Sib­lings bicker about cabin ex­penses

The Washington Post Sunday - - DIVERSIONS - AMY DICKINSON

Dear Amy: My three sib­lings and I are plan­ning a moun­tain get­away for our par­ents’ 50th wed­ding an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tion. My par­ents will be in the mas­ter suite. We have all agreed to split their cost and ex­penses as a gift.

When rent­ing a large cabin with sep­a­rate bed­rooms, do you think sin­gles should pay the same rate as cou­ples? Should all four sib­lings share the to­tal cost for the en­tire group?

There is a fam­ily of three (in­cludes a baby), there is a fam­ily of four (two older teens) and then there are two sin­gle adults.

What is the eti­quette when split­ting costs among fam­ily units of vary­ing sizes?

Do you charge per per­son, per bed or per room?

If sin­gles shared a room, do they pay half of one share? And what about food costs? How should we split food costs?

This is caus­ing a big rift be­tween us. Feel­ings and emo­tions have got­ten the best of all of us. Your in­put into this mess would be greatly ap­pre­ci­ated. Dis­tressed Dis­tressed: This isn’t an eti­quette ques­tion so much as a prac­ti­cal ques­tion with many solutions. My sug­gested so­lu­tion is that you should charge per bed­room in the cabin. Then peo­ple can pay for their own pri­vacy or share a room to save.

In terms of pay­ing for food, per­haps it would be most prac­ti­cal to set a price-perindi­vid­ual for the week­end — say $75 per per­son (or what­ever), which would also cover the cost for your folks. You could load this money onto a pre­paid card for food, and your group would draw it down as you go. In­di­vid­u­als should pay for their own al­co­hol sep­a­rately.

I hope you come to terms about this be­fore the event. It wouldn’t be much of a cel­e­bra­tion for your folks if their kids were bick­er­ing over money dur­ing the week­end.

I’m sure read­ers will want to weigh in with their own rec­om­men­da­tions. Dear Amy: You ran a let­ter from “Dis­turbed,” who was wor­ried that her boyfriend was such an in­tro­vert. You should have en­cour­aged this cou­ple to join a Toast­mas­ters group. I did this, and it was a great and safe en­vi­ron­ment to over­come my ex­treme shy­ness.

More Out­go­ing More Out­go­ing: There is noth­ing “wrong” with be­ing an in­tro­vert, and in­tro­ver­sion doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily need fix­ing. But “Dis­turbed” did say her boyfriend wanted to work on his anti-so­cial shy­ness. Many read­ers sug­gested Toast­mas­ters (toast­mas­, and I thank you all.

Amy’s col­umn ap­pears seven days a week at wash­ing­ton­­vice. Write to askamy@amy­dick­in­ or Amy Dickinson, Tri­bune Con­tent Agency, 16650 West­grove Dr., Suite 175, Ad­di­son, Tex. 75001. You can also fol­low her @ask­ingamy.

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