Traditionally, for a birthday or special occasion my family goes out to dinner to celebrate the guest of honor. This occurs 2 or 3 times a year and we never go out to dinner together as a family except for these few occasions. Usually the guest of honor chooses the restaurant and sets up the plan. Everyone else in my family expects my father to pay on these occasions and does not open their wallet. I always offer at least the cost of my meal and my father accepts the money.
I have started to grow tired of this set up. My brother planned a lavish dinner out in the city after I already purchased him a gift, and I was the only one to throw $40 to my father. Had I known about this dinner out I would have skipped the gift and offered to chip in for his dinner as a gift. Last week there was another dinner that I indicated I couldn’t attend- my family was up in arms and insisted I go. Again, I was the only to resentfully offer the money for my meal.
How can I bring myself some peace and get this situation under control? I don’t mind paying for my meal but it really frosts my cookies that everyone puts their nose in the air while my father fumbles for a credit card. I feel that we should agree ahead of time what kind of dinner it will be- I would like everyone to be on the same page. Any suggestions about how to broach this subject????