real life

Is my friend taking the food from under my nose?

There are some issues so trivial and yet perplexingly annoying, they require airing. Jane writes:

Let me start by saying that I am only 20, and I’m sure different rules would apply for people who are older and in a completely different situation, financially. I’d still be willing to hear from everyone on this though, as I’m still trying to work out if I dealt with the following situation in the ‘right’ way.

One of my girlfriends has recently moved out of home. She lives in a 3 bedroom house with only one other person, and is therefore paying a ridiculous amount in rent. Understandably, she has become pretty tight with her money (as I’m sure I would too!), but it’s gotten to the point where she’s become quite rude, and a bit of a tight ass (Sorry, I couldn’t think of a nicer way to put that…)

I’ve gone over to her house a few times for dinner, and what we’ll generally do is go to the supermarket together, buy what we need, split the cost and cook dinner together before eating it in front of the TV. This suits us both fine, and gives us a bit of entertainment on a quiet night in.

The other night, she invited me over for dinner. I said yes, and told her that I had to stop at Woolies on the way, so I’d just buy all the food we needed while I was there. She gave me a shopping list and told me to buy extra food as her house mate would be joining us. I didn’t even think twice about it, and bought enough food for all three of us.

We cooked the food, sat down and ate. I only realised afterwards that I had paid for all this food, despite ending up with the smallest serving. I wasn’t sure whether to say anything. After all, I was eating at THEIR house. But at the same time, SHE was the one who invited ME over for dinner.

As my friend was packing up all the food, she said she’d be taking the leftovers to work for lunch the next day, and that her house mate could take some too. Of course, I wasn’t going to pipe up and say “What about me? Don’t I get leftovers?!”, but that’s when I realised, hang on, I came over for dinner, I didn’t come over to provide tomorrow’s meals for you as well.

In the end, I asked them for a small contribution for the food (they gave me a handful of gold coins), as I just think some of the things they were saying were a bit rude, even though we are young and struggling uni students.

It’s not the first time she’s done something like this. When we went out to a Thai restaurant, she made another friend and I actually STOP eating so there would be enough leftovers for her to take home. Another time, she denied someone a second helping of food, as she wanted to leave enough for her lunch the next day. Is it just me, or is that completely rude?

I realise this is a totally trivial issue- obviously not life or death- it’s just something that’s been playing on my mind, and I want to know (hypothetically) what others might do in the same situation. Was I the one being a tight ass? Or was she?

Image by sgoralnick

UPDATE

Ive had so much fun reading all the wonderful comments and tips in response to this post.  To be honest, I was really surprised at how one-sided all the comments were! It made me feel so much better – I was worried I was in the wrong, and was glad to discover that other people found her behaviour totally rude as well.

Since that night when I was invited over for dinner, I haven’t spent as much time with her. I guess I don’t particularly want to face the same situation again. On a side note, she has since bought a cat. An expensive cat. So I’m still a bit perplexed as to how she can’t afford to fork out $13 for Thai food, but is fine to spend thousands on food/toys/litter/vet bills for her beloved furry friend.

Anyway, she has decided to move back home soon, so hopefully that will relieve a bit of the pressure and she can go back to being the generous person that she used to be. Until then, I will be dining with different friends!

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