Social Question

tranquilsea's avatar

What would you do if you were a starving student and offered to take a buddy out for his birthday dinner and the buddy chose somewhere really expensive?

Asked by tranquilsea (17655points) February 4th, 2011

Would you put the meal on your nearly maxed out visa? Tell the friend to choose somewhere different? Something else?

How would that effect your friendship (given that this friend knows how broke you are)?

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33 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

be honest and say “I can’t afford that place”. and next time don’t let the guest choose unless you can afford it.

A real friend will understand your predicament and won’t mind.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

If they knew how broke you are and still did that,I would buy him a book on manners instead.
XD

poisonedantidote's avatar

That would depend on what I had said. If I said “anywhere you like”, then I would fork up the cash some how to stick to my word. If nothing of the kind was said, I would simply say with a smile that “yea, you will have to pick some other place, otherwise we will have to pay by doing the dishes, I’m broke”.

Scooby's avatar

I’d ditch the “friend”!!.... :-/

bkcunningham's avatar

@seazen you seem to be very frisky today. Don’t you have any children to slap around or prayer requests to fulfill today? ; )

seazen's avatar

@bkcunningham You mean my agreeing with the poster above me by saying “word” is considered frisky in your hick neck of the woods?

Summum's avatar

If he truly is a buddy you could tell him the truth and he will be fine with it.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I would really wonder about the friend. The meal is supposed to be secondary to the socializing and time spent trading friendly banter. If he picks an expensive place that you cannot afford, you most likely will not enjoy the outing.
I believe this was taught in college, freshman year, Common Sense 101.

mrentropy's avatar

It only works right away but I always go the ‘mis-hearing’ route [rowt]. Like,
Me: I’ll buy you dinner, name the place!
Them: Chez Petite Escargot!
Me: McDonald’s it is!

syz's avatar

“Oh, Dude, I’d love to take you there, but it’s just not in the budget. How about “X”?”

josie's avatar

You live and learn. Next time say where you are taking them to dinner as part of the offer. If you take back the offer now, you look like a wienie.

partyparty's avatar

I would simply tell them I couldn’t afford it, but tell them when you are rich and famous you will take them then.
If they are a true friend then they will understand but really shouldn’t have chosen such an expensive restaurant

seazen's avatar

Maybe cook?

blueiiznh's avatar

define really expensive. Maybe the 2 of you have completely different understanding of expensive.
When you put the offer out and your friend came back wanting to go to the “Four Seasons” you should have stated your limitations right then and there.

WasCy's avatar

Can I be smarter than “a starving student who would make an open-ended invitation” for dinner (apparently anywhere in the world)?

If I were the student in this situation then I’d make an offer I could fulfill, and no more: “How about if I buy us some pizza and beers tonight?” or “C’mon over to my place and I’ll make us some dinner.”

Otherwise, you’re stuck having to suck it up and perform, as @poisonedantidote noted, unless you want to be considered a piker.

Seelix's avatar

If he’s a good enough friend that I want to take him out for his birthday, he’s a good enough friend to accept my financial limitations.

Because I’m a 30-year-old student, many of my friends are already settled in careers. Their idea of “expensive” is often very different from mine. Be honest. If you can’t be honest with him, he’s not much of a friend.

john65pennington's avatar

Be prepared to wash a lot of dishes.

CaptainHarley's avatar

“Sorry, dude, but I can’t afford that place. Let’s find someplace that has good food but won’t put me into indentured servitude for 20 years!” : D

choreplay's avatar

The trick here is to spin it in a totally humorous way that still makes the point. For example, “darling, I love you but not that much” – “Dude you cool but not that cool’ . Oh wait, just read @CaptainHarley, memorize that one and use that. Just be sure to deliver in a light but serious way.

Cruiser's avatar

I would take a deeper look inside yourself and ask yourself why you are getting upset at your friend who YOU invited out to dinner?? You are questioning his integrity as a friend here when YOU were the one who made the invite?? What kind of friend are you??

Seaofclouds's avatar

I wouldn’t offer something I couldn’t afford. I also wouldn’t expect my friend’s to know my financial situation unless I had told them about it previously.

I wouldn’t max out a credit card for it either though. Just buck up and be honest with them. Tell that that you really wish you could afford to take them to that place, but you can only afford such and such restaurant.

chyna's avatar

I’d make a joke out of it. “Ha you wish I could afford the Four Seasons! How about Olive Garden? That’s all my budget can take.”

tranquilsea's avatar

Just to be clear I’m not a student and this is a situation that came up that I thought was interesting.

Personally I would never offer to take a friend out for dinner if I was broke. I would offer to have them over and I would cook them a lovely meal.

Ah, this is one of those life lessons where I’m sure that this person will never offer this up again which is, in a way, sad.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I’d tell the buddy his choice was out of my budget and to try to find a place we could eat for less than xxx.

hug_of_war's avatar

I think it’s ridiculous to offer to pay for dinner if you are struggling financially. I fault you.

mrentropy's avatar

I disagree. If you and a friend routinely went out to places like Chili’s, Tophar’s Gopher Burgers, Blackwell’s Diner, or whatever and you said, “Hey, it’s your birthday and I’ll buy you dinner. Where do you want to go?” And that person tosses out Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, or some other restaurant that doesn’t bother to put prices on the menu, I think you would have a right to feel slighted and say try again. Especially if your friend took you to Topher’s Gopher for your birthday.

Bellatrix's avatar

Tell the truth, “I can’t afford that place now. Let’s go there when I graduate and get that fantastic job”. In the meantime, I would suggest I cook them a meal. Something special. Perhaps a recipe that has been in my family for years and has emotional value for me. Something with tradition.

Blondesjon's avatar

I’d ask him if he’d take a “handy” instead and then bask in the awkward silence.

Unless he said, “ok”. In that case I’d give him the “handy” and chalk it up to experience.

what. it’s his birthday.

breedmitch's avatar

Jon, I’d buy that video.

downtide's avatar

I’d be honest and say I couldn’t afford it. If he’s a true friend he wouldn’t have suggested an expensive place anyway, except maybe as a joke. But to be honest if I was that broke I wouldn’t have offered at all. Maybe I’d offer to cook for him at my own place.

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