The Wessex Wire

The Student News Site of West Essex Regional High School

The Wessex Wire

The Wessex Wire

DOES IT BOTHER YOU: When did splitting the check become harder than a calc problem?

Staff photo by Sophia Rosen
Splitting the bill should be a simple task, yet it repeatedly turns into a chaotic puzzle that feels impossible to solve.

We’ve all been there: out to dinner with a bunch of friends, and as the waiter says, “whenever you’re ready,” the air chills and the ever-so daunting check is placed on the table like a guest showing up to a party it wasn’t invited to. All of a sudden, what was once a lively atmosphere turns into a dreadful dance of avoiding the complex math problem they don’t teach you how to solve in high school—how to split the check. 

There’s nothing a big group of people look forward to less than dealing with this complicated ordeal. Can the restaurant split the check eight ways? Who ordered entrees and who ordered appetizers? Who’s paying with cash? Does anyone have venmo? Considering this atmosphere that’s near impossible to communicate in, along with tons of other complications, it’s hard to blame anyone for dreading the moment they have to deal with this issue.

At the end of the day, after all other options have been exhausted, one person must step up to pay for the group because it’s the only plausible way to leave the restaurant without being banned and arrested for “dining and dashing.” The person who paid is then left to go home and pray on their hands and knees for everyone to pay them back within the next few days. With any luck, this will liberate them from the oh-so-awkward interaction of having to venmo-request the money, or god forbid, having to text “please venmo me for your meal.”

I’m serious, there are countless awkward annoyances when it comes to splitting the bill and the reality-tv-worthy aftermath, but let me start with what I know to be the worst of all: nitpicking over every last penny. Listen, I get it—if you only ordered a single drink and the rest of the group indulged in a four-course meal, you shouldn’t have to cover for their extravagance. But if everyone ordered pizza and you ordered fries, I’m sorry, but lose the two dollars; make everyone’s lives a little easier. If it’s possible to split the check evenly between ten people, I’ll take the bargain where I can get it! As people on my left and right are whipping out their phone calculators to figure out how much each person equally owes, it only makes the situation more impossible to ask if three dollars can be subtracted from your meal then added back in and divided by nine—this is dinner not a calculus equation. 

Let’s not forget what happens after the check is paid and all seems to be well. Everyone still has to pay back the person who originally paid for the group’s check. It’s not that hard—get out your phone after the waiter is handed the card and quickly venmo, zell or whatever money-transferring app suits your fancy. If you don’t have any of these apps to pay with, give them cash in a timely manner. There’s no probable reason to make anyone stress over being short 80 dollars because of the six meals they just selflessly paid for. 

Is this a crazy, life-or-death issue? No. But does it have the potential to be easily avoided? Yes. With some common sense and promptness, we can have a good meal without a side of stress. 

Behind the Byline
Ella Hermans
Ella Hermans, Editor-in-Chief
Ella Hermans is the 2024-2025 Editor-in-Chief of the Wessex Wire! She enjoys spending time with her friends and family, listening to music and going to the beach. She plays tennis for the West Essex team, and her favorite show is "New Girl". 
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