Dear Mrs. McVeigh,
When a family invites our family to dinner at a restaurant, by habit, we typically split the bill by each giving credit cards to the waiter. However, when a friend invites us to join them for dinner by the pool at their country club, we are unable to pay with a credit card (or cash) since we are not members. What is the appropriate etiquette in this scenario?
A lot of people invite guests to their country club on purpose so they are able to pay for the whole dinner bill. If you are in this situation, thank them verbally and then follow up with a hand written thank you note. Soon after you can invite the family to your home for dinner, or make it clear that you are treating them out to a restaurant. There is no need to feel uncomfortable or guilty about the situation when the bill is presented at the table. The club member does not expect you to share in the expense. If he/she were hoping to share the expenses at dinner, then he would not have invited you to his club.