Old 05-17-2014, 11:18 AM
 
Location: On the corner of Grey Street
6,067 posts, read 8,329,059 times
Reputation: 11540
I think sometimes people who don't have to worry about money forget that other people do. I think it's 100% acceptable to only pay for what you actually ate and drank. If anyone asks you for more money or questions you, you should just tell them you're on a tight budget at the moment and you can only afford what you ordered. If anyone has a problem with that, then they aren't friends I would pay $500 dollars to travel and see.
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