Share and share alike?

Most have been told by our parents that you should share joyfully and not complain if you do not always receive an equal share. “Your turn will come” echoes in our ears. Yet when it comes to money, sharing is a different animal.

I recently attended a dinner with 18 past co-workers and friends where I found the opportunity to “share” in the total bill seemed more than I was willing to do. And I am sure we have all been in this spot.

We each ordered beverages, not knowing the cost of each drink, and then proceed to order dinner. Some of my dinner companions only ordered an entrée while others ordered appetizers, entrees, soup, salad, and dessert. The food arrived as planned and we all enjoyed our meals. My dinner was on the low- to mid-price range, about $12. My one beverage was $5 and I skipped the sides and desserts. With tax and a nice round tip, I tossed out $21.

Oh dear, the person that accepted the bill from the wait staff, loudly announced, “It would be easier if we divide this, lets just say, $33 from all covers the bill.” Instead of speaking up, I silently reached into my wallet to find 12 more dollars.

If you've been in a similar situation, I'd love to hear how you handled it. Did you speak up and not joyfully share in the bill? Were you okay with paying more than your fair share? Maybe next time I should jump on the bandwagon and order more beverages, a salad, and a dessert...

Cathy Williams is a former writer for MMI.