Edward Lai Harner, Edward Harner
Andrea Harner
andreaharnerblog AT gmail
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February 21, 2007

Happy life tip: Thank the couple and not just the primary breadwinner for dinner

We took friends out to dinner last night and we paid and by we paid I mean Jonah used his credit card to pay. Then, it happened. Jonah was thanked for dinner. Only Jonah. This of course reminded me of Larry David's question in season three of Curb Your Enthusiasm, "When a husband pays the check, do you have to also thank the wife?" Yes, Larry David and yes, everyone else, you do. The reason is simple but apparently not obvious. A marriage is a partnership. Regardless of who makes most of the money, it's all coming from the same pot, so to speak. One never really knows how the couple splits up the rest of life's duties such as managing the finances, cleaning the house, etc etc, so it's best to assume shared work and to see couples as a unit. And thus, to thank them both for dinner.

Sound good?


I am so totally with you on this one, Chao-Li. I hope those friends of "collective yours" gets it too.

Posted by: reichi at February 21, 2007 11:42 AM

Well said! I encourage you to begin an "Ask Andrea" side blog.

Posted by: demelza sato at February 21, 2007 2:16 PM

I totally agree with you. My husband usually is the one to plonk down a credit card to pay, but that doesn't mean anything more than I don't like to carry my purse with me everywhere, in fact, I make about a third more than he does, so suck it, Larry David. =)

Posted by: Monkee at February 21, 2007 3:49 PM

There you go mention pot again. Damn retro-hippies.

Posted by: Hasan at February 21, 2007 4:12 PM

When we go out like that I let the wife pay. Since it is all the same discover account it makes no difference to me. I loved that episode.

Posted by: Blitz Krieg at February 21, 2007 11:07 PM

i'm with you sister...i think it's rude to just thank the person who plops down the card. i haven't had to deal with that yet since my boyfriend and i are too cheap and selfish to take people out to dinner but i'll tell you how my parents deal with it: if my dad puts down his credit card and the people they are with thank him and not my mom he says "thank her, not me -- i'm a kept man."

Posted by: shaygo at February 22, 2007 10:59 AM

Why does it matter? Are you getting some type of frequent Karma points? Does your husband lord it over you?

Don't feel antagonised because he makes more than you. Will he give you a hard time if you paid and only you were thanked? C'mon. Have a little more self-confidence. Just remember you tell him what to do.

Posted by: max at February 26, 2007 2:25 PM


Posted by: Kate at February 27, 2007 5:10 PM

You're certainly right that you both deserve the thanks, but your argument is a bit recursive. If you are both truly partners, then a "thank you" to Jonah is a "thank you" for both of you, no?

Overall, I do agree that a "thanks guys" is a better approach.

Posted by: Jonah (not your man) at March 2, 2007 11:56 AM
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