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  • August 29, 2016, 09:06:15 PM

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In similar situations I have discussed with the other party goers about covering the GOH's drinks/food beforehand as a group but I doubt your friend nor the guests expected only you to pay for everything. It's nice to buy someone a drink or two, but you don't have to spend triple the amount. Its easier at bars because you could just walk up to the bar area and buy her a drink on your own tab, but at a table with one bill it's a bit more awkward. I guess you could have told the waiter at the end of the night that you would cover some of her drinks, but I think it was fine not to.
OP, I think you were fine.  If everyone who simply coordinated an event was then expected to pay for some/all of the other guests, hardly anyone would go out, as that would get ridiculously expensive very fast.

Whenever I go out in social groups, each person just pays for themselves, regardless of whether someone is having a birthday or other special occasion.  There are rare exceptions, most commonly when the guest of honour organises something and they are hosting it at a restaurant rather than at home, but that usually involves proper invitations etc (eg. milestone birthday). Other than that, each diner just worries about their own bill.

It's quite common here in Australia to pay for your meal as you enter (buffet), or after you've read the menu at your table, followed by placing and paying for your order at the counter.  You don't pay, you don't eat. Simple!  Tax is included in all listed prices, and tipping is so rare, that I've never encountered it.  This method cuts down on a lot of the the dramas I read about here, where problems arise as to who should pay for what.

OP, just curious  - when it came time to pay the bill did your friend show any hesitation in paying her share? Some people would use the possibility of someone else picking up their tab to order more than usual. Hopefully your friend was just extra hungry that day and had every intention of paying for all her own food?
Um... Don't quite know how to respond to this.

I'm not the single person in this group, and I don't know what I have posted that would give you that idea. So the majority of your post was labour under a delusion. In actuality, I am one of the people in the childless couples, specifically the Gail and Harry of the example. I posted this to EHell because someone in our group had made a proposal that I thought was slightly unfair, and it got me thinking about what the fairest split would be.

I have been nothing but civil in my responses to people on this thread, and I'm not quite sure why anything I've posted warranted this quite aggressive diatribe. This is a discussion forum, and my suggesting a particular course of action is not an attack on anybody else's belief system.

If you found my "diabtribe" aggressive, then I do apologize.  I was not trying to be aggressive.  I also apologize for assuming that you were single.

The bottom line for me, is trying to calculate 'common space' into the cost is too complicated and doesn't really solve the "fairness" question.  I don't think that common space is 50% in this case, and even if it was,  I don't think there's a way to make the calculation that works.  I don't think that couples get a benefit out of paying the same amount for one bedroom as a single person would for the same bedroom.

If the breakout of costs that your friend proposed doesn't work for you, then I do think you should say something.  But, I honestly believe your trip would be much more enjoyable if your group came up with the simplest method possible to break out the costs.  If they agree to something more complicated, that's great.  But, for me, I can't see coming up with a more creative calculation as anything more than a waste of time.  It wouldn't be worth the money I'd save if I was a single person and honestly, makes the it look like the single people are just looking for a reason to be put-out (even if this isn't coming from them). 

ETA: If you are Gail and Harry in this scenario and you would like to offer to pay $333 for your room while Isobel pays $167, then I don't see why you can't offer that to her.  The $278/person breakdown, I agree, is not the best way to calculate it.  Because it puts those that are only staying half the time at a complete disadvantage.  But a per room/per night breakdown is still the simplest while also being reasonably 'fair' and it's the one that I would still suggest.  You can always offer to take on more of the burden from Isobel since you will be splitting your room with her if you feel strongly about her not getting a fair deal in this. I wouldn't worry too much about the extra costs of the kids. At such a young age, I wouldn't expect them to even eat half or a third of what the adults eat.  They will be sharing rooms with their parents, and parents will likely be bringing specific snacks and drinks for them anyway (with them only taking a small portion of the communal food during meal times).   

In this case you were lucky that you hadn't mentioned your intent to cover her bill.  That could have been a personal little nightmare for you and a real guilt trip for her when she finally realized you really didn't quite have enough to pay for it.  So I'm glad it worked out fine for you and all the other guests there.

Oh, absolutely, I would not have gone back on my word if I had told her I was picking up her tab.
My social circle has enough people who are still just getting started in life that we don't plan to split the GOH's bill, so we just offer to pay for what we want, usually a single drink.  Significant others without commingled finances are usually expected to pull out their wallets to pay, though.
When did these designations become common usage:

MTA passengers referred to as "customers"
Pharmacy customers referred to as "guests"
Doctors' patients referred to as "clients"?

At a home for challenged adults, the residents were "guests"

Target has been having "guests" rather than customers for over 25 years. Drives me up the wall, too.
I'm a little confused.
Had you told her you would treat her and then got panicky when she ordered so much more than you expected her to?   
Did the table split the final tab or did each person pay just their own? 
So who ended up paying the bill?

In the future, it probably would be a good idea if you and the other guests decided in advance (before you even enter the restaurant) whether you're all going to split the bill equally, pay only for your own (separate checks) or pay for your own plus a portion of the guest of honor's bill. 

I must say it was kind of a strange thing your friend did there.  Did she know you had planned to pay for her share?

Everyone paid for their own food. I was only secretly planning to pick up her tab, I never mentioned anything to her. I was going to do it as a gift, but then decided against it when her bill got so high.

I guess my question is about dinners where there is a guest of honor, in general - is it expected that the guest of honor pay for themselves?

In this case you were lucky that you hadn't mentioned your intent to cover her bill.  That could have been a personal little nightmare for you and a real guilt trip for her when she finally realized you really didn't quite have enough to pay for it.  So I'm glad it worked out fine for you and all the other guests there.

Usually, I think, when there is a guest of honor for dinner, the guests (including the organizer) usually split that person's part of the bill.  But everyone needs to be on board with this before the event so there are no embarrassing surprises.
Don't you love it (not) when you're finally told what you need to have for a class, etc. the day before you need it, so you have to run around and get it?  Mr. Sirius was promoted when he was in the military, and he found out that he needed a uniform shirt with his new stripes sewed on it for a promotion ceremony...the next day.  So, since I'm a much faster sewist than he is I got the joy of sewing a set of stripes onto a uniform shirt.  Anyone who thinks this is easy has never done it.  At least the rest of his rank insignia was in badge form, so he only had to pin them on his uniform shirt. 

Bless him, he took the rest of his uniforms to the base's tailoring shop to get the stripes sewed on.   
My friends will often just tell the waiter that they want to pay for a certain item or items off the tab.  Common ways this manifests is getting the person's next drink, or taking an appetizer ordered for the table off their tab.
For me, the real value of renting a beach house is not the house it's:
-Ability to wake up and do a morning walk on a nearly empty beach
-Falling asleep to waves crashing
-Watching the moon on the water and being able to say yes to that last mojito knowing no one has to drive anywhere
-Having easy access to my preferred snacks and drinks and having a good time preparing a joint meal the first night
-Being able to just walk into the house to wonderful AC once the heat gotten to much
-NOT having to get into a hot car while sweaty and sandy with all my sandy stuff
-Enjoyment of spending time with my friends and family

When friends and I used to rent a house before any of us had kids, we'd split the cost of the rental and group purchased food equally by each adult by day. It didn't matter if you were sharing a room or not, you still paid the same amount if you had a designated sleeping space. Friends invited down for the day were expected to contribute by brining food and beverages to share but were not asked to fund any portion of the rental. It worked for us. Some people probably ate more than others, some spent more time inside than out, some used more time in the bathroom than others... but everyone felt they got the value they expected from the weekend. The only time we switched from that model was when one of the houses had an awesome 3rd floor master and one of the couples begged for that room and said they'd pay extra to have it. I think if we'd continued to do the rentals post kids, we would have just expected the parents to contribute more money for food and bring the kid preferred snacks.

I don't see it as unfair that each member of a couple sharing one bedroom pays the same as  single using one bedroom. It's highly unlikely the couples would sleep separately even if their were other unoccupied bedrooms.
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