Monday, August 08, 2005

On A Confusing Aspect of Women

I will start with a confession. I was reading Cosmopolitan last evening.

I will deny this lapse afterward but in this moment of maniacal lucidity, I will tell you this secret.

I was reading a snippet about a guy who went on a date to some nice restaurant. When the bill arrived, his date offered to pay. For reasons best known to him, he took her up on it, without a fight. Later it seems, she told mutual friends that he was cheap.

Just to confirm, are we all on the same page? Do we all agree that the woman was WAAY out of line? Or I have taken my first step in treachery?

Perhaps I was and still am naive in giving this so much thought. Perhaps I should simply let it go. Perhaps I am foolish in writing this post too. And yet, I spent a good deal of time talking this over with a close male friend, trying to understand this because an unspeakable number of women actually feel this way about first dates.

I am afraid I am going to force this down your throats as well. Shall we then?

I assume, like any other rational human being, that two people go out on a date because they feel an attraction for each other. We will not waste time arguing the semantics of attraction – friendship is platonic attraction and there are NO technicalities on that one!

If mutual attraction exists, why expect the onus of anything to be on only the party of the first part… or the second, whichever you prefer. A mite unfair, don’t you agree? And the argument “That’s just the way it is” does not hold because if you want to go with the way of things, don’t offer to pay. Don’t be a superstar.

Choose a point of view: either you go with the flow of “things” or you stand by what you say and are fair. Don’t be a hypocrite because you see, an offer to pay signifies forfeiting your “right” to call the poor bloke cheap. Calling him chintzy then only ensures the negation of most things women have achieved in the past one hundred years or so.

As a woman, I don’t understand this. Why say something you don’t mean and then complain when he believes you? Why expect him to put up a fight and “take care of it”? This is not about “tests” the sexes give each other. Giving the man every benefit of the doubt, should you fail a man on some ridiculous “test” because he respects your equality?

Why does only the guy pay? Stereotypes apart, I’ll be the first to admit I love it when a man holds open doors and puts down his fork and knife in between bites to listen to what I am saying. Ah yes, I should add: this is fun only when it is a part of who he is and not something he is doing to impress me.

But I love it as much when I split the check for a first date. Not only do I feel less obligated to someone I don’t really know for having paid for me, I also love the reminder of my independence. I love it that I have contributed to this first date by doing more than just sitting there, looking pretty and making witty conversation at a table like this one.

May the gods of both Feminism and Femininity have mercy on my unrepentant soul!

p.s. The gorgeous photo - not mine though I sorely wish it were!


Anonymous said...

On the first date or first few dates when both of them don’t know each other so well all you rely upon is what is being explicitly said. It is absolutely not right to form an opinion about someone so quickly unless he or she had done something really very stupid on the date.

His problem on first date is that he wouldn’t know how to react when she clearly says she will pay. How would he know what she means by saying she will pay? May be she doesn’t like the idea of him paying at all or may be it is just a decent gesture offering to pay but won’t mind him paying either in the end. But calling someone cheap is bit too much.

So the million-dollar question is… should it or should it not be resolved before you settle yourself on the table. And if yes then where does the onus lie?

Ladies… time to wear that thinking hat again…

SaidBack said...

I completely agree, if she offered to pay, she looses the right to call him cheap.

But yes, as Anon* said, 1st date and all that, the guy could be left not knowing how to react. Completely understandable.

Here's my take on bills:

If I explicitely ask someone out, I suggest the idea, and I "take them out", then I pay, no questions asked.

If "we" decide to "go out", then we split the tab.

Now, both of the above ,are subject to change based on the "vibe" you get. After all, not all people think along these lines, so it depends on who you're out with.

Another thing, restaurant establishments make this harder, unknowingly, but placing the cheque at the guy's side of the table :D

SaidBack said...

By the way, where do you get these pics? Friends/specific URL/generally surfing around?

they're pretty amazing.

Extempore said...

@Pepper: Some of the images come from forwards, but most from general arbit surfing for photography and trying to understand the techniques. :)

@Anon: I agree, the question must be answered before you settle down at the table.

SaidBack said...

Am not too sure if it can be settled before dining. It should be ideally... but a lot of people would feel that it would kinda make the whole thing very business like or formal.

Realword, grey area,s and all that comes to mind.

Extempore said...

True enough, Majesty. Sticky stuation, this. :)

Yours Truly...Conman said...

What outdated crap is this?
You should be reading some bvetter magazines if there are any...

GD said...

:-D I agree... who cares what some stupid bitch did. If you picked up the cosmo expecting to find something more sensible than this... uh... I shall not continue, you know what's coming.
If you have absolutely nothing to do, there's plenty in Cosmo's that's good for a laugh. But certainly nothing worth torturing yourself over.

Extempore said...

Unfortunately, the way I see it, too many of these women around. You've been fortunate if you haven't come across them much.

And GD, I put in a disclaimer as well. I know this was a slightly foolish pursuit, but I wanted to waste my time so, so there! :) And you should know me better than to know I would waste my time reading Cosmo on a regular basis. Cretin!!!!

GD said...

I just meant to say: if you pick up a Cosmo, don't get worked up over the crap you find in it. Laugh. Of course I know you don't read Cosmo regularly!

SaidBack said...

Now, if you post about Femina, I'll personally fly down there n kill you!

Asmaan Bikhorshid said...

Salaam! Khosh a madid! Umeed ast keh khosh hal e shoma doreh!

It would seem to me that the Khanom in the Dastaan has tried to milk her camels after selling them off! Badhaal!

I have roamed many deserts and if I may humbly profess, everything that one does in a courtship is subject to scrutiny.

First of all Khanom-E-Nevisandeh, what would make for more interesting ruminations would not be the feminist angle but the fact that this was an aspect of the courtship dance.

This is of course courtship so there is no feminism involved here. Bi-iman, Bi-izzat, Bi-kanooni that is what courting is all about. I observe your every movement, guage your thoughts and ascertain how you would be as a mate.

If the Mardh had not paid, irrespective if she sent the Daavat to him, that would indicate that she cannot entirely give himself to the Mardh. This brings forth Shakh in the mind of the fair one.

Der Ishgh, Tamam Imtehan!
(In love, all is a test!)

Khodafez va Besalamat Dusthaman!

the cowlick said...

Cosmo usually has stuff which doesn't apply to intelligent, self-respecting, rational, thinking human beings. That's why I love to read it on the sly, hoping to find out what the 'other relm' is up to :D .. but it's not to be taken seriously.

i-me-moi said...

I like to let them pay. I also like to pay. So I flip a coin in my mind. And depending on my mood, I decide which side turns up.

SaidBack said...

Cosmo... it all depends onw hat you're looking for.

Most of it is refurbished masala. every now n then, you get something pretty decent. I remember reading an article on photography, a few good ones on interior decoration, and one on dining etiquette.

Extempore said...

@Cowlick: Am not taking Cosmo seriously but this one thing rang a bell because of sheer volume of "the other side" ( :)!!) running around giving the rest of us a bad name!

@Sprechen: That sounds like something I like to do! :)

SaidBack said...

@ sprechen and extempore: Next time I'm out with either of you, you pay :D

the cowlick said...

There is an ad running on Australian TV where the man breaks into a sweat after being presented with the bill, while the woman looks away as if nothing unusual is happening. It's silly, really.

i-me-moi said...

@Pepper:The coins have turned against you!! You have to pay for the next 11 dinners to compensate for all your sins that I defend you for.

Extempore said...

@Cowlick: I agree! :)

@Pepper: You know, for all times that I have paid... I am going to make you pay for the rest of your life!! :P

@Sprechen: No matter how much you defend Pepper, we've still going to end up paying! It's a thankless job, I tell you! :))! :P

. : A : . said...

Interesting discussion going on here.

Really liked the pic. Any idea where it is from?

Asmaan Bikhorshid said...

Dustha-e-man, hal-e-shoma khube?

Agha-e-Pepper, thou art mistaken here but full of del-garami, nevertheless. Lekin, i find it strange the you read the Nameh-e-Cosmo. A khanom within a mard....Aejib ast!

Khanom-e-Sprechen, a good Shaam or a good meal should never be decided on the toss of a coin. A good mard is worth a thousand Tumans!

An Cheez Keh Shaam Ra Humraahi Mikoneh, An Cheez Vaaqai-e-Qeemat-e-Shaam

(The company with a meal is what the meal is really worth!)

Besalaamat! Khodahafez! Behetarin Tandorosti Va Khoshhal Beshovid!

luz de la luna said...

I used to always pay. Not really because I am a guy and it's expected of me but just because that's how I am. That changed though and now I am of the opinion that the bill should be shared. It just makes things fair and less complicated and of course equal :-)

- Martin

Extempore said...

@ .:a:. : Unfortunately no idea where it came from. This one was a fwd!

@Luz de la Luna: Martin, I agree. Sharing makes things a lot less complicated. As I have already said, women can be strange creatures and yes, I will burn in hell for this!)