a fashionable Dublin bar, I met two French sisters whom I know socially.
I asked what they were having to drink. The answer: two cosmopolitans
(£18). Later, one of them, Aisha, said: “I think I’ll
have another.” “Why not?” I replied, adding pointedly:
“I’ll have a Carlsberg.”
A sudden silence
jarred the moment. I told Aisha, mildly but firmly, that it wasn’t
my turn to buy. She responded with a petulant lecture on how, if
I were a gentleman, I would never ask a lady to buy a drink. “You’re
obviously not a gentleman,” she said. “And you’re
not a lady,” I replied.
it’s not only French women who don’t believe in buying
a drink for a guy. Neither do the fair ladies of these islands play
fair at the bar. For men, offering a lady a drink is such a reflex
that, certainly for the first round, we scarcely give it a second
thought. The problem is the second round, and the third, and so
on. Some women are happy for a man to pay for every round, even
if they have only just met. I’ve yet to meet a man who expects
a woman to buy round-for-round. But we do believe a woman should
occasionally go to the bar.