DH & I went out to dinner last Saturday with a couple we have known for years, but have never dined with before. DH got 2 free tickets to a concert which I didn't want to see. He asked the husband if he was interested. Husband said "Yes, & wife would like to go, too." DH called & purchased another ticket for an adjacent seat. Husband suggested to DH that we all have dinner together at a restaurant across the street from the theater. I can drop DH off & they will drive him home. No mention of money.
We get there a little late & they have already ordered an appetizer sampler plate & were enjoying their cocktails. When the appetizer comes, they offer to share with us. They tell us the entree they are going to order & suggest we all share. I order a shrimp dinner salad & DH orders a different entree. I order a cocktail. DH doesn't drink alcohol, so he just drinks ice water. When we place the dinner orders, Husband orders another glass of wine. Everyone enjoys a taste of everything. Together we share appetizers, salad, and two dinner entrees with starch & veggies. Still no mention of how we are going to split the bill.
Waiter drops off the bill. Husband picks it up & suggests we split it 60-40 with them paying 60% since, and I quote, "I had 2 drinks & DH doesn't drink at all." After some discussion where both couples try to pay the main portion of the bill, decide who will use the credit card & who has cash, etc., Husband suggests that they pay for dinner since DH is providing the tickets. DH protests that he's only paying for ONE ticket & we compromise by letting DH pay the tip while they pay for the dinner.
They mentioned over dinner that their business (which they own & operate together) isn't consistent. Sometimes they do very well and can afford luxuries like buying a table at the concert for them & their friends/family and other times they work for the promoter in exchange for seeing the concert for free. I can see that we will enjoy their company for many years to come. When one of us is flush & the other is strapped, one can treat, knowing that the other will treat some other time. When we're both strapped, we'll eat potluck at someone's house & listen to CDs. Yep, these will be friends through thick & thin.