Fishes and Bicycles: Who's Paying for Dinner?
Oh how the rules have changed over time.
Men and women are virtually interchangeable these days. Women are in the pulpits of churches and the cockpits of Air Force fighters (and going over the edge of aircraft carriers — oopsy). Then we have men earning the tasks of ironing the wife's blouse and doing the laundry, and denying that whites and colors don't go together favorably.
Meanwhile, the woman may work most of the overtime or secure the bigger paycheck. Or some guys are entirely stay-at-home chaps while the lady takes on the family support. It gives her a sense of control, and hey, the guy can take life a lot easier. Heck, even stuff like changing diapers and folding those nasty bottom sheets, with the persnickety elastic thingy rolling up on ya, are easier than explaining to the CFO why the budget isn't done on time.
Can you imagine Samantha of Bewitched going off to work while Darren stays home to fumble with Tabitha's diapers? Or visualize Leave It to Beaver with Ward in an apron, yelling at the Beav, "just wait until your mother gets home!"
Women want more authority and control over men. They don't want to open doors, but instead they want to gain a little monetary jurisdiction. The Daily Telegraph once reported that, according to some study, nine out of 10 women expect a man to hold the door open for them, but only 22 percent are happy for the man to pay for dinner.
What?! The message is that, what, women can't open a door as easily as their wallets?
But women say they want to pay.
I can't tell you how many men I know who think that this behavior is not only acceptable to them, but they consider the fiscal end result to be "cool." And they tell me that it's a sign that they are a "liberating" type of guy. I see it as a sign of being the ultimate cheapo. Am I so crazy to think that it is more "liberating" for women to be liberated from picking up the tab for a $45 lobster meal at McCormick's and Schmicks, plus the $8.50 each for the two cosmopolitans? (No dirty martinis for me, please.)
Okay guys, so modern Left-feminism has made a laughingstock out of some of you, but that's no excuse. It's not too late to turn your conduct around right here and now. Expecting a woman to pay for dinner — on a date — is wimpy, guys.
Men buy our meals and we maintain things like laundry, shopping lists, and the long, long list of his "Male Faults." It is well-known that fault lists are held in female, long-term memory in perpetuity. Even after the woman dies, scientists can extract it in near-perfect condition. All 65,712 pages of it.
Heck, I don't want a man doing my laundry either. I have yet to learn to appreciate seeing my expensive, white, Victoria's Secret underthingies coming out of the washer looking tie-dye blue because they snuggled up underwater with his three pairs of denim jeans, jumping 'round a fiery agitator that didn't know any better.
Besides, have you ever seen the bottom, fitted sheet after a man has folded it? It looks like someone put a king-size pillowcase on a basketball. Try sticking that lump-o-mess in your diminutive, linen closet. And they'll throw anything in the dryer on high heat, as long as it's something that is worn on the human body. Guys, we don't appreciate our Liz Claiborne sweaters going in the dryer a size 8 and coming out a size 1. Something's amiss there.
But guys are indispensable in other, manly ways, ladies, so get with it. They do important things we can't do without. Give 'em the macho, mens' duties 'round the house, and keep them away from the ironing board, washer, and anything rayon.
Ever get a hankerin' for some sort of snack at around midnight? Especially in January, when it's 13 below zero, and you don't want to go out? Men do these things and they don't complain. Send them out to the store for blueberry-almond-fudge-broccoli ice cream at midnight, and they'll go. They won't ask you why you didn't request the ice cream at 7pm instead of midnight; they'll just do it. And they'll likely bring back some caramel topping and chocolate sprinkles, too.
How about carrying the bags — all six of them — on your trip to the Mall of America? Or any shopping mall will do. My sister says that's the only reason her husband shops with her. He doesn't mind because he doesn't have to fold the rotten fitted sheet with the elastic thingy.
How about cleaning up the squishy, watered-down dog poop after two solid days of rain? Now that's a benefit that no woman can do without. Ask a man to do it, and he'll oblige, even if it's your turn for poop duty.
Men kill spiders without us having to get out the ultra-high-pressure can of Raid that sprays 70ft. with the power of a fire hose, making us turn half the house white in the process of killing one, little bug. Raid makes a wonderful carpet bleacher and paint remover, by the way. Men just pick spiders up and squish ‘em, and that saves us some carpeting and paint. I don't know how many times I've crushed my expensive, custom-made, Venetian blinds while using my heavy-duty, steel-toed, backpacking boots to smack down some hairy black thing hiding behind one of the darn blind strips.
The other day I had a fluorescent green spider crawling on my computer keyboard while I was writing. I had a choice: exterminate the keyboard with 2,000 ft. lbs. of pressure from the Raid can or smash the thing to bits with the hiking boot. Instead, I left the room and waited for Mr. Spider to hide where I wouldn't see him. Then I could pretend he didn't exist. This is called female abstemiousness, a form of self-denial, and I think it has something to do with the hemispheric activation of the frontal lobes, or some peculiar thing like that. But I came across Mr. Spider a couple of days later, and out came the hiking boot. I knew those $190, Gore-Tex boots were good for more than just backpacking in the Adirondacks.
Men also run out to pick up the Chinese, carry-out order in the middle of rush hour traffic. Part of the bargain is that you let him stop and pick up a six-pack on the way back. Cut-rate deal, if you ask me.
In the book Brain Sex by Anne Moir and David Jessel, the authors say that "holding a door open or carrying in the groceries is not mere social convention; it is the masculine for 'I care for you.'" Bravo! Then care for me, please. Despite Gloria Steinem, every fish needs a bicycle to carry out the masculine act of buying her dinner.
June 17, 2003
Karen De Coster, CPA, [send her mail] is a paleolibertarian freelance writer, graduate student in Austrian Economics, and a business professional from Michigan. Her first book is currently in the works. See her Mises Institute archive for more online articles, and check out her website
Copyright © 2003 Karen De Coster