I would love an opinion on this, please.
Every time my mother-in-law comes to town (about three times a year), the entire family (16 people) goes out to dinner at her favorite restaurant, and each “branch” pays for themselves. Well, her upcoming visit coincides with my child’s birthday. Since there will be many work- or school-related time constraints for everyone in the family, and dear MIL is only here for the one weekend, I suggested to everyone that we could also have the family celebration of my son’s birthday while at the restaurant. I believe my exact words were, “Since we’ll already be together at this restaurant on this night, perhaps we should go ahead and celebrate son’s birthday there, and I will bring cupcakes or something”. Everyone agreed that this was a great idea.
Do you think this in any way extended an invitation, indicating that my husband and I would be picking up the check? Believe me, if we had the money to do so, we would have intentionally extended such an invitation.
I’m fairly certain everyone will pay for themselves as always, I just don’t want to seem like ungracious “host”, or for there to be any surprises. Of course I could always just make sure to spell it out, but discussing money is so inappropriate. I suppose that would be better than looking ridiculous when the question of whether it will be separate checks comes about. What do you think? 0109-12
I don’t think you have anything to be worried about. If family members wer eto extrapolate this to celebrations of their own family members’ birthdays, they would realize that insisting on you picking up the entire tab means someday their day will come when they will be expected to also pick up the tab. If someone misunderstands, blink innocently and say, “We would love to pay for you all but that is a little out of our range at this time. I brought some lovely cupcakes for us though!”
Btw, talking about money arrangements is not inherently evil. If it were, most business transactions would be faux pas. A lot of misunderstandings in relationships can be traced to no one wanting to hash out the exact monetary distributions and people then make assumptions and it goes downhill.