The ‘Once Only Refusal’


I have always been very independent, a person who hates ever feeling indebted to someone else. Perhaps it’s the cynical side of me that hates the idea of someone ‘giving’ me something for nothing, but I am just plain old uneasy with feeling like I ‘owe’ someone something.

It could be a small as a coffee, or an offer to pay for a meal, but something deep inside me gets an instant urge to ferociously resist the ‘offer of payment’. To me it is a genuine refusal. The act that follows, usually involves a bit of to and fro, a bit of ‘No, It’s on me!’, followed by ‘ No, you’re not paying’, No you paid last time’ and then  some dirty attempts at trying to push  a $20 note down someone’s bra. I usually win the battle by becoming the louder, more forceful participant at the counter, but occasionally I met with the ‘Once Only Refusal’.

What is the ‘Once only Refusal? Well, put simply, it is the participant who when met with an aggressive ‘offer of payment’ responds by pathetically refusing the gift just ‘once’ before giving in. These people are beginning to embarrass me. There are times when the ‘Once Only Refuser’ doesn’t even pretend to put up a half decent fight, there are times when I haven’t even finished my sentence before they have surrendered. Some I’m sure have pulled muscles as a result of stuffing their purses back into their handbags so quickly. Come on, at least pretend to put up a fight! Even if you have no intention of paying, pretend you were going to! Where’s your to and fro!

Then there are the friends who follow the ‘rounds’ system but allow you to shout every time. The ones who pretend they can’t remember who bought the last coffees. I don’t think so people, surely you realise something’s a miss when the last time you bought a coffee it was still only $1.50 for a latte!

Speaking of rounds, I’m sure it would be the same people who when drinking in proper rounds at a pub are the last scheduled round buyer of the night, but who are no-where to be seen when it is their shout. They then reward themselves with the little luxury of a ‘free’ night out.

As the president of ‘Once Only Refusal’ Town, my husband believes that this is not always a calculated attempt at getting freebies, he just says he can’t be bothered with the fakeness of the ‘to and fro’, and he is by nature a very generous person. But I am certain there are people out there who make it their life mission to ‘never put their hand in their pocket’.

I do believe the Aussie Term for these people is the ‘Tight Ass’.

P.s – I am on to you, you know who you are!


12 thoughts on “The ‘Once Only Refusal’

  1. I’ve got a friend who’s paid before the discussion has even begun! Sometimes he does it sneakily by pretending to go to the toilet and then paying at the till. And once again I’m eating a free breakfast and going “I’ll get it next time.” What to do?

  2. Being one who also finds it also hard to allow another person to pay for me I have now changed and yes will admit to sneaking away and paying the bill. This has become a game I enjoy playing just so as not to also have the ‘no I will pay, no it is my turn’ as I tend to be easily embarrassed if a conversation begins to get above a low whisper. The skill of the game is when the other party knows you are prone to sneak and pay but then become all James Bond and still manage to pay without being caught. Some times it becomes Maxwell Smart (‘Would you believe I was not going to pay the bill?’ and ‘missed it by that much’) but generally it all ends with a laugh and a call of I will pay the next one.

    • You will also be shocked to know that that a minimum of chips is no longer $1.80. Have you not wondered why your mates are suggesting BYO thermos flasks instead of meeting at Zarrafas? 🙂

  3. I often offer to pay for someone else’s coffee, but rarely does it go above the price of a coffee,unless it’s repaying a favour in the first place. I will offer to pay for dinner if it’s a friend I”ve not seen for a long time and they’ve driven a long way to come and hang out or whatever, or if it’s my parents. Parents always shout the kids so it is nice when they give in occasionally and let us pay for things! I personally hate rounds, especially at the bar because I never ever have ANY intention of paying for a round and hate it when someone buys me a drink in a round as I don’t really drink more than just one drink anyway. …

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