Author Topic: Who buys lunch?  (Read 5238 times)

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TurtleDove

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Re: Who buys lunch?
« Reply #15 on: February 09, 2014, 03:00:11 PM »
I think this was a. Dry awkward situation, but since no one is hurting for money and presumably these people like each, I see this as a "awkward...moving on" thing. If I were the dad, I would just chuckle and be the bigger person - expect to pay for everyone and be pleasantly surprised if someone else offers. If he doesn't want to do this, and this really bothers him, I would skip going out with these people.

SoCalVal

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Re: Who buys lunch?
« Reply #16 on: February 09, 2014, 03:14:03 PM »
Since who was paying wasn't determined in advance, everyone should've paid for themselves -- definitely, no one should've been picking up the check and handing it to another person and insisting that person pay for everyone.  I think your dad's best option would've been to figure out what he owed for himself, told Aunt and Cousin then handed the check back to Cousin to figure out what they owed.  At 55 years old, Cousin's option was either to pay the check himself, figure it out for his own meal or pay for him and his mother -- not to order another person to pay, especially since they announced they were coming for a visit and were going out to lunch.  For future visits, your dad needs to address this ahead of time (too bad he couldn't state, "Since Aunt and I paid the last two times, Cousin will cover lunch for this visit").



Fleur

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Re: Who buys lunch?
« Reply #17 on: February 09, 2014, 03:24:12 PM »


I think your cousin was very rude. I don't at all blame your dad for being miffed. Your cousin essentially invited himself to lunch on your father's dime. Not cool.

TootsNYC

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Re: Who buys lunch?
« Reply #18 on: February 09, 2014, 03:27:32 PM »
I wonder how many times your dad has expected his sister to pay for lunch when they get together. If it's to the point where the cousin is pointedly saying, "Mom bought last time, you ante up this time," then maybe your dad has been taking advantage.

Sure, Aunt is the one suggesting the get-together, but I think most people expect restaurant meals to be dutch--most of the time, anyway.

And if your elderly father never travels to see his sister, but she is the one who always does the traveling, then he shouldn't be expecting her to be treating him all the time. It's not like it's a special occasion.

At the *very* least, I think your dad should have been saying, "How much is my share?" instead of assuming someone else would buy his lunch. Because, as I said, I think that unless a specific invitation has been issued as a treat, the default for restaurant meals is "everybody pays their own."


I don't agree that "reaching for the check" means "I intend to pay." I think someone has to pick up the check, and that being the one to do that is not a commitment to foot the bill for the entire party.


JoieGirl7

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Re: Who buys lunch?
« Reply #19 on: February 09, 2014, 03:30:19 PM »
I agree with several other posters who have pointed out that it was wrong for the cousin to look at the check and then hand it to your father.

That was rude.  You can hand me a bill for me, but not for the entire table.

My husband and I eat out about twice a month with my uncle and he always picks up the bill-- because I let him.  I got sick of the song and dance around who was going to pay it.  I will gladly pay for dinner but I'd rather not have to fight to do it.

We reciprocate with home cooked meals and leftovers to take home.

« Last Edit: February 09, 2014, 03:32:09 PM by Audrey Quest »

SoCalVal

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Re: Who buys lunch?
« Reply #20 on: February 09, 2014, 03:45:59 PM »
I don't agree that "reaching for the check" means "I intend to pay." I think someone has to pick up the check, and that being the one to do that is not a commitment to foot the bill for the entire party.

Pod.  When someone has tried this one me, I think I've either given them a look or said "Yeah, nice try."  I think when the person says what he/she is covering is when the person is indicating his/her intent.  This reminds me that DH does this all the time when we've been out with certain friends or family of his (the ones who are old enough to be our parents and have a lot more money than we do), and I've assume that it's been prearranged by them who's paying.  I need to follow up that this is truly the case because I'd hate to think they've been somewhat goaded into paying all this time.



SPuck

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Re: Who buys lunch?
« Reply #21 on: February 09, 2014, 04:28:50 PM »
In the future your father should probably just ask for separate checks. It's not rude, and situations like this can be avoided in advance because everyone is paying for themselves. There is no need to keep track of who owes what, and if someone is a bad tipper that reflects on them, not the whole table.

YummyMummy66

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Re: Who buys lunch?
« Reply #22 on: February 09, 2014, 05:36:48 PM »
Your dad was told that Aunt and son would be coming up for a visit and told that they were going to lunch. 

In my mind, they invited dad to lunch and that is why your dad was surprised that he would be buying.  He was invited.

If your relatives are offended, that is on them. 

For the future, I would advise dad that first of all, no one should be able to tell him to do anything, but if he is so inclined, that maybe they should decide who pays for the lunch before going, or at the table when the waitress arrives, maybe ask, so how should we do this? One check and whose turn is it to buy or separate checks?

It might alleviate some of the confusion if everyone knows ahead of time who is to buy.

Or the next time Aunt and son come up, if I was dad, I would be handing cousin the check and say, I bought last time, your mom bought before that, your turn.

NyaChan

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Re: Who buys lunch?
« Reply #23 on: February 09, 2014, 05:40:11 PM »
I think Cousin was rude, to a lesser extent your Dad's wording was a bit rude but I absolve him because I would have been too taken aback to respond in a particularly tactful way as well.

Cousin should not have essentially demanded that your Dad pay for lunch, you Dad would have been better to ask if they were splitting the check rather than asking if they weren't going to pay.

With that sort of invitation, I would have thought that we would split the check or that the Aunt would pay.  If she had paid the last time, I might have thought it would be polite for me to pick up the check.  None of that changes that Cousin was rude for asking for what wasn't freely given.

I'mnotinsane

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Re: Who buys lunch?
« Reply #24 on: February 09, 2014, 05:43:54 PM »
Does cousin ever buy lunch?

katycoo

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Re: Who buys lunch?
« Reply #25 on: February 09, 2014, 06:01:10 PM »
Well, in my culture, unless it was expressly stated otherwise, it would be assumed that each person was paying their own way.

But I can't see how it would ever be polite to instigate plans and then expect the other person to pay for it all.

TootsNYC

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Re: Who buys lunch?
« Reply #26 on: February 09, 2014, 06:17:22 PM »
Does cousin ever buy lunch?

Does *Dad* ever buy lunch? That's what the opening post left me wondering--because cousin certainly seemed to think his mother had done her fair share, but Dad hadn't.
  I'd love to hear if the OP knows anything about long-term trends in terms of "picking up the bill." (She's already said that the aunt bears all the weight when it comes to putting forth the energy to get together.)

Especially if Dad never goes to visit them -and- never calls to invite them, but the onus of (1) arranging a visit, (2) traveling for the visit, (3) paying for the meal is nearly always on them, then I think Cousin was only a little rude; he should have said, "Why don't you pick this one up, Uncle, since Mom has bought the last few lunches, and we have the added burden of being the only ones to travel in order for us to get together."

lkdrymom

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Re: Who buys lunch?
« Reply #27 on: February 09, 2014, 06:23:42 PM »
When the relatives drive up for a visit, it is just assumed that everyone is going to lunch so it is not like my aunt (my father's brother's widow) is actually 'inviting' him out. My aunt has met him with one of her friends or either one of her sons, so not the same people every time. Like I said before, it is completely possible that the last time my aunt visited it was with a different son and my father paid so he thought they would pay this time.....and my cousin could have remembered that the last time he visited his mother paid.  And there are times just both my cousins come to visit him.  I am usually not invited to these lunches (I posted a thread on that years ago) so I can't say for sure how often cousin pays.

When I was working my father and I went to lunch every few weeks and would alternate paying. But that is easy to keep track of since it was just the two of us. Now I am not working so I come to his town once every other week and take him grocery shopping and he buys lunch as a thank you. Last week I actually bought lunch because he was fretting so much about this.

My father is just worried he has offended cousin. I bet anything that he will insist on paying for all future lunches. Lately he seems to worry that he offends people. Last time he was speaking to his niece his phone died and he was worried sick that she thought he hung up on her.

sammycat

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Re: Who buys lunch?
« Reply #28 on: February 09, 2014, 06:27:23 PM »
Well, in my culture, unless it was expressly stated otherwise, it would be assumed that each person was paying their own way.

But I can't see how it would ever be polite to instigate plans and then expect the other person to pay for it all.

POD! I think katycoo and I are in the same country, and I concur that people paying their own way here is the norm.

If I drove over to my cousin's house 2 hours away, I wouldn't expect her to pay for me simply because I drove all that way. Nor would I expect to pay for her just because I initiated the contact. And I'd be really put out if she just handed me the bill and expected me to pay it all! I'd just pay my share and then hand it back to her so she could pay her portion.

All that said, does the dad ever pay? I can see the aunt or cousin being miffed if that's the situation, but in that case I'd expect them to be mature and actually discuss it with the dad at some point (not just as the bill arrives), or they can choose to not visit. What would've happened if dad hadn't had enough funds on him to pay for everyone? If dad does pay sometimes, then cousin was way out of line. Is he someone who often tries to take advantage of others?

lkdrymom

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Re: Who buys lunch?
« Reply #29 on: February 09, 2014, 06:32:54 PM »
Especially if Dad never goes to visit them -and- never calls to invite them, but the onus of (1) arranging a visit, (2) traveling for the visit, (3) paying for the meal is nearly always on them, then I think Cousin was only a little rude; he should have said, "Why don't you pick this one up, Uncle, since Mom has bought the last few lunches, and we have the added burden of being the only ones to travel in order for us to get together."

He doesn't visit them because it is a 50 mile drive one way and he is 86 years old.  He also just gave up his car.  He doesn't invite them up because he knows the work would be on them so he doesn't want to 'bother' them asking for a visit. He waits for them to suggest a visit.  He does pick up the tab.

Visit one  Aunt and son Spence visit, Aunt pays
Visit two Aunt and son Bob visit, Dad pays
Visit three Aunt and son Spence visit and Dad assumes it is their turn to pay and Spence thinks dad should pay since aunt paid last time he was there.