I met Erik, a 33 year-old fledgling dentist, on Plenty of Fish. Being that we were both raised below the Mason Dixon line with strong southern values I thought we could very well be an impeccable match.
Erik suggested we meet at a lovely (and pricey) steakhouse called The Capital Grille. I was rather impressed with his choice seeing that most guys I had been out with had selected some sort of shitty Irish pub that would be more suited for getting wasted with a bunch of dudes rather than a proper first date.
I arrived promptly at 7:30 PM and was pleased to see Erik already settled into a dimly-lit corner table. He greeted me with a warm embrace and a sweet southern ‘hello’.
We feasted on a crab cake appetizer, chopped salad and petite filet mignons as we sipped on a full-bodied Chianti and discussed everything from our experiences in graduate school, upcoming international travels, and our love for our little canine children.
Overall, we seemed to get along exquisitely well, and I was positively excited to see Erik again in the very near future.
When the delicious meal came to an end the waiter brought the bill, which came to a grand total of $220. As always I reached for my wallet completely expecting this man with self-proclaimed ‘old-fashioned southern values’ would hear nothing of a woman forking out cash on a first date, but I wanted to evade seeming presumptuous.
“Oh, I have a gift card,” Erik said as he relinquished it into the billfold. “There is $250 on here, so why don’t you put half on the gift card and you can put the other half on her card.”
Shocked, I handed him my debit card and was secretly wishing he just took me to a shitty Irish pub that wouldn’t have cost me over $100 of my entry level salary.
“It was a birthday present from my aunt and uncle,” he said proudly. “Gotta love meals paid for by gift cards and still having money left over. Otherwise I would never be able to afford this place!”
“Must be nice. I can’t really afford it either but glad you picked somewhere so expensive.”
“Oh sorry! I probably should have asked you if this was OK.”
We exited the restaurant and after a failed attempt at a goodnight kiss I ran for the hills (or subway) and never returned any of his texts.