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Do You Expect Guests to Pay For Your Birthday Dinner?

"Happy Birthday, You Bastard." That's the subtle title of a Slate article about the options one has when attending someone's birthday dinner celebration. It begins as humorous commentary on the way the 20-something birthday dinner at restaurants evolved because there's no room in tiny apartments to celebrate as a group, and ends with the author declaring that he no longer attends these kinds of gatherings.

Here is one particular line that stood out to me: "Tradition holds that the birthday boy make a perfunctory swipe at the check before it's whisked from his grasp." Do you expect guests to pay for your dinner on your birthday?


MoMook MoMook 6 years
I completely agree with Anonymous "I agree with Lovely-1's comment: If your friends are too cheap to chip in for something dinner, a drink, birthday desert or they don't bring anything and you the birthday person end up paying for everything then those friends should consider not comming to dinner." It's totally a polite gesture. On one of my birthdays a friend took me out and that person didn't even offer to pay or didn't bring anything and just when we went out it's just natural on your birthday to assume that they will pick up the tab on your birthday (the nice gesture) thing. Anyways, that totally pi**ed me off that the friend didn't even offer to pay for my birthday dinner or drinks. I won't ever go out with this particular friend on my birthday cause this friend is too dam* cheap to simply offer to pay for a birthday dinner, drinks or if won't buy a birthday dinner/ drinks then bring a dam* gift you cheap bas*ard!!
MoMook MoMook 6 years
Yes it's courteous for at least your friend or friends to pay for your dinner or drinks on your birthday. It shows you're your friends appreciate the birthday guy or lady and that you're enjoy their friendship. I think it's rude if you and a friend/friends go out on your birthday and you the birthday person has to pay for your own dinner or drinks... Then why even go out for your birthday??? If your friend/friends on your birthday doesn't buy you dinner or drinks then they should at least bring a gift for your birthday. If your friend/friends can't afford to buy you a simple meal or drinks on your birthday then they shouldn't be going out.
chow chow 8 years
i never expect anyone to pay for me, but it's nice when someone offers.
Calimie Calimie 8 years
In Spain, the norm is that you invite everyone. You chose the place and the number so you can control the check. It's not a bad system since later you are an invitee.
aprilmayjune4 aprilmayjune4 9 years
I usually don't do anything for my birthday because it is very close to a holiday, and people are usually hanging out with their families around then. This year I am inviting friends to a concert. Everyone pays for their own tickets. If they cover my dinner, that's great. I don't expect it though.
melissabritt melissabritt 9 years
I would never expect anything...w/my friends we all chip in extra so the b-day person doesn't have to pay for their dinner/drinks. It's fun to be treated on your birthday!!
pharm_chick pharm_chick 9 years
me and my group of friends always 'treat' the birthday girl/boy, and it works out because we all pretty much go out for each others bdays, and we all pitch in for the bday person so on our bday everyone else pays lol.. its a great system actually
ilanac13 ilanac13 9 years
i think that it depends on the situation of the dinner. i've someone's organized it and i'm just invited to a party for me - then i kind of expect others to pay but if i'm coordinating it, then i don't have that same expectation
javsmav javsmav 9 years
I expect my boyfriend to pay for my birthday dinner, but if he's not there, then no. I always try to pay for my dinner. Although, usually my friends don't let me.
jennythereader jennythereader 9 years
Most of my friends also have October birthdays, so we have one big party with everyone chipping in equally.
Spectra Spectra 9 years
It depends on who organizes it. If I call everyone and pick the restaurant, everyone usually pays for their own food. But if my friends and family call me and pick the restaurant, they usually pay for our meal. It's never really been a big issue because we don't usually choose very expensive restaurants or anything.
gabi29 gabi29 9 years
I hate imposing upon people. Instead of suggesting a birthday dinner, I prefer going for tapas/appetizers and drinks a little later on in the evening. This sort of event lends itself better into going out afterward for those that wish to do so. Last year I picked up the tab for my friends and I during this part of the night. This year my boyfriend paid, though. But it's okay because I took him out for a super nice dinner on his birthday.
SDTransplant SDTransplant 9 years
I always chip in when I attend a friend's birthday dinner and my friends do the same for me. It's nice. :) Thankfully, most of my friends don't have such expensive tastes like redegg's friend!
HeidiMD HeidiMD 9 years
I never go anywhere planning someone to pay for me. There are certain times where I expect that they might a little more (like if I'm out to dinner with my dad and his girlfriend; they always pick up the check), but I have no qualms about paying for myself. It's nice if someone wants to do, but it doesn't always happen and don't expect them to. In my little circle of friends, everyone pretty much pays their own way with the occasional treat here and there. Redegg, it sounds like your friend is really taking advantage of your generosity! Ugh.
redegg redegg 9 years
My hubby and I have a friend who always does this. He picks a super expensive restaurant that he wants everyone to take him to and then we are all supposed to chip in and pay for his meal. It ends up being around $80 to $125 per person! I would not have such a problem with it if he didn't expect it every year and he didn't pick such pricey places.
Frenched Frenched 9 years
*birthday meal. Not breakfast! LOL :)
Frenched Frenched 9 years
Guests at the table don't usually pay for my breakfast meal (unless it's my mother-in-law who ALWAYS pays for everyone) but my hubby will usually pay my meal. I don't think I've really paid for my own birthday meal on my birthday.
Angela123 Angela123 9 years
I never EXPECT anyone to pay for my anything, I'm a grown woman. However, when someone else invites you out for your birthday, I think it generally implies they plan to pay anyway.
lawchick lawchick 9 years
To me it depends on who invites and how the invitation is worded. If someone says "let me take you out for your birthday" then I would expect them to pay. I don't invite people out for my occasion because I feel weird about that -- I would definitely expect to pay for myself. I would feel awkward about asking people to spend money to hang out with me. For that reason, my husband and I usually have people over to our house to celebrate things --- it's cheaper than hosting a party at a restaurant and our friends don't have to spend any money to come over (though they usually bring wine or something).
mlen mlen 9 years
if i am dating someone they can treat me haha but no i don't expect to pay for it. sometimes my friends do- sometimes they don't- depends on the sitch! last night i went out with 2 friends for my b-day and i paid for my own, but they brought me presents! tonight i'm goingout with a gorup of 10 for my b-day so we'll see what happens but i always go with the intention of paying for my own!
cubadog cubadog 9 years
I do not expect it but my friends always take care of it and I do the same for them. It's not like I invite the entire world to the dinner it is my closest friends. I have been to parties where they were huge and out of control and unfortunately there is always the one couple that does not step up and pay their fair share even though they ordered a ton of top shelf drinks.
A-Journey-To-Wellth A-Journey-To-Wellth 9 years
I usually split the check with other attendees at the dinner, not expecting the birthday boy or girl to pay. The last bday dinner I went to we were in Vegas celebrating one of my close friend's bdays as an entire bday weekend. We went to eat at Sushi Roku and when the check came everyone paid for themselves and no one offered to split the check and exclude her from it. I felt bad, so I covered both her and myself as a treat. It was so yummy!!
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
I agree on the chipping in...regardless I don't think anyone has done it for bf ALWAYS pays for my birthday dinners (and pretty much every other dinner!)...
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