A Moment in My Life – Tuesday, April 27, 2021
I have this friend I adore because the sky is the limit on what we talk about when we’re together. The other day, she, I’ll call her Sky, and I was chatting. As usual, we bantered from this to that topic endlessly. On this day, we had to agree to disagree on a particular subject that has occasionally flashed in my mind ever since. So much has changed over the years as more and more of my gender become self-sufficient and remaining single longer, which might have played into Sky’s view (pun intended, LOL). We didn’t disagree on everything but parts of it, we did. Since there is no longer a “Dear Abby” to rely on, feel free to chime in with your two cents. I sincerely want to know what you think.
Here goes: the topic was who should pay the check on the first date. I personally never thought about it. In my upbringing, it was an unspoken rule that the guy pays. According to Sky, she has a rule to ask for separate checks on first dates as soon as the waiter appears at their table. She rids the awkwardness before the guy says anything. It has worked out well for her. It turns out that most guys appreciate this rule. I don’t oppose it. I am a firm believer in “to each its own.” If it works for you, go for it. With that said, I, however, do have reservations about doing it myself. And, ladies and gentlemen, that’s why I am posing this question to y’all. Who should pay the check on a first date?
I may not have been on a romantic first date in decades, but I have been on many social dates with both genders. I imagine that a romantic first date wouldn’t be any different from a date with a new friend, but I’m a bit on the rusty side. Thus, I best not make any assumptions. Sky and I agree that for most regular dates, the one who extended the invitation pays. I’ve seen it go either way. It’s pretty subjective and not a big deal. Many of my peeps that I hang with usually do the “I’ve got this, you get the next one” kind of deal. It all works out one way or the other. I’ve lost track of who’s turns it was to pay. When you hang out with decent people, you don’t have to keep track.
There was a time when I encountered fishy people who would pull one over me all the time. Where they invited me out, then announce, “Oh darn, I forgot my wallet,” kind of thing. I had a boss who invited me to lunch and surprised me by splitting the bill 50/50 when she ordered twice as expensive a meal as I did. I bit my tongue and paid. The next time she invited me out to lunch, I was wise to her, and I ordered whatever I wanted, knowing I’d paid for it anyway. This time, to my surprise, her meal was 25 cents less than mine. She didn’t go 50/50 this time but told me I had the more significant portion of the bill. Wham! Boss or no boss, I gave her my two cents. I’m nobody’s doormat, mind you. My experiences may not have to do with a “date” date, but it’s close enough. Sky had her experiences that jaded her to create her “rule,” and I can’t blame her. I guess, in my own way, I started unspoken rules to protect myself from being taken advantage of by fishy people, too.
I do wonder. Is it a good idea to start a relationship off by asking for separate checks? Doesn’t that set the stage for lack of trust in the relationship? See, that’s my concern. It’s not the money in question, but rather, what type of relationship am I setting the stage for in this scenario? Trust is imperative in my relationships. If we can’t trust each other with money, how can I trust you with my heart? Enough said. “Check please.”