An extra guest at dinner

Published 11:42 am Monday, October 23, 2023

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Dear Aunty Pam,


About a month ago my mother turned 80. For her birthday, I made reservations at a very nice restaurant for her, my boyfriend, my younger sibling, and my mother’s best friend. It’s important to note that I saved up for the last three months for this event as I knew it would cost about $100 per head.

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A few days before the dinner, my mom’s best friend, Sadie, called me to ask if she could bring another friend who my mom used to know and now lives out of state. I told her that while I appreciated her wanting to come, there was no way I could pay her way. Sadie said that wasn’t a problem, and that the other woman would pay for herself.

The dinner was wonderful and my mom had the time of her life. But when the bill came and everyone pulled out their money, the other woman just sat there, smiling. I glanced at Sadie who didn’t say anything and because it was awkward to ask either one of them to pay up, I put the other woman’s portion of the bill on my credit card. I’ve not heard from either this woman or Sadie since. My boyfriend says I should call Sadie and tell her to cough it up, but I’m not very good at confrontations. In the meantime, I’m late on my credit card payment because I spent the money on the dinner.

Any advice?

Mom’s daughter


Dear MD,


Alrighty, girl, you’re going to have to pull on your big girl panties and claim what is rightfully yours.

Frankly, Aunty Pam finds it to be the height of rudeness for Sadie to invite another guest to a dinner party ‘a few days before.’ At best it’s an inconvenience for either the cook, if the event is held at ones home, or the restaurant, to juggle an extra guest. And then to sit there when the bill is presented and make no effort to pay is inexcusable. It makes me wonder if Sadie passed on that bit of information that the friend was expected to pay? If not, then in my eyes, Sadie is responsible as she invited her.

Practice what you’re going to say before you pick up your phone and make no apologies. Call Sadie pronto and keep it short and to the point: “Hello Sadie, I’m calling because when the bill was presented at the restaurant, ’so-and-so’ didn’t offer to pay her share as we agreed and I need to collect it as soon as possible.” Hopefully Sadie will do the right thing and offer to pay you promptly. Don’t accept hemming or hawing—stick to your point and be firm. 

Cheers, dears!!

Aunty Pam