This happened when I was a kid, about 13 years old, but I still remember how baffled I was…
I had a friend in class, I didn’t hang around with her much, but I’d been at her home once and found the family nice. The girl and I had birthdays close to date, and a week or two before she asked me if I wanted to celebrate together. I said “sure” and soon she invited me to her house where her relatives had gathered. We celebrated her in a quite traditional birthday manner, had dinner, cake and snacks and she opened presents from her quite large family – aunts, cousins and so on, most of whom I had never met before. It was quite nice, even if I felt a bit out of place as the only one not related and not really being that close of a friend to her either.
A few days after, my mother gets a written request sent home, asking for half of the costs for the party, a quite large sum. Not for my food alone, but for all of them, but cut in half since it was “a party for both of the girls”. My own family was never invited, yet expected to pay for food and drinks for people they had never met!
My mother called them to say how outrageous this was, and of course didn’t pay anything. The friendship with the girl was awkward after that and I never went to her house again – because who knew what they would charge for it?…We still laugh about the weirdness of it, 15 years later. 1209-10