Picking Up the Tab


Trudy and Jeff’s son’s in-laws, the McGoverns, are “generous to a fault”. Trudy and Jeff never knew what that expression meant until they found themselves at the receiving end of many expensive family dinners--for which theMcGoverns insisted on paying. Trudy and Jeff aren’t poor, but they are beginning to feel like the poor relations. Should Trudy and Jeff try to put a stop to the McGoverns’ largesse?  Decline their invitations? Insist on paying half (but make sure they go to a cheaper place)?

The Panel Weighs In

Maureen: Trudy and Jeff should pick the (cheaper) restaurant from time to time. Say, “It’s my turn.” Treating at fancy restaurants may be a power play on the McGoverns’ part, and Trudy and Jeff need to call a halt to it if it bothers them.

Leon: They should insist on paying half and give the kids a not-subtle hint that they should occasionally chip in, too.

Frank: If it makes the McGoverns feel good treating the family, let them. They can obviously afford it, so Trudy and Jeff should sit back and enjoy their generosity.

Susan: Trudy and Jeff should hand the maître d’ their credit card as they come in and tell him they’re picking up the check that night.

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