As is our customary weekend habit, my friends and I decided to have lunch out on Saturday. We decided to eat at Yoko’s in Dubai and planned to meet there at 1 o’clock. All except one of my friends arrived on time and as we made ourselves comfortable and settled in to the plush leather sofa’s we received a phone call informing us that the missing friend was on his way and he was bringing his new girlfriend with him. (The operative word being new). They were on their second date.
Well, they arrived fifteen minutes later and it was a pleasant afternoon: filled with silly laughs and witty personal anecdotes and everything was all hunky-dory …until the bill arrived.
While the Filipina demurely got up to visit the ladies room, the rest of us scrambled to chip in to take care of an unexpectedly high tab. There was some consolation in the fact that there were nine of us, so our individual contributions would not be that significant. You can see where I’m going with this, right? As luck would have it my friend thought it wasn’t fair for his new lady love to have to pay too.
I mean, come on! We hadn’t invited her for lunch! I would have had no problem if he had decided to pay for them both, but to expect us to chip in for her, now that’s stretching it a little too far if you ask me. While some of my friends do have quite a bit of a disposable income, my teacher’s salary doesn’t allow me to walk around with a plush wallet to dish out from. My finances are limited and must be used wisely, with the occasional indiscretions thrown in- of course.
You see, I don’t believe in these old fashioned notions of chivalry. In today’s world, there are no free lunches (literally and metaphorically speaking). Ladies, don’t knit your eyebrows and proclaim me a cheapo. Because believe it or not, most of my guy friends do reflect long and regretfully on the expenses they have incurred on their ‘the one’s’ long after the flirty fluff of the romance has passed! And believe me; from where I’m seeing all this unfold, it happens fast and furiously!
First dates, in my opinion should be cheap and inexpensive. There is nothing wrong with taking a walk around the park or going to the beach for the first few dates. The purpose of dating is getting to know the person you’re with, not to spend a ridiculous amount of money on someone you barely know and there is no guarantee you will ever see again. Once you’re sure of where your relationship stands, I think the rules that govern it can find some flexibility. When the idea is to spend quality time with someone and not just to impress, who pays for what, becomes inconsequential.
Anyway, I’m no relationship expert, not by a long shot. Everything I just said is my personal opinion and nobody needs to agree. I will agree that there are some good reasons to leap across the table and grab that little leather folder and keep a lady from paying a bill. But please, don’t expect everyone to do the same!