Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Happy New year + Going Dutch

Happy new year to you and yours. I wish you the best this year has to offer, and as we (RCCG people in the US) believe, this year will be our year of signs and wonders.

 Christmas and New Year festivities moved along nicely. It felt good to stay home and relax with family.  With the New Year upon us, a lot of friends have started sending out birthday invitations.

  It is always an honor to be invited for a celebration – be it a birthday, proposal, wedding, anniversary, shower… you get my drift.  The one thing that bothers me is when the inviter/celebrant expects the invitees/guests to pay for their dinner.   It is even worse when it is not spelt out in the invitation. In such cases after dinner, when the bill comes, the guests are left bewildered. Some end up embarrassed because they attended with a gift for the celebrant, cashless, and/or without their credit cards.

The act of going Dutch to mark your celebration is tasteless. Would you invite friends to your “house party” and ask them to pay $1 for a scoop of rice?  Or pay a $5 gate fee for access to food and drinks?  Better still would you make your friends donate to fund your “bash”?  That is what you are doing when you “organize dinner” at a restaurant and have your friends buy their dinner and contribute towards yours!

I understand it’s your birthday, you want to mark it spending time with your friends, but unfortunately you cannot afford to buy them all an expensive dinner.   Consider:
  1. A movie in your house where you serve unlimited store-bought chips, salsa, popcorn, water and cupcakes.
  2. Inviting few of your friends to an inexpensive restaurant that you can afford e.g. the $13 all-you-can-eat buffets.
  3. Catered dinner in a reserved room at a restaurant - You can get a really good deal this way.
  4. Store-bought Dessert, Tea and Games in your house.
  5. The typical Naija “get-together”  in your Mum’s basement with Jollof rice, dodo, meat, soda, water, puff-puff and lots of laughter.

I once shared this concern with friend of mine who went to high school in the US. She responded saying that this method of going Dutch was the “American Way” and that I will become desensitized to it after a while.  11yrs + in the US, it still bothers me, and the perpetrators come across as cheap in my books.

A group of friends coming together to “treat/celebrate” their celebrant friend is a different case altogether.  I have no problem with that. Infact I engage in it often.  A group of friends hanging out and going dutch is bonding. It is acceptable. Everyone should do that.   But the celebrant sending an invitation and expecting guests to sponsor the “bash” is unacceptable in my opinion!
How do you feel about this? Please share.

1 comment:

desperatehousewife said...

Happy new year darling. How was your holidays.
I really agree with you on this point of it being in poor taste to make your invitees pay for your celebration. The invitee should be given a heads up so she comes prepared or has the option of not coming at all. shikena