• good Grassley quote -

    From a425couple@21:1/5 to All on Sat Feb 3 06:34:42 2018
    Personal Finance
    ‘I don’t know how heterosexual men in America date without going broke’

    Published: Dec 7, 2017 7:27 p.m. ET

    How to get to know someone without paying a dime

    Getty Images
    When asked how much is appropriate for adults to spend on the first
    date, older millennials and Generations X-ers said they spend $100 per date.



    Charles Grassley, the longtime Republican senator from Iowa, has a
    theory on American men and how they spend their money. “I think not
    having the estate tax recognizes the people that are investing, as
    opposed to those that are just spending every darn penny they have,
    whether it’s on booze or women or movies,” he said in defense of the
    Senate tax bill that nearly doubles to $10 million the threshold for
    exemption from the estate tax and introduces massive cuts to corporate

    He was, perhaps, paraphrasing the late New York Mets and Philadelphia
    Phillies relief pitcher Tug McGraw, who reportedly said, “90% I’ll spend
    on good times, women and Irish Whiskey. The other 10% I’ll probably
    waste.” But many people on Twitter were unamused by the Grassley remark.
    They thought it was more of a swipe at the spending habits of
    non-wealthy taxpayers. The comment by Grassley, like the one from
    McGraw, does raise a question: How much do American men spend dating women?

    Alan, a combat veteran in his 30s, is a serial dater. He says he has
    dated hundreds of women since moving to New York eight years ago. “In
    order to date a woman in New York City, you have to spend $200 or $300. That’s the ‘trumpets and confetti’ night out: Dinner, drinks at a cocktail bar, nightclub and an Uber home.” And now? He has developed a strategy for cheap dates. For the first couple of dates at least, it
    doesn’t cost him a penny. “I don’t know how heterosexual men in America date without going broke,” he says.

    His strategy: He takes women for a walk around the Jacqueline Kennedy
    Onassis Reservoir in Central Park. “The type of person that moves to New
    York City is often times beautiful and intelligent,” he says, “and she
    is going on a date with a 6’3” Ivy League banker. In Central Park, I can distinguish myself in ways that I wouldn’t be able to if I was stuck in
    a restaurant or bar. I’m an alpha male, so I can exhibit paternal skills
    with my German Shepherd and, don’t laugh, my physical prowess by
    throwing a stick.”

    ‘The type of person that moves to New York City is often times beautiful
    and intelligent and she is going on a date with a 6’3” Ivy League banker.’
    Don’t miss: Single iPhone users don’t want to date someone with an Android

    Sarah Berger, the financial advice columnist at TheCashlorette.com,
    actually likes the walk-in-the-park as a freebie, and suggests free
    museum days — “I love the Museum of Modern Art’s free Fridays” — or the
    beach. Other ideas: Pretend house hunting together in a ritzy
    neighborhood, testing department-store perfume, hanging out at your
    local library and dreaming up new titles of classic books like Salman
    Rushdie and Christopher Hitchens used to do (although not on a date).
    Or, even better, writing new first lines of books to see if you can
    guess which are real and which fake.

    Sometimes, a free date is only free for one party. Breffni Burke, a
    publicist, went on a dinner date with a guy who forgot his wallet.
    Whether or not he actually had forgotten it is debatable, but she agreed
    to pay for the meal. In a follow-up move that even took her by surprise,
    he asked Burke for the receipt so he could write the dinner off as a
    work expense. He actually made money on their date (they had ordered a
    bottle of wine). It came to around $90, she says. “The waiter made it
    better by only bringing me one complimentary after-dinner Sambuca and
    placing it squarely in front of me.”

    Some men spend hundreds of dollars in one month on dates

    This 26-year-old New York male broke out his dating budget on
    Refinery29. He spent $771 on 14 dates in a single month. Date No. 1:
    wine bar ($91). Date No. 2: bar ($40). Date No. 3: dinner and drinks
    ($70), Date No. 4: ingredients for dinner at home ($40). And that was
    just the first week. “I had a pretty memorable bad first date over
    dinner. It was clear early on that we weren’t going to work out, but
    with dinner you’re locked in — in terms of time,” he told the site. “Trying to make the conversation drag on as long as possible so that we
    could order and get through it was like pulling teeth.”

    Costs-wise, this seems low to some singletons. When asked how much is appropriate for adults to spend on the first date, older millennials
    (ages 27 to 36) and Generations X-ers (ages 37 to 52) said they spend
    $100 per date — that’s twice as much as younger millennials and baby boomers (ages 53 to 71), according to a recent survey of 1,000 people
    released by TheCashlorette.com, which is owned by personal-finance site Bankrate.com. And almost half of Americans (48%) who are married or live
    with a partner argue over finances. And what do they fight over? One
    person either spending too much or being too frugal.

    Other dastardly ways of free dating are shocking, even for someone like
    Marisa Mackle, who makes her living as a writer of romantic fiction.
    Mackle, whose comedic titles include “Mr. Right for the Night” and “So Long Mr. Wrong!,” said a date once used a Groupon GRPN, +0.00% voucher
    for a steak house. “I’ve been a vegan for 30 years,” she says. But that paled in comparison with the behavior of a skinflint pilot. “He took me
    on a picnic with a tray of customer sandwiches he’d robbed from the
    plane. That was memorable.”

    Women’s blogs are replete with stories of men who refuse to pay for
    dinner. Erica R. Williams, a television journalist, recounted one such
    story on MadameNoire.com: “ ‘He’s cheap.’ That’s how my friend described
    the guy she’d been talking to for the past three months. Although they
    lived in different cities, they’d conversed on the phone for a while
    before finally meeting. That’s when she decided, because he didn’t pay
    for a variety of things during their first weekend together, he wasn’t dateable. Well, not to her at least. But should a man pay for everything
    when he is just courting you?”

    There’s a fine line between chivalry and sexism

    It’s a question that shows no signs of going away soon, notwithstanding
    the men who don’t like to pay. After 50 years of feminism, men and women should be able to agree on who pays. It’s still not that easy to break generations of tradition. There’s a fine line between chivalry (“I
    should pay for her”) and sexism (“He should pay for me”). Studies on the subject tend to favor men paying. In one such survey of 2,000 people by financial website NerdWallet, 82% of men and 72% of women said they
    think the man should pay on the first date. Roughly 40% of men and women
    said they take turns splitting the bill as the relationship progresses.

    After 50 years of feminism, men and women should be able to agree on who
    pays. It’s still not that easy to break generations of tradition.
    But some men don’t want to be trapped in a bar or stuck at a table in a formal restaurant for two hours. During Alan’s 45-minute stroll in
    Central Park, he and his date figure out whether they want to see each
    other again. “As a combat veteran, I like being mobile: I can go north, south, east or west,” Alan says. “I know this turf. Why would I go to an unfamiliar place that would knock me off my game? If we hit four locales
    in one day, it feels like two dates. After our walk, I can then say,
    ‘Hey, let’s drop off the dog real quick at my place.’ We spend three minutes there, tops, but now she can see how I live, and, the next time
    I ask, it won’t be an unfamiliar environment.”

    Also see: Why you should never swipe right on Tinder just because of an attractive photo

    Such single men are the exception, rather than the rule, MarketWatch
    reporter Emma Court argues. There is still an “unbelievable persistence
    to the male-paid date,” she says. Women use the gender wage gap to
    justify why men should pick up the check, she says. But Court believes
    it sets a bad precedent. “From who pays for the first date, to who buys
    the diamond ring used to propose, to who manages the money, every
    negotiation in relationships can seem weighted, even engineered, toward
    one inevitable end,” she wrote. “The man having — and controlling — the money.”

    The NerdWallet survey supports Court’s theory. Even though 77% of men
    and women collectively believe men should pay the bill on a first date, “Pride and Prejudice”–style gender roles continue as the relationship does. Some 36% of the men surveyed pay 100% of household bills, compared
    with 14% of women. “While women are greater economic force in the
    economy and at home, financial decision making is still a male pursuit,”
    it concluded. Having a coffee or lunch where both people can pay their
    way may be a better start.

    A ride on the Staten Island Ferry might seem drab to commuters who take
    it every day, but it’s free and gives a breathtaking view of lower
    Manhattan, says Lillian Marek, a writer of Victorian adventurous that
    include “Lord Edward’s Mysterious Treasure” and “Lady Emily’s Exotic Journey.” The Staten Island Ferry is neither mysterious nor exotic. “It
    was cheap, but lovely and romantic. Do you know, ‘Recuerdo,’ the Edna
    St. Vincent Millay poem? ‘We were very tired, we were very merry — we
    had gone back and forth all night on the ferry.’”

    And that man who didn’t pay a dime on her first date? She married him.

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