DEAR ABBY: I need your opinion about something that is puzzling my husband and me. When several couples go out for dinner together, is it rude to ask for separate checks?
We have been made to feel very cheap when we ask for separate checks, but there are times when we have paid half the bill when our portion should have been much less.
Please tell me how to handle this without causing embarrassment to anyone. There is also the matter of leaving a tip. Shouldn't each diner pay part of the tip?
We get a lot of dirty looks from servers when we ask for separate checks. Why? -- LONGTIME READER IN MAINE
DEAR READER: There is nothing wrong with asking for separate checks, particularly if there is a great disparity in the drinking habits of the couples. That way, each diner can pay the proper portion of the tip.
You may be getting dirty looks from servers because it is more trouble for them to write separate checks than to make out just one.