My dudes, do not do this.

My dudes, do not do this.

my dudes, you have got to get yourselves together with these text messages. Aziz Ansari has already done several excellent minutes on the topic of your hamfisted texts, but below I will offer an anecdote that I would  (until recently - woe, these truly are the end times) have assumed goes without saying, this being

do not, under any circumstances send a text that, at any point includes the words “I have spent $XXX.XX on you”

There are just no circumstances on this earth where that is an appropriate text to send to any person in your life, except, perhaps your idiot sibling who you've been supporting for several months while he "finds himself" after college. 

Adding insult to injury are the particular circumstances in which this unfortunate text made its way into my inbox. 

our story begins...

One coolish night in late fall. I am meeting Programmer Eggplant, who I met on the internet, obviously, at a bar in my neighborhood known for its $2 off happy hour. Just to give you an idea of the flavor of the joint, this means that were you so inclined, you could slurp down $1 cans of Schlitz until 730, at which time they return to their normal, hefty price of $3. They will also sell you a "Combo", which is a shot of bullshit whisky and a can of PBR for $6. I love this place, but you get the idea. 

So, Programmer Eggplant is getting sorta sloshy, which I set down to nerves and am willing to excuse, because I likes me an awkward nerd, and he was cute and charming in just such an awkward nerdy way.  We agree to a second date, on which I am charged with finding us a half-priced bottle of wine night somewhere around town on a Tuesday. 

This was INCREDIBLY difficult boys and girls. Monday is lousy with half off bottles, but everyone apparently expects you to have your shit more together come Tuesday. 

But I am good at Google, and I find us a place. Programmer Eggplant seems to be feeling it (and me!) so decrees we should order a second bottle of wine. This feels a little much for a Tuesday, but after a whole half bottle this is sounding like a perfect idea, so I go along.

We set up a third date to go this exhibit at the zoo, where they put up a bunch of Christmas lights, which is cute, and fun, and I love the zoo (Tigers!) and plus its free. We plan to bring a flask of hot chocolate and wander around and you know, be in a scene from some RomCom or other. 

Except it is too early in the season, and it's not yet open during the week. We reroute to a restaurant, which he chooses. I attempt to grab the bill and homeboy snatches it back, saying, 

No, no, its too early for you to pay

So okie dokie this sounds to me like we're planning on several next times, so I am pleased, and anyways I figure I can grab the check next time or something. 

Programmer Eggplant does not set up another date with me this time before we part ways. I text him later in the week something to the tune of 

"wanna hang out"

and this mother fucker writes to me

"Sorry, but I've spent $XXX.XX on you over the past two weeks, and I just can't do that again" 

I maybe blacked out a bit, such was my incredulity and subsequent rage that this was in fact what was written on my screen

I run over to my best work friend and show her this bullshit, and she is equally repulsed. I plot my response carefully, the acid fires of indignation fueling me as I craft

I see. I’m sorry if you feel you didn’t get your money’s worth

He failed to immediately apologize for equating me with a commodity/object/sex worker, which would've been the only way to unfuck the situation at this point, so Programmer Eggplant was never again allowed to spend money on or near me, ever again. 

Here is a short list of ways you could communicate to your text partner that you wanna do something on the cheap, without implying any type of transactional element to your relationship:

1. Type: hey, money's tight just now, do you mind if we do something more low key?

2. Type: "hey let's do This One Thing or go to This One Place" that I already know is either $0 or within my budget limits, but you don't have to know that, just be excited and charmed by my fun date idea.

3. Has it been several dates already (as above?)
     Type: why don't you come to my place and I will cook for you
      Alternative: why don't we go to your place and order in and watch us some neflix

4. Type: "I got stung by a shitload of bees in a freak bee-keeping accident, the doctor says I can't go out for 2 weeks until the swelling goes down (and my new paycheck clears) and I am off antibiotics. Hang out then?"   

5. Type: Literally anything else

My dudes. please do not do this. I beg you. Kay? cool.
When you Match a Coworker on Tinder

When you Match a Coworker on Tinder

The Trouble with Tiger Jumpsuits and Big Small Cities

The Trouble with Tiger Jumpsuits and Big Small Cities