How much do you pay at museums with ‘suggested donations?’

The unicorn room is almost disturbing enough to make it worth it. via Facebook

The Cloisters’ unicorn room is disturbing enough to almost make it worth paying full price. via Facebook

Whenever we go somewhere and see the phrase “suggested donation,” our eyes light up. For starters, it means we don’t have to pay the whole thing. Also, if we do give all of or close to the recommended amount, we feel like a goddamn hero. Fortunately for our wallet, we feel heroism is overrated. The issue of suggested donations at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and its affiliated museums is coming to a head thanks to a recent lawsuit alleging the Met bullies people into paying the full $25 “suggested” donation, and yesterday, Gawker weighed in and said you should never feel bad about not paying full freight.

Gawker points out that aside from being kind of heavy-handed about the recommended donation, the Met is also really goddamn rich, to the tune of a $2.5 billion investment portfolio. We never seen two and a half billion anythings, much less dollars, so that seems like an ungodly amount of money to us. Of course, that doesn’t mean we just waltz in without paying. Not unless we’re taking advantage of our own advice.

We went to The Cloisters a couple months ago, and everyone in the group paid a different amount. One cheap bastard gave them five bucks, because he claimed he goes to The Cloisters all the time. A likely story. We gave them ten bucks, or fifteen maybe? And poor Conal showed up late and paid the entire twenty five dollars. Which hey, like we said, that’s kind of noble. And you could spend the entire day at the museum if you really feel like it, although that’s probably the only time you should pay full price. After all, you can get Mets tickets for less than $25 if you buy them from someone on the Citi Field 7 train  platform, and the odds are you’ll spend more time sitting at the stadium than wandering around the museum.

So, what do you pay when you confronted by a “suggested donation?” And do you feel bad at all for not paying full price?