Actively choosing to share feels completely different than being forced to cover a friend without receiving acknowledgment or thank you.
In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, the OP asked if they were wrong for telling their friend's boyfriend that he needs to start contributing. They wrote:
Some friends and I decided to do the trend where we have a dinner and everybody brings food that starts with the first letter of their name. There is one friend of ours that's a bit of a moocher. Whenever we go out she never pays for stuff, whether it's the dinner bill, tickets for the movies etc, we always end up paying for her. But everyone accepted this and doesn't really have an issue with it.
However recently, it's become worse. She's been dating this guy for a couple of months and she brings him everywhere with her, even when he's not invited. So now we have two people to pay for. Also, I feel like I have to say that they have jobs, they're not struggling. It'd be different if they were broke, then of course I wouldn't mind.
But ya, we had the dinner last night and everybody brought food and put a lot of effort into it. These two however showed up with absolutely nothing. Not even a bottle of soda. We were annoyed but nobody said anything. It wasn't until the end of the night when they were leaving, that I cracked a little. The friend's BF was taking home ALL the bbq ribs that were left. I repeat, ALL of it and it was a lot.
Like damn, be considerate at least. He emptied the entire tray of ribs into a container. That's when I politely asked "Can you maybe not take all of it? The others might want some too."
He got all defensive and asked "Why are you treating me like I'm stealing all the food?" I clarified that I never said such a thing and that I only asked that he didn't take ALL of it.
He got angry, plopped the ribs back and said, "Fine, I don't need your food" to which I replied, "It kinda seems like you do and to be honest, you shouldn't have eaten at all since you didn't contribute again, as usual."
Then my friend came, took him and just left without saying anything. Now apparently, she's angry with us...mainly me. Most of my friend group doesn't think I did anything wrong but there are a couple who are saying that I shouldn't have said anything. The thing is that I didn't even say anything to my friend because I don't mind that she doesn't contribute. Her boyfriend was the one irritating me.
He eats the most food but doesn't contribute, drinks the most alcohol - doesn't contribute, orders really expensive meals at restaurants - doesn't contribute towards the bill. I guess I got kind of annoyed and snapped at him. I tried phoning her to clarify that I don't have any issue with her but she's ignoring me. I dunno, maybe I should've left well enough alone.
You’re NTA for this event, but why on earth do you and your friends tolerate them mooching like that? Tell them that they need to pay their own way, and do it. If you go to a movie, buy your own tickets and let them pay or leave.
Get separate checks at restaurants - when the server first comes to the table, tell them you’ll need separate checks (as a former restaurant employee, I can tell you that it’s fairly easy to split a check if you know it’ll be split before you start entering things, and a Royal pain to go back and split a check you entered together).
You and your friends have been complete doormats. When you let bad behavior repeatedly go unchallenged, it never stops and often worsens.
You and your friends allowed one friend to take advantage of you. Not because she is disadvantaged, but because none of you could handle the hard conversation with her. She now has a BF that is just like her, only he eats and drinks more. This couple probably has nice bank accounts because they are cheap. They probably don’t spend much on food or entertainment because they use people.
They will probably stay home if they have to pay their way. They aren’t your friends. They’re your parasites. You were rude. Adults have the hard talk before they bubble over. I vote NTA because you just happened to be the first one to crack. Learn from this. Speak up sooner and privately. Don’t hold resentment until you explode.
NTA. I get the point that others are making about how you approached it in the moment, but...they're regular moochers and now he gets to load up on the leftovers TOO? I'd have lost my mind. You showed restraint compared to what you could have said.
Samtigr1 had some crucial questions:
Why TF are you guys enabling her mooching, and now her bfs mooching? Tell her she's not welcome back until she pays back everyone AND her bf is NOT invited. If he shows up with her, neither will be allowed in! Don't let these people live off you guys!
And OP responded:
Ya, it's stupid tbh. She is substantially younger than the rest of us so when she initially started the not paying thing, everybody was like "Aww, she's young, lets pay for her". And she sorta became the little sister of the group. The handful of times I did mention paying, she acts like she forgot.
For example, we were both in line for snacks and I offered for her to go ahead of me like "Do you wanna go first?". She acted all surprised, "Oh yeah! I'll go first." Yet I fully know that she expected me to pay for the both of us.
ESH. You and your friends suck because you knew this was going to happen. None of you were surprised. None of you did anything to prevent the continuation of this irritating behavior. If it doesn't bother you, fine, but it clearly does and you finally blew up at him. You say that when your friend does it, it's fine, and you all have accepted it.
I don't believe that either as you clearly described her recurring behavior. Your friends that are siding with you were clearly also annoyed by the behavior. You and your friends should have made it clear that only people who contribute are allowed to eat BEFORE the event. Your friend and boyfriend suck for the obvious reason of being mooches.
I wanted to clarify, the reason I said I don't really have I problem with her not contributing, is cos I personally never paid for her in terms of dinner, tickets etc. I've paid for exactly a drink, some popcorn, and parking before. But she obviously still benefits from me and the others when we bring food and drinks and she brings nothing.
I've always thought it was unfair but nobody wanted to say anything so I left it alone. I should also mention that she's a friend by association, I've only known her since the beginning of this year. I confronted her like many of you suggested and started off by saying I thought it was unfair her bf was taking ALL the food and that's why I spoke up.
She said she's sorry, and the bf only did that cos he didn't think anyone would mind. I should say that even though she eats at these things, she's never taken copious amounts of food before. I said that I don't speak on behalf of EVERYONE but I feel it's unfair that she keeps bringing her bf and also that she never contributes to anything.
Since she had just been apologetic, I thought she would respond by saying that she would start to contribute but instead, she asked why I cared so much because I don't even eat ribs and that I embarrassed her and her bf for nothing. I don't eat meat but that was beside the point. My friend put a lot of hours into cooking those ribs just for this guy to take em all? No, it's not right.
And I didn't make a scene, HE did. I spoke very politely. So I explained that again and said that she's been an inconsiderate friend. She said, "I don't know why you're attacking me when nobody else has a problem", then said that she didn't want to associate with me anymore. I said that was fine and that was the end of it. I told the others the outcome and the friend that introduced mooch to us was really mad that I caused a "rift" between everyone over food.
So the group essentially split up and those who were irritated with me will continue to hang out with her. The others who secretly found her annoying but were too polite also spoke up and decided to branch off too. Our mooch-free group hung out a coupla times already and all the complaints are finally being released 😂
Also EVERYBODY brings something now which is nice. Not just that but it's a more relaxing and stress-free environment without them. The "introducer" friend is trying to poach some of the new group to no avail which I think is funny but anyway, that's it 😂. Sorry if this was anti-climactic. And I know this is like juvenile, high school stuff but hey, that's what happened.
It sounds like the friend group splintered in the way it needed to.