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June 15, 2006

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I basically have the same philosophy that you do. The friends that we dine out with the most tend to also have that philosophy, so it all generally works out even.

My friends and I split the bill at the restaurants (there's ususally one who get a lot more than the others and we don't go often), but we take turns at the movies (where the cost is fixed, and we go frequently.) Coffee shops (where most socializing is done) means that everyone pays for themselves. The exception is if I invite someone. I just say "I'm taking you to lunch" instead of "Let's meet", and then I always pay. In my urban singleton crowd, it seems like if it's not explicitly said your friend is paying for you, the idea is that you're paying for yourself.

We always split the bill, but not always evenly. Rarely do I treat someone unless it's someone I know with less means than I, or it's my cultural obligation to treat. (Family from overseas visiting.)

The killer app on my cell phone is the calculator. I tally up my bill and round up. I prefer going Dutch the best. I have a big appetite and usually I don't divide the check evenly because I eat a lot of food. I'm usually the one who's ordering the steak, but I'd be surprised if you polled my friends and heard that I consistenly shorted the bill.

We're the kind of friends who end up with $10-40 extra for our bar tab when folks have paid their share. But it really depends on the crowd.

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