Interesting topic. It's always bothered me that I have never been allowed to pay for a meal with my dad if it's just the two of us. With my mom, we usually took turns or split the bill, depending on our cash situations at the moment. But my dad insists on paying, every time. Just in the last few years, I've finally got him to let me leave the tip, at least. But I do always offer to pay. It just feels so lunky to sit there expecting him to grab the check even though I know he will.
I think he secretly likes that I offer, though. One of the nicest things I ever heard was that he was overheard bragging to one of his friends that I have never ever *borrowed money from him since I became an adult. Now you have to understand, my dad is one of those kinds of guys who can SHOW how loving he is, but was never much on verbal praise. And he has NEVER been one to brag on his kids. We knew he loved us and was proud of us by his gestures, but he's not the type to verbalize things.
*Not that there's anything wrong with borrowing money from parents- my brothers all have at some point, I know he was happy to help and they repaid him in full. I think he just gets a kick out of the fact that he raised me to be pretty self sufficient and it took! Not sure what the context of his "bragging" was since I wasn't actually there- maybe he was snarking on someone annoying who managed to raise Adult Age Leeches and was bragging about their possessions, but that doesn't sound like his style. Wish I'd have been a fly on the wall to know what the conversation really was.