Thursday, September 23, 2010

Picking Up the Tab

Who decides who picks up the tab? For instance, when there is more than one man at a dinner table, bar, or club, should women be excluded from picking up or contributing to the tab? It could be that I am old fashioned, or that I may be spoiled. Hell, it may be the company that I keep, that has me believing that this is a norm. I mean, I haven't associated with THAT many millionaires or "ballers" for "gold digging" or, if you will, mooching to be the reason why I say this to be true. It may be that I keep company who has the same principles as I, with the exception of one or two. In my opinion, I believe it all boils down to principle, reciprocity, and downright courtesy. However, I am not speaking "date" wise, or relationship wise, I am speaking on a more cordial setting. This stands for having dinner with a group of friends, be it all female or all male. I get that every ones checkbooks may not bounce in the right or same direction, but for the one who does, what's so hard about treating someone to a good meal? You would never go hungry. Not that you should be expecting it.
Dinner:  What a turn off (whether I like you or not), for a man to sit at a dinner table amongst other men, requesting split tabs and the women digging in their wallets to contribute. Or am I expecting some kind of chivalry from someone who is not "for" or "with"  me? It's different when its a couple thing, you know, each couple pays. But, if you are a group of mutual friends or even a third wheel of a couple, is it too much to believe the couple should pay? In my eyes, the couple should pay. On the other hand, I don't see an issue treating your "favorite" couple to an evening either. If your pockets may allow.
Special Occasions:  I had one of my associates tell me that she didn't feel "comfortable" with inviting people to celebrate her birthday at a restaurant if they had to pay for their own food. Girl, WHAT?! I immediately replied with "that is how every one I have been to was unless I was eating off of someones stove or they were a millionaire." And anyhow, it's YOUR damn birthday. Celebrants are to NEVER have to pay for anything. You should be able to celebrate where you chose and not worry about how your guests will pay their bill.
 Drive Thru Windows/ Take Out:  My pet peeve is pulling up to a drive thru and the person in the back seat yelling, "SEPARATE TICKETS!!" into the speaker. First of all, hoe, get out of my ear with all that *motions hands in circle* hollering and two, you're really gonna separate your $2.17 ticket from my $5.35, have us sit an extra 5 minutes at this window, trying to figure out whose meal is whose. Girl, DIE!! It's as simple as "You (or I) get me next time." A $3 or $10 difference should not break my bank and shouldn't break yours or you should be fine dining on a pack of Ramen. The biggest dispute is when the parties have different forms of payment as to why you cannot split the tab. Most restaurants can easily split the tab according to how you wish to pay. However, if your company insists on giving you the cash, or in some cases, ask you for your cash, kindly oblige and move on.
Club/ Bar/ Lounge: In the event of stepping out to a bar, it's much easier to pick up the tab on a round of drinks for your friends and then relaying the message to those trying to hand you money, "Just get my next one." Easier on the bartender and a time saver. Some think its a form of "pity" when they have someone who steps up, with no discussion and pays the tab. I had a friend tell me "I aint that poor. I have drink money." Well, I definitely wasn't trying to offend her, at the time I had some extra cash on me to take care of the costs for the night. It is common courtesy, err, common sense that if your friend has picked up the parking or entry fee, you return the gesture of purchasing the first drink.
Do not invite OR accept an invitation to dinner if all you are going to do the entire time is dread the moment the waiter places the ticket on the table. If you are attending a celebration for an individual, be sure to chip in to pay for their meal or portion of the celebrant's tab. If you are wary of your funds, offer a toast and purchase a drink on your dime. Regardless if none of the other party attendants are willing, you should always be willing.
Definitely not trying to count anyones pockets, I thinks it's only fair. Maybe I am thinking of what's more convenient at the moment to enjoy, than thinking of mine or someone else's debit card.

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