Dear Marcy

How Can I Get My Friends To Split The Dinner Check Fairly?

It’s Another Dear Marcy. Ask Her Anything And Hope She Doesn’t Answer. …

Dear Marcy,

I love to go out to eat with my group of friends!

We have a blast and our weekly get-togethers are something I look forward to. When the bill comes we make it easy and split the check evenly by throwing all our credit cards together.

The issue is that I’m a vegetarian (I know, sorry), a light eater, and don’t drink. My friends each have a couple or more drinks (top shelf liquor sometimes or even bottles of wine or champagne) and order the expensive steaks and seafood dishes. Plus, they love to order appetizers and desserts.

I cannot eat all that food. I usually have a salad or an appetizer as an entree and that’s it.

Because we split the checks evenly, I end up paying for way more than what I’ve eaten.

Like, way … way more.

It’s starting to stress me out. Especially since I am on a budget and trying to get myself out of debt.

I don’t want to cause a problem, but how do I let my friends know that I can’t pay as much as I used to?


Healthy Human


Dear Party Pooper,

The question is why do you want friends who have either not noticed you subsidizing their food and drink soirees or have noticed and are taking advantage of you?

They sound a bit (okay, a lot) boorish.

And you sound a bit (okay, a lot) like a doormat.

The only way to alleviate the stress and growing resentment is to figuratively and literally swap (claws out) them across the face with the truth.

The truth being that you are not a bottomless mimosa of money and that it is important for your mental health to set boundaries.

You can do this either of two ways.

The Wimp Way entails getting a separate check. I know this will be difficult for you since it goes without saying that even if your “friends” don’t start to hate you, your friendly server will. Be brave.

Or be braver and go for the Warrior Way which entails turning the tables on your “friends” and surreptitiously ordering a weeks worth of take-out orders for you and your new friend. Me.

That’s right. Jack up that bill, bring home a feast fit for the freezer, and make those “friends” defray the cost. Finally.

I’ll take 5 tuna tartare and Penelope will have 6 salmon sushi rolls and the whole turkey.

You’re welcome,



p.s. from penelope (the gen z kitten),

“why don’t they just venmo?”

*If you have a pressing question that needs to be answered by an opinionated cat, please email Marcy at

*For more advice from Marcy, check out our book, “Dear Marcy … Ask Her Anything And Hope She Doesn’t Answer!”

Because we all need telling off advice from an opinionated cat.

Always humorous.

Sometimes malevolent.


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  • Reply Big Momma May 19, 2023 at 8:40 pm

    Marcy, it pains me to say that I agree with your advice. But I would add that Healthy Human aka Party Pooper should find a new group of friends who are both health conscious and poor. The gatherings may be boring but no doubt less stressful.

    • mm
      Reply Marcy Cat May 20, 2023 at 2:15 pm

      They’d be better with canned Friskies Pate and Tuna Martinis.

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