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We're Ready for the Check

By Traci Newman
On March 8, 2013

 

It's a beautiful and warm spring evening at Yankee Stadium. We are sitting at the bar enjoying the last of our drinks at NYY Steak. It's the steak house located inside Yankee Stadium, the service is great and the food is fantastic. We had delicious skirt steaks, filets and this really amazing lobster mac n' cheese! I absolutely recommend going there if you are going to a Yankee game, with the understanding that this restaurant is really expensive. The steaks are in the $40 and up range and the drinks cost around $10-$15 each.

          I had never been to NYY Steak before, but a guy that I had just started seeing invited me to go. My friends and I refer to him as, "Purple Shirt," because he insisted on wearing purple around me because he knew it was my favorite color. I'm not kidding. He actually said, "Did you notice? I'm wearing purple, because you like purple." I should have ended it there, but he was really nice, sweet and good looking, so I decided to give him another try. Purple Shirt and I both work for the same restaurant group. Essentially we have the same job. We are both servers, and make around the same money, give or take a few dollars.

          He called me and said he had gotten tickets to a Yankee game and that we could go to dinner before. I agreed to go and he said, "Great. We will go to this really nice steak house inside Yankee stadium. I've been there before and the food is awesome."

                   Purple Shirt and I arrived at NYY Steak and I was really taken aback by how great the place was. It's decorated with Yankee Memorabilia, in a classy way, not in an "Applebees" kind of way. We sat at the bar and Purple Shirt said to order whatever I wanted. The prices were insane, but he insisted. I ordered the skirt steak, because I love it and it was a cheaper option. Purple Shirt ordered the more expensive filet. We got a few appetizers as well, and then he ordered shots of café patron.

          We asked for the check and the bartender placed it in front of us. Purple Shirt grabbed it and I asked him how much it was. He said, "It's $286.00." I almost spit my drink out. I couldn't believe that for 2 people it was that much money. As always I took my wallet out, and I was expecting him to tell me to stop and put my money back, but he didn't. He invited me to the game and dinner so in my head I expected him to pay for that and I would offer to pay for the beer and parking. But instead I handed him all the cash I had on me, and he took it. I was so shocked I couldn't speak. I excused myself to the bathroom because I knew there was no way I could hide the anger on my face.

          Maybe it was the tequila in my system that added to my emotions, but I was heated. I had never been so mad at a date before, and now I had to go sit through the entire Yankee game with him. We went to our seats and then he said,  "I will go grab us beer."

I said, "That would be great. Thanks." But really I was thinking, "I just dropped $150 on dinner and have zero cash left so of course you're going to buy the beer." Fifteen minutes into the game, I excused myself again to the bathroom. I couldn't get over the fact that he invited me to dinner and then made me pay for it. I went to the bathroom and called my best friend to ask her for advice, and if I was being too difficult and should calm down. Her response was, "Well...you're clearly pissed enough to hide out in a public bathroom and call me during your date. It's always great when a guy takes you to a nice expensive restaurant, but it's tacky when he takes you there and makes you pay for it."

          I never told Purple Shirt that I was so upset about the fact that he made me pay because I thought it was rude to tell him and I thought I would come off as a bitch.

I feel torn on the subject about who pays for dates. Personally, I feel that women should be equal to men and that we can do anything they can do. As a young woman who will be graduating with my college degree soon, I think it's sickening that women still make less than men, even when they hold the same job positions. According to Catalyst.org, women ages 25-34 only make 90.8% of what men do. It's 2013, why is this still happening?

          On the other hand, I still have old fashioned views when it comes to dating. I still want the guy to call and ask me out and yes, pay for  the date as well. I've been in relationships where we would take turns paying for things and that's completely fine. There have been times where I surprised my boyfriends with tickets to a show or concert and would never expect him to pay for any of it because I invited him out. Personally, I think that when a guy asks me out and it's one of our first dates, he should pay for it.

          My Purple Shirt situation was a little difficult for me. I kept going back and forth trying to rationalize my feelings but I could see his point too. We are both servers and make around the same money and have a lot of expenses. Knowing how much money we make, is it really fair for me to expect him to pay all the time? But then I thought about it more, he had been to NYY Steak before and knew the prices. He had to have known it was going to be an expensive meal. I feel that if he had planned to split the check with me, I should have had a say in where we ate. If I knew I was paying for my dinner, I would have never gone to that restaurant. As good as it was, I would have suggested a pub outside of Yankee stadium and settled for bar food.

          My point is, if you invite a girl out on a date she will probably offer to pay (if she doesn't offer, you should never ask her out again) but she doesn't think you're actually going to let her. If you want to go Dutch on the bill, that's your right but you should probably pick an affordable restaurant in that case and you shouldn't expect a second date with her.

I went out with Purple Shirt a few times after that because I just couldn't tell if I was wrong to think that way about who pays. But I can't help it. As equal as I want to be to men, when it comes to dating, I still want to feel like the man can take care of me. Currently Purple Shirt and I are no longer on speaking terms. 


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