Hi all, I've enjoyed reading the forum for some time - I posted on the old one, albeit very shortly and some time ago, so you probably won't remember me anyway.
I have a problem which I'd love your opinions on - it's come to annoy me a great deal!
I have a friend - let's call her Jane. We live just one block apart, and met coincidentally at another function, and hit it off. She's great fun, and is a very friendly person who enjoys many of the same activities that I do. We discovered that we live so close, and since then we've met up about once a month for a walk, a movie or something.
The problem is, she is very, very socially inept. She's 31, but she seems much younger in person because she acts so immature about a lot of things. I am 25, and I feel like I have ten years on her, experience-wise. She doesn't know how to do her taxes, asks me about advice on her laundry, her love life (or lack thereof - she's never dated or kissed anyone) and everything in between. This I don't mind so much.
What I mind is that I always, with no exception, do the hosting when we do things together.
Now, I've been to her apartment exactly once - I stopped by with a birthday gift (and had called ahead to ask if she was home and whether it was ok), and I swear, she is not just messy - she lives in a squalor. I can't even begin to describe how dirty and messy her place was!
Okay, fine, so we do stuff at my place instead. She's never invited me over, before or since (and it's not like I was staring in horror - I really tried not to let my emotions show), and it seems to be a quiet understanding that when we plan things, it's at my place.
I'm married, and all three of us are students. So none of us have much money - but of course, it's more expensive in some respects to live as a single than as a couple.
What bothers me is that she has not once offered to cook, bring groceries, pay for movie rentals etc. It seems like she just accepts that I always do the hosting. She never brings a hostess gift - which I wouldn't expect for such informal "dates", but considering we've payed for and cooked her dinner at least 20 times, and she hasn't treates us once... last week, we went to Blockbuster to rent a movie. We selected one, she took it from the shelf, so I thought 'hey, nice, she's paying' - except when we got to the counter, she just handed it to me. And I paid. I couldn't think of an etiquettely (heh, sp?) way to suggest she paid it.
I also can't think of a way to suggest that she brings something over just once in a while. Granted, it's not like I serve prime rib and a 5 course meal, but an extra person is still an expense - and she has a healthy appetite, and eats literally more than hubby and I put together.
She's never even offered to help with the dishes - not that I'd accept it, I think, because her definition of hygiene is different from mine - but still, it'd be nice with the offer!
She once brought over coffee - hubby and I are both tea drinkers and don't drink coffee, and she knows this. She announced that she'd brought the coffee for herself, 'because I felt like it'. She drinks tea as well as coffee. Fair enough - I was just brought up with not to bring something and not share.
I once suggested she bring some snacks of her liking for a movie watching - I told her I'd bought some rice crackers and some fruit, but if she had other ideas, she could bring some. So she brought cookies - which she didn't share. (She kept the bag in her lap all through the movie, and didn't pass it around.)
Meh, there's more to it, but I think this post is long enough as it is! I don't want to end the friendship over something so "trivial" as who pays for food - but hubby is really getting on my case about it (she's "my" friend more than a mutual friend). When I say she is socially inept, I don't mean just because of the above - there are many ways in which she is very immature and clueless about social situations. I think this is spurred by ignorance, not malice - which actually makes it harder.
Any suggestions? Thanks in advance for the help - you all give great advice!Edited because I can't type!