Thursday, December 07, 2006

Survey Says

Here’s the situation:
A friend of mine from grad school meets a guy, he asks for her number. She gives it. He calls and asks her out for drinks. They meet up, each have a couple of drinks, he pays the tab. They meet up again for drinks; she picks up the tab. He calls and asks her out to dinner. He chooses the place, and when the time comes to pay the bill, he reaches for his wallet and she goes for hers. Everyone knows that she merely being polite and is making what is essentially an empty offer. He’s supposed to say, “No, I’ve got it.” and pay the tab. Right?? Everyone except for this guy, apparently. She slowly extracts her wallet from her purse, pulls out a $20, and hands it to him. He takes it and gives her a couple of ones in change.

So, the question is, do you find something inherently wrong with this scenario? I say YES. I’m not saying that the man should always pay- obviously once a couple has been dating for a while they can take turns or whatever. But come on! They don’t really know each other, he invited her, he chose the restaurant, the assumption follows that he will be footing the bill. Also, she’s a grad student (translation: broke) and he has a high-paying job. It just seems so tacky! I can’t get over it. Dude must be a cheapskate at heart.

For the record, it was not me. If it were, I would be telling you about the shitshow of a date I went on instead of asking a survey question.

Bonus question: Does the phrase "Synchronize Swatches" mean anything to you? (No cheating via Google.)

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is it a polite way of saying get lost? Or, did he ask her out again? I know all about the swatches, but i will keep it to myself......

ern said...

the guy should pay in that situation. seriously people, isn't this one of the basics?

eileen said...

No, he wasn't trying to ditch her- he sent her a text later that night and said he had fun, and then he asked her out again. So either he's clueless or cheap. I say cheap.

Eri said...

Effing Eijit. I CANNOT believe he made change

Tina said...

He made change??? WTF?!?!
Wait, did the entire bill come out to less than $20 or was it just her portion of the bill? If it is the latter, than it makes the situation a little better. Just a little.
According to ALL the date books that I've read (and I've read a lot--my favorite so far is "Why Men Loves Bitches"), the "asker" should always pay. It's not an assumption, it is a simple fact.
I'm curious, is your "friend" going on another date with this "catch?" If so, I would advise her to choose a moderately expensive restaurant and not even attempt to pay and see what happens the days following. It's like a social experiment.

Kristine said...

I can hear the Swatches thing from a movie... Can't place it for sure though. Lost Boys?

J.R. said...

Nope!!! I LOVE it. hah... don't you just love your equality now ladies. Course if you want keep want to stop bitchin about the ol 70 cents on the dollar salaries we'll be happy to pay all the time.

Briana said...

Um, okay, I see where you are coming from with the "you can't have your feminist cake and eat it too" comment J.R., but there is a more general social etiquette issue of assuming someone can afford to pay half the bill at a fancy place they did not choose, regardless of what sex they are. What was she supposed to do? Say, she'd love to go out as long as it was fast food? I had to walk home from a symphony once because some guy invited me then didn't pay. It was embarassing for both of us, but what was I supposed to do? Not eat that week?

Megr said...

I firmly believe in no splitting tabs, especially when you start dating. I think its cheap and impolite. Call me old fashioned but honestly, the guy is supposed to be wooing her and splitting the tab is just cheap. Leave dividing the check for your friends. He's either cheap or just not into her.

Tricia said...

I'm voting for clueless, but that's because I never did much dating and am married to a wonderful and generous guy who never dated much and might have done something like that out of pure cluelessness.

He could just be a cheap jerk, but I have a theory that a lot of great guys are single because they don't read dating books, chat about dating etiquette with their friends, or have much experience wooing the ladies. Women know all this stuff because they discuss it endlessly. Most guys don't. Thus they do something like this and immediately dissed and don't know why. If she hadn't pulled out her wallet, he might have just paid, anyway.

Again, he could be cheap or a jerk, but he deserves a little benefit of the doubt.

Artie said...

If she didn't want to pay she shouldn't have offered. While you are mocking him for being a cheapskate, he is probably thinking she was cool because she offered to pay.

eileen said...

All right, maybe he is just clueless, but the fact that he invited her her added to the fact that he has a paying job and she doesn't I think make it fairly obvious in this case. Since I tend to be fairly clueless, I assume that if I know something (the whole "girl always politely offers to pay, guy always politely refuses her offer" thing), then I assume that it is common knowledge.

Then again, I discovered earlier this year that one of my friends cough*JR didn't know you were supposed to get a clean plate for your second trip to the buffet (c'mon! EVERYONE knows that.), so I guess anything's possible.

Bri- that sucks about the symphony! Yikes! I also think that being broke also makes one more attune to these sort of circumstanes.

P.S. Swatches- not from a movie, a TV show. Think Fox, before it went major network.

J.R. said...

OK, truth be told, i think he should have paid in this scenario. Usually at least the first couple of dates. BUT, here's the thing... you're all saying, "well he asked her so he should have paid" but then girls don't exaclty EVER ask a guy out for the most part. if they do it's the exception. So does that mean that be default, since we're expected to ask out were also always expected to pay? seems like a bit of a trap.

Tina said...

I love this topic!! Eileen, you have to let us know what happens next and who it is =)....

eileen said...

I will post an unpdate when i get one!

Kevin said...

I think PL from PLCL would have known to have paid the bill!

Frances said...

I think he should have paid.

That being said, here are my thoughts on the reasons for his actions...
Maybe he didn't know where he stood with the girl (in terms of whether this was a date or...not....and if she was diggin' him, etc.) and he didn't want to offend her or send a message that this was moving in a direction with which she was uncomfortable.

Grad students don't usually have lots of money, but also don't want to be treated like they are incapable of taking care of themselves. I vote for either clueless OR failed attempt at being respectful to her. If he texted and asked her out again then maybe all is well.

Briana said...

I know this debate is a few days old but one more thing... she could have said something about the restaurant being too expensive for her to pay when they first got there. Kind of tacky? Yes, but at least they bring the issue out into the open.