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September 13, 2008

Dating Economics
FILED UNDER: "Our So-Called Lives"
TAGS: Gay.comMichigan
By Trevor

lovemoney-724074.jpg

So I was excited last night to make the trek down to Toledo, Ohio for a date with a cute boy I'd met online (Gay.com). We had been talking on the phone for a few weeks, and had been having some pretty great conversations. He seemed like a nice guy, successful job and all that. So he planned for us to hit up the Toledo Museum of Art (which is really, quite amazing) for their Friday night wine tasting at the Glass Pavilion, where they have free glass blowing demonstrations for visitors daily. I went last term with Maxime and was awed by the museum's wonderful collection -- and their free admission.

But the date started to go south fairly quickly. When we arrived at the Glass Pavilion, he ran into a friend of his, and began chatting with him without looking at or engaging me. Totally ignored. Ouch. That was pretty gross, and I knew in that moment that this wasn't going anywhere. But I trudged forward, determined to still enjoy the night however possible. The Sake tasting at the museum that night was, indeed, quite fun. I don't get to live this kind of yuppie life in Ann Arbor, where me and my friends are generally far too broke to venture out to such places.

When the time came to pay for "Sake to Me," I of course offered my $20 bill out of my pocket. It's just what one does, right? Before coming down, I had explained to him that I was extremely broke this month, and he had explained to me that he was raking in pretty darn good dough. He had done more than allude to me that he'd be paying for the evening. But he didn't argue when I handed him the money. He just took it. My heart sank a bit in that moment -- that was my drinking "fun" money for the rest of the weekend. But I didn't say anything. I could manage to get by this week without it.

Then onwards to dinner. He had planned to take me to this fancy Japanese place near his apartment, which was indeed pretty tasty. I had some Tuna Nigiri -- it felt terribly luxurious -- and a mixed seafood teriyaki plate, which was so-so. The conversation was generally good. Whatever. I mean I think we both knew at this point that we probably weren't interested in each other. But we made the most of it. But then the bill came. He picks up the tab, and I of course reach into my pocket, which is the moment when I expected him to protest. But not protestation came. I dug around, pulled out my credit card, and handed it over. Still no protestation. Fuck. Me. I couldn't afford this dinner. I mean, there's no way in HELL I could afford this dinner. This was the equivalent of a week's worth of food for my budget right now in graduate school.

The cards were taken away, and he asked the waiter to split the tab. I almost cried. What to do? He had never formally promised me to pay for the evening. But he knew I was fucking broke this month, living on summer funds that I received back in April until my first GSI paycheck arrived late this month. He had planned the evening, choosing the restaurant according to his own economic sensibilities. He knew I couldn't afford these things. Or did he? In retrospect, perhaps that this was just another night out for him. Maybe -- to him -- It wasn't all that expensive or luxurious. It was just that Japanese place that was a few doors down from his apartment, and a trip to the free art museum. But -- of course -- to me, it was a whole LOT of money.

Perhaps I could feel better about this situation if we really hit it off -- if he was an incredible guy and I was just so enamored with the evening. But it was a total bust. So now I feel like I'm out several gallons of gas, a potential Friday night with my friends, and a week's worth of food-money.

This seems to me to be a problem experienced by many couples where each partner is from a different class background. What's cheap to you, is outrageously expensive to me. It wrecks havoc on relationships.

Well, at leasmot there's no relationship to wreck havoc on for me. Ramen noodles, here I come!

PERMALINK | Posted at 11:46 AM | Post a Comment (11)

11 Comments

we're writing you from russian river gaycation 2. it just isn't the same without you here this time. wish we could all have a mimosa and forget about this date. let us know if we can send your date a douchebag in the mail as a token of our feelings for him.

mitchel, ethan, jackson | September 13, 2008 1:19 PM

Aw, you guys!!!! That's so sweet!!! Have fun at Gaycation, Part Deux!!!

Trevor Hoppe | September 13, 2008 6:52 PM

OMG! This is super tragic. Well, on the brighter side at least you know now that person is not worthy of any more attention!

[I got to your blog through a simple blog search on gay bloggers in Ann Arbor]

PS: Intellectual wealth notwithstanding, I am waiting for my paycheck too.

Kush | September 14, 2008 12:07 AM

Kush I'm so thrilled you found your way here! Congrats on the Kellogg award!!

Trevor Hoppe | September 14, 2008 3:04 AM

Hi Trevor,

Found your blog through the beyond masculinity site. Love it and your podcast. Its very refreshing to read a blog by a queer man that is so inclusive of other parts of the community (i.e. transfolks). Seriously.

Also, I feel you on the lack of social conciousness some folks have around money. I spent a long time buried in overdraft fees as a result of situations much like this one. F* that noise!

Cowboy Cass | September 15, 2008 11:14 AM

Fuck that noise, indeed. Thanks for your kind words, Cowboy ;)

Trevor Hoppe | September 15, 2008 2:01 PM

I know this will sound very gay of me, but don't you just wish men were like shoes that you tried on at the store and when you took them out and realized it was a bad decision you could return them and get your money back, or at least an in store credit?

Sorry to hear about the bad date, but all of this just makes the journey to Mr. Right a bit shorter--got to get through the junk first.

Better luck next time.

J. Clarence | September 16, 2008 3:24 AM

Tuh-REVOR...does your old roomate from the Gay Health Leadership Summit need to send $$ to Michigan? Ramen be gone!!!

E. Michael | September 17, 2008 5:16 PM

Oh my dear! How sweet of you to offer! I'm sure I can make do. I wonder how are you doing???? I have an 8x10 photo of our group hanging beside my desk. I think of it always!! xoxoxo

Trevor Hoppe | September 17, 2008 8:36 PM

Can you communicate with a potential sex partner about sex easier than about the economics of dating?... Or can you communicate with a potential sex partner about the economics of dating easier than about sex?...

the zak | October 7, 2008 12:33 PM

nice site

harsha | March 23, 2009 2:45 AM


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