Modern manners and the older man

I was taken out for lunch today by a deliciously older man. One that my father would definitely not approve of.

(Actually must remember not to autopost this onto Facebook. Parents on Facebook are an utter nightmare and one of the reason I rarely use it anymore. Dad if you are reading this, stop now.)

I was taken out for lunch today by a deliciously older man. One that… oh you know how it goes.

The gentleman in question is utterly delightful and I have always had a bit of a teenage crush on him. Although that lessened slightly when he got rid of his magnificently luxuriant handlebar moustache but he is still charming. So when he suggested he took me out for lunch, it was all I could do not to squeal like a Welsh Section A.

Fortunately I managed to suppress this – pony noises not being the most attractive thing in a woman.

The thing is I am a modern girl and I expect to offer to split the bill at least. This is fine when you are out with your contemporaries, as you can just ask to see the bill and be polite when they refuse and offer to get it next time. It’s easy.

It’s not so easy when the person in question is older, has known you since you were a little girl and is a friend of your father’s. Here in lies the rub.

My father, if he knew I was lunching with one of his friends and had got past that initial fact, would expect me to offer to pay my share of the bill. In fact I have a sneaking suspicion that if he has disobeyed instructions and got this far, this will be raised with me at the family lunch on Sunday. 

The thing is that if someone offers to take you out to lunch, and uses those words, it kind of implies that you are their guest and they are going to pay. Admittedly, a lack of self confidence makes me chronically uncomfortable about assuming this.

So when the bill was requested I was not entirely sure what to do. Should I risk insulting him and seeming rude by asking how much or indeed offering to pay full stop? Should I sit back as though I expect him to pay it? That would have made me feel very awkward. I wanted to pay because it would make me feel like a grown up, equally I would hate to insult such a charming chap.

In the end I fudged the issue completely and then attempted to make up for it by offering to review the pitches sent to him by agencies for the redevelopment of his website. I also sent a thanks email on my return to work. A thoroughly inelegant solution.

Lovely lunch though.


Edited to make up for the fact that I didn’t proof it in the first place.


About agirlcalledTom

Well the girl bit is a tad optimistic!
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2 Responses to Modern manners and the older man

  1. Blonde_M says:

    The ‘done thing’ is, apparently (because, yes, I am the person who’s looked this stuff up. Don’t judge me), that the person who requests the pleasure pays for the pleasure. If it is a situation where it’s unclear, the guest can make a gesture showing they’re happy to pay their half (eg, getting a purse out), but if they’re tol to put it away, there should be no further discussion.More importantly, what did you have?

  2. Tom Sawyer says:

    Curry. Haven’t had one in ages so was amazing even though I suspect it was deeply average.You are brilliant. I am rapidly becoming your greatest fan. I would be lost without your advice!

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