***Good day, everyone. We have another new guest poster (or is it guest postee?) today. Please extend a warm VSB welcome to Maris***
I’ll admit it; I’m a lazy dater. I didn’t start that way, though.
After being off the market for a while (How long? Well, the last time I was single, Stringer Bell was still alive.), I found myself plunged into unfamiliar territory as I tried anew to navigate the single life. Approaches were replaced with pokes, talk sessions were replaced with texting, and courting was replaced with…
The Check Slide.
I’ll never forget the first time. I was sitting across from “E-Date Dude” after dutifully engaging all evening—whilst learning the valuable lesson that witty online=/=witty IRL— when the check came. Now, I haven’t been out of the game long enough to forget the customary “purse reach,” but I was unprepared for what my eyes met with when I lifted my head back up:
The check, in front of my plate, with his half under it-in cash. Like, actual cash. Like, “this negro was thoughtful enough about his cheapness to go to an ATM, get two twenties, and go to a store to get a Snapple so he’d have enough singles and quarters in change to pay exactly half. “
I convinced myself it was a fluke. That is, until a movie date with another guy, where upon arrival I learned he was already in the theater (“Just grab your ticket, I’m inside!”). Or the beer date, where I split a six-dollar check. I’ll spare you the rest. I was baffled.
Upon whimpering on my guy friend’s shoulder (and his girlfriend, c’mon people) he admitted that some men try to “wait” to see if you’re worth spending money on. As in, they want to have invested as little as possible in case they see no return. I went from baffled to livid.
See, dating has never been easy for me. I’ve always found the whole “sprucing up” thing a chore, but at least I was putting the effort in for a purpose. I always thought women spent a certain amount to look their best, while men spent a certain amount to show women the best time, for a first date. All’s fair, right? So if you’re making sure you get the pleasure of my company with the least amount of effort, why am I wasting all this moolah on hair and outfits?
The way I see it, if we’re going to be going Dutch until you deem me “worthy of the investment,” I’d much rather start the tab at zero.
***sidebar: is “going Dutch” an offensive term, like “Indian giver”? If I’m in Amsterdam and suggest we go halfsies, will somebody punch me? Moving right along….***
So the next time I was asked to suggest a location, I picked a dessert spot by my house, let my natural hair fly, took all the pressure off… and had a ton of fun. Truth be told, maybe they were on to something. Maybe in all that effort to work on our ‘representatives’ we forgot the point of a date was to get to know a person. I’d much rather find out we can’t hold but ten minutes of conversation in front of a food truck than across a table at a two-hour dinner. Maybe some things are best left until I learn I want to spend more time with you.
There are some that argue if I never “act” like a prize, I won’t get “treated” like one. That what I tolerate the first date will be the way I am treated throughout. I say if all I have to look forward to are laughs and great conversation, I’m good. You don’t need to take me to a five-star, and I don’t need to pour myself into a cocktail dress. No offense, but I’d much rather make all that effort and look all special to go on a date with someone I’m actually, well….dating. Until then I’ll throw on jeans and a tank (or a sundress if you catch my lazy @$$ on a hot day) and a swipe of lip gloss and meet you for ice cream in the park.
***You can find more of Maris at Black, Latina and Fabulous, where she writes about stuff that Black, Latina, and Fabulous people write about and shit***