On Being a Cheap Date

Posted on June 4, 2012

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This story is from Stephanie, a 25-year-old fashion buyer living in NYC, as told to Raz:

I was excited when Chase asked me out—he was 30, had graduated from Brown and worked at an art gallery, which I thought was pretty cool. We met at 8 on a Tuesday at Niagara in Alphabet City. I’d only been there late at night, when the bar is basically one big crowded and sweaty dance party, so I didn’t know what to expect on a weekday evening. He said he liked their happy hour, so I trusted him. But as soon as we got there, it was clear that he was pretty much the only one in the city that likes their happy hour—it was almost completely empty. The conversation was awkward and stilted, and the fact that there were maybe two other people in this bar only added to the tension. But at least the drinks were cheep—$3 beer and well drinks! Thank goodness he paid, right?

After one drink, he mentioned the delicious sushi restaurant across the street and asked if I was hungry. I eagerly said yes. Niagara was making me uncomfortable, plus I hadn’t eaten dinner yet. I figured a switch in location and some food in our bellies would surely make this awkward date palatable. Turns out, the sushi restaurant, Sushi Lounge, had a special too—50% off sushi all day!

The conversation didn’t pick up once we switched locations, and neither did his cheapness. He harped on and on about how smart he was for living in Flatbush, where his rent was only $500 a month. I held my tongue instead of telling him that at 30 years old, he should probably be able to afford someplace a little nicer.

Considering the fish was half off, it was actually decent. But I was still anxious to get out of there. Since he lived so far, he had his car with him, and as soon as we stepped outside, he offered to give me a ride home. I told him I’d walk the 6 blocks to my house, thank you.

That’s when he gave me a kiss on the cheek that lasted just a little too long.

“Oh my God,” he said. “Your skin is so soft.”

Passionate cheek kisses aren’t really my thing, and I wasn’t looking for anything more. I said a quick “Thanks, bye” and started walking.

At 11 o’clock the next morning, Chase texted.

“I know I’m supposed to wait 3 days, but I just had to know what you thought of our date,” he said.

I considered ignoring it, but I felt bad that he hadn’t noticed how clearly not good our date was. We’d barely spoken all night!

I texted him that he seemed like a great guy, but I just didn’t think we should go out again.

Men, a little advice: When you get a text like that, it should pretty much be a conversation ender. If you want to follow up with an “Ok, nice meeting you, have a nice life,” that’s fine. But anything that’s not along those lines should be kept to yourself.

Instead, Chase asked, “What did I do wrong?”

I considered typing out a list, but decided to just not respond instead. Then, he said this: “If you give me one more chance, I promise to be more charming.”

I didn’t respond again, but I was tempted to see what his version of ‘more charming’ would be. Would there have been more secrets to living in NYC on the cheap? Perhaps during the next cheek kiss he would slip me a little tongue? I guess I’ll just never know.

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Posted in: Your Stories