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To not want to just divide the bill ...

(227 Posts)
GenerallyIndecisive Sat 02-Feb-13 16:43:20

Me and my DH had lunch today with some new friends. We have wanted to meet new people so have been making an effort to go to things and talk to new people so we were pleased when a couple we had been chatting to on and off for a few months suggested lunch. They picked quite a pricey pub but we had seen they did a few nice light bites and were happy to go there.

It was a nice lunch and we all got on really well but when the bill came the other couple just said to the waitress oh split the bill and handed over their card... Their food / drink was about £20 more though so we ended up paying £10 extra.

Money is really tight for us at present as I only get Maternity Allowance (was made redundant at 20 weeks pregnant and had only been there 1 year 11 months so no redundancy either).

My DH thinks I am being unreasonable to feel a bit upset and says that most people would just split the bill without giving it a second thought.

Am I being unreasonable?

CloudsAndTrees Sat 02-Feb-13 21:08:55

I'm not rich, or anywhere even close to being rich, and I have only ever experienced one couple who have wanted to have separate bills. I have quite a lot of meals with people who are friends or acquaintances through my voluntary job, and the default is always to spilt the bill, whether we are a group of four or thirty, or any number in between.

badtemperedaldbitch Sat 02-Feb-13 21:10:48

There are loads of people on here who would just split.

LRDtheFeministDragon Sat 02-Feb-13 21:10:53

Ok, I maybe shouldn't have said 'rich' - 'able to subsidize other people's meals because you have spare cash', maybe?

I know people on pretty small incomes and we are all pretty aware that it's rude to expect others to pay for you. But I do see we could easily get to a point where we didn't exactly feel 'rich', but we were more able to subsidize other people.

I apologize for the wording.

I do feel the OP still has a good point, though.

Chottie Sat 02-Feb-13 21:12:24

I feel for you too. I've gone out with friends who drink and eat several courses and ended up paying around £17.00 when my own meal with tip included comes to about a tenner. It's annoying, don't people notice they are being subbed? I'm interested to hear how others deal with it.

I'm thinking about leaving before the end of the next meal and leaving a tenner with someone to pay my share ???

LRDtheFeministDragon Sat 02-Feb-13 21:12:44

bad - I saw. I said, I don't know them and think it is unusual.

I tend to drop people who want a free ride. It's not worth it IMO.

If the people the OP knows are nice, they will sooner or later realize that she is not so well off, and they will either go to cheaper places to eat, or will stop expecting her to subsidize their meals. If they don't realize, IMO they are not worth it.

badtemperedaldbitch Sat 02-Feb-13 21:16:20

I'm not rich.....or rude....there is an expectation that it's going to be split unless someone says otherwise. If you are worried about the cost then you would say you want to come to swankyposh restaurant? Yesbut we're on a budget/couldn't we go to mediumpriced/cheapo restaurant instead.

If these are new friends you have an obligation to be straight

LRDtheFeministDragon Sat 02-Feb-13 21:19:44

Fair enough. I'm sorry, I'm just saying I've never come across that expectation. No one I know would assume someone else would subsidize their meal, especially if that person might possibly be less well off than them.

IMO it is a bit rude, isn't it, when you don't know someone, to assume they're so well off they can afford to pay extra for you to have a nice meal? confused

I can understand you might be different from me and might expect people to split the bill, but surely if your companions had options that were substantially cheaper, you would notice? If it were the first time you'd gone out with them?

Dominodonkey Sat 02-Feb-13 21:25:18

so those of you who are saying you always split the bill.

Are you really saying that even if you had clearly had a massively more expensive meal than the other people you were with you would still expect it to be split equally?

badtemperedaldbitch Sat 02-Feb-13 21:26:00

I really honestly truly wouldn't notice. But then I think it's rude to try and pass yourself off as something you're not.

I expect people to be straight with me and not agree to something and then bitch about it behind my back.

She should have said...'but I only had soup'

GenerallyIndecisive Sat 02-Feb-13 21:28:33

For what it is worth we did just pay the split bill without saying anything. Their share was £20 more not £10 as somebody said (we paid an extra £10).

I was the one who said to my DH afterwards I felt it was a bit off, he was the one who said I was unreasonable as it was common just to split and less usual to pay individually like we do with other friends we eat out with (and know very well). Actually we tend to just round up and do it roughly rather than take it down to the exact pound.

Anyway they had no idea I raised an internal eyebrow and we've already arranged to get together again in a couple of weeks time for a coffee (rather than meal as should save a few pennies).

I'm just upset as that is quite a bit to me at the moment and I would much rather spend any spare money I had on my DC.

LRDtheFeministDragon Sat 02-Feb-13 21:28:39

Well, sure, but if you don't notice, maybe you should?

Surely you would notice someone else was paying for your meal.

If you really don't notice, you need to realize you are very well off and perhaps most people you meet will be less well off and will not be able to subsidize you.

Dominodonkey Sat 02-Feb-13 21:29:37

"I really honestly truly wouldn't notice." I don't doubt it but doesn't that make you terribly selfish that you basically don't give a toss that you are being subsidised.

Thewhingingdefective Sat 02-Feb-13 21:32:40


I resent having to pay for everyone's booze when I don't drink alcohol.

GenerallyIndecisive Sat 02-Feb-13 21:34:36

I'm not sure it is trying to pass yourself off as something you're not based on pub choice - it wasn't fine dining and they had a light bites menu which was okay for lunch! Before I was made redundant I'd have probably not thought twice about ordering from the main menu but our circumstances have dramatically changed, but I'm still the same person.

badtemperedaldbitch Sat 02-Feb-13 21:34:54

Lrd why should I notice?

Why is it my responsibility to check your purse before we go out to see how your finances are?

Suppose we are friends irl, I would know how you were fixed and if I were a new friend I would expect that there would have been some sharing get of basic information. Eg. If you invited me to Go to posh restaurant for 5 course meal, I would know that that is out of my league and would suggest the local carvery at, unchanged instead.

CloudsAndTrees Sat 02-Feb-13 21:35:07

If I had a massively more expensive meal than others at the table (which is very unlikely to happen in my case incidentally) then I would offer to chip in extra or to pay the tip. But if it is refused, I wouldn't push it at all. Not because I'd be trying to get a free couple of glasses of wine or whatever, but because I just think that too much faffing with the bill at the end of a meal is distasteful and embarrassing.

My DH doesn't drink, and both of us prefer uncomplicated food so tend to go for cheaper options on the menu because that's what we prefer. If we have pudding we share, and if we have starter it tends to be one that can be shared as well, whereas people we eat with often order starters or desserts or both when we have neither. We would still rather spilt the bill equally, and we would rather have to put in a few extra pounds than have people avoid choosing what they want.

LRDtheFeministDragon Sat 02-Feb-13 21:35:58

bad - but it's not my finances, or the OP's.

If you expect a subsidized meal, you should be aware that you are being subsidized, surely?

HoratiaWinwood Sat 02-Feb-13 21:36:39

If you normally go out with people who eat the same sort of food as you and drink the same amount as you or go to all-you-can-eat buffets with the first drink included, plus unlimited tap water, which is what we always did as students, then you would obviously split the bill, and get used to doing so.

It depends I think on what you think you're paying for. If you think you're paying for the experience of being in a restaurant, including the food and drink, then you probably don't pay too much attention to the precise price of anything you or anyone else is ordering, and think you're paying your equal share of the overall experience. But if you think you're paying for your food and drink and the atmosphere is what you bring with you, then you'd be more interested in precisely what you had consumed and whether you had paid over the odds for it.

I don't mean that last paragraph unkindly, by the way. I think it's philosophically different.

badtemperedaldbitch Sat 02-Feb-13 21:37:09

Terribly selfish? Bloody bell...I'm too busy chatting and paying attention go the person than the bloody price list!

LadyKinbote Sat 02-Feb-13 21:38:05

YANBU. A normal person would pick up on the discrepancy between your orders and wouldn't expect you to pay half. They sound selfish and lacking in empathy to me.

LRDtheFeministDragon Sat 02-Feb-13 21:38:39

Obviously not really 'paying attention', though - more like 'hoping they will pay'.

I do think you are either fibbing or being deliberately nasty, I find it hard to believe anyone who really go out with someone they didn't know well and expect to order the most expensive meal and have it subsidized by someone else.

badtemperedaldbitch Sat 02-Feb-13 21:40:30

Wow! You really didn't read my post did you?

PickledInAPearTree Sat 02-Feb-13 21:41:41

I normally split the bill, but if there was a person not drinking or say if someone had a very small meal and I'd had a steak I would reference that and expect them to pay less.

Dominodonkey Sat 02-Feb-13 21:41:56


Obviously if the discrepancy is only a pound or so then you couldn't be expected to notice but in the OP's case the difference in spend was nearly one third of the bill.

badtemperedaldbitch Sat 02-Feb-13 21:42:09

Lrd are you looking for an argument tonight?

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