Saturday, March 27, 2010

Splitting Hairs over Split Checks!

One of my pet peeves is split checks. Mind you, I don't mind splitting checks if it's understood before everyone orders. However, I cannot STAND for someone to order way more than everyone else and then to ask for the bill to be split equally so that everyone else pays for his indulgences. It's fine if it's understood in advance so that everyone orders accordingly, but it is not right to stick your friends with your part of the bill. If I want to pay for a bottle of wine that costs xyz, I'll order it. However, I don't want to pay for a bottle that is that expensive if YOU order it and then decide to share. In my mind, you ordered the bottle and are being generous to share. It is always shocking to see someone take over the ordering at the table only to find that they are not being generous but are sticking everyone else with part of their share. That is just wrong! What are your opinions?
On the other hand, I have no problem being invited to dinner with the understanding that everyone is going to pay their part. We do that a lot. There is a difference in saying, "We're going to dinner Sat night and would love it if you all can join us" versus "I'm taking some friends to dinner for my wife's birthday". When you say the latter, and assume the role of host, it is assumed that you are footing the bill for those you invited. You should not order bottles of wines and dessert and hors d'oeuvres, assuming the role of host, and then expect your guests to ante up the big ones. That is just wrong. What are your feelings on the matter? I hope I have communicated this well!

24 comments:

Love Being a Nonny said...

Oh girl, you are singing my song! Ditto Ditto Ditto!

Mrs. Bogarde said...

I am a huge fan of "Let's just split the bill x ways." That being said, it only works if everyone orders withing a few dollars of each other. One bad seed spoils it all. I ALWAYS chip in more if I order more. Luckily ours friends are very respectful of each other.

Henley on the Horn said...

Good for you, Nonny! Mrs. Bogarde, I totally agree. If people order similar things, splitting checks is easiest. However, it's not fair if people don't pay their share:)

AmyRLugo said...

I completely agree!

bevy said...

Operative phrase "if it is understood before everyone orders". I don't really care if the difference is a few dollars over or under what I consumed. But not the expensive wine example you gave!

I'm guessing you had a little "situation" recently that inspired this post?!?!?

kay said...

I couldn't agree with you more! This is a pet peeve of mine as well. I am constantly in this situation, We go out to dinner all the time, with new restaurants popping up all the time in NYC. If we go out with a couple that never pays equally. The next time they suggest going out I suggest lunch,or brunch. I find that to be,a little less expensive if I am going to pay more.

Travelbug Mom said...

Well....this USED to upset me too, BUT I'm a bit older than you and I"ve come to learn that IT ALL COMES OUT IN THE WASH....we TRULY believe that for all the times we paid $20 or even$40 more at a dinner out with friends, we have also benefited from other things unexpectedly.....REALLY...it all comes out in the WASH!

Seersucker Scrapper said...

I agree that you shouldn't invite people who are assuming you are hosting and then order like a Rockerfeller and expect them to pay for it. That is just rude!

2 Little Irish Boys said...

You are very clear and very dead on in your opinion!
I feel exactly the same way--it should be as you described it. Even if you are with another couple and the other couple has a couple more drinks--it always seems to work our with the meals, etc. However, the whole order to your hearts content and then expect others to pay---JUST WRONG!!

perfectly paisley said...

Well said! People are so rude, the must not realize they are doing it that or they are so absurd that they don't care.

Henley on the Horn said...

Travelbug, you're so right, $20 here or $40 there does all equal out over time. I guess I'm speaking more to the person who purposefully orders a $200 bottle of wine and then expects everyone to split the bottle, without having consulted with the other diners to see if this is amenable. Another situation would be where you've been invited to a party for someone's birthday, the host who invited you orders all of the food and drinks, and then without prior notice, you are expected to split the bill. This happened to my parents and everyone was caught by surprise. It was not a question of whether or not they could afford the food, it was the principle of the situation. This is hard to discuss in writing versus in person, so y'all are welcome to come over for a diet coke or glass of wine to discuss further:) Thanks, y'all!

Housewife Bliss said...

Always tricky, we generally agree before hand to split the bill x ways and then discuss what wine to get. But I do recall a time when I first moved to London and was making hardly any money, my friends were dripping in it and we went to this rather swanky place, I had a salad because that was all I could afford (in retrospect I should have met them after dinner--older and wiser now), the bill came and my salad and tap water set me back nearly a £100 and I was too proud to say anything so ate instant noodles at home for the rest of the month....but I digress. I agree with you, if someone goes beyond the 'norm' and splashes out, they should be mature enough to see the difference and put the money where their mouth is.

EntertainingMom said...

I would be livid if that happened to me... yes, $20 and $40 here and there no biggie -- in fact we usually end up paying the same as everyone else when we go out and I usually end up drinking and eating much less than everyone else... but if someone ordered a really expensive bottle(s) of wine under the guise that he is treating, then not do so -- well yeah, I would be livid!

sevenalstons said...

I completely agree with you. It is just plain rude to invite someone to dinner as your guest and then order up big and expect the bill to be split evenly. I don't even know what we would do ~ I guess what can you do other than be gracious and remember it for next time?
On a different note, we just returned from your wonderful city and had a great time. There is so much to do in Tampa and we enjoyed every minute of it (minus my wicked sunburn from the air show we attended ~ I put sunscreen on everyone but myself... oops!)

North of 25A said...

There are people who I just will not go out with because of this kind of thing (and family too). Thankfully, more often than not we have friends who we have to "argue" with over whose turn it is to pay - much better! One of the feelings I hate most is when I feel like I am taken advantage of.

Tickled Pink Talk said...

OOh, we don't have this problem so much any more, but I vividly remember going out a couple of times with someone who would order the lobster special while we were all eating burgers and then suggest we split the bill. ugh.
Luckily now we, like North of 25A, have to argue over whose turn it is to pay.
xoxo

Anonymous said...

Oh, girl, you are singing my song! I have one "friend" who always "orders up", meaning she always orders the most expensive item on the menu. I know what's coming - I will be subsidizing her meal. It really, really annoys me. At times I have asked for separate checks. But I do feel odd when I do. So now I always order up! I figure that way when we split the check it is more equal. I do not think it would ever equal out over time with this particular chick.
Dana

Jo said...

Sounds like you have unexpectedly *treated* a few individuals to dinner more than once.

I think I'm with everyone else on this one ~ as long as we are all within a few dollars, splitting is fine. However being invited out to celebrate an occasion and they being expected to share in the bill is not only wrong but just plain rude!

Jo

CRICKET said...

I guess I am lucky because it hasn;t really happened to me but when my father in law takes us out to dinner I never order a drink/cocktail because I know he doesn;t like to pay for them.

The 5 Bickies said...

I agree with you - I don't like to get stuck with an unfair split. Thankfully, it doesn't happen very often. It did happen a couple of times with a group of girlfriends out to dinner. They would order expensive/fancy cocktails, appetizer, dinner, and dessert to my glass of wine and dinner. I totally subsidized their dinner and remember specifically coming home and telling my husband that I wouldn't be joining them for dinner again. We now go out to breakfast!

Black Labs and Lilly said...

I can not STAND splitting checks unless it is discussed prior to ordering. I have had more then one instance of being out with a couple and when the check arrives having the husband say "just split it in 2", um, HELLO there are 2 of you and one of me! No way is that fair. I always end up voicing my concern and the evening takes an awkward turn. Needless to say I try and avoid getting together with them for dinner!

Jillian, Inc said...

I agree and have to say I don't have this issue with my current group of dining out friends...but I used to. And I am sure you are shocked that I just spoke up and said NO WAY...NOT PAYIN for people's indugences. ha!

pink green & southern said...

I HATE split checks. I am a firm believer that the server should be told ahead of time that everyone needs their own check unless it is a big group and everyone is sharing.

Karin Katherine said...

Who are you hanging out with? The biggest issue we have in our lives is our friends fighting with us over who is going to pay the ENTIRE bill!

I cannot relate to that at all. When having lunch with a girlfriend I frankly prefer to pay for lunch and treat us both because I hate the whole issue of who owes what. I like for me to pay one time and she pays the next time or something. Most of my girlfriends like to split bill if its just us and no husbands. Otherwise the husbands like to fight over who is paying the whole bill.

I don't really drink so I doubt they are griping at me about the bottle of wine but I frequently get dessert when most of them don't. Hopefully they aren't secretly cursing me out about that. I need my sugar!

Now you've got me worried.