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Thread: Etiquette question??

  1. #21
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadowmoss View Post
    My situation is a bit tricky in that we go out several times during the winter (we are snowbirds) and always each pay. Also, the gentleman is a Southern Gentleman, and so I'm thinking they will offer to pay as I mentioned it is my birthday celebration (I want to celebrate with them as they are good friends). I'll play it by ear... I will take any opportunity to pay.

    A funny story about some other friends. As snowbirds, eating out with friends is pretty much a common activity when we are all in the same area. One friend always wanted to pick up the tab, and he had more than enough money to do so. When it was just us I just went along with it. When we went with another group, he and the male in that group always had to argue about which of them was going to pay. For my friend's birthday we all went out to eat. I told the waitress early on that I was paying. When the guys started arguing toward the end of the meal they looked up as the waitress was having me sign the check i'd just paid. The look on their faces was great. I enjoy paying when I can.
    Frankly, if I were in your group, I Iíd like it clear that you are treating me because I like clarity. Iím from the north. We Northerners are plain spoken. I donít like it to be a surprise as to who is supposed to pay and I am always bored with the arguments about who is paying.


    Donít bore Iris it does not bode well for you. Ha ha!

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teacher Terry View Post
    Catherine, I would never take him out. How totally rude what he did. When someone asks if I want to go to dinner I always expect to pay for myself unless they say my treat. I find it odd that some people feel they must pay if they ask someone out.
    The rationale behind the etiquette of "if you invite someone, you pay for that person," is this. If you were to invite someone to dinner at your house, both you and the guest would expect you to provide the dinner. (Potlucks excepted, of course.) When you invite someone to dinner at a restaurant, you are changing the venue of your hospitality, but that is all. Your invitation should still include providing your guest with dinner, in other words paying for their dinner.

    This does depend on the way the invitation is issued. Sometimes it is one person facilitating a group of people going out--say a group of co-workers. Then it is expected that everyone will pay for themselves. But one friend inviting another out to eat--unless it is clearly stated that everyone is paying for themselves, etiquette states that the host pays for everyone.

    And there are cultural norms that affect this as well, and these can vary greatly, even in the same geographical area.

    I'm not defending the etiquette rule here. I'm just explaining it.

  3. #23
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    I have lived all over the country and never experienced this expectation at all.

  4. #24
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    It is the wording. "Would you join me for dinner" means that I intend to pay for both. "Do you want to meet for dinner or something?" means we each pay our own bill.
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

  5. #25
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    This is an interesting discussion. There's another element as well--both Teacher Terry and IL have brought it up in different ways. The cumbersome nature of the "who gets the check" thing as well as the hassle of getting out the calculator.

    Personally, I HATE having to figure out how to split the check. DH and I would go out with friends when the expectation was that we were all paying for our own; and for the sake of convenience, when the check came we'd split the bill in half. But we were in the crapper then, and we would forgo drinks and appetizers, while our friends would not and we would still split the bill.

    At the same time getting out the calculator is kind of gauche. So, that leaves the separate checks thing, as Steve mentioned. Servers hate that, but of course, that's their job and not my problem.

    AND in my particular case, DH is one of those guys who will fight for the check--and win--almost every time. It has been a bone of contention in our marriage. So we're more like the situation shadowmoss talked about, with the two alpha males duking it out for the right to pay. But we don't go out much anymore, so it's not a big problem these days.

    In general, I feel it's a little more genteel, to pay when you invite people out, and then your friends would reciprocate the next time.

    When it comes to the actual invitation, though, I also agree with razz that it's all in the wording.
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  6. #26
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    Our friends prefer separate checks and if not possible we pass the check around and everyone figures out what they owe. We occasionally treat people and our friends do the same but it’s never expected.

  7. #27
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    I think part of good etiquette is clarifying this at the beginning of the invitation.
    "Let me take you to dinner" means I pay for all.
    "Meet me for dinner and we'll all pay our own tab," means that.
    Etiquette is merely a way to make people feel more comfortable.

  8. #28
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    My friends paid for my meal. We had a discussion about it. Sometimes the thing to do is just smile and say thank you.
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  9. #29
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadowmoss View Post
    My friends paid for my meal. We had a discussion about it. Sometimes the thing to do is just smile and say thank you.
    I knew they were going to pay. It was your birthday!


    But that’s OK your friends knew that you did not intend to grift them out of a nice dinner!

  10. #30
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    Yes I figured they would pay. We always do if it’s someone’s birthday.

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