Posted 03 May 2002 - 02:22 PM
Firstly, it is Bux with whom you should take issue with the idea of "circles" as I was responding to the term as he used it in his post. I run in no circles unless you count the crop circles near the airport... and the only 50s here are on the damned thermometer which can't break 55 for love or money today.
Ok, thinking cap on (I knew there'd be a test):
1. No it hasn't occurred to us to split the bill equally - we do what works for us. Why change that?
2. Yes, the cost results would definitely be different - unlike us, our friends are enthusiastic drinkers and lavish wine buyers. As more than half of most of our group dinner check consists of booze, hubby and I would undoubtedly be paying for much more than the 1 glass of wine I limit myself to. I would not want our friend who is living on student loans to have to shell out anything for the dinner of our seven-figure earner, anyway.
3. No, in fact we have never discussed it - participating in this thread has made me notice that. It naturally evolved, I suppose, and everyone seems happy with the arrangement.
4. If we tried it differently and I paid significantly more than I would have otherwise (say 50% more), I might feel mildly gypped but I wouldn't fret about remedies. Would I complain about an extra $5 or $10? Of course not. If I came out ahead and felt I had underpaid, I would probably make up the difference with an addition to the tip.
5. What does this custom say about my relationship with my friends? That we like our system. That it works for us. That we all pull our own weight, I guess. Gosh, it seems odd to be defending that when the original argument in this thread was about folks who don't pull their own weight.
6. Would I feel differently about them if we were to change our routine? Absolutely not - we are friends first and foremost. I would feel neither closer to nor distant from them because the money's not the point. Friendships are not transactional. As I described in another post in this thread, friends worth keeping are more than just "non-reciprocating dinner guests" or "middle-splitting fellow restaurant patrons."
7. Admitted? This isn't Diners Anonymous I was just offering my 2 cents (Canadian cents, so about 1.2 cents US) about a method that works for us and our friends so successfully that it eliminates thorny issues of resentment and perceived entitlement from getting in the way of spending enjoyable time together. Getting 5 couples out for dinner on the same night requires the effort of planning a lunar landing - we value our nights out. It would be a shame to go home miffed about money.
I absolutely agree with Margaret Pilgrim (well said!) - friends are either "liked because" or "loved in spite of". I would add that sometimes they're just plain liked and it is rewarding to avoid the possibility of messing that up with small matters.
Posted 03 May 2002 - 03:33 PM
"Gosh, it seems odd to be defending that when the original argument in this thread was about folks who don't pull their own weight.
Well that all depends on how you define pulling your weight doesn't it? I would define pulling one's weight as offering to split the check equally. And when you say this,
"so successfully that it eliminates thorny issues of resentment "
In my experience people who try and calculate a check to the level you are describing cause resentment.
Maybe everything in Vancouver is backwards?
Bux-So far despite offering to pay the extra charge caused by a supplement on numerous occassions not a single person we ever dined with accepted my offer. In fact, I stopped offering because of it. But I have to add to this that quite often I will offer to buy the wine because I see a bottle on the list that is out of everyone elses price range (either because they don't have it or they don't have a tradition of drinking good wine) and I would say that about 80% of the people accept, and the other 20% insist on paying their share no matter what it is.
Posted 03 May 2002 - 04:11 PM
isn't the easiest way to solve the booze problem to have a seperate check for booze so those who boozed it up can pay for it?
Good point. When we go out with our friends who are not wine drinkers, we always ask for the check to be split, and then for the wine to be added to our tab. Works fine.
Posted 03 May 2002 - 04:15 PM
Maybe I have not explained myself clearly- our accountant pal does not give us minutely detailed and itemized invoices - there's a lot of rounding off and approximating (who knows exactly how many glasses of wine one has had with partial refills? Life's too short -total accuracy is not important here.) We don't nitpick about it.
It's a shame that in your experience you have seen resentment caused by people paying for their own meals - I would be delighted to sit down with you over a good meal and then let you pay for ALL of it, just to be EXTRA nice. I think your experience is not the same as mine. I think you are thinking that we are micromanagers and details people who have a guy with a receipt-spitting adding machine telling us down to the farthing what we owe (hey, I wouldn't want to eat with folks like that either!) - not at all. We just have a designated adding guy who mucks about with the bill and does his best to save us the tedium of the reckoning. He's totting up dinner with friends, not doing our taxes!
Call us backward if you like, but it works for us. And that's my final answer. You're welcome to join us someday if you like - we'll be sure to divide the bill by 11 to honor our guest.
EDIT: My apologies to jaybee for drifting off topic!
Posted 03 May 2002 - 04:45 PM
To me, inviting someone to visit your house, saving him or her the expense of a hotel and restaurants, doing for them the food shopping, cooking, serving, and cleaning up, only to have the person behave as if you are obliged to wait on him or her hand and foot usually gets my blood boiling more than just about anything upsetting that can happen at a restaurant. Of course, the two are related: One is dealing with ingrates in both cases. Does anyone then have any stories about selfish dinner guests and/or houseguests and how you might, or actually have, handle such people? Even worse, has anyone ever kicked a guest out onto the street?
Posted 04 May 2002 - 07:58 AM
cookbooklady-- i can see where you are coming from here, especially if one in the regular group is really poor and one is really rich --whatever these terms may mean to you, or you, or you...
In my experience people who try and calculate a check to the level you are describing cause resentment.
but i am still more in agreement here with bux & steve--simply because i too belong to groups of regularly dining friends and we ALWAYS split the bill equally, period, regardless of who we are. it's just what we do. cookbooklady, i agree that your system works for you guys fine so please don't feel you need to defend it.
but i quote steve here because he is so dang-gum right. the one amongst us who ALWAYS makes the mewling puking noises tends to be across-the-board tight and often not only embrassingly so but OFFENSIVELY so--take the time she joined us as a weekend guest at the home of other friends and, when we bought toilet paper and laundry soap, having used a good bit of said hosts', she looked at us and sneered, Well, I thought about doing that, but then decided not to.
yes, we do have to like our friends because and in spite of. this thread is definately a vent, and maybe some of us recognize ourselves or certain tendencies here, and if that's the case, then we can say, Gee, maybe people think I'm a BUTTHOLE when I do such-and-such--
is so then this thread may serve a concurrent edifying purpose
but cheapness and laziness among friends, in whatever context, sucks, period. let's get it off our chests so we don't KILL them.
Posted 04 May 2002 - 09:21 AM
"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.
"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."
Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM
Posted 04 May 2002 - 01:02 PM
Some of those people, are often insecure and have to prove to themselves that other people need them or want them as friends, in spite of their flaws. Sometimes they are just to high maintenance, however. On the other hand, no one's perfect and we tend to socialize with those who enrich our lives in one way or another.
Gee, maybe people think I'm a BUTTHOLE when I do such-and-such--
Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.
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Posted 06 May 2002 - 07:16 PM
Jaybee – It is common to identify the basic principles of friendship as a reciprocal affection between people, a reciprocal willing of the good or well wishing between people and a shared awareness of the good will of each other. However, friendship could be segregated into two categories: friendships of pleasure and utility, and friendships of virtue.
In friendships of pleasure and utility, the person wishes another well but does so because of self-interest, because the other person gives one pleasure or is useful. By contrast, in friendships of virtue, a person wishes another well for the other person’s sake. Friendships of virtue are altruistic in character.
It seems that your relationship was more of a friendship of shared pleasure because pleasure is a non-negotiable quality. One does not bargain to have one's friend be more pleasant. If one is not pleasant, the friendship tends to end on its own. But as long as it exists, each is satisfied.
Based on your description, it seems that your friends did not single you out in avoiding reciprocation. They have chosen a certain life style that does not include an effort of hosting guests. If, at some point, you realized that this attitude is not acceptable for you to receive a full satisfaction and achieve happiness in your relationship, it is only natural that your friendship would end.
Personally, I try to be very careful in using the word ‘friend’. To me, a real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out, nothing else matters.
Posted 06 May 2002 - 07:38 PM
lxt: Personally, I try to be very careful in using the word ‘friend’. To me, a real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out, nothing else matters.
Very profound analysis, lxt.