SHE SAYS: YES!
Please, please, please pay for dinner on the first date. Give me the illusion that you are financially stable. That you have the wherewithal to pay your credit card bill. That you might actually have a checking account.
Please pay, even though I know that deep down, if this thing goes anywhere, I will spend many months (and maybe the rest of my life) supporting this relationship while you work on your “art.”
Pay for the first date even though out of hear-me-roar guilt I will insist on paying for half. Deep down, I like to be treated with monetary gifts. By paying for dinner, you’ll show me that this is actually a date and not a kinda-date where we go out and I think it’s a date but you are just really checking out my figure and eating habits. This makes me angry, confused and bitter toward all men. Don’t make me hate you.
I promise I won’t order the lobster and steak or the steak stuffed with lobster. I will pick out something economically feasible from the menu and decline dessert. You will probably pay around $30. That’s not too much to make me giddy for you, right? You can let your inner cheapskate out at a later point. For now, let me dream that I’ve landed a guy who will whisk me away from my stupid job and cramped apartment and vacations with my parents. Just give me that. Oh, and maybe a refill on my wine. That is all I ask — for now.
HE SAYS: NO!
I am broke. Not only do I not have the financial wherewithal to pay my credit card bill — I don’t have the wherewithal to buy a book that would tell me what “wherewithal” means. I had to look it up on dictionary.com — using my neighbour’s computer. I can’t afford wireless.
If you wanted me to pay for this dinner, maybe you should have thought of that before you ordered. I was hopeful when you asked for that bruschetta. I have, on many occasions, made a satisfying meal out of an appetizer and ice water with lemon.
But why do you need pasta after all that delicious, filling bread? And don’t get me started on the wine. I offered you a drink on me. But apparently this half-empty bottle of Old Crow hidden in my backpack isn’t good enough for you. Apparently I’m not good enough for you.
Is that really the kind of man you want — the kind who pays for things? Such men don’t know the true value of a dollar. To them, paying for a $30 dinner is a trifle. That’s disgusting.
I can’t offer you much. I can’t feed you or give you cab fare, and if you want to make love, I hope you brought the condoms. But I can offer you something you can’t put a price tag on: integrity.
Wait, no, I can’t. Are you gonna eat that?