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I'm not a big eater. So for $25, I want some choice of menu options and don't want to be seated anywhere within ear-shot of young children -- something most home "hostesses" probably aren't providing.

That's tacky beyond belief. If someone tried that in my family I'd pass and just see who's up for meeting at a Chinese restaurant.

I agree--$100 a couple? For $50 to spend on ONE meal, I could eat quite well--far better than most restaurants--and be able to select whatever I wanted vs. 'here it is, hope you like it and btw here's the bill'.

I guess most of the people were so shocked they couldn't think of what to say or how to respond. And--it being a holiday--probably didn't want to cause a scene. The appropriate response--aside from 'we should've been informed beforehand that there'd be a charge, otherwise we would've declined'--would be 'show me the grocery bill as to how you arrived at this amount per couple'.
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