For the Love of Money By: Steve Ziegler This story begins, like most do in the life of a city-dweller, in a restaurant. Two weeks ago, my girlfriend, her friend, and I stopped in a diner for a late night snack. We laughed and joked about the night, most of which was spent in a bar where the clientele favored a mishmash of Queen and Metallica on the jukebox. The diner was completely mobbed with the usual late Saturday night/early Sunday morning and had also been blindsided by a huge group returning to the neighborhood from a bar crawl. Our waitress, undoubtedly new to her position, forgot a few items. This was understandable as she and her counterparts were easily doing double their normal workload. The bill came and was only $25.00 for the three of us. I took out my cash and went to put down five, one-dollar bills (exactly 20% of the bill, nothing more, nothing less). Simultaneously, my girlfriend and her friend looked at me and said “What are you doing?” I was befuddled. I shrugged my shoulders. “She gets three dollars,” my girlfriend said. “Yeah,” her friend chimed in, “She was terrible.” There was no way I was leaving this poor waitress a three-dollar tip. I quickly retorted something about women and buying $300 purses and still being cheap. This did not resonate well. After a brief argument, I left the five bucks and got up to pay the check. “He’d probably leave ten if I weren’t here,” my girlfriend said. “He constantly over-tips. Idiot.” Yes, I love her dearly. This incident allowed me to reflect on a major difference between men and women that I have come to recognize over the years – finance. Now, ladies, please do not think I am generalizing here, but there are some things that never cease to amaze me when it comes to women and money. The first is a complete lack of logic that you come to make us think is actually logic. For instance, I have been thinking of leasing a new car. I have worked out the math and if I decide to do it with the incentives being offered and depreciation values factored in if I actually buy the car, etc., the lease is surprisingly the better option. Somehow, women have this keen sense that we as men actually want this car for more than three years and that paying astronomical amounts of money in interest over five years is better so we will actually own it. Second, ladies, is your “belief” that flowers and expensive dinners are a waste of money unless they are for your birthday, Valentine’s Day, a really bad day in work, a really good day in work, or a Saturday.
Third, I have come to see your sudden ability to become oblivious to price tags when it is something you really want. This is a tie with your rationalization that whatever we are spending is way too much if you don’t like what we are picking out or agree with our taste in anything. Finally, before this article begins sounding like a chain e-mail, I go back to the tipping situation. To the women of Philadelphia, let your man over-tip if he wants to, especially if it’s somewhere you know you’ll be returning to. That extra few dollars isn’t going to break the bank. Chances are, if he cares about you, you’ll be in charge of his finances eventually anyway. Yesterday, I celebrated four-years of dating the most amazing girl in the world. We had an adequate dinner and yes, I went over 20% on the tip. But, she didn’t care because as much as I wanted to poke fun at her, I now know that a printed version of this particular article will be at her fingertips the minute I question the price tag on a pair of shoes.
Photo by Shane Seery