You Pay For Dinner. The End.

Tonight, my producer Lauren stared at her computer screen, with a frown, and said the following:

“I really wish somebody would take me out to a nice dinner.”

Allison and I gave each other our “OMG” eyes and burst into laughter, because DUH, who doesn’t want a free meal? We’re all hustling 20-somethings. A free lobster tail and glass of Pinot would be excpetional right now, especially since most of us are getting enough sleep at night to warrant any bitchy comments we might say the next day null and void, since we’re all working around the clock in the midst of awards season.

I almost responded with “well, you aren’t lacking in the dating department,” because girlfriend’s full-time hobby is dating. That’s something she’s good at. Something I’m very much not. I don’t make the time, and I don’t have any means of meeting new people (except through work I suppose).

But you know why I didn’t say that? Because that would be insinuating that men actually pay for dates these days. And it’s come to my attention, on more than just a handful of occasions, that dating isn’t as old fashioned as I’d like it to be. Dating, as in dinner, a movie — whatever it may be — it has no charm anymore. Men don’t pay for dinner on first dates. They go halfsies. Or, worst case scenario, I’ve heard of women that front the entire bill — willingingly and (once) against their own will.

THIS IS MADNESS.

Before The Black Dahlia got cut in half, she was known as a beautiful woman in Hollywood who went out on dates, as it was a great way to meet people and, I quote (from E! True Hollywood Story — hard-hitting journalism here) “a free meal.” (Perhaps this is not the best example, as she ended up dead after all of these frequent free dining experiences.) However, that is what a date should be*. A free meal. For a lady. (Or men who feel like a lady.) Dudes, if you ask a woman out on a date, you should pay.

Actually, I take that back. If you ask someone on a date, you should pay.

I can hear this question in the distance: “What if you don’t know who asked who? What if you both just agreed to meet for drinks or something casual?”

This brings me to my next point: stop with this ‘meeting’ bullshit. My mother, a wise woman, told me (and to this day will still throw it out there) that there is no “hanging out.” If a man is interested, he’ll be forward enough to ask you to dinner, or, will even ask you out on a date. HEAVENS TO MURGATROYD. And contrary to what I’ve told every single human being the past 10 years, if a guy asks you to dinner, it’s a date — whether you see it as one or not. (I used to have reservations about this because I felt like I should be able to select what was a date and what wasn’t, depending on if I liked the guy or not. That is not the case. You can go on single dates with people you have no intention of ever seeing again. Isn’t that nuts?)

Notice that I italicized man, to reeeeeeally get the point across. Men ask you on dates. And people who wear the pants ask people on dates. So no matter what type of sexually-oriented relationship you’re in, know that one of you has to assume the role of the aggressor, and will have to ask the other on the date. If you do this, know that you will be paying for it.

(In a chivalrous way, not in a “you might die” way.)

*Dates should also be the bridge between singledom and the possibility of finding true love, but let’s focus on the real issues here.

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