I’m in a conundrum in which I completely fail to see the other side’s view of this, so I need you all to tell me if I’m the crazy one here.
My wife is a professional actress. Her new show debuts this weekend, and she has two free tickets. We were sitting around drinking last week with our best friends, a long-time couple. My wife says basically “we have two free tickets, so you guys can go for free.” I immediately said “Umm…one of those is for me.” A 30-second spat ensued in which she expressed that since I’m her husband, I should pay for my own ticket.
As her husband, I should want to support her. It’s mandatory that I see this show, and so shelling out $20 for a ticket shouldn’t be seen as an inconvenience. Our friends, however, are not mandated like I am, and so they shouldn’t be expected to pay if they don’t have to. It’s also her duty to promote her show, and free tickets help her do that.
I’m the husband. I outrank literally everyone in the universe in importance in her life. I have the highest status possible among all her relationships. As such, I’m first in line for any claims to my household’s goods. Her tickets are my tickets, and my bank account is her bank account. Giving away free things that we otherwise need only hurts us both. Our friends are coming to the show anyway, so they shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth and should just be happy with one free ticket. Also, “promoting one’s show” is code for “bringing in more money,” not a dime of which will land in our bank account regardless of where the extra $20 comes from. And it’s not like bringing our best friends to the show will someone raise her personal exposure, as (do I have to say it?) they already know all about her.
So, Dopers, there you have it. From my perspective, there’s one person that needs to pay $20, and as the husband, it sure as hell shouldn’t be me. The only people that have a higher claim to the ticket are her parents, who paid for our wedding and her theater degree. Our friends, relatively, are low on the totem pole.
Supporting your wife trumps everything - especially your claim over the rightful ownership of a $20 ticket. You cannot reasonably expect her to promote this show and ask friends, family and strangers alike to spend $20 on it if her own husband is unwilling to do so.
That’s what others are saying. But “supporting my wife” doesn’t mean paying for a ticket. That money goes to the theater, not her. Supporting my wife means making my own dinner, doing my own laundry, picking her up every night, and listening to her bitch about her castmates/director/costume/whatever. Paying for a ticket in no way supports her show.
Besides, this show is either worth it to our friends and family or it isn’t. Paying for a ticket doesn’t change that either way.
Edit: Also, the first one to say something like “You’re the man, so do what she says” or “Who cares, just be nice” gets this treatment.
Wow. Uh - it absolutely does. “Supporting your wife” means doing whatever you reasonably can do to make her career successful and her happy. Giving a $20 ticket to a friend so that they can enjoy your wife’s performance, and potentially tell others about it is, frankly, the very least you could do. People get excited about free tickets, and are more likely to tell others about the show than if they had to pay.
I’m a fundraiser for a non-profit. It’s extremely important for board members to financially contribute in some fashion. There has been a surprising amount of pushback, because some of them are cheap jackasses. But when I have to fill out a grant application that asks for the percentage of board members that contribute, and my answer isn’t “100%”, my odds of being funded dramatically decrease.
It’s $20 to go see your wife do what she loves. You should go out and buy 4 more tickets and give those away to your friends as well.
Well, you guys are married. You need to work this out between yourselves. It doesn’t matter in the slightest what Dopers think, because your finances aren’t entwined with ours. Even if we agree with your perspective (you should come first in her life), we can’t pretend to understand the nature of your relationship to your wife. Also, I don’t really understand why this is a fight. Do you guys not have a shared bank account? Why would paying for this cause you undue hardship, but not her?
Anyway… in the end, it’s only $20. It’s not worth having an atomic fight over that amount of money. You have to choose your battles in any relationship. Were I you, I would not choose to fight this one. Perhaps she wants to give her friends the free tickets because there wouldn’t be anyone to use the 2nd free one otherwise. But regardless of her reasoning, it’s *her *show. They were *her *tickets to offer. If you disagreed with the people to whom she chose to give them, you should have mentioned that to her privately, later. I can’t even begin to imagine arguing in front of her friends about this… how gauche.
So. Unless you cannot afford the ticket, I think you should let this go. But, in the interest of promoting communication, have a discussion with your wife about how you felt when she decided not to give you one of the tickets. Let her know why you were upset, and see if you can compromise as a couple in the future. There are alternative solutions (like all three of you paying $6.67 to attend the show), but given that the ticket is ONLY $20, you would seem like the universe’s biggest skinflint. Don’t go there.
Are you in the show? Then they’re not your tickets. Your wife, whose tickets they are, chose to give them to the couple. Slap a smile on your face and agree with your wife and thenafterwards say, “Honey, I love you but you’re shit. Comps are the only way I’ll go to your shows so give them away if you want but I’m not forking over my money to watch you.” Since that appears to be your attitude.
I’m not opposed to the idea that the husband should have first dibs on a free ticket.
However, when the wife says “Here, pals, have some free tickets” it’s tacky at best to say “Wait a minute, one of those is mine”
(then there’s the whole bit that arguing over this in front of your friends is unlikely to endear you to your wife . . . )
And saying that “Her tickets are my tickets, and my bank account is her bank account,” is not earning you any points with me. I mean, yes, I would tend to agree that you ought to have a higher priority in her life than casual friends, but , you seem a bit entitled to me.
I do think it would have been nice if your wife had given you a free ticket, or at least asked if you minded if she gave them away.
But I don’t think you are entitled to the free ticket.
I read the OP without having any opinion one way or the other. But I have to say, your wife’s argument is much more convincing than yours.
Think of the tickets as invitations to a party that she’s throwing, if it helps. It is a non-starter that you would be invited, so you shouldn’t expect to get your own hand-written invitation in the mail. But friends don’t enjoy just a privilege.
You beat me to it. I think it’s tacky to give out 1 free ticket to a couple period, even if there hadn’t been a little marital tiff on display. In that situation you have to choose between giving the couple both the tickets, or none of the tickets, and since your wife offered both the tickets, that’s what you’re stuck with.
Supporting your wife in this case should mean understanding that free tickets go to the people who are going to best spread the word about your wife’s show and get more people to come. And I’m likely to find someone’s friend, or friend-of-a-friend, much more convincing when they give me their opinion of a show than the husband of one of the performers.
I’m finding your point of view very difficult to even fathom. And I say this as someone who has gladly paid (both in money and in work) to see family members and friends on stage. I want the free tickets to go to wherever they’re going to do the most good for the show. The show’s success has a direct impact on your wife’s success, even if the show’s profits are not going into her pocket.
I say that you had a chance to be graceful and fumbled it big time.
You now should (partially) redeem yourself by buying her something nice (flowers?), apologizing profusely, explaining that you understand how astonishingly insensitive you were and that it will never happen again.