If You Must ‘Detooth’…

It seems to be a social given that it is the females’ forte to corner men into spending money they didn’t want to.

I am hesitant to reinforce a social stereotype, especially one that coats women in devious paint, but I will agree that if any detoothing is going to happen, it best be left to the fairer sex.

When we were at university eons ago, the term detoother was used to label every girl who had the misfortune to accept a proffered eggroll or something equally mundane, and then give nothing in return. I will not go into the details of what she was supposed to give back, but I so lived in fear of that label that until the parameters of a friendship were well set, I always insisted on picking up my tab. The habit stuck.

Fast forward to 2014 and I make a new friend of your specie. He talks a lot and is usually entertaining – the perfect way to spend an idle evening. Initially, he insisted on paying (which I learned the hard way is how you guys say ‘I like you’) but then at the very next ‘date,’ I also insisted on paying – my way of saying ‘I like you too but not like that.’ And that kind of became our thing we always ‘owed’ each other a date.

However, I noticed a trend. Whenever it was my turn to pick up the tab, he had some swanky place he was dying to try out or some exotic dish he had been craving. Even his preferred brand of booze changed, always to something more expensive.

When I was sure that he was taking aantage of me, I waited until it was his turn to pay and I tactfully ordered extras to take away and then offered to pay for everything I had taken. At my turn, I suggested that we do likewise. He didn’t argue, but I assure you he lost all appetite for the rare whiskies. Our dates became fewer too.

Then last month I missed his birthday and offered to buy him ice cream when we next met. The next date, he proposed the venue. Decent prices on the menu: we had dinner, and for dessert, I reminded him about the ice cream.

I paid very little attention to how much booze he imbibed or what brands. When the bill arrived, I was busy figuring out what my total was, taking care to add the cost of the ice cream when he said, “You said this was on you. Remember you promised me birthday ice cream”. Yes, ICE CREAM!

But the waiter was standing there and to save face, I painfully emptied my wallet while he said a suspiciously self-satisfied “Thank you!” I wanted to scream. Needless to say, I will be exploring cheaper avenues of entertainment.

I feel especially affronted because he did it so tactlessly he either took me for a fool or expected me to ask for ‘something’ in return! Why else would anyone pull off such a crass stunt?! This I will say, he is now firmly in the strictly-Facebook-friend zone.

Source : The Observer

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