Friday, February 17, 2012

24


WHO SHOULD PICK UP THE TAB ON A DATE?



AMANDA BONNER: What I said was true, there’s no difference between the sexes. Men, women, the same.
ADAM BONNER: They are?
AMANDA BONNER: Well, maybe there is a difference, but it’s a little difference.
ADAM BONNER: Well, you know as the French say…
AMANDA BONNER: What do they say?
ADAM BONNER: Vive la différence!
AMANDA BONNER: Which means?
ADAM BONNER: Which means hurrah for that little difference…

    —Adam’s rib, 1949, George Cukor.



ONCE I got invited to have dinner in a restaurant by a lakeside. Picture it: A romantic atmosphere, delicious food—including my almost-never-found favorite dessert—, and a lovely company. It was a very special night. After the sommelier took the order, the waiter brought us the menu. I opened it, and started looking through. At some point, I raised my head and I leaned my body towards my companion. “My menu has no prices,” I said.
He smiled, and replied: “Women are not supposed to pay the bill. They don’t need to know the cost of what they are ordering.”

As I told you on my blog post # 15, dating is fun but can be treacherous. If nowadays we, women, don’t know if we should ask a man out for the first date, the thing doesn’t get any better at the time of paying the bill.

Who should pick up the tab?

Man? Woman? Go dutch?

Lately I’m hearing that some women are really callous, just counting and numbering COMMODITIES.1 I’m also hearing, on the other hand, that some men are quite dorks, just counting and numbering SIZES.2

Men and women, vive le différence!

There are times when it’s quite clear who should. Think of the example I've set you. Besides, I can’t imagine Miss Madonna excusing herself to the bathroom while her toy boy pays the bill. Fuhgeddaboudit. 

Sure enough, not all restaurants have this men-pick-up-the-tab policy, nor everybody is Miss Madonna (Oh no!), so how do the rest of the mortals deal with it?

I’ve seen men who never picked up the tab—They were not broke, but selfish. I’ve seen men that always managed to pick up the tab, and you had no chance even to see them coming. I’ve seen men who paid if they knew they could get something in exchange. I’ve seen men who accepted to go dutch. Yes, my Dear Readers, I’ve seen the rainbow.

What a woman should do? I tell you what I do.

If I ask him out, I pay—unless his ego feels terribly hurt and he doesn’t allow me to do it. If he asks me out, most likely he would like to pay the bill. Anyhow, at the end of the soirée, I grab my purse. If he says nothing, I pay—I don’t think someone should pay my dinner. It doesn’t matter if I’m a woman, man or an alien. Period—. If he insists, I leave him to pick up the tab.

Next round on me, gentleman.



1 In Manhattan, there are some serial daters around who court men on a dating site and eat out five nights a week for free.

2 On becoming a serial dater: Mainstream range: 5’9”-5’11”. Thin—108 to 130 lbs in proportional to height; Dress size, 6-8, with the desired figure around 34B-24-34.

Copyright © 2012 by THE PYTHAGOREAN  STORYTELLER. All rights reserved.

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