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Pet peeve I

So what do you do when a bunch of people go out for dinner? The easiest thing to do is split the bill, of course, & I don't mind that, since unless one person eats 3 entries & a dessert, & the others only have an appetizer, it comes out about the same.

But then you add in drinks.

A couple of cocktails or glasses of wine cost as much or more than an entree, which means that the drinkers are often spending half again as much as the non-drinkers. If it came out even over time, I would be fine with it, the way I am with food: Sometimes my bill is a little more, sometimes yours is. The problem is that it always works out in favor of the drinkers. I once went to a birthday dinner, where my actual share of the bill was $20 (this was a while ago & there was a prix fixe) & I ended up owing $50 because I had to buy drinks for rich people I didn't even know. The drinkers should step up but I suppose they don't pay attention to whether or not others are drinking, & I can't say as I expect them to.

I've tried to solve this for years. If I can, I ask that the drinks go on a separate bill, or else I show up to say hello but don't order anything at all. Workable solutions but not ideal. How do other people handle this without being jerks or taken advantage of?
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