The 99-cent date gone wrong

It seems I have taken on the mission of dispelling stupid relationship advice and myths promoted by MSN. It’s just SO bad! I like humans and I think dating can be fun and it makes me sad to see age-old ‘rules’ and misconceptions about the dating STILL being taken as fact. I just want everyone to have fun and find relationships that make them happy.

And with that….I will now evicerate ‘The 99-cent Dating Experiment’.

Spend it well!

First: Last month, I decided to try what I viewed as a dating expense experiment. It would be an experiment never before attempted (or at least admitted to) in the course of human dating history: I was going to have a wonderful second date—you know, that all-important date following the initial coffee date, and spend less than twenty dollars doing so.

When I read the headline, I thought he was going to be taking a woman out and only spend 99 cents.  THAT would have impressed me but no, he’s actually spending $20.  No big deal! Anyone who’s dated while still a student has dated for under $20.  So he’s a nut job right off the bat. 

Second: OK, I get it. I can hear women across the land (especially those in my city) exclaiming, “Cheapskate! Loser! Creep!” But I thought it was a brilliant idea. Hey, they poked fun at Columbus, but he showed them. He found a way of impressing women without having to spend a fortune—simply by discovering a continent. Surely my date would admire my thriftiness, my resourcefulness, my imagination and creativity. I’d discover a continent of inexpensive fun.

How shallow are the women he’s dated in the past?!  And who is he to compare himself to Columbus?  Please.  I admire his willingness to leave the credit card at home though, so let’s see where the article goes next.

Third: And so, armed with 20 big ones in cold, hard cash, I strode into the one place where I knew I’d get great value for my money — the 99-Cent-Only Store. The store with the motto: “Nothing Over 99 Cents Ever!”

Wait, what?  Instead of spending the $20 on local theatre tickets, wine and cheese for a picnic, or tickets to the Science Center, this man went to a dollar store.  The article goes on to say how he showed up at the girl’s place wearing a Loony Tunes tie, gave her a 1984 Olympics souvenir, and even brought her cat food.  Huh?   Later on, they feast on raisins and tortilla chips and then I sense a little ‘Well, she couldn’t handle me’ in his tone as he admits that she never called him back after the date. *

Gold-digging princess or girl rightfully creeped out by her date’s off-kilter date that was neither personal nor creative?  The latter, I’m sure.

So what’s wrong with this guy’s logic?  Well, first of all…his beginning assumptions are incorrect.  You can wow a woman for $20.  You can do it for free!  Women worth having don’t care about the kind of car you drive (my boyfriend doesn’t even HAVE a car!), the amount of money you make, or how you can wine and dine them with the finest champagne available.  They care about the following:

Do you know who they are?  Are you thoughtful?  Are you not a jerk?  Will you be there for them?  Do they feel better WITH you than without you?  etc.

I’ve had wealthy boyfriends in the past and quite honestly, it left a bad taste in my mouth because I felt like they were trying to buy me.  The gifts they gave were extravagant but impersonal.  Diamonds are only a lonely girl’s best friend.  I remember one particular time when a boyfriend took me out to a very expensive restaurant when I was already thinking of breaking up with him.  It was so awkward because even though I told him not to do take me there, he did anyway, and that created a weird power balance between us.  I felt like I ‘owed’ him something.  It was quite lame indeed.

So, in closing…if you really want to impress your date, make it personal.   If she likes flowers, go to a farmer’s market instead of a grocery store.  Take her on a picnic.  Give her one of your favorite most well-worn books.  That’s the sort of thing that’ll make her come back for more and it’s all less than $20.  🙂

* Full disclosure, my V-day present to the man was a bag full of useless crap from Archie McPhees but that was AFTER I’d known him for over six months and we’d already decided to not spend any money on each other. In contrast, he promised to buy me a cow.

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~ by fluvial on May 21, 2008.

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