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Man leaves party after discovering friends are charging everyone for homemade drinks.

Man leaves party after discovering friends are charging everyone for homemade drinks.


Everyone has a different line when it comes to finances. Some people Venmo request friends for every small charge, keeping close track to make sure everything is even. Others figure it all evens out in the end, and some people can't even conceive of tracking and splitting every cost in a social friendship setting.

The differences in financial philosophies can create serious tension. Someone who is used to covering people and not keeping track might feel offended and turned off by a Venmo request from a friend for a single car ride home. Similarly, someone who constantly goes Dutch might feel stressed out by the ambiguousness of the 'I got you now, you get me later' mentality.

And of course, this doesn't even touch on how much money each person makes, which is going to radically affect what they even can do, and how they view money as a resource. Still, even with all these differences, there are some fairly universal expectations. For example, if someone hosts a party, it's usually expected they'll provide some refreshments and take on some base costs. Emphasis on 'usually.'

In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a man asked if he was wrong for leaving a friend's party after realizing they were charging everyone for drinks.

He wrote:

AITA for leaving my friends' party after they expected their guests to pay for drinks?

This past weekend my wife (41F) I (42M) attended one of my friend's parties that I was invited to. For context, my friend (42M) his gf (48F) and their two friends (also mid 40's M&F) were hosting this party the 4 of them together.

A few weeks ago when I received the invitation I realized that it said on it something along the lines of 'please be prepared to purchase your own drinks'. Didn't think much of it at the time considering I just thought they were hiring a bartender or something, but fast forward to the day of the party.

I arrive with my wife and it's my friend and his gf standing behind their kitchen counter that they were using as their 'bar', making/charging the guests for drinks. Now I was confused for a few reasons. One, the fact that this party was held at my friend's house, it's not like this was at an event space or something where this would be normal IMO.

Two, there was no bartender that they hired or anything like that. It was literally two of the four of them standing in the kitchen at a time making drinks for people and then charging them accordingly (drinks were all under $10).

Now idk if this is actually a common thing, but I have never in my 42 years of living been to a 'party' at a friend's house where the hosts are charging you themselves for drinks. I've had multiple parties over the years, that I have invited my friend and his gf to in which they have attended, and I've never charged ANYONE for drinks ever.

I've always bought all the drinks myself and had an open bar type of situation. Where my guests can make their own drinks. I even had a proper bartender once and still no one was charged, it was an open bar. I honestly felt like my friend, his gf and their friends were all trying to make a quick buck off of their guests who attended.

Clearly to cover to cost of the drinks. Which yeah I understand that booze isn't cheap these days but we're talking splitting the cost of whatever they bought between 4 PEOPLE. Like in my opinion if you can't afford to supply drinks at your party, why are you having a party in the first place?

This also wasn't for charity or anything the money made off of the drinks was for them to split. My wife and I bought one drink each, stayed for about an hour or so, and said our goodbyes. When we were leaving my friend asked why we didn't have that much to drink?

I told him because I think it's ridiculous that they are charging their close friends for drinks. He called me cheap and an unsupportive friend. I assured him that I'm not, if the charging of drinks was for a good cause (like profits go to charity or something) of course I'd buy drinks.

I told him I find the fact that they are charging for drinks, and keeping the money for themselves ridiculous and taking advantage of their friends. Anyway, now my friend and his gf are butt hurt about this and have been calling me an AH to our mutual friends. AITA here?

People quickly weighed in with their party thoughts.

jrm1102 wrote:

NTA - that's tacky af. I get BYOB but this is a whole other level. I wouldn't have even gotten one drink.

Obtuse-Angel wrote:

In my late teens and early 20s it wasn’t uncommon for house parties to have a “cup fee” at the door, to help repay the hosts for the kegs and liquor. The fee got you a fresh, new, Solo cup for unlimited beer and jungle juice. That’s age-appropriate.

My peers and I are now in our 40s, like OP. Charging friends per-drink, at your home, for drinks you make yourself, is SO cheap and tacky. I can’t even wrap my head around it.

Intrepid-Camel-9797 wrote:

NTA. That's just so weird. I could understand if it was in an event space, and they hired a bar and bar tender, but charging people for a drink in your home is just weird. I would have left too.

alwayssoupy wrote:

Perhaps they were upset because you left before they introduced the MLM business they were starting.

Heloise_Morris wrote:

NTA. How tacky, charging your guests for a drink. If you're that cheap just ask people to BYOB. I am hosting St Patrick's Day dinner. I picked up a small bottle of Tanqueray for one of the guests that doesn't like wine or beer and it was $8. Profiteering off your friends at a Cocktail party? That's a new low.

RubyJuneRocket wrote:

This is so f**king weird, I can’t even stand it. FOUR people got together and convinced themselves this was an OK thing to do and not one of those four had the wherewithal to be like “uh, this is so f**king tacky and stupid?”

Like, in college, maybe MAYBE, you charge a cover or like “pay $5 for a cup” and that goes to the keg. I’d be looking around for a bowl with keys in it, like what other throwback traditions are we doing, since clearly this isn’t a party for 40 something’s in 2023, it’s some sort of bizarre time travel to a place where running a fake bar with a drink menu and a PRICE LIST in your house for a night is a normal thing.

THESE ARE PEOPLE IN THEIR FORTIES. I cannot get over this. NTA. Also, I must know, was there a tip jar? Please say yes, because if they’re gonna be this absurd I hope they went full out and asked for tips, too.

After receiving lots of comments, OP jumped on with an update.

For any of those wondering, after reading these comments my wife and I have decided to exclude my 'friend' and his gf from any of our future parties. I blocked both my 'friend' and his gf as well.)

Not only is OP NTA, but it looks like he's already cut off TA from his life.

Sources: Reddit
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