Mo money. Mo problems.
Dear Funny Problems,
My son’s friend’s mother (Carol) recently invited my son to a show. After accepting the invitation I learned through another source that the ticket to this show cost $45. I was surprised to learn that the tickets were so expensive so I called Carol and I offered to pay for my son. Carol accepted.
What I think is making me feel uncomfortable is that I wasn’t told up front the cost of the tickets, especially if there was any expectation of me paying. Shouldn’t the cost of the tickets been part of the invitation? Is it rude that I assume that if someone invites my child somewhere that he is their guest and they are paying for him? If I offered to take someone else’s child to a show I would assume that I was paying for that child.
Help me FP
Dollars and Sense
Dear Dollars and Sense,
Quite the conundrum. I think you did the right thing by offering to pay. And if Carol felt compelled to accept your payment, then I think she did the right thing by taking the money. I’m sure there are etiquette experts that would tell you that if you are the one extending an invitation you are responsible for the bill, however, I am not an etiquette expert. I think that when it comes to money, the water gets real murky…
Now, to answer your questions.
If Carol did indeed expect you to pay, then yes, I think that the price of the ticket should have been discussed in the initial invite. However, Carol didn’t ask for you to pay, you offered and she accepted. There is a big difference.
Next, is it rude to assume that if someone invites your child somewhere that he is their guest and they are paying for him? No, it’s not rude for you to assume that, but keep in mind you are projecting what you would do. Everyone is different. It’s also worth mentioning that not everyone who foots the bill is benevolent. And not everyone who accepts/asks for a contribution is impolite. It’s just as often the opposite and you should consider this person’s overall character.
There are a lot of ways to measure generosity, it is not always about money. If Carol is a good friend to you and wants to spend the afternoon with your child then in my opinion she seems quite generous. As the saying goes, the best things in life are free…just not these tickets. These bad boys are gonna set you back about 45 bucks.