September 25, 2004

Check, please

We eat out a lot (possibly too often, but that's another topic). Victor and I pretty much take turns paying. Fairly frequently, when I am the one who pays, the server returns the credit card and charge slip to Victor to sign, and this irks the heck out of me.

I know, it's a small thing. And I don't become apoplectic or refuse to tip, it's just a pet peeve. I is 2004, the idea that a woman might be paying is hardly a shock. When they bring the bill to the table, they generally put it between us, they don't give it to Victor, so why once it is paid do they assume it was him?

Victor completely can't understand why it bugs me...he hands the check back to me, no big deal. And I'm not a hugely oversensitive feminist who goes around looking for proof that I'm being marginalized. Do I care that the server assumes I have this nice man to pay for my meals? So what if the server doesn't realize that I am gainfully employeed and have the means to pay my own Visa bill? In reality, I'm sure it is about inattention and not lack of respect...but it still irks the heck out of me.

Posted by Nic at September 25, 2004 07:56 AM

It's also manners. Many of us were brought up to believe that the guy always pays on a date. I don't mind sharing, but it still feels odd to have a lady pay.

Posted by: Ted at September 25, 2004 03:48 PM

That irks me as well...especially because all they need to do is look at the NAME on the credit card; it IS a female name, after all.
Put that in the category with bringing me a Diet Coke when I order regular Coke...just cuz I'm a woman.

Posted by: zenchick at September 26, 2004 01:51 PM

I grew up with the idea that the person who did the inviting paid, or we split in some way...he bought the concert tickets, so I'd get dinner.
And it is probably just as sexist a thought, but we girls also did still have the impression that if you expected the guy to pay for everything, eventually he was gonna, well, expect something in return.

I'm really curious about how other people see this...if it's generational (not to say you are old, Ted) or gender or neither.

Posted by: nic at September 26, 2004 03:59 PM

LOL My folks brought me up to be an old-fashioned gentleman, that's all. My kids were brought up the same way. You'll notice when you meet Mookie, she'll call you Miss Nic and Mr. Victor. I still call older folks Sir and Ma'am.

Posted by: Ted at September 27, 2004 12:37 PM

Hey, I use "sir" and "ma'am" too. I just think it's impolite for the servers to keep giving my Visa card to Victor! ;-)

Posted by: nic at September 27, 2004 01:37 PM

I have to side with Nic- it is kind of insulting to assume that the man is always paying. I once had a waitress return the change to my husband even though she was standing right next to our table when I pulled the money out of my wallet to pay the check! People don't return my credit card to my mother when we go out, why do they return it to my husband? I think it's better to just put the card back in a neutral location, just like they do with the check before it's paid.

Posted by: Karen at September 27, 2004 03:35 PM
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