Author Topic: Who buys lunch?  (Read 5387 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

lkdrymom

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1036
Who buys lunch?
« on: February 09, 2014, 01:33:17 PM »
My elderly father told me of an incident he had last week and is now worried that he offended some relatives. At first I thought he was being a bit special but now I am thinking he may have had a point.

Aunt calls up my father and says she and son will be coming up to visit him and the will go out to lunch (this is normal on visits). They go out to lunch and when the bill comes my cousin picks it up and looks at it then hands it to my father. My father blurts out "Oh, you aren't buying lunch?". My cousin replies that his mother bought lunch the last time they were up. (FYI cousin in 55 years old so not a kid who would expect his parent to pay for everything). So my father pays for lunch and my cousin offers to put out a tip.

My father was miffed that they expected him to pay but on the other hand now thinks he may have offended them.  At first I thought he was being a bit critical...after all they made the effort to come to see him so he could buy lunch....but then I could see his point, they made the call and the plans they expected him to pay for it.  I can see both sides so I wanted some other points of view on this.

Some background on this. Often when relatives visit they do take turns paying...however it is more that several people are offering to pay...not the case where someone is telling another that it is their turn to pay.  My father's vision on this may also be clouded due to the fact that cousin just bought himself an extremely expensive luxury car so he may think cousin has plenty of money to buy lunch (I don't agree with this line of thinking). And FYI no one in this case is hurting for money so it would not be a burden on anyone to have covered the bill.

I know people will suggest going 'dutch' next time but I think this will end up offending everyone even more.

So ehellions...who should have paid for the lunch? And wording to avoid a situation like this in the future?

guihong

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6562
Re: Who buys lunch?
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2014, 01:45:06 PM »
In my family, my dad was a world-champion check grabber, way after we were adults with our own money.  We would protest and try to pay (or pay behind his back).  I don't know how he did it, but he always paid and wouldn't hear anything about it.

If that's not the way your family works, I think Aunt and/or cousin should have paid.  It's like dating: The one who does the asking, pays.  By Aunt saying "We will go out to lunch", I would have assumed that one of them would pay, also.

You're right, I would have suggested each paying their own way :).  Out of curiousity, why would that have been more offensive?



BarensMom

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2645
Re: Who buys lunch?
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2014, 01:46:42 PM »
They called and invited your father out to lunch - they should have paid.  I think they acted under false pretenses.

Edited to add:  In my opinion, they took advantage of your father by not being open with him about who was going to foot the bill. 

camlan

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8654
Re: Who buys lunch?
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2014, 01:53:31 PM »
It sounds like Aunt invited your father out to lunch, so I'd expect her to pay.

If I'd received an invitation like that, at the most, I'd expect to pay for myself. I certainly wouldn't be expecting to pay for everyone.

That said, I would have no problem in an arrangement where people took turns paying the bill, as long as the issue had been discussed and agreed upon by all parties concerned.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


lkdrymom

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1036
Re: Who buys lunch?
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2014, 01:56:39 PM »
Since the past practice is for one person to pick up the bill, suggesting going dutch would probably come off looking 'cheap'.

The problem with laying it on the visiting relatives to pay is the fact that my father would never call to invite them up, they normally call him to see if he is available for a visit.  He wants them to visit but it would never occur to him to call them and invite them, he waits for them to call and suggest a visit.  So in that case they would always be stuck paying since they initiated the visit.

It just turned into a very uncomfortable situation where he assumed they were paying and they assumed he was.

lkdrymom

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1036
Re: Who buys lunch?
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2014, 01:59:14 PM »
Another thing to consider, it may not be the same people visiting each time.  Aunt with son1 or maybe aunt with son2 or aunt with her friend. Or boths sons may visit with one of their adult children. You would have to have an excell spread sheet to keep track of who's turn it is to pay.

GratefulMaria

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 569
Re: Who buys lunch?
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2014, 02:07:00 PM »
I would say that even if the relatives do initiate the visit, your father can still offer to cover lunch at the time they're making plans.  I just don't necessarily think it should be on him every time.

In your father's shoes I'd be miffed too.  Especially with cousin picking it up, looking at it, and handing it over like that; for some reason that felt off to me.  I would have also blurted out something in surprise if someone had handed me the check after reaching for it and examining it, and I don't think your father was offensive for doing exactly that.

Bottom line, it's probably best to decide who's paying when the plans are made.



lkdrymom

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1036
Re: Who buys lunch?
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2014, 02:08:28 PM »
In your father's shoes I'd be miffed too.  Especially with cousin picking it up, looking at it, and handing it over like that; for some reason that felt off to me.  I would have also blurted out something in surprise if someone had handed me the check after reaching for it and examining it, and I don't think your father was offensive for doing exactly that.

That is the part that bothers me too.

JenJay

  • I'm a nonconformist who doesn't conform to the prevailing standards of nonconformity.
  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6261
Re: Who buys lunch?
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2014, 02:09:06 PM »
I can understand Aunt or Cousin not being prepared to pay for your Dad (I never assume someone is paying for me just because they initiated the outting), but to expect him to pay for them? I think they crossed a line. There's a reason why you don't call someone and say "Son and I are in your area and thought it would be nice if you took us out to lunch. Shall we meet at the local deli at 1pm?"  ::)

To avoid a repeat I suppose the next time Aunt calls your dad and suggests a meal, if he doesn't feel it's his turn to pay, he should say "Sorry but that's not in the budget right now." They can offer to pay or suggest a visit at another time.

Sharnita

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 21548
Re: Who buys lunch?
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2014, 02:22:19 PM »
It doesn't sound like they really even invite him though. It almost sounds like they announce he will attend. If they called and asked if he was free, giving him the option of cooking for them or going out trading off or being treated by him might seem reasonable. However,  it sounds like they claim all control. With all control comes all responsibility.

doodlemor

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2237
Re: Who buys lunch?
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2014, 02:24:08 PM »
I can understand Aunt or Cousin not being prepared to pay for your Dad (I never assume someone is paying for me just because they initiated the outting), but to expect him to pay for them? I think they crossed a line. There's a reason why you don't call someone and say "Son and I are in your area and thought it would be nice if you took us out to lunch. Shall we meet at the local deli at 1pm?"  ::)

To avoid a repeat I suppose the next time Aunt calls your dad and suggests a meal, if he doesn't feel it's his turn to pay, he should say "Sorry but that's not in the budget right now." They can offer to pay or suggest a visit at another time.

These are wise words, especially the bolded.

For cousin to peruse the bill and then hand it to your dad sounds rather off to me, too.

Is it possible that your aunt has been buying a lot of lunches for your dad, and he forgot that it was his turn?  I go out with a friend every month, and sometimes we have to think twice about whose turn it is to pay.

lkdrymom

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1036
Re: Who buys lunch?
« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2014, 02:29:37 PM »

Is it possible that your aunt has been buying a lot of lunches for your dad, and he forgot that it was his turn?  I go out with a friend every month, and sometimes we have to think twice about whose turn it is to pay.

I don't think this is the case. Like I had said before, it is not the same visitors each time so maybe last time it was aunt's other son who visited and may be my father paid so he thought they were paying this time. My cousin could have figured the last time HE was there visiting his mother paid so it was my father's turn.  It could get too complicated to keep track of.

Dindrane

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 15407
Re: Who buys lunch?
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2014, 02:31:02 PM »
Reaching for the check in a group situation that doesn't have separate ones is pretty much a universal signal that the check-reacher intends to pay. I think that's what makes this situation so weird, and what makes your dad's initial comment totally fine.

In general, I think that if your aunt always initiates visits to your dad, the person who pays for lunch should be whoever suggests it and/or picks the restaurant. There are ways your aunt could visit with your dad that don't involve eating out, so if she's the one to suggest they get lunch, she should be expecting to pay for it (since splitting the check isn't usual). If your dad prefer to see your aunt over a meal in a restaurant and suggests that, then he should be expecting to pay for it.

Or, even though it can be a little awkward, your father and your aunt should just discuss when they make the plans who will be paying.


Kiwichick

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1725
  • Is anyone else hungry now?
Re: Who buys lunch?
« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2014, 02:33:51 PM »
It sounds off to me too.  So what if his mother paid last time. 

They sound like my aunt and uncle, he's mum's baby brother.  The three of them would go out and uncle would buy a round, then mum, then uncle then mum and so on.  Aunt never bought a round, it took mum several outings to realise she was subsidising their drinking, instead of paying for one third of the drinks she was paying for half.

Outdoor Girl

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 14058
Re: Who buys lunch?
« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2014, 02:34:33 PM »
The person who picked up the check first should be the one to pay it.   ;)  So Cousin should have paid, in this case. 

If it is always Aunt and Cousin visiting, your Dad should, at minimum, pick up the check every third time.  But considering I can't remember what I had for breakfast yesterday, my chances of remembering who paid last time are slim to none so unless your Dad has a stellar memory, he's probably in the same boat.  The fact that Aunt is doing the travelling could factor in there, too.

My cousin and his wife would call my parents and say, 'We'd like to come visit you.  These three dates work for us; which one would would work best for you?'  Mom loved that they did that and now that she's gone, they still do this with my Dad.  It works for them.  They always took Mom and Dad out for a meal and the rest, they'd eat at home.  They were quite impressed when they visited my Dad after Mom died and he put on a nice dinner.  They'd expected to go out for dinner all the nights they were there.
I have CDO.  It is like OCD but with the letters in alphabetical order, as they should be.
Ontario