Dining out with friends or loved ones is always a treat, whether it’s for the good food, the break from cooking it or just for the company.  That is —until the check comes.  Figuring out who will pay for the check can sometimes get complicated.  Chances are if you dine out with the same friend on a regular basis, you have developed a system that works: you either alternate paying or consistently ask for separate checks up front or, simply divide the bill equally.  But, when it comes to money, not everyone feels the same way!
We all have friends that, somehow, never end up paying — the ones who either leave early, conveniently go to the restroom or outside to take a phone call when the check comes or say the empty promise of “I don’t have any cash or a credit card on me and will get it next time…”.  We all have friends that are happy to pay ALL the time and we all have friends that want to itemize the bill and pay no more or no less than what it is they owe.  These are the friends who tend to focus solely on WHAT they are going to eat and drink and often seem to ask the most questions about what YOU are also going to eat and drink: “Are you going to have an appetizer?  If you are having a glass of wine should we get a bottle to share? Are you going to get the special? How hungry are you?” 
Friends who never pay are friends that I try not to go out with too often.  Let’s face it, no one wants to pay for someone else all the time.  The only exception to this is if your friend is strapped financially and you have established a precedence of paying … OR, it is your child and you, naturally, always pay! Friends who always offer to pay, for me, are a challenge because I always offer to pay and then it becomes a game of who can actually WIN to pay!  Tactics to win include an excuse to leave the table to have a covert meeting with the server, giving them your credit card and ensuring they will only return it after payment has been made, or being a super-fast and aggressive ‘bill-snatcher’.  This tactic only works best if you follow it up with a very stern look whilst tersely expressing that you are going to pay.  (I have been known to relinquish payment at the restaurant only to then, secretly hide cash in my friend’s purse for discovery at a later moment.)  And the friends’ who calculate and disperse the list of ordered items at the end of the meal, I actually trust implicitly, and happily just round up whatever it is they tell me I owe and throw it in the pot!  
Dining out with a friend is not like a first date, wherein your food order and who pays can dictate whether or not you will have a second date.  Dining out with a friend is, in its essence, a pleasure, so enjoy and order whatever it is you want and, if it’s a good friend, trust that in the end, it will all come out equal.
Kathy Naumann, possessor of NATURALLY curly hair and the understanding that you can’t control everything!


RocketTheme Joomla Templates