Am I wrong for teaching my father-in-law a lesson after he tried to avoid paying the bill?

Carmen’s father-in-law, Jerry, asks her and Leo out to dinner, and the couple is thrilled to spend time with the elderly guy. But Jerry, known for his frugal habits, makes the offer sound like a rare act of charity. Instead, he turns up the bill to Leo, claiming he misplaced his wallet. When the couple discovers the truth, they teach him a lesson.

A smiling older man | Source: Midjourney

Last weekend, my father-in-law, Jerry, asked my husband, Leo, and me to a posh restaurant for dinner. “We haven’t had a meal together in weeks,” Jerry stated over the phone. “It’s time for us to just sit down and enjoy a good meal.” “Should we fetch you, Dad?” Leo asked as he turned off his laptop. “No,” Jerry answered. “I’ll meet you there.” “This is nice,” I said to my hubby. “This is not something we do very often. I believe we should dress up and really make a night of it.”

“I agree, honey,” Leo replied. “Let’s just have a good time.” The restaurant was beautiful, with soft lighting and the faint buzz of live jazz music in the background. “He really chose a fancy place,” Leo commented, grabbing my hand as we searched for Jerry. “Hello, you two!” “Over here!” Jerry cried out, his face beaming with a huge smile.”Hi, Dad,” Leo said, stooping down to embrace his father.

I took out my chair and we sat down, ready to spend some time with Jerry . “Tell me about you two,” Jerry replied, looking at the menu. “What has been happening to you? Are you still with that law firm, Carmen?” “Yes, I’ve made partner, too!” I said excitedly. “But the official announcement will only come in the new year.” Leo went on to discuss job and how he wanted us to buy a property.”

A woman doing her makeup | Source: Pexels

Just in case we want to have kids, you know, Dad?” replied the man. “And what’s better than having a barbecue on a Sunday afternoon?” “Oh, your mother used to love afternoons like that,” Jerry replied, drinking his lemonade. We ordered our meals, and Jerry mentioned that he really wanted to go to Hawaii. “I just think that I need a change of scenery,” he told me. “All that sunshine should be healthy for me. It’s been lonely without your mother there to go on adventures with.

I smiled at him sadly. My mother-in-law’s absence was still felt deeply nearly two years after her death.Jerry rarely did anything without persistent coaxing from Leo and me, so his willingness to take us out to supper was a significant step toward his recovery. “But would you want to go alone?” Leo inquired, finishing his dinner with a long swallow of whiskey.

“No,” Jerry answered. “Perhaps in a tour group or something. It would be cheaper than going it alone. Senior citizens should also be offered discounts.”Can I interest you in dessert?” our server inquired, presenting three dessert menus. “I’ll never say no to dessert,” I said, scanning the menu. Following that, my father-in-law talked about how much he was enjoying playing golf with his new pals.

A lawyer sitting at her desk | Source: Midjourney

“I love having time out and away from the house,” he told me. “And golf may be as slow or quick as I choose. There are no expectations. And my knees do not hurt at all.” When the dessert arrived, Leo promptly asked for the bill.We both knew we could have to pay for dinner, but we didn’t mind. Jerry was well-known for his frugal lifestyle. But Jerry appeared to have it under control, until he didn’t.

He accepted the money and dug into his pocket for his wallet, but his cheery manner changed suddenly. He began patting his pockets, his countenance growing more worried. “I think I lost my wallet! “I cannot believe this!” My father-in-law said, his voice wavering and his eyes nearly welling up with tears. “It’s not a big deal, Dad,” Leo told him. “We’ve got this.”

But then something drew my attention the next morning. I was sitting in bed, sipping tea and scrolling through the images from the previous night. Jerry’s wallet was clearly visible in one of the images we had the waiter shoot. My stomach turned with a mix of incredulity and enjoyment. It was a signature Jerry maneuver. I approached my husband, who was cooking toasted sandwiches, and gave him the photo. “You’ve got to see this,” I said.

A group of elderly people standing together | Source: Midjourney

My spouse chuckled and shook his head. “Looks like Jerry pulled a fast one on us, honey.” We sat down to eat our toasted sandwiches in quiet, debating whether we should bring it up with Jerry or not. We eventually decided it was time for some retribution. “I believe it is needed. “A lesson must be learned,” I said. The following weekend, we took my father-in-law to an even finer restaurant.

“It’s really lavish, Dad,” Leo exclaimed over the phone. “So wear a suit if you’d like.” “Doesn’t that just mean small portions of food and ridiculous prices?” he was asking.”It does,” Leo acknowledged. “However, it is also about the experience. Carmen had been wanting to travel for a long time. And don’t worry; it’s on us.” At the restaurant, we settled into a comfortable routine of catching up on the week.”I tried eating okra the other day!” Jerry exclaimed.

“One of the ladies from the senior center brought a meal of fried okra and eggplant. It wasn’t horrible, but I’m not sure I’d eat it again. I chuckled at Jerry. Regardless of how adventurous he attempted to be with food, he knew what he liked and stuck to it. Dinner went by as we chatted about everything and nothing. And when the waiter brought the check, it was our turn to put on our best shows.

A distressed elderly man | Source: Midjourney

Leo patted his pocket with trepidation, a scowl appearing on his face. “Oh, darling,” he responded. I must have left my wallet at home! Carmen, please confirm that you have yours; I know you changed your luggage.” I pretended worry as I rummaged through my purse.”Darn it,” I replied. “I don’t have mine here either; I just assumed that you would have yours, so I didn’t double-check before we left home.”

“Dad, do you think you can handle this? We’ll repay you, of course,” Leo stated solemnly. “I apologize, Dad. Carmen and I have a tendency to run around and lose track of stuff.” Jerry was surprised, his gaze flitting between us and the bill. “Uh, yes. “I suppose I could,” he said as he reached for his wallet. The waiter, whom Leo had informed of our plans, stepped in.

“I’m sorry, sir,” the waiter explained to Leo. “However, we have a rigorous policy here. If the bill is not paid, we just call the police.” Jerry’s face paled as he brought the banknote closer to him. He struggled with his wallet, eventually pulling out his credit card with shaky hands.Leo and I exchanged smiles, hoping Jerry would understand he had been caught up in his own game.

A smiling woman | Source: Midjourney

“You know,” my husband said as we walked out of the restaurant, “I believe we should buy some ice cream. Dad was correct about the little servings. We drove to the local ice cream store in quiet. I wondered if Jerry expected to pay for the ice cream as well.”Come on, Dad, choose your flavors,” my husband remarked as he placed our orders. When we were ready to pay, Leo withdrew his wallet from his suit pocket.

“Do you have your wallet?” “You had it all along?” Jerry asked.Leo nodded to his father. “What you did last weekend was not good, Jerry. Of course, we were going to take over the bill. But it was the manner in which you lied about it. When I went over the images the next morning, I noticed your wallet peeking out of your pocket. “You had it and lied,” I remarked.

Jerry murmured, “I’m sorry,” and took his bowl from me. “I should not have attempted to avoid paying. And I swear it will not happen again. Leo and I exchanged smiles. It appeared as though the lesson had been learned. “We appreciate that,” I added. “Because we love spending time together as a family.” What would you have done?

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