Author Topic: When you think you're the hostess . . . PLUS additional questions  (Read 2080 times)

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jpcher

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Yesterday I had a very enjoyable meal with the DDs and DD#2's BFbob's family. (Family includes DD#1's exBF#1, the sister who is 10, and BFbob's mom (Linda) . . . I've posted about them before.)

I automatically assumed that I would be paying for the meal since the DDs invited BFbob and family (long story short, it was a last-minute invite.) Absolutely no problem on my end, I had no worries about hosting this event.

For the most part, everybody agreed that a nice assortment of appetizers would suit the palate.

Earlier I heard exBF#1 mention that he was soooo hungry (he just got off of an airplane after a week-long brutal training session) so I told him it would be okay for him to order a meal instead of just apps. He thanked me profusely. Sis didn't care for any of the appetizers that we were ordering so I told her to go ahead and order a sandwich or hamburger or something . . . These meals were about $10+ each.

We ordered 8 appetizers to split amongst everybody . . . apps being $7-10+ each, but! Lucky us! It was late afternoon so apps were 1/2 off. ;D

Then the drinks . . . the adults had a couple of beers @ $5.00/each.



Side Question -- when you're hosting a restaurant meal, do you keep a running approximate total in your head? I do. I'm certainly not keeping track of "this person's meal was more expensive than that person's meal" type of thing, nor am I censoring the price of what is ordered and suggesting something else from the menu that is cheaper. I just don't want to be completely surprised when the bill comes. Am I rude for doing this? /end Side Question.


Anywhoo -- at the end of the meal, I asked if anybody wanted dessert. Sis gave a vigorous nod. I asked her what she would like, and her mom told her to stop. I didn't say anything, because, you know, Mom rules . . . Mom said no.

Suddenly a margarita shows up in front of me, and I hear a group of people behind me, then a plate of dessert with candles appear and everybody (wait staff included) sings Happy Birthday to me. ;D


THEN! When the bill came, DD#2 grabbed the check and paid for the meal. :o

Had I known that I was not paying for the meal, I would not have insisted that others go for a pricier full meal nor would I have ordered the highest priced app., which was one that was not on the 1/2 priced menu (crab legs, which were awesome.) So I'm feeling a bit guilty about this.


After all was said and done, DDs and I were sitting down chatting and DD#1 asked DD#2 "How much do I owe you?" DD#2 said "the bill was $X amount." At this point, I put my hands to my ears and said "Please don't talk about the price of a gift in front of the giftee." I left the room so that they could discuss. I'm not sure if I handled that well . . . what would you have done?


PLUS! Since I had already heard the total ::), the price that DD#2 mentioned was way higher than what I had figured in my head . . . Doing the math, figuring in a 20% tip, unless DD#2 tipped extremely well, the restaurant charged full price for the apps instead of the 1/2 price advertised special . . . I probably shouldn't have done the math at this point, but I couldn't help myself . . . Would you have done the math or just let it go?

I understand that it's too late to go back to the restaurant and question the bill.


Since it turned out that I was the Guest of Honor instead of the host and the DDs are complete novice's concerning restaurant hosting, is there a gentle, but polite way to say "Thank you for the party, but I think that you were screwed on the bill?"

Or should I just keep my mouth shut?

Captain Hastings

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Re: When you think you're the hostess . . . PLUS additional questions
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2013, 05:35:16 PM »
I would. Keep your mouth shut, that is.

They may or may have not overpaid, but I think their primary concern was splurging as a special birthday treat for you.

Since we're not talking hundreds of dollars here, I say just relax and enjoy it. :) You can be practical the rest of the year.

ETA: I think I would be a little hurt if I gave someone a gift and they said, "You know, you paid too much for this, you could have gotten it cheaper at Suchandsuch." I know that's not quite the same situation, but bringing up finances does put a bit of a dampener on the spirit of generosity.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2013, 05:42:56 PM by Captain Hastings »

snappylt

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Re: When you think you're the hostess . . . PLUS additional questions
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2013, 05:44:44 PM »
I'm going to agree with Captain Hastings above.  It sounds like you had two roles there: one as the very surprised guest of honor, and two as the mom who thought she was the hostess until the end.  As a dad, I would be thinking of the cost - and also wanting to help my young adult children not be taken advantage of.  But as the guest of honor, I'd want to keep quiet and allow my kids to enjoy treating me.  Bringing up the details of the bill would be out of line for the guest of honor.

Knowing my own oldest two boys, they would probably resent it if I questioned the bill, so that is where my answer is coming from.

Sharnita

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Re: When you think you're the hostess . . . PLUS additional questions
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2013, 05:45:39 PM »
I think I might at least make a casual remark that I appreciated the fact that tje restaurant offerred 1/2 off apps. If that makes them check the bill a second time, maube you've done tjrm a favor. If they don't, you gave them the chance.

Zizi-K

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Re: When you think you're the hostess . . . PLUS additional questions
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2013, 05:55:51 PM »
Yea, I think you could have said *in the moment* "Thanks so much for the dinner, what a nice surprise, I was fully intending to cover it! By the way, the apps except for the crab legs were supposed to be half-off, so make sure they gave you that price!" You're just looking out for your daughters, after all. However, now that it's all said and done, I wouldn't bother saying anything. The tally in your mind was probably just off, and I'm sure your DDs were cognizant of the half-price deal, since it was probably a part of the conversation when you decided to do a dinner of mostly apps.

I also would not consider the running tally to be rude. It sounds like it's just your habit so you're not surprised at the end of the meal. Personally, I don't do it because I'm not sure what I would do with that information - "Stop, no you can't order that second beer!" I just wait for the bill and scrutinize it well, figuring that I will catch any inaccuracies at that point. But it's fine either way. It's not like anybody knows you're doing it.

hannahmollysmom

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Re: When you think you're the hostess . . . PLUS additional questions
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2013, 02:04:06 AM »
First off, congratulations on raising such great daughters, that wanted to treat their Mom!  ;D

I wouldn't worry about it, because if they were worried, they would have mentioned it to the boyfriend ahead of time. They invited the extra people, you didn't. They knew what the bill might be.

And, Happy Birthday!

GreenHall

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Re: When you think you're the hostess . . . PLUS additional questions
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2013, 10:52:48 AM »
One thing I wonder is if the party was large enough to trigger an auto-gratutity, which your DD didn't notice and then tipped on top of.  (When work goes out to lunch, we generally get separate checks, but with the auto-grat - ususally at least one person notices and mentions to the rest of the group.)

jpcher

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Re: When you think you're the hostess . . . PLUS additional questions
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2013, 05:02:49 PM »
Thank you, everybody.

I'll not say anything to the DDs. You all are right that this is not a teaching moment and would probably put a damper on the DDs gift.


Lynn2000

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Re: When you think you're the hostess . . . PLUS additional questions
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2013, 05:17:57 PM »
Thank you, everybody.

I'll not say anything to the DDs. You all are right that this is not a teaching moment and would probably put a damper on the DDs gift.

I think this is the right decision. It sounds like they wanted to do something nice for you, and if it ended up costing them more than they expected, well, maybe it's not an active teaching moment from you, but it might have been a learning moment for them. :)

I don't think it's rude to keep a running tally in your head, I'm not sure anything would be rude if you just kept it in your head, you know? I also think you did well reminding them not to talk about the bill in front of you--that was a bit gauche of them, but hopefully they were set straight.

Since it was a surprise at the end that you wouldn't be paying, I don't think you should feel guilty about anything. Personally, I don't like surprises, so that twist at the end would have caused me some irritation. For example, I would have spent the whole meal trying to do math in my head, which I'm not good at! :) Also I would have been kind of, "Hmmm..." at my kids inviting extra, last-minute guests and those guests hinting/asking for/ordering more expensive/extra stuff, if I was assuming the whole time *I* was going to be paying for it. And, I would have been more in "hostess" mode than in "enjoying myself at dinner" mode, which for me are two different modes but maybe for others they aren't.

So for me personally, I would have tried to appreciate the sentiment of their gift to me, while also acknowledging in my head that I felt it could have been done more thoughtfully--I would have enjoyed it more if I'd known I was the guest of honor and not the hostess, basically.
~Lynn2000