The final, winning maneuver one makes when arguing over who will pay for dinner.
Is there anything in the world that feels more adult than trying to pay for dinner with friends?
It’s something your dad should be doing… no matter how old you are.
“No no, you got it last time – let me. Comeon. Put your money away. Stop it… I mean it. It’s our turn.”
The cajoling, the debate, the pronouncements and orders barked across the table, literally putting your hand on another person’s wallet and shoving it away from you. It’s got all the best parts of antagonism, only you’re doing it with your friends so there’s very little chance of someone being clocked in the snoot.
If you win, you get to feel magnanimous and wealthy and strong and powerful… if you lose, someone buys you dinner.
It’s one of the greatest human exchanges one can experience in life.
Consider, then, the inverse. And how horribly uncomfortable it feels to sit there while two people at your table itemize the bill. Parsing out the salads and the drinks and the “who got the coke”s… it’s like watching a couple of buzzards picking at the carcass of a lovely evening.
Nothing feels more helpless than watching someone else do this. It’s the opposite of trying to pay. The opposite of feeling big and adult. You feel so small and uncomfortable.
I’d happily pay for the whole table… or at least just split it even… than ever have to suffer the indignity of putting pen to check and calculating who owes what.