Cheap thrills: Stories of skinflints and tightwads

Maggie: I dated a guy who was too cheap to buy his mom a 79 cent bag of jelly beans. Full Story
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Polarity

Washington, DC

#1 Mar 12, 2008
Rational, start your engines. Cheryl's man-bashing again.
Meh

Peoria, IL

#2 Mar 12, 2008
Polarity wrote:
Rational, start your engines. Cheryl's man-bashing again.
Agreed. I had several female friends in high school who could out-cheap these guys any day. One would insist on being the one to drive wherever we were going, but then charged people for gas money every time they got in her car. She would also go to a local Mexican restaurant and order water and eat the free chips and salsa. I don't think she even tipped for her free meal.

Another time, four of us went out for pizza--we split one pizza. When the bill comes, this girl we were with decided that since she only ate two pieces of pizza, she was only going to pay for two pieces of pizza. We had a bunch of leftovers...if each of us had adopted her thinking, who would have paid for the pizza we didn't eat? Not sure she hung out with us ever again after that.

Both of these girls had part time jobs and came from nice, middle class families.
hedgehog

Raleigh, NC

#3 Mar 12, 2008
Hey, no Cheryl-bashing! Didn't you see Cheryl's question at the end? She's trolling for men's stories about cheap women! Can't wait to see it...
steph

United States

#4 Mar 12, 2008
Beatrice seems like a snot. Maybe the date really did think it would be cozier to watch a movie at home. I always think it is! Did he imply that dinner and a movie meant dinner at a five-star restaurant and a movie at a theater? Maybe he was just trying to get her in the mood, or make sure they were as comfortable as possible. I know I prefer watching movies at home. It IS cozier.

And hello, Andrea, maybe the guy figured that a free movie and a snack from the vending machine WASN'T a date. That's why he asked later if you wanted to go out sometime. Maybe he thought that was just "hanging out." Because, by Beatrice's standards, apparently, if a guy doesn't spend at least $100, it's not a "real" date anyway.

Honestly, I think some of the women here are coming off much worse than the guys, so I'm not sure this constitutes man-bashing.
Swoozie

Carrollton, TX

#5 Mar 12, 2008
I am with you there, Steph.

As a grad student, I have gotten totally used to splitting the check--I don't take it personally at all, date or not.

If it is a "real date", I don't assume that, because a guy asked me out he's going to pay for everything. If he pays for dinner and we see each other again, I would pay the next time. Of course I don't insist and make a huge deal out of it--I don't want to offend anyone with traditional ideas of chivalry or gender roles by offering to pay but usually a guy will let me know if he finds it strange that I want to (my offer is normally appreciated even if my date refuses to let me pay).

Sometimes, there are cultural factors at play. For example, like DORI, I lived in Germany and dated while there. Unlike Dori, I learned about the culture and found out that a lot of times, everyone pays for what they have ordered and that is totally normal. Just as it is normal for the server to wait until ASKED for the bill, rather than to bring it while you're still eating (considered very rude).

I am so appalled sometimes by the fact that the stories this column uses are from superficial people with ridiculous expectations of others--no wonder they're "at the front" of the (implied) war between the sexes. I don't think of it as a war but rather think of it as a dance, an analogy which allows for difference but also for fun and excitement. Maybe I'm too optimistic, but I am sick of the fact that this column is rarely constructive--it's not very helpful and so often it is so mean-spirited it can't be considered entertaining. In fact, I think I am going to stop reading it.
Cara

Palm Beach Gardens, FL

#6 Mar 12, 2008
I love these cheap date stories! If it is a first date, you don't want to put yourself in the position of being at the guy's house watching a video. The free movie and vending machine from the college student, I can understand that, in school you have to be creative!
Anon

Brooklyn, NY

#7 Mar 12, 2008
I agree that women should be prepared to pay our share on dates. And I always offer. But I don't press/insist because many men get offended by that. I will try to pay for the movie and/or drinks if my date has paid for dinner or pick up the tab the next time if there's a 2nd date.

That said, there are a number of reasons Beatrice may have had objections which may not have had anything to do with money. Perhaps they didn't know each other that well. Cozier at home could be code for getting more physically intimate.

If she wasn't comfortable with that, it's understandable she'd want to keep things public. And she wasn't necessarily expecting a 5 star restaurant. There are a lot of nice, inexpensive restaurants one can go to. It's not so much the money, but it's hard to sit down & get to know each other over dinner when going through a drive in and everyone has to juggle the food. Also, not everyone likes fast food.

MickeyD's & a rented movie are fine for an established couple. But if it's going to be a first date, whoever is planning it should make sure the other person's ok with it.
CFZ

Chicago, IL

#8 Mar 12, 2008
These guys are super lame. Guys, if you ask a woman out on a date, be prepared to pay for the whole thing. And offering to get a video and "watch it at your house" instead of going to a movie is creepy. Women, same goes for you. You ask a guy out, you pay. Until you are an established couple, this should be the rule.
Rational

United States

#9 Mar 12, 2008
Dear Cheryl: I asked a girl out for dinner one night. We met at my place and I drove. We went to a nice restaurant and she immediately ordere two martinis basically back to back. For dinner she ordered the most expensive item on the menu and a glass of wine. She then said it would be a great idea to have coffee and ordered a $8 double espresso. We then went to a nice bar where she continued to drain drinks, never offering to buy me a round. When we got back to my place she drank about half a bottle of my vodka.....and she never put out! What a disgusting user of a woman!!!!!

:)

Polarity, you knew I was licking my chops didn't you?

Nah, some of those stories are sad if you ask me. The free movie thing? I dont get that, sounds like a "feeler" night, see if you want to ask the person out.

I could write quite a few stories about greedy, snotty, presumptuous women I took out and treated them kindly, showed them a good time, spent money I really shouldn't have on them, and then that was it! I know a lot of guys who have these same tales but no biggie.

I am beginning to think however that Cheryl is reading my comments and purposefully printing these letters to pi ss me off! Hahahaha
steph

United States

#10 Mar 12, 2008
LOL, I guess I'm low maintenance...I never thought anything of watching a movie at a boyfriend's/date's house. For a first date, might seem kind of weird, but even a second.
hedgehog

Raleigh, NC

#11 Mar 12, 2008
Swoozie wrote:
I am so appalled sometimes by the fact that the stories this column uses are from superficial people with ridiculous expectations of others--no wonder they're "at the front" of the (implied) war between the sexes.
Yes, exactly. For example, what was up with the woman who was p.o.'ed because the guy took her to Chili's? Granted, it's not exactly "Mexican" food, but it's not like he took her to the Taco Bell drive-thru either.
pagan_goddess

Eden Prairie, MN

#12 Mar 12, 2008
One time our community had a contest to see who was the cheapest. This old man won -- he unrolled double wrapped toilet paper and rerolled it to a single roll. He laughed about it and so did everyone else. His kids readily agreed he was cheap, but they all loved him so it didn't matter.

Many people lived during the depression and food and other items weren't readily available. My grandma is very frugal, but I wouldn't call her cheap. She watches her pennies but has never been stingy. And she had to live on 1 loaf of bread a week during the depression while she was pregnant with my dad (1934).

I think it comes down to consideration for others' feelings. It's ok to be frugal, but not inconsiderate, no matter male or female. Also, expectations come into play. Is your expectation to get to know the person; or just see what you can get out of him/her? You don't have to spend a lot of money to have fun.
Cheryl Lavin

Southfield, MI

#13 Mar 12, 2008
Rational wrote:
Dear Cheryl: I asked a girl out for dinner one night. We met at my place and I drove. We went to a nice restaurant and she immediately ordere two martinis basically back to back. For dinner she ordered the most expensive item on the menu and a glass of wine. She then said it would be a great idea to have coffee and ordered a $8 double espresso. We then went to a nice bar where she continued to drain drinks, never offering to buy me a round. When we got back to my place she drank about half a bottle of my vodka.....and she never put out! What a disgusting user of a woman!!!!!
:)
Polarity, you knew I was licking my chops didn't you?
Nah, some of those stories are sad if you ask me. The free movie thing? I dont get that, sounds like a "feeler" night, see if you want to ask the person out.
I could write quite a few stories about greedy, snotty, presumptuous women I took out and treated them kindly, showed them a good time, spent money I really shouldn't have on them, and then that was it! I know a lot of guys who have these same tales but no biggie.
I am beginning to think however that Cheryl is reading my comments and purposefully printing these letters to pi ss me off! Hahahaha
Wanted...
More man bashing letters about the cheapest, sleaziest cheating men on the planet just to piss of a reader named Rational. I'll have so many letters I can run the articles daily while taking two weeks of vacation.
Rational

United States

#15 Mar 12, 2008
Cheryl Lavin wrote:
<quoted text>
Wanted...
More man bashing letters about the cheapest, sleaziest cheating men on the planet just to piss of a reader named Rational. I'll have so many letters I can run the articles daily while taking two weeks of vacation.
Cheryl!! So glad you noticed. Keep em comin, makes you look better and better each time you show your hatred of the male species.:)
steph

United States

#16 Mar 12, 2008
John wrote:
I have used this technique when I was on a first date and knew right away she wasn't a match. By demonstrating cheap behavior, even though in reality I am very generous, I know she won't be interested in me and I won't have to go through the ordeal of telling her I don't want to see her again. It works beautifully. Examples:
I picked up a first date at her place and she had bad breath. I was so turned off I took her to a Burger King drive-thru and asked her for her share of the bill...never saw her again.
I met a first date at a bar and she was sitting at the end of the bar dressed like a hooker. I ordered my own drink and didn't offer her one...never saw her again.
I took a first date to a Cubs game and she drank so much beer that she puked in the aisle. I excused myself to go the men's room and bailed out of there. The next day I sent her a bill for her game ticket and she paid it..never saw her again.
I don't know which amazes me more: that you were classless enough to send her a "bill" for that girls' Cubs ticket, or that she actually paid it, especially considering you ditched her.
Rational

United States

#18 Mar 12, 2008
steph wrote:
<quoted text>
I don't know which amazes me more: that you were classless enough to send her a "bill" for that girls' Cubs ticket, or that she actually paid it, especially considering you ditched her.
I agree but I will say this. His second story was hella funny! He's more of a gentleman than me because in my day I might have seen her dressed like a hooker, bought her several drinks than ...uuhhh, wait, maybe I shouldn't finish this story:)

J/K
Ruddy

Roselle, IL

#20 Mar 12, 2008
I'm embarrassed to say I worked with a real cheapskate. Mr. Cheap fixed a co-worker's family computer. Co-worker offers to take Mr. Cheap out for lunch as payment. Both go to lunch and Mr. Cheap orders lunch AND a COMPLETE 2nd entree and has it boxed to go so he can have dinner that night. Mr. Cheap also lived with his parents, had no car payments, etc., etc.
koio

United States

#21 Mar 13, 2008
Ruddy-That's not Mr. Cheap, that's Mr. Unpaid. My husband used to do exactly that for his boss (fix the family computer), and all his boss would compensate him for would be a meal by his wife and maybe some leftovers to take home. Considering the job he did was worth at least $100 the one being cheap is the one getting the free computer fix.
Ruddy

Roselle, IL

#23 Mar 13, 2008
koio wrote:
Ruddy-That's not Mr. Cheap, that's Mr. Unpaid. My husband used to do exactly that for his boss (fix the family computer), and all his boss would compensate him for would be a meal by his wife and maybe some leftovers to take home. Considering the job he did was worth at least $100 the one being cheap is the one getting the free computer fix.
Mr. Cheap agreed, in advance, that a free lunch would be sufficient payment. And, he was dealing with a co-worker - not someone who was in a position of authority over him. Bottom line is that Mr. Cheap killed his moonlighting business of fixing computers.
Jenna

Naperville, IL

#25 Mar 13, 2008
LW#3 sounds like a gold digger. Chicago police make a decent living, but they have to make do on a budget. By the time they join the force they're invariably paying off school loans, mortages, child suppport, support of elderly relatives, etc. The only ones walking around with wads of cash to blow are the crooked cops on the take.

She acts like she's disappointed he didn't shake down a massage parlor or something so he could spend a bundle on her. If she thought Chili's was cheap, well, it could have been a lot worse. Like Dunkin Donuts in the iffy neighborhood where cops in uniform get free food for the security.

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