Those Awkward Money Moments - picture of woman with surprised look holding fanned out bills in front of her face
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Those Awkward Money Moments

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Have you ever been in a situation where you don’t want to spend money on something, but feel obligated to?

I have, and there is nothing I hate worse than feeling forced to spend money against my will.  Common situations I tend to find myself in:

  • Getting invited to a Thirty One, tupperware, or jewelry party.  People always invite me to those things and I always feel like I should go.  Then I feel like a huge douchebag if I don’t buy something.
  • Getting invited to a baby shower or wedding shower for someone I barely know.  I’ve only met you once, but yes- I will buy you a case of diapers.  Obviously.
  • Going out to dinner then realizing that everyone is splitting the bill equally.  I hate it when I order a salad and a water then end up paying an equal share of the bill.  That happened to us a lot before we had kids!
  • Getting asked to contribute money to a cause on the spot- This happens to me at the grocery store all the time.  No, I don’t want to donate a dollar to whatever-the-f$&*k!

Awkward Money Moments in Mexico

Remember when I told you I was taking my brother to the Caribbean for a Brother-Sister-Divorce-Celebration-Vacation?  Well, we went for five days over Labor day weekend and had a blast.  It was a fairly cheap trip too; I paid for our flights with Southwest Rapid Rewards points and booked an all-inclusive hotel that was cheap enough to pay for with cash-back from my Capital One Spark Business card.

Since our resort was all-inclusive, we didn’t have to worry about paying for meals or drinks.  However, we did decide to venture out to the downtown area of Playa del Carmen one night just for dinner.

We were minding our own business eating dinner when this happened:

mexican bandA small Mexican band approached our dinner table and asked if we wanted them to play.  “Sure,” I said.

We continued eating as they stood there and played a song that I can only presume was some sort of love song.  It was cute, but I was ready for them to leave by the time they were done.  But they didn’t leave before asking for payment.

“$100 pesos,” they said as they stood there smiling.

I handed them a $10 bill and shook my head at my own stupidity.  Why on Earth did I think they were going to play for free?

Another Reason I Hate Tequila

But the onslaught of forced spending wasn’t over yet.  A few minutes later, a guy approached our table and told us to smile for a picture.  I thought it was strange for sure, but he appeared to work for the restaurant so I smiled for the camera and continued eating.

As we were getting ready to leave the restaurant, the same guy reappeared at our table holding this:

DSCF3919

Ahhhh….yes.  It all made sense now.  He took our picture so that he could affix it to a tequila bottle and then guilt me into buying it.  And how much did he want?

$25!!!

He wanted $25 for a bottle of Tequila which, for the record, I do not even like.  And beyond that, I certainly didn’t ask for it.

But he was just standing there smiling, presumably waiting for me to pay.  So I handed him $25 to make him go away.

Awesome.

Working On My Bitch Face

I left that meal feeling pretty defeated.  I only intended to buy my own dinner as a treat, but ended up forking over an extra $35 for stuff I didn’t ask for and didn’t want.  I think the problem is that I’m too nice.  People see my smiling face and think I must be the kind of person who would hand over my hard-earned dollars out of kindness instead of creating an awkward money moment.

Unfortunately, they’re right.

So from now on, I’m working on my bitch face.  I hate feeling like I’ve been ripped off- especially when it is being done right to my face.

And no, I won’t go to your wife’s Lia Sophia party.

What are your worst awkward money moments?  Have you ever felt coerced into spending money?

 

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90 Comments

  1. Not a fan of people who presumptuously think everyone will split the bill equally. Once we went out with a friend to celebrate her birthday – lots of other folks along that we didn’t know. My then-boyfriend (now husband) wasn’t feeling well and didn’t eat anything but a breadstick and this super bossy dude tried to make everyone split the bill equally. And guess what? He got the most expensive thing! I think we ended up splitting the bill, but kept my hubby from paying. Makes me so mad I still remember it after 10 yrs.

    1. LOL, I remember stupid stuff like that too. Apparently I hold a grudge.

  2. Ooh, I hate stuff like what happened to you at dinner. I try to avoid letting people take my pic because I know i will never want to buy whatever they are planning to do with it! But I never would have seen the tequila thing coming either 🙂

  3. A bottle of tequila with your picture on it is easily worth $50 – I think you got a deal. I have the exact opposite problem though – my “resting bitch face” is too good. I was standing in line at Target recently and a 3-4 year old boy looked at me and then said “Mommy – why is that woman so mad?” It’s great to keep people from approaching me in public, but I still haven’t figured out how to use it to stop getting invited to “spend money so your casual acquaintance gets a free salad bowl” parties.

    1. It wasn’t a good deal- I didn’t even want it!

  4. Oh bummer on the tequila photo–how dumb. It’s not even a good liquor, like gin, for example :). I’m right there with you, I both hate & feel badly about this kind of stuff. I feel like a grinch not buying anything at those jewelry parties, but $50 for some necklace I don’t need is not going to happen!

    1. Yeah, and what am I supposed to do with it? I love my brother and all but I don’t need a bottle of Tequila with our faces on it =)

  5. I hate splitting the bill at restaurants. I almost never drink when I go out so it irks me when I’m expected to split the same amount as the people who ended up going through three pitchers of sangria.

    The other awkward spending stuff for me is for gifts. Particularly, given I’m in the 20-35 demographic, wedding gifts for random couples I barely know but I guess I’m going to their wedding so I should get them something right? I also used to give very elaborate, sometimes expensive gifts (sometimes as part of a group gift), for my friends and now it’s just kind of an expected we do that for each other which is nice and all but makes it so I spend maybe $50-100 each time.

    1. I feel the same way about gifts. Fortunately, we are out of the wedding stage with people our age =)

  6. It seems as if that’s the culture we’re in. I’ve just begun to expect it, which is why I decline invitations. I never know when I’ll be asked to fork over my money. Funny, when I was growing up and my parents threw a birthday party for one of us, they would never have dreamed of collecting handouts from the attendees. It was just poor taste.

  7. Haha.. yeah, it all sucks because it *catches you off guard*. Happened to me down in Tijuana one night too (That’s also in Mexico for those who don’t know). Some hot chick came and just opened up my mouth to pour a shot of who knows what in there while I was minding my business eating dinner. I was so confused that I just let it all happen (who was this random chick? what did she put in my mouth?) and then it hit me when she asked for cash money 5 seconds later. which of course I gave to her cuz I had no idea what the hell was going on?? haha…

    But hey – makes for a good blog post (and comment) eh? 😉

    1. See! That’s basically what happened to me. They definitely need to ask before they sell you something. It is really hard being put on the spot like that.

  8. I can give you a crash course on the “bitch” face at FinCon. I’ve been told my stare is a killer lol! But $25 for the tequila! That would have ticked me off! I personally get annoyed when someone asks me to pick up something for them, let’s say on the way over to a dinner, and doesn’t even make the effort to reimburse me. Some people just assume that you can afford it…which isn’t right!

  9. Ugh I’m ticked for you. I hate crap like that! I’m working on my bitch face too…but I’ve gotten waaaay better at turning down those Tupperware type parties (but only after years of buying too much overpriced crap that I don’t want….like that 50 dollar origami owl necklace that I bought but really don’t like. I’m an idiot.) I guess that’s how those companies thrive. They know we feel obligated to buy!

      1. I know. I’m embarrassed… But dang there were only 2 people at the party so then I felt EXTRA obligated to buy….In my defense, my mom loved the necklace so I gave it to her.

  10. Can’t stand these moments. Last Christmas I has a co-worker come to me and say you owe me $20 for our gift for our office assistant. I never agreed to chip in for the gift in the first place. I handed over the $20 and thanked her for spending my money for me. At least have he courtesy of checking with me first.

    1. Wow, I hate that! I hate joint gifts altogether really.

  11. Well maybe I am lucky on that bill split thing, I have never done it that way. We always just do separate bills. Maybe because I don’t do big group things like that usually and generally with people I know.

    I am pretty good at saying no to those on the spot donation requests. I am just used to those and basically auto respond with no. Doesn’t matter what it is, if I want to donate I will donate to where I want to.

    But yea, some of those are just… awkward.

  12. Ben @ The Wealth Gospel says:

    Hahaha oh man. Sadly, I’ve experienced the same thing so many times. Got hit up for $10 from a homeless guy outside the MLK museum in Memphis–it didn’t help that I didn’t have any smaller bills in my wallet and that he and his other homeless friends were all 6 inches taller and 100 lbs. heavier than me. And then one time in Fiji, a nice guy I met at the beach cut a coconut down for me–nice enough to charge me $5 after the fact AND go on about all the nice things other Americans had given him because of his services (hint, hint).

  13. We hosted a pampered chef party once and invited everyone we knew, including some people that are originally from Bosnia so their English (while VERY good) is sometimes a bit literal. They’re verbal response to the invitation was, “Sorry, we don’t go to buying parties.” That’s a literal, but dead on correct description. You’re inviting people to buy stuff…..haven’t hosted another party like that since.

    1. Ben @ The Wealth Gospel says:

      My wife wrote something on her Facebook a couple of weeks ago asking people to stop adding her to those types of parties on Facebook (apparently they add you to a group and if you leave, they add you again). One of her friends got all huffy about it and went off on her for being rude.

      It’s one thing to invite someone, but it’s another to keep adding them to the Facebook group when they left it because they don’t want to attend.

      Needless to say, I told her to unfriend this “friend” of hers.

  14. Wow, they really are right. I’m surprised you haven’t encountered that picture scam before– it’s really common in the US at theme parks and tourist destinations. My standard thing is to say “no” to stuff before they ask for money, so no to the music, no to the picture, can’t make it to the Passion Party, etc. Not carrying cash makes it easier to say, “I can’t” to random people asking for money, though mostly I ignore them (years of city living makes that somewhat automatic). Usually either the bill split thing doesn’t bother me, or we just get separate checks, depending on the situation

    I also have a contrary streak which would cause me to swear at the person who did something I didn’t ask for or want and then required money for it. This would be easier with my DH there (looking big and bear-like), but I have done it on my own even when the situation was somewhat dangerous. I just don’t think in those kinds of situations because it gets my back up. I imagine I would not survive very long in many circumstances (Ferguson, MO if my skin weren’t lily white, for example).

    1. Nope, the picture thing has never happened to me!

      I would feel 100% comfortable telling someone in the U.S. “no.” But for some reason, I feel weird telling someone in another country no. It’s like I am afraid to offend them or something, perhaps due to some cultural differences that I am unaware of. I really shouldn’t be since I obviously have the right to tell someone I don’t want to buy their product.

      1. LeRainDrop says:

        Yes, it’s that fear that they are taking advantage of! Tourists are great targets for guilt tripping into overspending 🙁

  15. Oh man, so many things I complain about as well. I hate the implications that you’re just going to buy everything or support everything or attend every event where you’ll have to buy something just because you’re asked.

    I’ll admit, the tequila thing is kind of funny. Frustrating, but now I want my face plastered on a bottle. I remember going out to dinner with my father in a VERY nice restaurant back when I was in Montreal. I was in school there and he was there for business so we went to a swanky place – they all assumed I was his trophy wife. Obviously no one said it, but they treated us as a couple. Suuuuper awkward! The band thinking you and your brother were a couple reminded me of that.

    1. I’ve been at events were there is an older man with a younger woman. I know most of us think dang!!! I never thought to think maybe it’s the guy’s daughter.

  16. This post reminds me that I am way ahead of many people when it comes to setting boundaries – I shouldn’t be so hard on myself. I have no problem declining invitations to attend “buying parties” (haha- love that term!), or refusing to pay for goods or services that I do not value, i.e. a bottle of tequila with my face on it). I do this firmly but courteously and I don’t feel guilty or regretful.

    WE are responsible for setting our own spending boundaries. You can’t be angry at someone for inviting you to a party or asking you to buy something from them. It’s completely on you if you agree and then feel resentful. Practicing saying no in these situations will lighten your load!

    1. I’m not angry at anyone- this was simply a fun blog post to make fun of myself! Lighten up!

  17. Haha I have major bitchface, which actually sucks! Yes, I get to avoid a lot of awkward money situations such as your outing in Mexico to a restaurant, but I also get a lot of rude comments from complete strangers who tell me “your life isn’t that bad, just smile for once” and so on. LOL

    That is funny that people thought your brother was your significant other.

  18. I have thankfully avoided the Lia Sophia invite, and I hope it never happens because there is nothing there I want to buy. I would rather just give my friend $20 bucks directly to help her out. The worst money trap in NYC (and it is getting national news attention) are those people who are dressed up like cartoon characters and super heroes. They entice your kids to want a picture with them (what little kid can resist a creepy Dora the Explorer?) and then they want money for the picture. It’s awful.

  19. I don’t like splitting the bill equally, but it is often the easiest thing to do so I just go along with it.

    I don’t fall for the other things though. You don’t need to have a bitch face, you just have to say “No, Thank You.” They’re going to come up to you whether your smiling or not. They don’t care.

  20. I hate invitations to showers for people I barely speak to. It just feels like a gift grab. If I wanted to give you something, I would- on my own time! The worst is the lame “engagement party”. So you want gifts for your engagement, at a shower, and at your wedding? Yeah, no.

  21. Argh, I was just talking about splitting the bill with my coworker. It’s annoying when one person gets a steak and another person gets a salad and they’re expected to pay the same amount. The donation request on the spot is annoying too…makes you feel guilty and bad for saying no cause it’s only $1, but I’ll donate to whatever I want when I want.

  22. I hate the scenario with the dinner with friends thing and you only oder something small and end up having to pay more. I had a friend who would order the most expensive bottles of wine and even if I didn’t have any we’d split the bill if it was a big party. That was ages ago though. Now I guess I have worked on my bitchface enough to either not get approached, or I simply have no problem saying no to going out to eat or to a cause. But for the record I do support causes, just ones where I want to donate.

  23. My husband was out of town on business and the group he was with went out for dinner together. At the end of the meal, the ones who ordered the most, wanted to divide the check equally. After that, when they went out again, my husband and one other guy ordered a couple of beers, appetizer and dessert. Funny thing, that night the same ones who wanted to split the check a couple of times before, suddenly wanted separate checks. Hubby and friend said “no, we’ve always done equal shares on other nights so we are tonight as well.” Problem solves. After that they all paid their own check. I think that it should be decided before the meal. Usually the server will ask if it is separate checks or all together. You can’t be shy about speaking up at that point.

  24. Ugh! I hate awkward money moments. The people in my office like to hold little bridal or baby showers for our colleagues. They will go around asking if you’d like to contribute to a gift for them and I will throw something in even if I don’t even know the person. My office has 50+ people and I only work with a handful but I feel like a b*tch if I say no.

  25. Oh, the home parties!? I recently went to a LuLaRoe clothing party for some hometown friends. I had been to one before, and the prices were semi-reasonable, but the prices at this party were a little much (for me anyway!). Over $30 for a maxi skirt, or $27 for a short skirt, or $20+ for some freaking leggings, when you can get leggings for $10 at Old Navy. No way. Upon finally seeing the price sheet, my sister-in-law and I, who had tried things on and had things in our hand we were thinking about purchasing, had to nonchalantly drop our stuff and try to slip out of there unnoticed. I’ll never be able to see those high school friends again without feeling major guilt at stiffing them at their party!?

    1. The same thing has happened to me- not at clothing parties but other sales type things. I hate that feeling! If a friend of mine is having a party like that to raise money, I would rather just give them $10 or $20 and move on. No awkward sales party needed.

  26. Fun Post Holly…but sadly all too real for most 🙁

    “Going out to dinner then realizing that everyone is splitting the bill equally” – This happened to me a couple of weeks ago when I went out to a friends birthday dinner. I normally ask the waiter straight away for a separate check, but forgot this one time.

    Sure enough, when the bill came, we all had to chip in equal amounts…which was a drag for me ’cause while I don’t drink…everyone else at the table does…so I ended up paying for everyone else’s booze habit…which of course, increased the amount of the tip, which of course I had to split as well!!

    The other problem with this scenario is that you cannot complain or you look like your being a “dick”!

    Never again!

    Thanks Holly and take care.

    Lyle

  27. Ugh. I hate it when those moments happen too. And it seems like when you travel they happen a lot. I suppose tourists are easy targets! I’ve learned to decline almost everything, of course, add a glass of wine or two in me and sometimes I forget! For me the worst, is those cute kids selling whatever outside grocery stores, etc. They look so disappointed when you say “no” and sometimes it is my kid standing outside trying to get you to buy girl scout cookies. 🙂

  28. When we were on our honeymoon a photographer wanted us to take pics. We knew that Sandals had these photographers on staff to sell pics to people, so we were always very up-front about not wanting to do it. We finally caved one time but I sure as heck wasn’t buying anything! I even told him I wasn’t interested and was not buying any and he still badgered us into it.

    1. They did the same to us on our cruise. I didn’t buy any but they took a ton.

  29. Oh no, that is so awkward about the tequila bottle! I wouldn’t have known what to do. I probably would have said something lame like, “Thanks, but I don’t drink…” Ugh. Sadly, I don’t have to work on my bitch face; somehow I manage to look unhappy/upset on a normal basis, or if I’m focused on something. Not sure if that’s really a good thing, though, hah.

  30. The music thing I can kind of let go bc I thought it was common knolwedge to tip them but I DO think they take advantage of non-hispanic people–my family just tips, there’s no set amount.
    the tequila bottle you could have said no. You were under no obligation to buy, they’re just trying to rip you off.

    1. Of course I realized I could have said “no,” albeit only after the fact. That’s why this post is called “awkward money moments!” It was awkward.
      I actually had no idea about the musicians. I thought they worked at the restaurant since they were walking from table to table. If I owned that restaurant (or any other restaurant), I would be hesitant to let an outside group walk from table to table trying to get additional funds from my customers. But maybe that’s just me.

  31. They did get you good. I always smile and say “no” to whatever’s offered me. It’s like a dance. They come back lower, etc..etc..assuming of course you want the item. I do like your pic on the tequila bottle though !!!

  32. The band playing is typical in latin restaurants and so it is customary to tip them once you’ve said yes to them playing for you. I’ve been to some restaurants here in NJ were they will come around with roses or to take photos, but they are not aggressive and just move on to the next table. However, when I’ve traveled abroad vendors are more aggressive. They even harass you at the beach while I’m trying to relax, I hate that! But I understand what you mean, sometimes I do feel bad and just pay up especially if it’s a kid asking for money.

    1. I hate when they approach me on the beach too. I’ve had people walk out to the water to try to get me to buy something. I’m not getting out of the water to shop!

  33. i went out with my girlfriend and brother, who i was paying for and 3 other coulpes, they order bottles of wine alot of food my girlfriend drank water my brother and i had one drink each,when the bill came they said all the men should pay the bill meaning my brother to pay a full share ,i said no we would pay for what we order these were old friends from highschool,i no they all when home calling me cheap, but i had to do it, sick of this allways paying more for others….

  34. Cari @ A Thrifty Yankee says:

    100% Agree!

    I always disliked those school fundraiser things being passed around the office by the parents – I avoided those like the plague and happily, it’s not allowed where I work now! I also try to avoid those jewelry/tupperware/whatevercrapyou’reselling parties too 😉

  35. People who split the bill drive me nuts! No, you should pay for your stuff and yours alone unless you offer to buy, key word, OFFER. I went to dinner with a couple friends and they decided to split the cost of drinks and I ordered none (I don’t drink). Instead of paying $5 for my two slices of pizza and water, I paid $13! It was a work thing and I couldn’t even argue for myself.

    1. Been there! That happened to me all the time when I was younger and single!

  36. catherine says:

    Yes Yes Yes! The craziest one was when I started working at my current job and we were all expected to put money towards a gift (at Christmas) for the dentists we work with. It’s a small office and my boss owns million dollar revenue dental practices, what the hell was I wasting $20 on for?! I thought it was insane but the first year obliged being the new girl. By second year I said No. I explained my stance and everyone agreed. We wanted to do something but not waste our money on pens and neck ties. Instead we gathered it all up and donated it to a family in need and bought them Christmas dinner and gave them a gift certificate to a local grocery store, all in the names of the two DDS’s. I was MUCH more comfortable with this and they appreciated it too.

    1. That’s a really good idea actually. I’m sure your bosses appreciated it!

  37. I used to always feel like I had to go to parties for Mary Kay or Pampered Chef or whatever and I would always buy something I didn’t need. I just quit going. I guess I don’t care if I don’t have any friends! That tequila bottle is classic. You should wrap it up and give it to your Mom for Christmas.

    1. OMG, that’s what I told my brother. Maybe I will find a small picture of my sister and slap it on there too. Merry Christmas, mom!

      1. this is funny made me laugh…its a good idea ..i think you mom may like it…

  38. The last few times being guilted for money happened to us traveling in the good old USA and they always start the same where they ask, are you Christian? Using religion to guilt people to pay them for their boondoggle or whatever they put together is the worst and they know to go to my wife to get whatever dollars she has. She has a soft heart and their radar seems to have them lining up. We now do not carry cash except for an emergency amount I carry hidden and just we use a credit card as much as possible. Easy to say no when you have no dollars, 10s or 20s in your wallet or pocket. I expect they will be pulling out a smart-phone with a credit card Cube-reader attached soon to counteract our current avoidance strategy.

  39. Oh man! That is definitely crappy. I’ve been there before and it’s crazy how it can add up. I haven’t been in a situation like this recently but when I am travelling I notice I’m blind-sided far more frequently.

  40. My awkward moments come from bachelor parties.

    Whether it’s the one guy who wants to buy the bachelor all the drinks then ask all the other guys to pitch in. Or the other is when all the guys pay before the trip there is one guy who tells me he will pay when we get there. He then gives me half the amount and says he will win the other half gambling … You can imagine how awkward that is when he doesn’t pay me, yet is feasting at the buffet.

    I don’t mind these situations though, if you promise me something I don’t forget, so I will get what you promised no matter how awkward this could be.

    1. Oh no. Win the other half gambling? LOL. That is so sad.

  41. Working in the city, I get asked for money multiple times every day. You get immune to it, but I go with the fact that I don’t trust who you are or what you are going to do with the money even if it’s $1. I would rather give the money to a charity, family, or I don’t know pay off my own debt.

  42. Haha! Yes, these are funny, but they suck too! I hate when this kind of thing happens, I guess it’s a good thing I have my resting bitch face perfected 🙂

  43. I’ve totally been there! A fake tattoo guy in Brazil wanted to show me his skills, then demanded payment! I was so mad. I also hate when bills are split equally, when clearly not everyone purchased equally!

  44. Happened to me!

    Maui, on the road to Hana. Dude with 5 parrots on his shoulders and head. Asked if we wanted a pic. Said sure, handed him the camera. He put the birds on us, took some awesome pics. Then he held our camera hostage and said something like “Did you contribute to our wildlife refuge fund? We recommend $20” Dude was obviously NOT going to give our camera back until we coughed up the cash. It was a fun moment, and if he had asked for money first, we may have paid, but it left a bitter taste in our mouth after being swindled. UGH. Hate that crap.

  45. LeRainDrop says:

    I HATE when the big group decides to split the bill at the end of dinner. I don’t mind when it’s like a couple dollars difference among friends, but when there really are big differences, it’s just not fair. As to those on-the-spot donation requests, like at the grocery check-out, I say, “Not today!”

  46. As I get older (although I am quite far from getting old as I am excellent health and am only age 58), I quote the actress Bette Davis who stated, “Old age is no place for sissies.” When I am faced with a potential situation in which someone else wants me to part with some of my money, I am not going to be a sissy. I will tell them “NO” in very clear terms. I am not going to feel guilty and I am not going to feel embarrassed by saying “NO”. In fact, I will try to make the other person or persons feel guilty and embarrassed by imposing on me. There are times when I am part of a so-called “captive audience”, for example, when I am a passenger on a commuter train in Los Angeles. There periodically are people who are panhandling for money. When these people approach me, I either ignore them, say nothing, or I shake my head “NO”. Furthermore, I rarely have any money with me when I am using public transportation.

    The last 7 1/2 years have not been easy for me financially. Fortunately, I am extremely disciplined with regard to how I spend money. I will be continuing with my current very disciplined spending habits for at least the next 11 1/2 years. However, even when the 11 1/2 years are up, I am going to continue with my very disciplined spending and saving habits, because I worked very hard to accomplish what I have accomplished in my life. There are a lot of people who are too busy spending money to “keep up with the Joneses”. If these people end up with very little or nothing, they have nobody except themselves to blame. I am going to enjoy my life in the manner that I chose to enjoy my life. I will NOT allow any other person to cajole or entice me to do otherwise. If they try to do so, the other people will see the displeasure and anger on my face!

  47. Ooh I had a similar experience like yours regarding the band at the restaurant. First of all, I don’t like it when there’s a live band playing when I eat my food, because it’s hard to hear people around me since the music is often too loud. The worst part is definitely when they expect for me to give them a tip when I didn’t actually enjoy their performance! But then when you don’t give them money other people will think you’re a douche. Ugh!

    1. I can understand how you feel. However, if I was eating at a restaurant with other people and some “performer” came to my table to ask me for tip, I first would look at the other people at my table with a look of extreme displeasure and then I would look at the “performer” and would shake my head strongly (in very certain terms) “NO” (of course, I would shake my head sideways to indicate “NO”). I certainly would NOT feel like I am douche. I then would ask my waiter or waitress, in very clear terms, that I do not want to be disturbed by any “performer” or by anyone else, except the server or bus person, who wants my money.

      There have been times that I was a passenger on a commuter train in Los Angeles that someone would get on the train and would play their guitar. When the guitar player walked by me and asked for money, I would ignore the guitar player or just shake my head “NO” in the manner I described above.

      I have been living in the Los Angeles area for my entire life so far. Perhaps I have developed the “big-city” mentality and have become somewhat hard-hearted. So be it! I have worked hard for my money. I certainly will NOT give any of my money to anyone who, IN MY OPINION, does not deserve it. I am VERY assertive!

  48. I love awkward moments, since they are hilarious, but not quite as hilarious when they cost me money.

    In Tijuana, there are men who sit by the sink and hand you paper towels…they expect a tip.

    There are also people who open your cab door…they expect a tip.

    1. Kalen – To those people to expect a tip, I would reply to them with one word that is the same in English and Spanish. That word is “NO”. If you would feel guilty about not giving them anything, just keep a bunch of United States of America pennies in one of your pockets. In that case, you can give each of them one penny as a tip. With the value of their currency, one penny should be a reasonable amount of money to them. One penny would be reasonable compensation for the so-called “service” they are providing, which is not much of a service!

  49. One of our awkward moments are when certain stores ask for donation money at the end of your shopping to different causes and you feel weird and say “yes” everytime because you don’t want to be the bad guy in the line. But you know you been to that store multiple times during the same week and have already donated.

  50. LOL! I love these stories. They’re awkward at the time but can be really funny later. When I was younger we were on a family vacation. This local told my dad he had “the best place” for us to go for dinner. We followed him for 20 min through town as it slowly gets sketchier and sketchier. We end up at this burger stand where he asks my dad for money and orders. We had some decent burgers but we’re pretty sure he pocketed half the money and got a free meal. It was pretty funny later but super awkward at the time.

  51. Ah.. I certainly hear you about the little “traps” that they set near the resorts in Mexico or the Caribbean.. But all of those people are so broke, I never feel too bad about throwing them a ten spot.

  52. Oh you have to really watch those beach and restaurant vendors in Mexico for sure. I think I said “No mas” and then they went away. I hate splitting the restaurant bill, and even if I have ordered something more expensive! It’s just not fair to the other people, so ya, I do the Math in my head.

  53. My wife always makes me tip 20-30% when we are in Mexico. Her logic is that the wages are so low that the servers need the money to live off of. It’s hard for me because I’m so frugal. I love Mexico though and can’t wait to go back. What resort did you stay at? Ive been to the El Dorado Royale in the Mayan Riviera and loved it

  54. A firm no would always do but yeah…sometimes you will be caught in a situation where you really have to open your wallet. At least you know what to avoid next time.

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