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Two days ago, I got an email that said, “Your American Express Year End Summary is ready!” With hollow eyes and a heavy heart, I reluctantly signed into my account and viewed my summary, only to realize something that would ruin my day: I spend way too much money at restaurants.
I was flooded with anxiety-ridden thoughts. Do I really spend 70 percent of my money at restaurants and bars? Do I even enjoy myself half the time I go out? Why do I shell out for shitty meals when I could have made better meals for myself in the comfort of my own home? Are all of my friends spending this much, too? Do I even like eating with these people?
With a critical eye and an optimistic attitude for the future, I decided to look at my restaurant-going habits and dissect them in an effort to be an improved future diner. This way, I can feel better about the ridiculous amount of money that I’m going to keep spending in 2015. In doing this, I identified the worst people to dine out with and I vowed to never become one of them and/or associate with these types of people anymore.
If you think this list includes “people who get so drunk that they fall out of their chair and nap at the table,” you’re bananas, because I love having dinner with those people.
The Appetizer Orderer
Spirits are high. The sake is en route. Your eyes are fixated on the overwhelming list of sushi rolls that spans across the poorly written fifteen-page menu. Then you hear it:
“Excuse me, miss, can we get some edamame, potstickers, and an order of crab rangoons?”
When that’s not bad enough, the starters (that you never even fucking wanted) arrive at the table and your buddy’s girlfriend forces them on you, even though you’re trying to allocate stomach space for that soft shell crab roll you’ve been dreaming of since you saw it come out while having drinks at the bar. But, because you’re not a dick, you indulge in some $12 glorified snow peas to appease your buddy’s other half so you can ensure the meal goes as smoothly as possible.
Yet when the bill comes, you hear her clarify with the waitress, “You can split the apps up on all of our tabs because the table shared them.” And without opening your mouth or expressing interest in the slightest, you’re somehow paying for your buddy’s girlfriend’s smörgåsbord of apps.
The Tardy Party
“Are you guys ready to order or are you waiting for a couple more?”
“No, we’re still waiting on two more. Thank you, though.”
*waitress walks away*
Addressing the rest of the table, “Alright, seriously, where are these fucks? I’m fucking starving.”
The Diva makes your waitress work hard for the money. With questions ranging from “Do you have anything gluten-free on the menu?” to “What’s your cheapest, driest white wine?” The Diva is going to make sure all eyes are on her. The bar is out of her favorite beer? Complaints. They didn’t remove the capers from her chicken? Crisis. Her wine rang up as $10 a glass instead of $9? Full on Wolf of Wall Street eyes:
To make matters worse, you then get to deal with the awkward conversation of “Why was our waitress such a bitch?” on the walk home.
(But seriously, though, why wasn’t anyone “gluten-free” before 2013?)
There are three forms of The Cheapskate in the Sunday Scaries Cheapskate Power Rankings. The highest form (who is the best-case scenario) is the person who asks the waitress some variation of, “Can I just get some bread and a half of the side salad?” This person simply puts out a “poor” vibe, but he or she doesn’t directly hinder the rest of the table. Will this irk the waitress a tad because she knows her tip is going downhill fast? Yeah, but it’s nothing that can’t be offset by the rest of the table ordering like fully-functioning adults.
Then there’s the more Middle-Of-The-Mall Cheapskate. You’ll find yourself dealing with a rat who simply eats everyone’s leftovers and somehow manages to dodge any and all fiscal responsibilities when the bill comes. In this same echelon is the dude who orders copious amounts of pitchers for the table, only to nickel and dime the waitress because he “only had, like, two beers.” Full disclosure: when the pitchers are flowing, everyone is an equal shareholder.
The Bottom-Of-The-Barrel Cheapskate is the classic, “Oops, I forgot my wallet” dude. In every group of friends, there lies the bro who crushes six Ketel-rocks and orders the special, only to reach into his back pocket, put on some honest eyes, and break the news to everyone. This person also always has some issue with his Venmo account, too, but that’s neither here nor there.
The Sore Credit Card Roulette Loser
You just finished a great dinner. You’re enjoying your final cocktails and debating on where to head next when someone says, “You know what’d be fun? If we play credit card roulette.” Because you don’t want to be the cheap prick who shoots down the idea, you let out a “fuck it, I’m in.” With anticipation mounting, you stack a deck of credit cards and give them to the waitress so she can blindly ruin someone’s night. Without flinching, the waitress picks the card of the one person you know will complain about this. And she does.
“Ha, but seriously, we aren’t really doing this, are we? Like, you guys aren’t going to make me pay for this whole meal, right?” The silent celebrations turn into hesitant “who is going to make her pay” looks across the table, only for everyone to fold and begrudgingly toss their cards on the tab for an equal split.
But fuck it. Having someone else pay for your $46 prime rib and six old-fashioneds is kind of a dick move anyway..
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