The "Ms. Opinionated" advice column over at Bitch Magazine had a pretty great discussion yesterday, sparked by That Chick Who Doesn't Pay Her Share at the Group Dinner coming clean. No, you hate her, I know! But this one is really open and vulnerable about it, and how her friends all started making more money, and she didn't, and the places got pricier, and wine and cocktails and blah:
...somewhere along the way, I became the person who doesn't put in enough money. It was just going to be once, when I wound up a little short and didn't say anything, but then a couple of my friends threw in a couple of extra dollars and no one seemed mad or tried to point fingers. And then it was a couple more dollars here or there, just to have cab fare home, and eventually I just started paying what I felt I could afford and trying to be cognizant about drinking less or ordering salads so it wouldn't be as noticeable. But this week, I hadn't gotten paid yet and I didn't really have the money but I wanted to see everyone so I just put in what I had, which left us more than just a little short and it got a little ugly and everyone started pointing fingers at everyone else and I just shut up. But now I don't know if we'll ever even do another dinner and two of my friends aren't speaking to one another and I feel like I should say it was my fault but I know they'll all hate me.
And, right, like 100% of these conversations, the answer is TELL THEM THIS, TELL THEM EXACTLY THIS, and then suggest cheaper places, but since no one ever acknowledges being That Chick Who Doesn't Pay Her Share at the Group Dinner, even anonymously, it's nice to hear it from the source of the hassle. And no one really hates THIS person, it's the person who has plenty of money but consistently just puts down the exact amount of her entree and magically pretends there is no such thing as tax or a third of a plate of nachos or four beers that everyone hates. Use your words! Work it out! Cook at home! But you also really really need to fix this situation with your friends who hate each other now. Yowza.