This week a very nice gentleman spent a not insignificant amount of money buying me and my friends drinks in an effort to impress me. I didn’t realize that was what was going on until later when he told me that spending time with me was the reason he invited us out, and then he asked me if I had a boyfriend and we had a slightly awkward, slightly drunk conversation about it.
When I tell this story to my friends they all make a big deal out of the amount of money he must have dropped.
And the guys make a very big deal of pointing out how women never buy them drinks at bars, maybe one drink max. The world is so unfair.
I HATE this complaint.
I don’t like it when people buy me drinks generally. I am getting more used to it as my co-workers buy me drinks to thank me for the unglamorous work I do for them but generally, in a date setting, watching him pull out his wallet gives me a stomachache.
But here is the thing about romantical drink-buying: If you want to go out with me, if you want to impress me, then buying me a drink isn’t going to impress me, but it is going to get me to sit here with you while you try to impress me by doing something impressive.
Especially if I don’t really want to go out with you. Because if I want to go out with you too then the proof will be in the fact that I am also willing to pay for the opportunity to show you how much you should like me.
And if I like you then that is exactly the exact logical argument I’m making when I open a tab. Because if I like you and want to take you out and impress you with my brain then I want to buy you a drink because I want to be near you, and drinking the drink will ensure your nearness to me for a bit.
So here is my advice to guys who want women buying them drinks:
Take the space you have and make it feminist.
Make it clear that you’re the kind of guy who wouldn’t mind being asked out. Make it clear to me and make it clear to your male friends. Make this world the kind of world where I can ask you out and then when the relationship inevitably ends my friends won’t say “Of course it ended, you were too available. You should have waited 72 hours between each text and then left the bar whenever your cup was empty like I do.”
Because let me tell you how tired I am of hearing that.
I’m the kind of lady who likes to ask guys out. I want to drop my business card in his pocket even though we only talked for a little bit and my friends are pretty sure he’s gay or at least dating one of the other girls he’s talking to at the bar.
If I like you then I want to buy you a drink and show you all the reasons you should like me too. A drink isn’t payment for sex, a drink is payment for me sitting with you for 30-60 minutes while you make your case about why I should spend time with you, and maybe why I should have sex with you.
Being the recipient of free drinks isn’t a perk of being a woman, it’s a pitiful consolation prize for patriarchy.