Friday, April 11, 2008

Independent Woman

I wonder what it means today to be an independent woman. I know I struggle with it. Take for example, dating. Now, generally the guy is supposed to pay, right? Well, I've talked to men about this, and often times men will pay, but they don't want to feel obligated to do so. They want the women to at least offer, and not assume anything.

So, given that information, awhile back, I was out to dinner with S. And when the check came, I said, "let me see it." "No, I got it," he said. "Are you sure? Cuz I can get mine--we can split it." "No, I'm positive," he said. "O.K." I just couldn't wrap my head around it, so I let it go. Well, then not too long afterwards, M and I were at the Denver Diner eating a late dinner when S texted to see where we were. S joined us and ate and we all talked for several hours until M was bleary-eyed and delirious. So then the check came, and mind you, M and I had already ordered by the time S got there. Well, what did S do? He paid! For both M and I! I really really didn't get it. I mean, he didn't have to do that at all. But he said because he was invited, he wanted to. That makes NO sense to me. I'm invited all the time to things, dinners, events, etc. If I go out with my girlfriends, we always split things. It's never, like oh, let me get that. So, I still hadn't said anything, just was like, ok, if you're sure...go ahead and pay. thanks.

well, then another time shortly after that, at the same place, S and I were there. I had already eaten dinner but he hadn't. We ended up ordering dessert--apple pie for me and cherry for him. So mind you, all I had was a piece of pie, that's it. And when the check came, I offered to pay for it. And he's like, no, I got it. And this is when I lost it. I had to, HAD to, ask him why he does that--pay. He said he does it out of the goodness of his heart; that he wants to pay. And I'm like, but that makes no sense, I offered and you said no. And he's like, "well, did you want to pay because you felt like it or because you felt that was the right thing to do?" and I said "well, of course I offered because I felt like it was the right thing to do. Because I'm used to splitting things when I go out or paying my share." And he said, "see, you should only offer to pay if you feel like it in your heart."

Of course this made me feel bad about not "feeling" like paying, which I told him. but I do get his point. and I even said, okay, I will pay this summer when I drag you to all the festivals I want to go to, because that is something I genuinely enjoy. Of course when I told my mom about these situations and how I was so incredulous as to why S paid, she said "shut up and let him do it."

Since then, we have switched off paying, which in some ways, makes me feel better. It makes me feel like am still independent, which is something I want. I don't want to be that bimbo blonde that is so clueless about things. No, I want to be the gorgeous brunette with a good head on her shoulders. The type of woman that can be independent and have strong opinions, but still be maternal and open-minded. I know this will take time, but for now, I appreciate S's attempts to pay with a smile and a thanks, knowing that I will be able to pay next time.

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