GReal Talk with Carrie Burgendorf: Should I Pay for That?

By Carrie Bergendorf

GReal Talk is real girl talk, a monthly column for real girls really living, by Carrie Burgendorf. GReal Talk tackles the real issues of real girls in real life in a politically correct manner so vague that it helps.

Hey Care Bears, Carrie Burgendorf here. As anyone who has ever struggled to support themselves in their twenties or early thirties or possibly their forties (but we are not judging if you still can’t get it together in your fifties) knows, living paycheck-to-paycheck can be trying. Most students find themselves at the end of every month thinking things like, “Where did all my money go? I couldn’t have spent it all on Chipotle. It’s not like I’m Matthew Knowles paying to get Destiny’s Child off the ground!” or something of that nature. Some women have found a loophole and will agree to go on dates for the promise of a free dinner in return for the potential of… something. But, as I’m sure all you Care Bears are thinking, isn’t that a sort of reverse-feminism? If I go out on a date, should I pay for my half?

A similar feeling recently struck an FAU business major and part-time Macy’s employee that I was lucky enough to interview. For our purposes, we will call her “Siri.” While visiting Starbucks this week, I watched as “Siri” was approached by a young man she could only describe as “a five.” She eventually elaborated, saying, “He was nice to talk to. At one point he might have said something funny.” Ah, Kismet. By the time she was paying for her drink, the unidentified male had asked her out.

“That’ll be $5.43, and all you’re getting is a damn cup of coffee,” the Barista chimed. The Golden Era filmmakers of Hollywood would describe this moment as a “Meet-Cute.”*

At this point, “Siri” knew she had to make a decision; she was low on cash and resolve. “It’s hard during these tough economic times,” she lamented. “I want nice things like regular meals and fancy coffee, but it sucks having to pay for them!”

“Siri” said yes to her date as most say yes to a flu-shot, and like Jenny McCarthy at the height of an avian flu outbreak, she had some doubts. When I pointed out to “Siri” that some might see this as a sign of anti-feminism or reverse-feminism, she whole-heartedly replied, “It is.” She then went on to say, “Look, I’m a feminist. Completely sometimes. But the truth is, men don’t have to pay for nearly as much as we do. They don’t get waxes. They don’t buy push-up bras or mascaras called ‘falsies.’ So this is me taking back my 30 percent.”

Other female students found this stance to be a tad off-putting, and most had reactions we can not legally print. All in all, “Siri’s” date became a new adventure for her and resulted in both parties going home happy. As “Siri” eloquently put it, “We went to Chili’s and I let him feel me up after. Oh, and I got a free appetizer out of it.”

Is this a case of a young woman engaging in reverse-feminist practices? Is getting felt up the same as hooking up? Is Chili’s still offering soft pretzels as an appetizer? But most importantly, if I’m ever in “Siri’s” shoes, Should I Pay for That? We want to hear your opinions, Care Bears!

Look out for Carrie’s next column, “How to Love Your Asymmetrical Face”

*A “Meet-Cute” is actually a sweet moment in a movie where two people meet by accident, NOT goods being traded for physical interactions. Unless the Meet-Cute in question occurs in Pretty Woman.