Friday, February 9, 2007

Check Please

Here's a reader submission from T.

"Good Grief! Thanks China Dirt for pulling the curtain on the sham that is expat men in China! It's so good to have found a kindred spirit.

In fairytales, the toad turns into a prince after a kiss. In Beijing, the prince turns into a toad.

In the most recent installment of the horror flick that is dating in Beijing, I met this expat guy. Let's call him "The Pretender." I met him at The Bookworm through a friend. At first I thought he had "dating material" written all over him. I mean, cute smile, great sense of humor, and maybe the only guy in this city who doesn't smoke (I hate a guy who smells like an ashtray!). We texted a few times, and the banter was pretty hot. So I was happy to go to a dinner with him the following weekend. THAT was a mistake! I mean, it started out pretty good. I'm a vegetarian and he was pretty respectful of that. We settled on Hatsune. We talked about him, mostly. He is an English teacher, but making a documentary about AIDS in China (I wish I'd only read your post on FHM's). He recommend a pretty pricey glass of wine for me and a beer for himself. I found that to be sexy because I like a take charge kind of guy.

That all changed, however... (For all you guys reading this, there are some things you SHOULD know! If you ask a girl out on a date, you should pay. Period. I believe in equal rights and everything, but it's not rocket science that a little chivalry gets you a long way)
So the check came and the following conversation was had:

Me: "So thanks for dinner! That was great"
TP: "Uh... so you owe like 150?"
Me: "Ex...Excuse me?"
TP (showing me the mai dan):"Yeah, so you had a glass of wine, which was a little bit more than my beer"
Me: (thinking) "Are you being facetious, you cheap bastard?"
Me: (actually) "Um, okay?"

I shoulda taken this as a warning sign. But like the romantic masochist that I am, I gave him the benefit of the doubt. So he invited me back to his apartment to watch "Apocalypto" (which is the worst date movie EVER, btw), for some reason I agreed. And by "apartment," he meant skanky dorm room. Almost immediate upon entering his v. humble abode, he almost toppled me over in an attempt to marry his tongue to my tonsils.

Me: "Umm, hello?"TP: "shhhh."
Me: "What's the rush?"(let's just pause for dramatic effect here)
TP: "I can't have girls over in my dorm after 11, but I just wanted to express my feelings"

WHAT? Did that just happen? Are we in boarding school? I am utterly mystified by how guys like this are allowed to exist. If you're going to be this lame, at least lie about it."

Guys like this ARE allowed to exist. For about a week, I was having a really terrible time at work and the boy I had just recently started dating called me up and said he wanted to take me to dinner bc "I was having such a rough week." Apparently his interpretation of taking me out was to pay for the taxi but split the final check.


Craig said...

Can we just look at this in perspective. Women want equal rights and fight for it in the workplace, in politics, at home, god even in the bedroom!

Can I just point out one of the major hypocrisies of our time that women want all these equal rights, yet still want the man to pay for everything. Where's the equal rights in that ladies.

It's the 21st Century, a relationship is made up of two people and it's not a case of "what's yours is mine and what's mine is my own", its give and take, sharing, equality in relationships. This equality comes down to the bill - A man isn't a credit card you can use whenever you have the urge to flash somebody else's cash.

I've had the ill-fortune of turning into a walking bank before that never asks for its money back and I can tell you, it's not a good experience from that end!

Let's be a little less greedy, a little less materialistic, and a little more practical!

Don't behave like the US government and profess to believe in one thing and do the opposite! If you want equal rights, then everything is equal - otherwise forget it!

J said...

I don't understand where the "equal rights" thing comes into this.

The deal is that the guy asked her out to dinner and obviously planned to haul her back to his embarrassing abode thereafter.

At most, she could have offered to split the check when it came...and if he was even a potentially FUTURE man, he would have refused and paid the check himself, especially since he apparently took it on himself to go overboard on a wine selection for which he had no intention of paying. But what he SHOULD have done was simply call for the check and pay it without her even knowing how much it was.

If you go out to eat with a FRIEND, male or female, then splitting the check is expected. If you ask a date out to dinner, especially if you have it planned for a trip to your bedroom later, then you pay. Period. However, if she asks YOU out, then it would be a pleasant surprise to see her offer to pay the whole check...which, personally, I would then refuse and pay myself. But I am a hopeless Chauvinist in this regard.

The bottom line is that if you can't even afford to buy your date a dinner, then stay home and jerk off; when you grow up there will still be women out there.

Azchael said...


Hmm... paying on the first date is a definite NO for a man. Taking over the wine is a YES as he recommended it, but paying the first date? That's a no!

No comment on the thing in the dormitory :)


J. Alexander said...

Like a million kuai says if he had taken a Chinese girl out that night instead of you, he would have paid the whole bill.

Fried Lice said...

Look, Craig. He invited the girl. The person who does the inviting is expected to do the paying. I don't think sexism has anything to do with it. It's just polite.

This guy also showed a terminal lack of social skills by inviting a girl to his apartment after the first date and trying to kiss her. Also, if you live in a scuzzy place you need to hide it until the girl knows you are actually a nice guy. This is just commonsense.

Fried Lice said...

Also, girls do lots of stuff for men that they don't necessarily want to do. Maybe you have had bad experiences, but nearly all of my girlfriends have done lots of nice feminine things like cleaning my house, cooking for me, and making love when they weren't really in the mood, etc. In this context, would it really kill a man to pick up the check?

Adam said...

craig, in most circumstances, I'd agree with you, but in this one, HE chose the wine for her, for god's sake! It's like giving your friend an expensive gift and then handing them the bill! If SHE had ordered the wine with the clear expectation that he would just pay, then it would be a totally different issue.

Winks said...

Mmmmmm. And yet the same guy would not expect a Chinse girl to pay, nor would she.

Niklas said...

You pay for what you order. If you order someone a drink you pay for it, just like if you ordered it for yourself.

I don't however think that it's some kind of axiom that the man should pay for the drinks. I think such a rule implies that the woman is not capable of handling her own bills. Anyway, it's nice of eihter sexes to pay for the whole bill but it's obligatory and that is why it's nice to do it.