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Apr 15, 2008 02:34 PM

Do you say it's your birthday when it isn't?

When I went on my honeymoon, I mentioned to the hotel reservations clerk that it was our honeymoon where we received complimentary cake and/or champagne on arrival. When I make reservations and it is indeed a special occasion and tell them (I only tell when asked), I also find a complimentary cake. With my ex-bf, we used to go to Lespinasse every year on our anniversary. After like our fourth or fifth time there, they figured it out and sent us a complimentary cake after dinner with Happy Anniversary on it. I was telling somebody of all of our freebies to which she replied, "Oh, I always say it's a celebration when it isn't. You get more free stuff that way." I was a little bit surprised about that. Do any of you guys do or know somebody who does that?

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  1. To lie about it is an unconscionable, sleazy theft of services. Poor character.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Veggo

      Agreed. My Grandmother lied at Knotts Berry Farm when my sister and I were kids and told the waitress it was our birthdays so we would get free ice cream. We were horrified and refused to eat it. Even at ages 8 and 6 we knew it was wrong.

      1. re: lanersg

        Wow, your grandmother actually said it was both of your birthdays -- and they believed it? Chances of that happening are very slim.

        1. re: lanersg

          And sadly, in your eyes that bogey stayed on your grandmother's scorecard forever. To save a dollar, or so.

          1. re: Veggo

            Actually at that age we totally looked alike so it was believable. My Grandmother to this day snags sweet and low, grabs as much hot sauce at Taco Bell as she can lay her hands on, and generally always wants extra stuff or free stuff if she can get it. My sis and I are the opposite and are always "apologizing with our eyes" when with her in a restaurant.

            1. re: lanersg

              She clearly had an interval of life with profound economic insecurity, and never quite got past the reflexes she developed then. I hope she coasts to the finish line with less anxiety.

        2. re: Veggo

          Absolutely. Assuming they're past the age where most people are honest about it, someone who does that probably lies about their age too.

        3. no. when asked, "is this a special occasion?" the answer is always a non-committal something like, "we're celebrating tuesday." bottom line is we're not fond of a fuss when eating out. sometimes, chef comes out to chat. i like that. extra food? don't need it. being comped wine/other drinks is always a good thing.

          1. Okay, I'm starting to realize that even if you do that, you're probably not going to admit it on this thread for the fear of getting flamed. But I'd be curious to hear any stories of your friends (whether it is your "friends" or you friends) who do get freebies.

            10 Replies
            1. re: Miss Needle

              A few years ago I donated a fire engine and an ambulance to Playa del Carmen in Mexico, and for too long I was told in many bars and restaurants "your money's no good here" and they tried to give me free stuff. I ALWAYS left money. Taking freebies would have totally undermined the spirit and intent of the donations. I did accept a plane ticket back to Denver from the governor of Q. Roo after driving the ambulance down, because I didn't have a way home.

              1. re: Veggo

                gotta love the veggo.
                i'm 99 percent certain you're not kidding.

                      1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                        110 might have been enough. Thanks, Sam.

                      2. re: Veggo

                        That was the funniest thing I've ever read on this site.

                        1. re: porky pine

                          The life-saving EMS teams in Quintana Roo should be applauded, with special thanks to Brian Borjesson.

                  1. re: Miss Needle

                    "Okay, I'm starting to realize that even if you do that, you're probably not going to admit it on this thread for the fear of getting flamed."

                    So true! It will take a brave soul to admit to this as a regular practice, not including college antics and pranks.

                    I suspect that it is a relatively rare practice. On the whole, people seem to be pretty honest. Rather encouraging!

                    1. re: moh

                      After reading Veggo's posts, people are not only honest, but generous as well! Very encouraging! Thanks for sharing Veggo, literally.

                  2. Here's what I think about freebies and people who expect them from restaurants--would they ever, in a million years, walk into a grocery store, a shoe store, whatever, buy something, announce it's their birthday and expect the store to hand over a candy bar or extra shoelaces?

                    The sense of entitlement some people have when it comes to restaurants astounds me.

                    1. One time I took a nice gringa to one of the Mexican bars on the west side of Fresno. Some guy wanted to dance with her, but she didn't want to and she didn't speak Spanish. I told the guy we were on our honeymoon--a lie. He heartily congratulated us and went away.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                        The problem was the guy had about 20 buddies who also wanted a dance; and we wanted to be out of there a bit sooner.