Pay Your Own Way, You Little Moochie Poochie!

by admin on June 30, 2010

My boyfriend and I were invited to a going away dinner of a friend (“Jim”) by Jim’s girlfriend (“Jenny”).  There were about 20+ people (we are all mid-late 20s) that “Jenny” invited and dinner was going to be in a popular restaurant.  Now the invitations were done via social network but my boyfriend and I do not join online networks so naturally I phoned to ask for the information.  “Jenny” never told me about any changes and I always heard it from other friends or when I asked her.  When I asked, it was going to be $XX amount per head which was reasonable.

Dinner turned out to be great, everybody had a great time.  After dinner, everybody planned to go to the bar for drinks but my boyfriend and I already had plans which we told “Jim” and “Jenny” ahead of time.  When “Jenny” came around to collect money for the bill, a few people who sat across from me (her friends) only brought cards.  I assumed they would go to an ATM or pay back later since splitting the bill was out of the question for a large party.

When “Jenny” came to my boyfriend and I, she asked for $YY and any donations for “Jim.”  I was surprised the price had nearly doubled from $XX to $YY and was not told about this or about the donations.  Apparently, the price had changed the night before when “Jenny” confirmed the event with the restaurant, and it was my fault for not joining networks to be up-to-date. (“Jenny” said this jokingly, but I did not find it funny at all).  Really, how hard is it to dial a phone or send an email?  Fortunately I had enough money to pay my part, but my boyfriend paid for me (very sweet of him) and gave her a nice “donation.”  My boyfriend wanted to buy “Jim” a drink but since we were unable to attend, he thought putting money in would be thoughtful.

Well, it turns out that the donation money was not wholly used for it’s intended.  I found out when I overheard “Jenny” tell her friends that she collected enough money from everyone to foot the bill, and so they didn’t need to pay her for their part of dinner.  I was still quite peeved hearing that some of my boyfriend’s money (and probably money from other people) was used to pay for somebody’s dinner when really it was intended for “Jim!”  Sure there was money left for “Jim”, but it was so thoughtless of “Jenny” to pay for her friends’ dinners on the expense of others.  Glad my boyfriend and I did not join them later for drinks for we would be seething the entire night.  Is it also rude to know about the event and price ahead of time but not bring money for it (like “Jenny’s” friends)?  At least go to an ATM beforehand!   0620-10

{ 45 comments… read them below or add one }

Casey June 30, 2010 at 10:13 am

It was good of your boyfriend to pay for you and both of you to not cause a scene. Thankfully you had enough money to cover the whole bill plus a donation. Not only is it rude but downright embarrassing to have surprise expenses sprung at the last moment and have to publicly announce that you don’t have the money. I’m sure most people understand (it’s right before payday, tight this month, only brought X amount in cash, etc) but it’s still very embarrassing.

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yarngirl June 30, 2010 at 11:03 am

Wow, Jim’s girlfriend sounds like such a catch…hopefully you limited your social engagements with her in the future. I’m curious as to what else she thinks is acceptable, or if Jim ever found out that his lady had milked his friends to pay for hers.

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kingshearte June 30, 2010 at 11:21 am

Personally, I’m just completely floored that anyone could think it even remotely acceptable to use money collected from some guests to pay for the dinner of other guests, who weren’t even the honourees or anything of the sort. Seriously, in what universe is that OK?

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gramma dishes June 30, 2010 at 11:43 am

Do you still consider Jim and Jenny among your “friends”?

My husband and I had a similar experience once. A group went out to dinner and everyone assumed they were each paying for their own. We did have reservations, but were seated at two tables. Everyone at our table either was pregnant, nursing, had just bought a house, or was still in school.

Our table ate very modestly. No alcoholic drinks for the pregnant and nursing mothers. Chicken or pork chops for entrees. You get the idea.

The other table had lobster, filet mignon or Chateubriand (sp?), and several alcoholic beverages each.
When the meal was finished, one of the guys from that table announced that we were all going to combine and split the meal. Our table had already paid our waitress and given her a very substantial tip.

We said no.

For a couple of years after that, the “Guess what? We’re sharing . . .” guy insisted that my husband and I still ‘owed’ him money — about the equivalent of what would be around $30 today.

Eventually we just dropped them as friends.

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Dan June 30, 2010 at 11:46 am

If you want to have a party have one. If you cannot afford to have a party and PAY for it don’t!
The hostess for this one is a thief.

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Amazed June 30, 2010 at 2:03 pm

Here is what I would do. I would approach Jenny privately and tell her what you know. You expected to pay $X, you were asked for $Y, plus a donation. You also overheard her say the friends’ dinners were covered by the money she collected. Simply tell her that you feel you overpaid. You are happy to pay your own way, and happy to donate for Jim’s goodbye present, but you are not happy to pay for the dinners of other guests. Then, see what Jenny says. Based on what she says and does, consider whether or not you want to continue the friendship.

If she refunds you an appropriate amount of money, she can either go to the friends for repayment or just pay it out of her own pocket. She created the situation, she should foot the bill.

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gingertwinge June 30, 2010 at 2:03 pm

Ok, is it just me, or why is it when we get invitations nowadays, do we have to pay our share? Isn’t that a faux pas to invite someone to an event (I really don’t care what it is) and then expect them to pay for it? Why would anyone throw Jim a party and expect the participants to pay for their share of it? If you want to throw someone a going away party, do it on your own budget or don’t have one. and no, you do NOT have to have a big blow out at a restaurant–you can do anything (desserts & wine, potluck or bbq, whatever) with a small budget and it’s just as appreciated.

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Princess91765 June 30, 2010 at 3:14 pm

I think I would have been unable to contain myself and would definitely have called “Jenny” out on her little game. That is just the rudest, most selfish thing ever!

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Onlyme June 30, 2010 at 3:16 pm

Boy what a rude person Jenny is.

I have so much to sputter, that I just can’t write it down all here. When my friends and I got out we always get separate bills. For those restaurants who state they cannot give separate bills, I have given my card and asked them to put $xx.xx amount only on my card. Let the others worry about their part.

wow, just wow.

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Cady June 30, 2010 at 3:46 pm

I’d have told “Jenny” that since she told me it was going to cost $XX, $XX was what she was getting, and she could foot the rest of the bill if she couldn’t have the decency to call me the night before and tell me the price had changed (not just because it would’ve been polite, but also because it would’ve let me back out if $YY was too expensive). I also would NEVER have given her a monetary “donation” for “Jim.” I’d have bought him a token gift or a bottle of wine, since you never know where cash is going (and as we saw in this situation, it didn’t got to “Jim”). Perhaps my approach wouldn’t be the most polite one, but I am not OK with being taken advantage of financially.

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Juniper June 30, 2010 at 3:54 pm

I fail to see why it’s her fault you’re not a part of any social network. If it’s been established that that is going to be the main method of contact and updates then … well, that’s self-explanatory.

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Kat June 30, 2010 at 5:10 pm

Juniper – it is not Jenny’s fault that the OP doesn’t belong to a social network. It is, however, the OP’s right to not join online social networks without fear of financial repercussions. If Jenny communicated that the cost would be XX, and then changed it to YY, it IS her responsibility to make sure all expected contributors are aware, regardless of whether they’re on the network.

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Emmy June 30, 2010 at 5:28 pm

I see Jenny as more of an organizer than a host. She organized the party, made reservations, ect., but really did not host the party because the guests payed for their own food.

It doesn’t sound like Jenny was very organized. The OP mentioned several changes being made that she wasn’t informed about. I feel if somebody organizes a party or get together, they should get the details down as much as possible before sending out the invitations and not have to make a bunch of changes. That being said, I see how sending an update to OP and her bf every time even a small change was made would be a hassle since they were not on the social network. However, I do feel as the person making the changes and the event organizer, Jenny should have kept the OP abreast of major changes including the sudden price jump.

There is no excuse for doubling the bill when it came time for collection. Collecting money ‘for Jim’ and using the donations to pay for her cheapskate friends is lying and stealing and I would be furious. In hindsight, the OPs should have said they already had a gift for Jim and would give it to him personally.

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gingertwinge June 30, 2010 at 5:31 pm

I’ve been re-thinking this one, jsut to give the hostess the benefit of the doubt. while I still beleive that if you are going to throw a party for someone, you need to pay for it, and not ask the participants to pay for it—-but I think Jenny found out she was overcharging people and so stopped asking for money, enabling the remaining few not to have to pay for theirs. I think she may have been trying to be generous in the end–if she had enough money to pay the tab, it would be wrong for her to keep asking for money right? But…she went about it the wrong way. She should have reimbursed the earlier guests the extra they threw in instead of letting the remaining guests off the hook.

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aventurine June 30, 2010 at 11:46 pm

The LW generously refers to Jenny as “thoughtless.” I submit that she’s the opposite: “calculating.”

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NKKingston July 1, 2010 at 3:46 am

Maybe it’s just a UK thing, but I’ve never been to a meal out for a special occasion without being expected to pay my own way. Are meals out substantially cheaper in the US? At an average restaurant in the UK (not including London!) you’d be lucky to get away with less that £30 a head ($50 ish), so even if I just took my immediate family that’s half a month’s rent right there, let alone if I went out with friends. And for a party, I’d probably expect people to want starters and even desert, and you’ll get through rather more bottles of wine than you might normally. Maybe I just don’t know the right kind of insanely generous / unexpectedly wealthy people…

Something I do know if definitely a cultural difference is arranging your own birthday party. Expecting someone else to do it for you once your over the age of 16 would be considered pretty ungracious and demanding in the UK. If you want people to celebrate your birthday, you make the necessary arrangments and invite them, not the other way around. Of course, there’s much less of a gift-giving culture – again, once you hit adulthood only your family and closest friends tend to offer presents, most people you invite to celebrate with you just offer good wishes!

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Princesssimmi July 1, 2010 at 7:27 am

I HATE when this happens. I don’t drink and I don’t eat red meat or seafood. This means I normally order some sort of salad or pasta or a chicken burger, and a soft drink or water. If I have to split the cost with someone who ordered surf and turf with two beers and a huge entree I can assure you they don’t get a second chance, the cheapskates.

I’ve also had people try to get me to pay for my brother’s food when he leaves without paying. Soooooo rude.

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NKKingston July 1, 2010 at 8:09 am

Oh, I was going to add that in the UK at least, you can split a bill across multiple cards, just as you can in a shop. It’s a bit of a pain, and probably an annoyance for the staff, but I’ve done it before. I wouldn’t set out to split it like that of an evening, but if you’re caught out it’s not the end of the world.

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Fanboy Wife July 1, 2010 at 8:47 am

This sort of thing really irritates me. There was one time that my husband and I went out to eat with a bunch of “friends,” and when the meal was over we all went to the register to pay. My husband and I were last in line, and two people just left the restaurant without paying! Guess who was left with the bill!

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SHOEGAL July 1, 2010 at 9:50 am

Never SPLIT the bill in a restaurant – pay for your own. There are far too many of us that have had this same experience. I went to an office Christmas party at a restaurant – where the staff SPLIT the tab. I had chicken – very modestly priced – one of the nurses ordered lobster – LOBSTER!!! This was a fancy place – it was a very expensive meal. Fine – have the lobster if that is what you want – but offer to chip in more money or pay for your own meal. I didn’t have enough money to pay after I realized we were splitting the entire bill – another nurse allowed me to borrow the extra money I needed and I paid her back later. But all of us absorbed the cost of that l0bster dinner – that was just wrong.

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salsera July 1, 2010 at 10:39 am

I was at a post-hen party meal recently where we were paying for the bride to be. We all paid X amount if we’d had wine, and Y if we hadn’t. It would have been so easy for one person to pay for the bride and everyone to give a few euros to that person, but the chief bridesmaid was so rigid this didn’t occur to her and she made the waiter write out individual dockets, as it didn’t tally with his computer readout. I was so embarrassed, cos it took so long.

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Cady July 1, 2010 at 10:40 am

NKKingston: We can split the bill across multiple cards here, but it is a pain for servers if it’s more than two or three people, so people usually try to avoid it. And I’d be willing to bet meals are substantially cheaper in the U.S. For a variety of reasons, U.S. food prices are often much lower than food prices in other industrialized nations.

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Michelle Prieur July 1, 2010 at 11:04 am

Amen, gingertwinge. When someone invites someone else to a dinner, lunch, or party, regardless of the event, they are the host. If it’s colleagues going out for lunch regularly, that’s a different scenario. I go out frequently with my parents and father’s wife. When I invite them, I pay. When they invite me, they do. NKKingston, you are expected to pay your own way when you go out to eat on your own or when you invite someone to go with you, in which case you pay for theirs as well. I would always be prepared to pay my own way, but whoever does the inviting is the host. In this post, the “guests” should never have been expected to pay.

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Caitlin July 1, 2010 at 11:22 am

Yes, another UK girl here. Since I became an adult I have never been invited to a restaurant for a party and expected to be paid for- you pay for your own meals, or if you are a very close knit group of friends and the prices on the menu don’t vary wildly you split the bill evenly. None of the people I know are well-off enough to pay for meal out for all of their friends, and it’s not common to do so here anyway. We all recently went out for a friends 25th birthday, and the bill came to £220 between all of us- that’s the equivalent of half the months rent for the flat my husband and I live in. I suspect it’s probably only a little less than my friends entire monthly rent!

Also, arranging our own birthday parties is common here. I frequently get confused when seeing that behaviour viciously condemned here, as I have never been to an adult birthday party that wasn’t organised by the birthday boy or girl. As a previous contributer said, I expect it’s because there is less of a gift culture here- we don’t expect or demand gifts.

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karen July 1, 2010 at 1:39 pm

I have always believed that when a group of people go to dinner, the check is split evenly. The only exception is when someone like Princesssimmi, who has not had and additional $25 or so worth of drinks is at the table, or when the meals are vary widely in price.

As someone who DOES drink, and will usually have had some nibbles of the shared app, dessert whatever, I always make sure *I* would mention that Princesssimmi should pay less, because I would hate for her to have to do that by herself, because that would be awkward for her.

If you can’t afford the additional few dollars it might cost you because someone had salmon and you only had a burger, I feel you should have declined the invitation.

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Livvy July 1, 2010 at 2:29 pm

This is theft on “Jenny’s” part, plain and simple. I think, upon hearing her giving my money to her friends, I would have asked for its return.

In general, I don’t like the “split the bill” concept for a lot of the reasons listed – so rarely do all parties get equivalent meals/drinks, and it always falls to the decent and honorable to make up for the failings of the rude, dishonest or stingy.

@Princessimmi: Your brother frequently steals dinner? And you still go out with him? And you’re surprised and upset when others ask you, as his family member to honor his obligations? Granted, he’s the thief, but I don’t think it’s all that surprising that others would assume you’d feel duty bound to make things right. If you paid on his behalf, and then collect the money later, that’s fine. If he refuses to pay, don’t put yourself in the situation with him again.

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SHOEGAL July 1, 2010 at 4:23 pm

Sure, it the nice thing to do when out at a restaurant not to make a fuss regarding splitting the bill equally and pay the extra amount but it isn’t fair – in the case of someone having multiple cocktails and someone else didn’t or if I had a burger and someone else had salmon. What is more than fair is paying for exactly what you did have and I don’t you should be ridiculed for insisting on it. I am not asking for someone to pay for me – I am paying my way – but I don’t want to pay for someone else’s expense.

I did see Bridget Jones and was perplexed at first about her cooking a birthday dinner for her friends – huh??? There was something similiar in that movie with Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts – so I figured it was a UK type of thing. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that – if that is what is acceptable to everyone. I also think it is fine that you always split the bill in the UK at restaurants even if you were invited to go out – especially since that is what is mutally agreeable to everyone – an unspoken rule. In the US going to dinner can be expensive or cheap depending on where you go. It doesn’t have to break the bank to go out. You don’t, however, throw parties for yourself here – it is considered extremely tacky.

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Me July 1, 2010 at 6:28 pm

I was once invited over to dinner by a friend and when I got there, I was informed that she hadn’t had time to cook so had ordered takeaway and I owed her $X. I said, “If you had cooked, would you have asked me to pay for the ingredients you used?”

Unrelated, I know, but just wanted to get it out!

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Bubbs July 1, 2010 at 10:43 pm

I have NO IDEA how I’d have handled the situation that the OP found herself in, except that I would certainly limit my interactions and, therefore, liability with these folks from this point forward. I can think of no approach while still at the restaurant that didn’t have a better than even chance of turning ugly, and then you find yourself in the unenviable position of arguing with an idiot and letting onlookers try to figure out who’s who.

Expounding on the “splitting the check” theme…we have a bunch of ladies that go out to dinner as often as is possible – a couple of times a year. Some drink, some don’t, some eat seafood and steak, some don’t. After one dinner, years ago, where the check paying part of the evening got a bit snarky, one girlfriend and I had a conversation about it and, from that point forward, made certain that one of us received the bill and did the math, automatically adding a bit of padding to my portion and her portion in an effort to avoid any check ugliness. Truthfully, the one incident got so acidic between two ladies that it was nearly friendship-ending, which was just silly. My girlfriend and I can afford to be a little generous and we enjoy the evenings out so much that it’s MORE than worth it. But ever since we’ve started doing it, we invariably giggle on the way home about everyone’s glee that every place we choose to eat is “so much less expensive” than they thought that it would be.

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Billie July 2, 2010 at 12:52 am

As an Australian, I’m with Kingston and Caitlin. You pay for your own dinner out, and agree about how the cost will be divided (and ask the restaurant beforehand if they will split the bill). If the party is held at someone’s house, you bring a drink or other contribution to share. And usually you BYOG (Bring Your Own Booze) or contribute a bottle of wine or 6-pack of beer. Even at a barbeque it’s common for people to bring their own meat, so everyone can eat what they want and can afford and the host doesn’t have to shell out for everything from not-bacon to top quality steak.

The focus is on the company, not the gifts or the money. Which is why it’s not an issue here to host your own party – it’s just an excuse to have a great time with friends, after all.

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Simone July 2, 2010 at 3:19 am

We organised a dinner for a friend’s birthday once, all knowing and agreeing that we would pay our own way and then chip in a little extra to cover the birthday girl’s meal. We were all poor students so this was a very rare treat. At the end of the night we tallied up the contributions and were quite stressed to find that we were significantly short.

After some time and stress one of the guys present spoke up and admitted that he hadn’t put in any money because pther people usually put in extra and he thought that would probably be enough to cover his meal! I really could never look at him the same way ever again.

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NKKingston July 2, 2010 at 3:43 am

I suppose it’s something to bear in mind for any Americans who visit Britain – if someone invites you out to dinner in a restaurant here, you will be expected to pay your own way. And if you expect someone else to arrange your birthday celebrations for you, you’re probably not going to have any!

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kero July 2, 2010 at 6:31 am

It is so interesting to hear from UK and Australia posters! I live in California and I have always been expected to pay for my own meals when I go out too. I think if the event is more formal, then it is expected that the host will cover everything, but other than that, I was raised to pay for everything myself as to not burden anyone else. When it’s just a small dinner party, everyone still pays their own part. There would have to be a substantial formality for the host to pay for everybody.

Alas, it also does not help that in my Chinese customs, I am used to arguing with my company on who will pay the entire bill by volunteering themselves and go back and forth. Eeeh. But I do enjoy the fact of paying for my own to bypass the silly show of generosity and just enjoy the company. If I (or any host) had to pay everytime I invited someone, then not only would I be broke but it would also be discouraging to go out with each other.

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yarngirl July 2, 2010 at 10:04 am

Heck, I’m Midwest American and if you’re invited to go out to a restaurant with people, unless they TELL you they’re paying , you assume you’re paying your own way. It’s a restaurant, they charge, so I guess the thought is if you don’t want to pay, you don’t go to a place that charges. It’s only assumed the meal is free if it’s in someone’s home, they’re having it catered, or it’s in a special banquet hall or something.

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Xtina July 2, 2010 at 12:38 pm

Apparently culture is different in Europe and the U.S. regarding organized “parties” at restaurants.

I, too, come from the school of thought that if you are hosting a PARTY for someone and circulate invitations as such, that you, the host, are footing the bill for the event. It is a completely different matter if you merely organize a gathering of friends to meet at a restaurant and call it something else where it is made plain that everyone is paying their own way.

Jenny sounds rather thieve-ish in this story (as well as highly unorganized; it would have been better to secure pricing before telling the guests and sending out so many changes). I guess there’s no nice way to really get out of the fact that the OP had been bilked out of too much money, but it would make me think twice about taking part in any further events with her in the future. Jenny may have not specifically planned to make money from the guests, but it was dishonest of her to use her guests’ money for anything other than that guest’s individual meal, and the rest to go to Jim.

On online networking, a person should not be villified for not belonging to online groups; some people do not have easy access to a computer (yes, in this day and age) and are unable to use those groups on regular enough a basis to be reliable, or find the small bit of usefulness they would get out of them overshadowed by the larger volume of “junk” they’d receive. It is a hostess’s duty to respond to guests via the guest’s preferred method of contact.

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Xtina July 2, 2010 at 12:40 pm

oops…clarification; in my comment above, “her” in the “it would make me think twice about taking part in any future events with HER in the future” was referring to Jenny, not the OP.

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Enna July 3, 2010 at 3:19 pm

Chalk this down to experince – and don’t let it happen again. A little bit between a small group of close firends is one thing but that really takes the mickey.

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Bint July 5, 2010 at 5:46 am

Why was anyone expected to give a donation to Jim in the first place?

I’d think Jenny was a thief from this story, and that the donation request was greedy as heck.

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chrissy July 5, 2010 at 10:08 am

I am originally from Western New York, (USA) and believe that if invitations are sent out, (like a bridal shower, birthday party, whatever) the host is expected to pay/provide food and drink. However, in any other circumstance I always expect to pay my own way.

As far as gifts are concerned, I guess we do seem like a gift demanding society but I have had many a party and expected no gifts as have my friends and family. Usually a gift is only given at a shower, a childs birthday, or perhaps a party for a large event in someones life (graduation, retirement, 60th birthday etc.). Also I know many people who arrange their own birthday celebration at which gifts are never expected and rarely given, the party is about celebrating with family and friends, nothing more.

What happened at this meal, no matter where you are from is wrong on so many levels. You cannot just change the cost on someone and expect them to have it nor can you expect them to make any “donations”. Keeping people up to date on the arrangements is the job of the hostess. It is not her guests responsibility to join a social networking site in order to stay up to date on party information (I say this as a member of one), many just don’t feel the need to put their lives on the internet and they shouldn’t be penalized for this.

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hmmm July 6, 2010 at 5:33 pm

in mediterranean cultures it would be considered desperately rude and stingy to host a party and ask your guests to pay. if you can’t afford a party at an upscale restaurant, why on earth would you plan a party there? also, haggling over the check and carefully dividing a bill would be horrifically embarrassing. different strokes, i guess.

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Kimierin July 8, 2010 at 4:09 pm

Wow, that Jenny is unbelievably rude. If it were me, I would pay the amount she quoted me or the amount that my meal cost. There is no way I would pay twice the amount AND a “donation”.
For her to solicit a donation like that, means she was never intending it to go to Jim. I would also question myself as to how I ended up with this type of person. I would never want to go anywhere with her again.

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Rei July 11, 2010 at 4:25 pm

It’s one thing if an event is not really planned. I’ve gotten many notices on social networks that consist of “We’re going out drinking/to eat Friday night for Janie’s birthday at [place], who wants to meet us there?” In that case, paying for yourself is to be expected. However, if it is a planned party with a specified guest list (as opposed to a broad offer to anyone known to the birthday girl to join them, no RSVPs, no head count), there’s no excuse for that.

I dealt with something very similar. It was a disaster. No one was told what the cost would be, so it was generally assumed that it would be a reasonably priced dinner (as no one else had been there before). It wasn’t, and by the time we saw the menu, to leave because of the price would have been a perceived insult to the birthday girl. She knew we would be traveling over 2 hours and didn’t bother to tell us beforehand we’d have to sell our souls for our appetizers. I remember whispering to my now ex-boyfriend (who I was merely keeping company, I knew almost no one, especially the birthday girl) “Oh my god, how am I going to eat?” I ate very little (because I have an issue with eating ridiculously overpriced food no matter who pays for it), he paid for dinner, and I managed to scrape together the tip (because I felt guilty letting him pay it all because it was A LOT). People supposedly didn’t put in enough to cover their own meals, which meant we had to sit there until some people angrily threw more in than was their share so we could leave. I still think that the birthday girl lied so others would pay for her meal. Thankfully, I don’t have to deal with him and his horrible friends anymore.

This is why if I make a general notification that I’m going out somewhere and anybody who would like to meet me there can, I make sure it’s someplace my friends can afford. And I will never, ever “throw a party” for myself or anyone else at a restaurant and then expect them to pay for themselves.

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Jennifer July 11, 2010 at 8:39 pm

Once I was asked to a bachelorette party weekend in another state. All the girls drove together and split the cost of a very nice condo that included a gourmet kitchen. We were told upon invite that we would be going to one very nice dinner on the trip. So one would assume that we would be eating out at reasonably priced restaurants or given the opportunity to grocery shop and enjoy the condo. Wrong! The bride to be insisted upon dining at 5 star restaurants the entire time and never paid for a single meal. The maid of honor said we should split the bill evenly and leave the bride out of it. Well, I refused. I cannot afford to pay for high priced meals. At most of the restaurants I would order a small side salad at $9. If this wasn’t bad enough, I they would not stop at a grocery store or let me use the rental car we all pitched in on to go get a few groceries. I was flat broke at the end of the trip. Condo $X, Rental Car X, Gasoline $X, Meals X, Entertainment X, Finding out your friends are manipulative: priceless.

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Katie September 25, 2010 at 12:17 am

While I agree with OP on most of this, I don’t see why she had a problem with the other guests charging/debiting their bills. I personally do that all the time; I find carrying money around I tend to waste it more, and change I tend to lose. As long as they paid their share, what’s the problem? Yes, it’s a pain, but restaurants will do it; all you have to do is be polite to your server (and tell them ahead, if possible).

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Lady_Lazarus October 8, 2010 at 1:32 pm

I agree with Kero, Billie, Kingston, Caitlin and most of the rest of the posters – instances like this you usually pay for your own portion of the bill, unless otherwise noted by the person inviting you. Occasions are about enjoying the company and the event. If such event is being paid for by the person hosting it, that is one thing, but more often than not, when a group goes to dinner, everyone pays for their own tab, and usually covers that of the person the gathering is honoring.

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