"Unwritten Law of Seniority"
AKA: Grampa's Little Girl
I grew up in a family where the senior member of the family pays. If we go out to dinner and Mom & Dad are there, they pay. If Grandpa comes, he pays. Oh sure, we all fight about it, but in the end, we bow to seniority and the eldest "wins" the bill. So imagine my surprise when that didn't happen in my husband's family. Where they would fight over NOT paying the bill. Honestly, it was like they were from Mars. This was a black & white issue for me. "It's DAD's bill. He's the oldest," I'd protest.
"My parents grew up in the Depression," my husband would answer as if this was an excuse.
"My Grandpa was a homesteader and World War II Vet, don't tell me your parents grew up in the Depression. When I was in high school, Grandpa would meet me at Burger King for lunch, did I ever have to pay? No. Would I ask my kids to pay for a Happy Meal?"
There were places this got weird, even for me. In my mind, the unwritten law of seniority was involved in underwear. A child should not have to pay for underwear and maybe I took this a little far. To this day, I cannot pay for slips. How often do I get in a dress? And no one ever sees the thing, so who cares, right? I kid you not, my mom bought me one in the fourth grade, and I still have it. Oh sure, it was bigger then, but it's a nice snug fit now. And don't worry, I have upgraded on the rest of the unmentionables, but there's something about slips. My SIL gave me a maternity slip when I was pregnant with my first child (he's 12 now) so I'm good to go. I now have a short slip and a long slip.
As you can see, we both have our quirks, but I still say, the senior family member pays for dinner. Anything else, as Mammy would say about her red shimmy, "It just ain't fittin'. It just ain't fittin." Kristin