Everything seems equal when the Original Poster (OP) and a friend establish a meal-sharing tradition. But the scales tip as the friend starts ordering extravagantly while still insisting on splitting the bill 50/50. In a series of cunning moves, OP concocts a plan for petty revenge, forcing each meal’s costs to be truly “shared,” but at what cost to their friendship?
Office Lunch Tradition
OP and their friend work above a mall food court and create a tradition of taking turns buying lunch for each other. This eventually evolves into dinners, sometimes with colleagues and sometimes just between the two of them.
The Growing Disparity
Initially, both stick to ordering modest meals and split the bill evenly. This mutual agreement seems like a great arrangement for shared meals and bonding. Over time, OP notices that while OP still orders modest meals without drinks, appetizers, or desserts, the friend consistently starts ordering more lavishly.
The First Confrontation
Despite the inequity, they continue to split the bill 50/50. This unequal arrangement begins to irk OP, leading to growing resentment. OP finally decides to address the disparity, pointing out that the split bill arrangement doesn’t feel fair anymore.
The friend responds dismissively, claiming that they usually order the same type of meals, and she always shares a bite or two. She even suggests asking for separate bills would be an unnecessary hassle for the server.
The Petty Revenge
Frustrated by the lack of understanding from their friend, OP plans a simple but effective revenge. The next time they eat, OP waits for her to order first. Once she has, OP tells the server, “I’ll have what she’s having.”
A Takeout Container
When the bill comes, OP asks for a takeout container for their leftovers to ensure the bill will be split evenly. The friend gives OP a big frown, puzzled and somewhat annoyed by the new turn of events.
The friend, perhaps sensing what’s going on, asks OP to order first during their next meal out. OP obliges but then changes their order to match the friend’s more extravagant meal after she places her order. Once again, the friend seems uncomfortable.
A Wallet Running Thin
This time, the friend brings up that she might not have enough money to cover her usual luxuries. OP suggests that she could skip dessert and a second drink. This leads to another frown and a complaint from the friend.
No Sympathy from OP
When the friend complains that her bill is unusually high, OP merely responds that her bill looks about the same. The point has been made, and OP’s petty revenge feels complete. After these events, the friend stops inviting OP for meals.
A Bitter Aftertaste
When OP extends a lunch invitation, the friend declines, claiming she can’t afford it. The tradition of shared meals effectively comes to an end. Though they still occasionally cross paths, it’s clear that the friend remains bitter about the whole experience.
The Office Rumor Mill
Word starts to spread in the office about the fallout between OP and the friend. Though neither directly addresses it, colleagues pick up on the tension, and the story becomes water-cooler gossip.
Group Meal Dilemma
An office party at a restaurant looms, and OP wonders how to handle the inevitable shared meal situation. She decides to play it cool but can’t help but feel a tinge of apprehension as the date approaches. At the office party, the friend makes a show of splitting her bill with someone else, perhaps as a veiled message to OP.
The Friend’s New Ally
The friend seems to have found a new meal partner, someone who doesn’t mind her extravagant ordering habits. They often go out to lunch together, almost as if to rub it in OP’s face. One day, OP hears that the friend’s new meal partner is complaining about the same issue—always having to split an uneven bill. It seems the friend hasn’t changed her ways.
Was The Woman’s Behavior Appropriate?
OP posts her workplace conundrum online to gauge the response from the internet community. The readers in the forum had a lot of mixed views on the matter.
One reader said, “Well done. I learned my lesson by going to dinner with the director of my department. I ordered a sandwich while he had a four-course meal and two bottles of fancy wine. I always had something going on that kept me from accepting any more dinners with him.”
Another Commenter Thinks
Another responder wrote, “She was a raging entitled narcissist for many reasons, and I am glad you got rid of her, and now she’s gone.”
A Third View on The Story
A different person stated, “My friends and I always get separate checks. We tell the waitstaff before ordering, and it usually isn’t a problem. I like to pay in cash and notice that if there is any bother, it comes from dealing with all the different credit cards the others use.”
A Final Perspective on the Matter
Another reader commented, “Have you met my mother? She used to order the most expensive wine at the casual dining restaurant and the big meal. Eat two bites and drink the bottle. Always had a defective card or something.”
What Do You Think?
What are your thoughts on their actions?
What would you have done in this situation?
This story is inspired by a thread from an online forum.