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Couple Blindsided When Their Share Of A 40th Birthday Dinner Came To $1,100

Photo: garetsworkshop / Shutterstock
couple shocked their share of a 40th birthday dinner is $1100

Splitting restaurant bills is often a divisive issue, but a couple on Reddit faced a truly extreme form of this dilemma on a recent night out that sparked a conversation about the complicated, and often annoying, ethics of these situations.

The couple was 'blindsided' when their share of a 40th birthday dinner came to a staggering $1,100.

Nearly any time you go out with a group, splitting the bill is a double-edged sword. Nobody likes the guy who pulls out a calculator at every dinner, but everyone is annoyed by having to pay $100 when they only ate $50 worth of food. You can't win! 

But this situation is truly on a whole other level.

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The Redditor and his wife thought they were going out for an upscale 40th birthday celebration. What they got instead was something on par with their mortgage bill.

The couple expected the birthday weekend to be expensive, but not on the level it was. 

The birthday celebration was a whole weekend away in a large city. The man wrote that he and his wife "expected it to be over the top and expensive because it’s their 40th birthday and they have high-paying jobs and like to splurge."

At the end of the dinner, the birthday boy's wife just paid for everything and they decided to settle up later. They went out for drinks and hit the town, then the couple went back to their hotel and left the following day, figuring their share of the 40th birthday dinner would probably be around $300 or so.



Boy were they wrong. "Today our friend’s wife messages us that the total, minus tax and gratuity, split between the 13 of us, was $540 PER PERSON," the man wrote. And they weren't alone in their shock, either — several other couples were just as surprised. 

The couple thought they should have been warned ahead of time about the cost, and many others agreed.

"I’m pretty offended that it wasn’t communicated ahead of time that this meal was going to be a [expletive] mortgage payment," the man wrote. Who wouldn't be? 

"I would need proof before I paid $1100 for dinner," one commenter wrote, and many others were skeptical. "I have a feeling the hosts ordered some expensive wine, which jacked up the price of the dinner."

Couple Blindsided Their Share Of A Birthday Dinner Was $1100Photo: blackandbrightph / Shutterstock

After receiving an itemized receipt, it turned out that was exactly what happened. In an update to his post, the Redditor wrote that "it confirmed the minimum price for the table and that others in the group had ordered very expensive wine and drinks that brought the overall bill up."

For a party their size, the restaurant had a $530 prix fixe tasting menu. Since he and his wife only had two cocktails each, they added up their actual total and it "hilariously comes to $666… approximately $430 less than what they requested." They ended up sending that amount instead.

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This whole thing, like most disputes about restaurant bills, could have been avoided if people were more comfortable talking about money. 

Most of us were taught not to ever talk about money, politics, or religion in mixed company, but we really need to get over this. Money is not shameful, and in today's economy, we're all well aware that there are haves and have-nots and have-a-little-more-than-that-guys and everything in between. 

Couple Blindsided Their Share Of A Birthday Dinner Was $1100Photo: pashyksvsv / Shutterstock

The Redditor pointed out, "the host would have been aware prior to inviting us" that there was a $530 minimum charge, and it's completely unreasonable that she didn't give everyone a heads-up about that much money, especially since they'd agreed ahead of time to split it evenly.

Etiquette experts say that discussing everything in advance is the only right way to handle bill-splitting situations anyway, and many suggest friends and especially hosts take the initiative to start these conversations, especially if there's a disparity when it comes to alcohol consumption. 



It often seems like the only thing that holds people back from hashing this out is our weird cultural imperative to stay hush-hush about money. But we're all adults, and we all know money is tight nowadays.

It shouldn't be considered gauche or unreasonable for people to simply say, "Hey, I can't afford this." Doing so avoids all the awkwardness and prevents people from being excluded from outings simply because their paychecks are smaller. 

So let's all start speaking up and end this long national nightmare of infuriating restaurant bills. Life is hard enough without getting surprise dinner checks the size of our mortgages!

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John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice and human interest topics.