Home > Surprised


December 17th, 2011 at 09:06 am

My cousin, who just had a milestone birthday, invited the cousins to a restaurant for dinner. Everyone got there on time in high spirits and she was a charming hostess. Until the waitress began to take our orders ... The waitress began asking for our names so she could make up separate cheques. We said "let's check with our organizer" who told us "oh yes, the waitress needs to make separate cheques".
So we all made the necessary mental switch.
It was embarrassing afterwards when our cousin continued to act like the hostess by walking around the table to make sure we were doing all right.
At the end, the waitress brought out a dessert with a candle. I felt a little sad:
1) that the birthday girl seemed to need the attention on this milestone birthday.
2) that I wouldn't have given her a $50 gift card if I had known I was to pay my own way.
3) that this story will become part of family legend without her knowing.

6 Responses to “Surprised”

  1. DeniseNTexas Says:

    Wow, and I'm not sure how one would gracefully say, "Hey, I thought you were paying for this!" though I've never known anyone who paid for others to attend a birthday function in a restaurant. Not that it doesn't happen - just that I don't know people who do that.

  2. creditcardfree Says:

    Sorry you were caught off guard. I always expect to pay my own way at an event, and if I don't have to it is a nice surprise...rather than disappointing.

  3. MonkeyMama Says:

    If I were invited to my cousin's birthday at a restaurant, I would personally expect to pay my own way AND chip in to treat the birthday person. Where I live, that is the custom. Did she really pay for herself??? Maybe she is upset no one chipped in for her! (Exception is if a third party is hosting and is pretty clear that *they* are paying).

    It just sounds to me like an honest miscommunication. I wouldn't hold it against her.

    Anyway, I like ccfree's response. Always expect to pay. Be pleasantly surprised when you don't have to. Just as a note for the future - makes these situations easier to handle. Obviously there are many instances where there is a disconnect among different people in these type situations. Of course, these disconnects will always be there if you don't communicate when there is a disconnect. So I would also recommend talking to her about it versus talking behind her back about it for eternity (family legend)?

  4. M E 2 Says:

    I have to agree with the other posters. I would have assumed I way not only paying for my own but part of hers. The most puzzling part is that you said it was a milestone birthday and yet not one of you offered to pay for her meal? Oy! This is a shame on you. (all of you not just you)

  5. Waterfall Says:

    Dear All, thanks for your comments and for setting me straight. That's one of the reasons I decided to post this.

    Most people gave her very, very generous birthday envelopes, including me, because we did not want her to have to take a lot of awkward big gifts home. We wanted to cover the cost of the meal, plus allow her to buy things she needed.

    We ended up doing that, plus paying for our own meal. Perhaps she didn't trust us enough to believe the event cost would be taken care of in the end.

    I'll definitely not make the same assumption next time so that I won't be out of pocket so much money.

  6. Jerry Says:

    I think that it is always the best insurance to just expect to pay, and to have everyone plan to chip in to cover the birthday girl/boy... but it does seem odd that something would lead her to act like a hostess. I think this is a miscommunication or something. Granted, in some cultures the person celebrating the birthday is expected to pay for everything (like here in the Balkans, for example), and that took some getting used to for me.

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