Whine and Dine

Scenario:

A large group of friends wines and dines in merriment for a birthday, new job, a recent break up (let’s face it, most of them deserve celebrating), or a night of karaoke.  Everyone in jolly demeanor begins ordering, and two hours later, the booze is guzzled and every crumb served to the table is devoured.

What fun!!!

Problem:

The bill arrives and the guests scurry to find enough money to pay the astonishing total that shockingly NO ONE anticipated (the shock is shocking).  Nerves quickly rise and the mirth scuttles under the table to befriend a less awkward sticky situation that lies with the clump of gum.  What did people think when they ordered for an army?  The tax and tip alone adds almost 30% to the sum, yet no one ever accounts for it…especially those who leave prior to the arrival of the bill (they are usually the sneakiest/most conniving of friends who seldom contribute what they owe).

What a shock! (Are you kidding me? Grow up!)

The drunkards can’t remember offering to treat people to a shot or how many times they shouted, “I’ll have another!”  Therefore they can hardly recall their damage yet alone their required monetary contribution, which leads to several unaccounted items — never the opposite.

The shock dissipates after what seems to be an agreement over the bill and the insufficient cash wads presented initially are returned to the wallets replaced by 20 credit cards thrown into a pile. Everyone shouts their orders. “Put $20 on mine.”  “Yah, umm…how about $30 on my card. Ends in 3934.” And after a treacherous debate of “who owes what” the bill STILL doesn’t add up and is ultimately salvaged by the guest of honor who pays the equivalent of three of his/her “friends.”

Feelings are hurt and the night is left with a sour taste.

Solution:

Prior to the occasion, tell people to bring broken cash- ENOUGH for themselves and possibly for a group gift towards the jolly good fello/a.   Hard economic times loom over all of our pocket books, I understand.  If you plan on attending the soiree, please anticipate a dent in your budget- EVEN if you only order a $5 side of grits.

Ask the people who are ordering drinks to write a tally on their wrist every time they order another.  When the night is done, they can convert the tallies into a Stussy logo and everyone will be radical.  Or simply tell them to avoid the blunder by remaining responsible and honest by keeping track!

When the ticket arrives to the table, snatch it before anyone else takes a gander.  Add the total of the tax and tip and divide it by the number of attendees.  MAKE EVERYONE tack on the SAME amount to their total, even if they ordered an apple.  It will be a $20 apple, but it is the reality of the situation.  Before passing around the bill, rename “tax & tip” to “shits & giggles” then everyone will think they are paying for entertainment.

When the credit cards surface, write the last name of the holder and the amount owed on the back of the ticket.   Smile at the server and say, “You sure do look nice today, thank you for your kind help.”  Don’t apologize for the credit cards, just hand them over with a tender smile and a creepy wink. He/she won’t even notice the mountain of plastic and will instead be stuck with the mental image of your creepiness.

If for some reason the bill is still not accounted for, take a long minute to itemize who owed what and what they actually paid.  When you find the culprits, out them, embarrass them and make them feel like the weasel they are.  After the night is over, unfriend them from all social networks and your phone’s contact list.  They don’t deserve to partake in future events.

What a relief! (Life is simpler without idiots)

The Other Solution:

Avoid friendships and social events.  It will save you money and a lifetime supply of anxiety medication.

If you choose to savor your relationships and attend these fun gatherings, I hope it all works out for you.  If it doesn’t, find new friends or eat at McDonald’s (I hear the new Rolo McFlurry is extraordinary).