Birthday Dinner Bust?


Kris, Shelby’s roommate from college, is fabulous (in every sense of the word). She works in advertising, has a killer body and wardrobe to go with it, and she loves to hang out with people who also enjoy the finer things in life. While Shelby is a bit more low key, the two have been best friends for years and both of them think of each other as family.

Cut to: this week is Kris’s birthday. In honor of the big day, Shelby busted her out of work early on Monday and treated her to an elaborate martini lunch at one of Kris’s favorite LA restaurants.  It was a blast and worth every penny to Shelby.  But then at the end of lunch, Kris announced she was throwing herself a last minute birthday dinner at the Chateau Marmont on Saturday, and she wanted to be sure that Shelby and her hubby Brian would be there.

Of course, Shelby said they would come, but she couldn’t help but worry about how much dinner would cost. As she was driving home, the financial reality hit her even harder…

#1: The Chateau is a pricey place, and she was pretty sure that Kris wasn’t planning on treating six couples to dinner…

#2 To make matters worse, Shelby knows that this group of friends are pretty big drinkers, and she and Brian are maybe good for one glass of wine each.  While she really doesn’t want to get stuck splitting a $500+ alcohol bill on top of two expensive dinners and unavoidably chipping in for Kris’s meal, she also doesn’t want to be rude and look cheap by asking for a separate check.

What do you think Shelby and Brian should do? Save face or save money?  Here are their options:

1. Ask for their meals to be on a separate check?

2. Have the waiter create one separate food check for everyone and one separate drink tab – so they’re not responsible for the alcohol bill?

3.  Or… suck it up and split the bill evenly in honor of Kris’s birthday?  What comes around goes around, right?

Tell us what you think!

| Print

3 Responses to “Birthday Dinner Bust?”

  1. louie says:

    Suck it up and pay your share if called upon to do so. Or, she could call her Mom and get a sick note.
    Yes, what goes around comes around. These are adults, no?

  2. Simone says:

    While usually I always say “suck it up and split the bill”, it’s not right when there are a group of heavy drinkers who can easily run up a drink tab of $75. per person and you’ve only had one drink.

    A friend of mine who likes to go out, but doesn’t drink at all, and needs to watch his money, simply brings enough cash with him to cover his portion. He’s not cheap, know exactly how much every item is that he orders and doesn’t “accidently” forget tax, generous tip, etc. In fact, people often say, “oh you put in too much” and try to give him back money, which he’ll never take. So he comes off as generous because he often pays a little more than his fare share, but he’s paying a lot less than if he split everyone’s liquor bill.

    So I think Shelby should go and keep careful track of what she and her husband eat and drink – and don’t forget to include money for some shared appetizers and/or desserts that may be ordered. They should ask for wine by the glass and not partake in the pricey bottle being ordered because that always leads to 3 bottles, etc. Shelby should just make sure she doesn’t come across as a cheapskate by forgetting tax, tip, coffee, etc.
    She should also let Kris know beforehand that she’ll be doing this, so if an issue comes up Kris can support her method.

  3. MIsty says:

    I like Simone’s response but I also think that in order not to embarrass anyone who is a drinker, Shelby could ask the waiter to have a separate food and alcohol tab. That way, they aren’t paying for everyone’s drinking. She should be able to talk with Kris beforehand, after all, they are really good friends. Shelby could also offer to pay for Kris’s meal, if she thinks it’ll be a big deal to have separate tabs. She should also chip in with a nice tip as well.

Any Thoughts?