She: I’ve never thought this before, but I think we would actually save money if we had more kids.
Z: Why? Is that because we’d have more of them to work in the factory?
She: No. It’s the whole going out to dinner thing.
Z: How is it cheaper to feed more? Is this Leslie math?
She: Not exactly. It’s splitting the check math. Mostly I’m all for it. But when you only have one kid, dining with families of 12 and splitting the check can get kind of expensive.
Z: Oh, that. I totally agree. That’s why I always make Koss order the lobster. I just wish he wasn’t allergic to shellfish.
She: It’s a steep price to pay.
Z: Totally worth it. It’s what makes it fair.
She: Is that why you always order at least three rounds of Top Shelf margaritas?
Z: I’m not that cheap. Please. I order three rounds because I’m a drunk.
She: Which pays off for us big when we go out with other couples.
Z: Especially for breakfast.
She: The group ordering thing is pretty interesting.
Z: Somehow you spend twice as much when you eat with a group as you would as a couple.
She: I know, what is that? It’s like we’re all given those guest menus without prices.
Z: Oh, yeah, those menus. From the ‘50s.
She: I think it’s a competitive thing. I would never order the steak if it was just us. I don’t even like the steak that much. I probably feel like a salad. But if we’re with a group, I get the steak.
Z: And then there’s always a single woman in the group who manages to get a $10 salad and no drinks, but all the couples’ eat $175 worth of food. What do you do with her? Do you take her ten bucks?
She: She enjoyed our company. I’m pretty sure she’s in for the entire $175.
Z: Honestly, I don’t why she doesn’t just pick up the whole check.
She: If it were me, I’d want to do that. It’s tough to have a generous nature with a tiny wallet. I guess that’s why we live in the shack.
Z: When we were in high school, we never split the check.
She: That’s because you had no money in high school.
Z: Ben did. At least that was Chuck’s excuse whenever he failed to pay his share. “Why should I pay when Ben has all the money? He’s the capitalist pig, he has to help his friends out.” Never mind that Ben was also the one who had a job.
She: Is that why you resisted getting a job for so long, so your high school friends would take you out to dinner?
Z: There was lunch, too.
She: Ah, high school. If only you’d give yourself enough distance to miss it.
Z: The dumbest thing is that Chuck would make a big deal of it. I, on the other hand, had neither money nor a job, so I’d just quietly stick Albert with my portion of the check. Good thing he always trusted my math.
She: You guys sound like a bad version of old ladies in a coffee shop.
Z: I love those old ladies. They know how to worry a tab down to the penny.
She: When I was a waitress, we used to ro-sham-bo to see who had to wait on the old ladies. Now I sorta feel like one of them when I worry about paying more than my share of the check.
Z: I wish that Ben lived in town. Not only does he still have a job, but he doesn’t have any kids. That’s the guy with whom we should go out to dinner and split a check.
She: Yes, dear.
Share your thoughts — but not the check — with she and Z at firstname.lastname@example.org.