The gift card debacle

Alright. We had a debate the other day regarding “loaner” engagement rings, if we can call it that. But another interesting topic was brought up at work.

I was making a Starbucks run when one of my colleagues said he’d pay for mine and handed me a gift card (with a smirk). I was thrilled given I ran through my $800 worth of Starbucks cards that I got for Christmas and my birthday in December last month (I have a problem).

Then, my boss starts to carry on. “Why is it that women get all bent out of shape when you try to pay for something with a gift card?”

What?

“If you’re at dinn-ah (British accent) and you pay with a gift card, on a date, the woman gets upset.”

And the debate begins. How do you feel when a man pays with a gift card on a date?

For me, my feelings are divided. If it’s my boyfriend and we’ve been dating for awhile and we’re in that comfort zone where he has seen me with pimple cream on and I know he drools in his sleep, I could not care less if he pays with a gift card. Really. Just pay the bill and let’s leave, k?

However, if I’m on a first date with someone and they bust out a gift card? I’m starting to think this date is a sham.

This isn’t about the money. It’s about the timing. First dates are where first impressions are made. You are essentially trying to “woo” the other person with your looks and dazzle them with your wit and personality. If a guy busts out a gift card to pay for the meal on the first date, my first thought is: “Who is the gift card from?”

His parents? An ex-girlfriend? Work? Great. I’m glad you’re using their money to pay for our first meal. Gift cards as gifts are great, but they’re impersonal, right? If you gift someone a gift card to an expensive jewelry store, that’s wonderful; if you go in and buy the person a necklace, that’s more special, because you took the time to pick out something you think they may like.

Myself and my friend Natalie talked to various men about this yesterday and they all got bent out of shape because apparently we’re now “spoiled little LA girls,” but the fact of the matter is I would feel this way in Texas and always have felt this way. I get it if a guy is broke and struggling through school or whatever, but why ask out a chick on a date if you know you’re not going to have any monetary funds to support it? You are delusional if you think a girl should pay for the first date. Obviously when a man asks a woman out, the expectation (based on chivalry) is that the man will pay for the date. And we don’t want a man paying for the date by the means of someone else. It’s the principal.

“Well, technically the money a man receives from a job is from his business, not his.” Yeah, whatever. Actually, the money is not given as a gift in the form of a salary, the man worked hard to attain that money, and once it’s in his bank account it’s his. It wasn’t a gift for a six month anniversary from an ex-girlfriend or a Christmas gift from Mom and Dad. Woof.

My boss continued how embarrassing/annoying it was when the waitress goes, “Oh, so you want it all on the gift card?” That she makes a point to mention the gift card instead of just taking it and running the expense. Well, if you’re not ashamed of paying with it, what’s there to hide?

Just be a man about it, guys. Don’t use a gift card on the first date, or the second date, or maybe even the third. Once you’re comfortable with a woman (please use descretion on this one), gift card all the live long day. I don’t care. But keep the charm and romance alive, at least the first few weeks, and pay with your own means. Otherwise you don’t need to be dating if your life isn’t in order.

 

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