“Please update us on current customs, etiquette and hospitality.
My husband and I have a younger friend, “Laura.” She is a psychologist in private practice and a yoga instructor on the weekends.When she had her 35th birthday at a local bar/party room she told everyone to “order lots of food and drink.” We had a can of Sprite and a small bag of potato chips and left early. The next day Laura asked why we left without paying for our refreshments and share of the room rent.
For her 37th birthday, she solicited donations to pay off her student loan. At her 39th birthday party, she had a “smile table” for guests to pay for her dental work (I skipped parties on other years).
Now we are invited to her “wedding.” She was married last year. They are having a reception with “light snacks” on their first anniversary. On the invitation they requested contributions for fertility testing and an IVF procedure.
My husband and I like to help others. We have willingly given Laura thousands of dollars over the years. I’m a retired nurse and volunteer many hours caring for homeless people.
Should we start saving for their eventual down payment on a house? — Bewildered in Seattle”
This girl just want people to finance her lifestyle. Don’t give in. You’ve already given more than enough. She is at the point in her life where she needs to be doing things herself and stop asking others.
There is clearly a pattern for soliciting money. She encourages people to “order lots of food and drink” and then gets mad when you don’t pay for your soda and chips? I’m willing to bet that there were some party-goers who did as they were told and when the bill came for them they must’ve been surprised because she made it sound like she was going to pay for it all. This is the kind of person who would divide up the check evenly amongst an entire group of people even though some people’s meals were significantly less. Those people annoy me.
Break the pattern. Wish her well in her marriage and leave it at that.