I am a giver and find it very hard to receive but when I have it has been rather interesting.
Yesterday I travelled for two hours with a friend to accompany her on a difficult situation, she asked for my company. We drove for two hours and since we left around 7 in the morning by the time we got to our destination we were both hungry. My friend drove and complained she needed to eat breakfast on arrival and insisted she shouted for the meal. I feel rather uncomfortable at the suggestion but she insisted. We arrived at a café and I glanced over the menu thinking something simple like scrambled eggs would do and then as I thought she visited the ladies room she had actually placed and paid for our breakfast order at the front counter. Oh, I thought, but I hadn’t made a choice. She then told me it was all taken care of, she had ordered the big breakfast of bacon and eggs for her and ordered a small (cheap) cake for me. My jaw dropped as I was quite hungry and cake was the last thing I wanted for breakfast. She thought she was doing the honourable thing but from my perspective I would prefer to pay for my own breakfast and eat properly than to be insulted in such a way – so I said so. I told her cake for breakfast was a joke and I walked up to the counter to place my own order when in front of me was a tour bus of people ordering; the wait would be 30 mins or more. I returned to the table and told her that her thought was lovely but please don’t ever do that again. I had no breakfast because her food came quickly and I would have had to wait an additional 30 minutes or more to receive my food. I pushed the cake in front of her and told her to eat it – her reply “oh I don’t eat something sweet like that in the morning” and yet her gesture expected me to.
I have always made it a point if I offer to take someone or pay for a meal I at least give the person a choice of meal so take it from someone on the receiving end of bad manners – it is an insult to be given unwelcomed food.
I am still a little bit angry because as I said I was happy to pay for my own meal rather than eat cake while my friend ate a hearty breakfast. By lunch time I was hungry and angry and left her to eat a sandwich and didn’t care what she thought.
So if you choose to be generous with a shout for a friend, be sensible and allow them to choose their food otherwise don’t make the offer.