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Old 05-11-2011, 10:17 PM   #21
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But my whole life it seems like I've been walking an invisible tightrope between the two.
Join the club! America is so socially diverse that I never know what is the right way to do things either. What might be offenive cheapness to one person may be seen as an offensive show of generosity to another. It is enough to make a person want to go to an hotel.

Ha
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Old 05-12-2011, 04:22 PM   #22
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[QUOTE=It is enough to make a person want to go to an hotel.

Ha[/QUOTE]

Ha, you couldn't say any better than that. That is why we try to stay in the hotel every time we visit friends because even though we know that they will extend the hospitality to welcome us into their house but at the same time, it's trouble some for everyone, especially the host. In many case, it's hard to return a favor so even if you really mean "please, come to our house so we can return the favor..." it doesn't work.

here is an example. We used to live in Boston and constantly hosting old good friends to our house. Of course, we paid for everything and they all sincerely said "oh please come to visit sometime..." guess what? most of them live in the Middle-Of_NoWhere town of America so even if it's was free. We wouldn't want to go. As a result, we lose a lot of the "cheap" friends after a couple of visit.

IMO, frugality is what I do to myself to get to ER but having others taking care of my frugality is a big NO NO. Gift card, thank you card, eCard doesn't do it for us.

enuff
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Old 05-12-2011, 04:46 PM   #23
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We know some people who insisted on picking up the check when we went out with them the first time. The wife was quite angry when we intercepted it from the waiter the second time we went out with them (which was very uncomfortable for us and the poor waiter). We told these friends that we were paying for that evening, and that we would be more likely to continue going out with them if they agreed to split the check thereafter. It worked.

I agree with the above suggestions re a gift card or something; if they invite you in the future maybe you could tell them at that time how much you appreciated but also felt uncomfortable with their generosity and that you won't enjoy your visit unless they allow you to pay?
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Old 05-12-2011, 05:10 PM   #24
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Why is it so difficult to simply say "thank you"?
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Old 05-12-2011, 05:37 PM   #25
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Why is it so difficult to simply say "thank you"?
+1.

If someone offers to pay for me, I let them. I say okay, thank you. It shouldn't be more difficult than that.
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Old 05-12-2011, 05:53 PM   #26
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+1.

If someone offers to pay for me, I let them. I say okay, thank you. It shouldn't be more difficult than that.
I'd pay for you any time
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Old 05-12-2011, 06:02 PM   #27
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Why is it so difficult to simply say "thank you"?
I agree as long as you are not "slow to acknowledge the bill" and it doesn't become a habit. I always pay for family as they can't afford it. With friends it is important to share but every chance I get(within reason) I pay. In my view it is better to error on the generous side. When approprite I say thank you.
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Old 05-12-2011, 09:19 PM   #28
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Hospitality like that definitely deserves a thank you note/letter.
I would personally kick it up with a nice box of chocolates or a local (to your area) treat. Buy it and mail it yourself.
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Old 05-12-2011, 09:52 PM   #29
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Hospitality like that definitely deserves a thank you note/letter.
I would personally kick it up with a nice box of chocolates or a local (to your area) treat. Buy it and mail it yourself.
I wonder about chocolates. Almost every woman is unhappy with her weight; why make it hard for her by giving her chocolates? Not that she doesn't eat them anyway, but I can't bring myself to enable a behavior that causes her such a struggle.

And local foods? I gave a family smoked salmon once. Really quality stuff; they absolutely hated it.

Many people would rather just go on eating whatever they usually eat. I often look in the liquor cabinet, and get a bottle of whatever is there.

Ha
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Old 05-12-2011, 11:37 PM   #30
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When dw and I go to visit her family overseas, it's the same thing. They won't let me take my wallet out of my pocket. They view us as very well off, so it's a cultural thing. My dw wants to fight for the bill, which I hate. I tell her to be gracious and just say 'thank you' and then figure out what each of her family likes/needs and buy them gifts. She is getting much better and our suitcases are filled with gifts when we arrive.

So my vote is to send your friend a thank you note and maybe a nice flower arrangement or a wine of the month club membership for a few months or a year or something that you think they would like/appreciate. You will feel better and they will know you appreciated their hospitality.
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Old 05-13-2011, 05:12 PM   #31
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If someone offers to pay for me, I let them. I say okay, thank you. It shouldn't be more difficult than that.
Because the OP said "I feel kind of guilty." If someone pays my way once, I would offer to pay and just say thank you if they push it. But I could not let that happen repeatedly, as evidently was the case with the OP. I don't have a problem with someone else paying at all, but I would not be comfortable if I couldn't pay about half the time too. Not saying we need to keep score/even at all, just want to return the favor and not risk an eventual misunderstanding over the trivial cost of a meal...that's all.
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Old 05-13-2011, 05:58 PM   #32
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After reading all this, I think there's much to be said for being a hermit.
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Old 05-15-2011, 07:42 PM   #33
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After reading all this, I think there's much to be said for being a hermit.
Agreed, except it's tough getting fine wines, nice meals, and interesting company as a hermit. ... otherwise, I'd be right up there in the cave with 'em.
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Old 05-15-2011, 07:56 PM   #34
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I wonder about chocolates. Almost every woman is unhappy with her weight; why make it hard for her by giving her chocolates? Not that she doesn't eat them anyway, but I can't bring myself to enable a behavior that causes her such a struggle.

And local foods? I gave a family smoked salmon once. Really quality stuff; they absolutely hated it.

Many people would rather just go on eating whatever they usually eat. I often look in the liquor cabinet, and get a bottle of whatever is there.

Ha
OK, OK...

How about tofu based MREs and a bean sprout growing kit? Just kidding.

Any small gift, personalized to the recipient's tastes and diet requirements, is always appreciated.
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Old 05-16-2011, 12:55 PM   #35
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Agreed, except it's tough getting fine wines, nice meals, and interesting company as a hermit. ... otherwise, I'd be right up there in the cave with 'em.
Buy fine wine, nice meal, and log on here. Problem solved.
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Old 05-16-2011, 01:16 PM   #36
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Why is it so difficult to simply say "thank you"?
I would totally prefer if people could just do this, instead of arguing back and forth about who gets to pay. When I want to treat someone, having them argue takes away some of the pleasure of giving.

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After reading all this, I think there's much to be said for being a hermit.
Yes! There are days when interacting with humans is way too complicated.

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Because the OP said "I feel kind of guilty." If someone pays my way once, I would offer to pay and just say thank you if they push it. But I could not let that happen repeatedly, as evidently was the case with the OP.
Maybe I should clarify. I was treated to a meal out twice during my visit, and otherwise ate out of my friend's fridge (she cooked a couple times, with me helping). That doesn't seem excessive yet, but it was enough for me to feel like I wanted to contribute more.

Anyway, I have ordered a shirt and gift card that I know my friend will like, and will send it with a thank you note. Thank you all for the suggestions.
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Old 05-16-2011, 01:26 PM   #37
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Buy fine wine, nice meal, and log on here. Problem solved.
been doing it for years now
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Old 05-16-2011, 01:28 PM   #38
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When I want to treat someone, having them argue takes away some of the pleasure of giving.
EXACTLY!
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Old 05-16-2011, 06:18 PM   #39
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No need to worry. Women are perfectly capable of deciding whether or not to let you enable them. Plus, one box of chocolates never made anybody fat...it's steady intake that does the damage Good chocolate is a favorite with many women; if you aren't sure if she would enjoy chocolates, just ask her!

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I wonder about chocolates. Almost every woman is unhappy with her weight; why make it hard for her by giving her chocolates? Not that she doesn't eat them anyway, but I can't bring myself to enable a behavior that causes her such a struggle.

Ha
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Old 05-16-2011, 06:24 PM   #40
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No need to worry. Women are perfectly capable of deciding whether or not to let you enable them. Plus, one box of chocolates never made anybody fat...it's steady intake that does the damage Good chocolate is a favorite with many women; if you aren't sure if she would enjoy chocolates, just ask her!

Amethyst
For myself, I never met a fine Belgian chocolate I didn't like.
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