Ever go out to dinner with a group of friends?
Everyone has a few drinks, some appetizers and the entree. Some drink more than others. Some order more expensive dishes than others.
In my world, and the friends that I keep, we normally just divide the bill into guesstimates and call it a night. Those people that ate/drank less we knock it a few dollars down and those that ate/drank more we knock it a few dollars more. Its my belief that over time - eating out with friends will even itself out.
Every once in a while I get someone who joins my friends out that annoys the piss out of me - the cheapies and the moochers.
The cheapies are the people who analyze the bill down to the last penny, muttering things like "Oh - I only drank WATER and ordered a SALAD! I owe $9.32!" This is fine. I have no problem if I am ordering filet mignon and boozing on 10 captain and cokes to adjust how the bill is split. What annoys me are people who analyze the bill to the last penny. Heck, if the bill is $70, where I out drank/ate - i'd throw in $50 and have them throw in $20 and call it a night. I wouldn't expect someone to split it $35 each. But what I hate seeing is someone turning into Earnst & Young and calculating everything.
Or you get the other extreme, the "moochers" - the people who order the cracked crab and lobster, washing it down with five mai tais and a cheesecake and coffee dessert - then ponys up $30 for their share of the bill. When I eat out I do keep a mental tab of what i'm eating and drinking - i'm always making sure that I pay my fair share. The moochers are always forgetting taxes and tip - and cry "But the menu said the cracked crab and lobster was $27!"
It kills me.
I see the same thing in the bars of Hoboken. You go out for drinks to your local pub and see the regulars that are around the bar. You know them - and you know there are some cheap ass motherfuckers who are more than happy to pipe up when you are buying a round and some other jerkoffs who rarely buy you a drink.
I know some cheap people who tell me their tales of woe, describing how they don't have a good job and can't afford large bar tabs. My advice is - stay home and drink at your place. Get drunk and then hit a bar. Its what I did in college and I would have 2 or 3 beers at the bar then go home.
Some of the cheapness can be seen in the tippers at bars, too.
I usually don't remain friends with people who are cheap. I find that i'm very generous with my money and don't like to be around other people who are not. That's just me.
My advice? Go out one night and as soon as you walk in a bar say "Drinks on me!" to your friends. Do it once a month. Heck, do it more than once.
Next time you go to your regular pub - overtip one night. Tip more than you usually do. Just do it like once a month. Trust me, the bartenders notice.
Ever go out to dinner with friends? Pick up the tab one time. It doesn't have to be every time. Do it for special occasions - like birthdays or anniversaries or just for the hell of it. I do it all the time. You don't have to be taking your friends to Balthazar, just do it at Cafe Michelina one night - its a BYOB restaurant and they have reasonable prices.
Or how about making dinner for your friends? I have been learning how to cook and I usually make more food than I can eat. What do I do? I give it to my roommates. They love it. Jon eats my leftover likes a human vaccuum and Kristen is always asking "You cookin' tonight??".
I'm happy to share my food with them because I know they got my back. Kristen likes to iron - so she is cool and irons my shirts for me when I ask. Jon helped me with that PC problem I had a month ago - my car battery died when I was trying to transport my PC to the Wizard to fix it. He hopped in a cab, with my pc, went to the wizard's office and dropped it off. I was busy waiting to get my car jumpstarted from AAA.
Generousity comes in all forms and sizes. Being cheap doesn't just mean about money. Its also about actions. I may have friends who don't have very good jobs and can't take me out to dinners - but I know they are generous in other ways. I recognize this, and I do know those people who are the cheapies and the moochers in my life.
...and I avoid them at all costs.