Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Sugar Daddy

I was out a few nights ago with my friend and we stopped by the bar where the guy that she has just recently begun dating works. We stayed for about an hour and then starting packing up to head home. She looked through her wallet to see if she had enough cash to stop at McDonald's on the way home to balance out the bourbon she drank. Ummm, grease and bourbon. But the point is, when she didn't have enough cash, this guy digs into a pocket and starts pulling out money to give her. He even went so far as to put a twenty and a five on the table and pushed it over to her.

Both of us reacted strongly with repulsion and insisted he put the money away. Almost simultaneously, we both explained that she would borrow the money from me. He protested a little bit under the combined weight of our double charm, he gave in gracefully and we all laughed.

As we talked about it in the car later, I jokingly asked if she wanted me to sit down with him and explain the error of his ways since he and I are friends, too. Of course, she said no but it has gotten me thinking: what would I have said to him if she had wanted me to sit him down and set him straight.

How exactly was his offer of cash for her to take with her more offensive than his previous offers (that were accepted) to buy her meals and drinks? Why was it inappropriate?

I'd love to get comments that wil help me understand romantic relationships even just a little bit more. Any help I can get, you know?


Christy said...

Why does him giving/lending some cash have to be wrong? I agree that $25 to go to McDonald's is a little weird... what if it were just $5? Would that make it ok or not? Are you objecting to some assumptions that you are presuming accompany his/her behavior in this situation - or to the behavior itself no matter what the accompanying assumptions might be? (Did that make any sense at all?) It would feel unsettling to me to see one party in a dating relationship act like an ATM on a regular basis... but in this one situation maybe he was just treating both of you to a snack more palatable than fast food, and what's wrong with that?

PrincessMax said...

Christy, thanks for responding. I don't necessarily think it has to be wrong; I just know that both of us reflexively responded as if it were so I'm trying to figure out why. The $25 was in the form of a 20-dollar-bill and a 5-dollar-bill and I think that amount was chosen mostly because he was emptying out his pockets and those were the two denominations that came out, al grubby and folded unevenly, along with a piece of string, a whistle and a frog, like all boys carry in their pockets. :-) I think you've probably hit the nail on the head with the assumptions question you asked. Maybe we worried that his generosity would make her beholden to him, even in a small way and it just feels too soon in their dating for that. I think it also felt a little like he thought she couldn't take care of herself, which probably isn't true now that I've gotten to know him a little better, but the act in general certainly has overtones of paternalism.

Any other thoughts?

Scooter said...

Money just feels sort of like a dirty trade. It's what you get for working, not as part of a relationship, regardless of the fact that in a long term relationship you're pooling your assets. Pooteewheet and I have separate checking accounts and I earn much more than she does, but I try not to give her cash unless she wants me to give her money, and even then I try to leave some floating around where she doesn't have to ask (and I ask her once in a while so it's not one sided). Instead I let her write checks out of my account, use a joint credit card (or her own, and I just cut a check), buy whatever it is so she doesn't need cash, whatever makes her feel like she's not relying on me for a handout, even though that's not what it is. Mine is hers, hers is mine. Food, house, childcare - all those things don't feel weird, but forking over $25 does even after 12 years of marriage.