In general, whenever I go out for dinner with someone or a group of people, I like to treat myself. I don’t go out for food often so when I do, I’ll get wine, I’ll get a few drinks, I’ll order a starter and who knows? Maybe more.

With that said, if I’m the only person to be doing this – something I’m never particularly comfortable with (I generally try to vibe it before I order) – I’ll make sure to insist we don’t split the bill, and I cover the cost for what I ate and drank.

Most of the time the people I’m with will tell me that’s not happening and we’ll split it, but every now and then people accept and I’m more than happy to oblige. I genuinely cannot understand the mindset of people who order far in excess of their peers and still insist the bill is split equally.

However when one woman went for a meal with her husband, daughter, daughter’s husband and his parents, her and her husband paid for far more than what they ordered.

Posting on Mumsnet, the woman who goes by ‘SaucySpider’ wrote:

I’ve just been for a meal with my daughter and son in law together with his parents. My husband and I arrived early so bought some drinks and were seated while we waited for the others. We had a very nice meal and had a good evening. However when the bill came my daughter split the bill evenly six ways but after our first drinks hubby and I only drank tap water (not because we are mean but because we like water with our meal) while the others all had at least two alcoholic drinks then coffees which were added to the bill. Thus we ended up paying for a large portion of their drinks. Don’t get me wrong we are always willing to ‘get a round in’ when we socialise but having already bought our own drinks and not having any more I felt a little bit cheated or am I being a skinflint. Would it have been fairer to just split the food part?

A controversial subject, to be sure, and one that has ended friendships since the beginning of time itself, but when having a meal with the parents of your son-in-law, shouldn’t you make some allowances?

I feel like if I were SaucySpider and/or her husband, even if the in-laws did offer to pay their part, I’d still lean towards splitting the bill; just to save face, really.

I wanted to say opinions were divided on Mumsnet, but the comments mainly berated SaucySpider:

Don’t be so flipping mean!
I hate these, “…but I didn’t have peas…”, arguments.

Life is not always fair but for things like this, you just suck it up.


I cant bear these who had what discussions, I just split the bill evenly. All my friends are the same. Sometimes one of us has wine, sometimes not, jesus, if its an issue get over yourself. If you dont like it, dont come out to dinner…

Let’s not forget…

Very tight, especially with your own daughter and her in-laws. I despise tight arse. I honestly think it’s the worst personality trait a person can have.

Pretty comprehensive, really.

Like I say, you should probably offer to cover what you had if you had much more but most good friends/family would be happy with an even split.

But hey, that’s just my stupid opinion.

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