I’m just saying…

So I check my e-mail, and this is what I read:


I know that you have entitled yourself the go to girl on living single over 30.  I am a writer just like you, and have started my own blog.  I must admit your ranting and rants have inspired many of my post.  Well my latest post is one that I felt you would Amen too.  Please read and respond.  I would love to hear your thoughts.

Not sure if you heard, but there is a recession creeping across America and aside from the middle Americans who have foreclosed on their homes, that single mother who lost her job and can’t feed her kids or the college kid who is no longer getting financial aid, single women are suffering. If you are unwed, unattached and out on the dating scene, like myself, you may have noticed something is amiss. Walk past any nice restaurant between the hours of 6-10pm and you’ll find empty seats. You’re out to dinner with your girls and you notice that there are several tables filled with girls just like yourselves, laughing, sharing plates, or mixed pairs but mostly parties of 3 or more. No, your mind isn’t playing tricks on you. The dinner date is dead!
I began noticing the extinction of dinner as a early stage date option mid-summer. I kept hearing the words “Coffee Date” or “Lets meet for coffee”. For one, I do not drink coffee; have never felt tempted to drink coffee nor do I find the inside of a Starbuck’s charming. In fact they all have faint aroma of homelessness and laptop dust. Still, my friends and I wondered what is this about. I asked the men and the explanation was…well it was…
“It’s a recession and I need to know that you have real potential before I come up off $75, $100 for dinner.” 
Looky here, if you think you can take two hours of my time to ask me all types of personal questions while I sip on some hot shit I don’t want while my stomach is doing cartwheels cause I hotfooted it over here on my lunch break for coffee, you have another thing coming.
1 cup of coffee/tea/fancy fruity shit = $4.79
Time spent in coffee shop, talking = 2 hours
Cost of travel to and from coffee date = $4.00 (on public transportation in NYC)
$4.79 / 2 hours + $4.00 – the chances of you seeing me again = You’re a cheap bastard
I can understand being on a budget but you mean to tell me that somewhere between paying $4.79 for a vente Kujichagulia and $40 per person for dinner, you can’t find a nice eatery that will cost you $30 for the whole shabang? Chinese? Thai? BBQ (not BBQ’s the hood chain spot with the steroid chicken wings)? These types of food don’t cost $75 for two. Be inventive and find places with charm and good food. Understand that good doesn’t have to mean gourmet.
Dinner isn’t the end all be all and you not offering it to us as option no. 1 on the “Let’s Hang Out” list isn’t a deal breaker (for most). It does, however, hinder the process. Dinner shows a woman that you are prepared to provide for her. You can work and bring home the (turkey) bacon.
Taking a woman out to dinner is the modern day version of a caveman bringing home a kill: “Look sweetie, look what I slayed for you today in the wilderness. Are you proud of me? Did I make you happy? Are you impressed?”
Taking a woman out for coffee says: “I’d fuck you.”
I’m all for making sure you know a person and if you really want to pursue them. But to place a woman’s value on whether she is worth a meal after 6pm is insulting. Not to mention with women having the balls to approach you dudes you shouldn’t be surprised if when you offer dinner at the end of the meal she picks up the tab.
People, I’m just merely suggesting that men stop thinking with their ego’s and realize that we women know that there is a recession. You can look at our nails and see we’ve been skipping on our manicure appointments (ladies, no matter how bad it gets…never skip the feet. I’ll eat ramen noodles for a week in order to pay for a pedicure, oh and my eyebrows too!) Gentlemen, we ladies promise not to lock up the coochie, or think less of you if you want to take us to Chili’s or Red Lobster for the “All You Can Eat Shrimp” special.
A real woman will ride with you during these hard fiscal times.
– Says the Single Girl
Okay Cammies – Normally I don’t respond to e-mails, and especially not thru my blog, but I had to respond to this.  I just can’t let ignorance persist.  So I respond. 
It reads:
Dear Single Girl:
I understand why you’re single.
I think you’re misconstruing a man’s intent when he asks you for coffee and spends two hours yapping it up. The only thing men are funnier about spending than their money is their time. To sit for two hours talking about what you want to talk about (cause um, men don’t really just chat like that) is an investment in you. He’s actually getting to know you and if he sat there for two hours, he more than likely likes you (or needed to stay in the city to waste time for whatever took place after you.) If he wanted to “fuck” as you say, he’d have offered a meal at his apartment. Best believe that would soothe your hunger pains. 
Frankly, I don’t want a meal that cost $30 for two. That’s like a one bedroom in Manhattan for under $1000. Sure you could eat/live there, but with all the roaches do you want to? To hell with convenience and my grumbling stomach, I’ll take a clean Starbucks over whatever filthy or fast food establishment serves 2 for $30 any day. Quality coffee tops intolerable food (And um, Red Lobster and Chili’s are not an option, but oddly enough I’ll go to BBQs just for the Texas-size mango/banana margarita. Have you had that? Sorry, I’m getting off topic.)
In this economy where having a job tomorrow is anybody’s guess, it’s plain dumb to drop $75 on what could be a one-shot deal. The men you are encountering are making sensible decisions with their money and will likely be able to provide someday as you wish because they are saving, or at least not spending frivolously. Now the dude you want to encounter? Babe, he’s bad with his money. He’ll provide the second-biggest piece of chicken tonight, but with his money-management skills, ya’ll will be eating that Ramen your top-chefing (cause no one eats them just plain or with only the seasoning packet that come with) now together in five years. You know why? “Cause ol’ boy doesn’t know how to prioritize his funds.
The good thing for you is that the spending men you’re looking for exist in abundance– even in a recession. There’s always some no-personality dude who will trick on a chick to make up for his lack of one. Seek harder and ye shall find I promise. And when you do, hold on to him. Most sensible men wouldn’t waste $4.79 on a second date with a woman with an entitled attitude.
Happy dating,

29 responses to “I’m just saying…

  1. Damn Cam, lol. I agree, wholeheartedly. I would never give the side eye to a coffee date. Single girl will be single for a minute with those views.

  2. Hey I used to eat ramen with just the flavor packet… i guess thats why i havent had it in 11 years now (yes i know EXACTLY when i last had ramen noodles)

    good reply by the way… this could show my ignorance, but i thought conversation was the best part of the date…if im tearing into my steak i tend to not pay attention.

  3. LOL….this post is so similar to my situation. I recently began talking to a guy i used to date briefly in college (we did not have sex). Anyway, he got in touch with me through a mutual friend. We (myself, the guy, and our mutual friend) went to an NBA game together. This was a spur of the moment thing and nothing planned. The two of them were together and decided to go to a game, and called and asked if i wanted to go. So I did. That was cool. However, its been about a month since then and all we do is talk on the phone. He works a lot, but does have SOME downtime. He has yet to ask me on an official date. However, he has asked me to come to his house and chill several times. I am not the one. My friends say he’s just “settled” and likes to chill. I say he’s cheap….and thinks he will get my goodies. Not I said the cat!

  4. Nah… don’t you go to the house. if he wants to get to know you (and not just your goodies), he can do that in public.

  5. i’ve never expected a man to pay for my meals…always ordered what i could afford…and if he offered to pay, that’s a good look, you get some kudos.

    but wow…i see her argument but i’ve always figured that thoughtfulness and time spent were way more important than the meal.

    she just needs the number to the social office…get some foodstamps and keep it moving.

  6. I’m on the fence…Being that I just gained a new SO (significant other) I am a bit biased….On one hand I am quite OK with Starbucks…on the other I feel a bit entitled to a full course meal…If you can’t afford it why should I waste my time with you…I thnk Starbucks is the perfect “get-to-know-you” meeting spot but beyond first (or second really) impressions, I’d prefer to be somewhere with a cloth napkin….It’s a recession but true recessionista’s (and their male counterparts) know how to save on frivolous things in order to splurge on the chica(s) worth it…I’m glad my honey does/did 🙂

  7. CamronZoe… u don’t do Red Lobster period? Or just not on a date? Like seriously… u don’t like the Chedder Biscuits? Lol.

  8. Honestly, I think that any man would have a similar reaction upon reading this because she has come across as being more interested in how much money a dude is spending on their first date than she is in the conversation. Her mind is probably so focused on “I can’t believe this dude done TOOK me to STARBUCKS!” that she can’t see that he might actually be a good guy who is smart with his paper.

    Good luck with changing your relationship status, Single Girl.

  9. If a guy invites me to coffee, I would politely decline. I would however meet him at a free concert @ Wingate Park. Or meet up for icecream and take a walk in the park. I don’t do coffee. To me coffee = I don’t have time or I don’t know if I really like you. That’s understandable, but honestly, I would prefer to get all the prelims out during a few extensive phone conversations anyway. I mean, at this point I’m not pressed for a man to take me to dinner. I can, do and will dine alone. There is nothing worse than realizing that you abhor the company of the man across the table before the first course drops — even if he is paying.

    If we like each other after phone contact, perhaps we can continue the process of courting — the next step being dinner. I am a creature of protocol.

  10. Single Girl will be single for a LONG time with that attitude!!! I see nothing wrong with the coffee date so that we can feel each other out. Let’s not get confused though, he can only get away with that once. Then if his paper isn’t abundant he needs to be creative…beyond a Blockbuster night at his place!! I once had a guy (broke Grad student) invite me out to an afternoon picnic in Prospect Park – he brought the food, a lil bouquet of flowers he picked up on the way, and a blanket. I thought it was a bit cheesey at first, but we didn’t leave until it was pitch dark and I had a great time just getting know him that day. Had we gone to a restaurant, we prob would have eaten and just headed home right afterward. We have to be open minded ladies!!!

  11. CamronZoe,
    Your blogs are so timely and on point. I’m in Atlanta and for the last few months of dating, almost everyone I meet wants to invite themselves to my house or invite me to their house on a ‘date’. This is such a turn-off. I rather an invite to coffee or dessert (ATL has quite a few dessert spots)then house calls. And what’s funny is I’m NOT a chain restaurant type of person. I think I got this from being born and raised in New York. There are so so many ‘authentic’ restaurants and types to choose from that chain restaurants are rarely visited except in inner boroughs.
    Anyhoo, what I’ve also learned is that there is a very thin line between being cheap and financially sensible.

  12. I was just saying to my younger sister that just sitting in the park spending time with him would be enough for me…girls like that give women like us a bad name.
    However if she is begging for a meal maybe she just don’t like the guy. Who knows?

  13. ok, Ladies explain this for me please. I dont live in N.Y but do live in rather large metro area. So i was talking to this older women thinking she would have her shit together as i see most younger ones dont. we go out a few times different high end resturants and i always pay average meal runs about $100-150 now in this time frame theres been no goodies a small attempt on her part but nothing to hang my hat on.So what exactly was the point of dropping lets say for the sake of argument $600-700 bucks for no play. tea time would have been just fine if i wanted some convo???? Enjoy being single chick its going to be with you for a minute.

  14. Anywho, I definitely don’t mind a coffee date (even though I don’t drink coffee lol). I really don’t mind any first date that allows for us to talk and feel each other out in each others presence. I once dated a guy who had THEE most creative (and cheap) dates…went to the beach in the evening, took me to a rose garden, walked around the lake at sunset. I never noticed that he didnt come out of his wallet because his ideas were so great, almost always a surprise, and we had alot of fun. And he put a lot more thought into what we were doing, than the guy who wants to take me out to eat.
    But I’m sure every woman wouldn’t be ok with that, though.

    I really dont think it’s smart for men to spend alot of money on the first date anyway. Save that for when we’re really together

  15. @ DC’s Finest

    “what exactly was the point of dropping lets say for the sake of argument $600-700 bucks for no play?”

    um, is she a prostitute? if you’re mindset is ‘I paid, she should give me some’ just higher a hooker and save yourself the headache. i do not mean to be rude, but spending big to get the pan-ties or anything, wreaks of wack game.

    it sounds like you may have been chopped & screwed, my dear.

  16. I think the reason why some women are so caught with how much $$$ a man spends on a date is that they think that if a man spends a lot of money on them,that means the dude likes them/have a great interest in them. We can’t forget that some women are attracted to money and wouldn’t settle for anything less.

    For me, I wouldn’t feel comfortable a man spending a lot of money on me when he doesn’t know much about me. The way I see it, if all it takes is for a pretty face to make you spend your rent money on a woman, chances are your standards aren’t high and you’re not looking for quality in a woman.

  17. Yeah, I think single girl is a little confused. To me, going out for coffee (or a smoothie) is an adequate first time meet and greet bc you actually get to TALK to the person before you venture into anything further. There is nothing like going to dinner with a boring ass person who’s conversation is horrible. Now, I do have an issue with guys always asking to come over and “chill”. I swear, I cringe everytime I hear that phase bc I (and my friends) have yet to come across a man who asked to come over (and vice versa) who didn’t try anything. If SG means that she would rather go on a 1st date instead of “chill” then I understand and feel her on that, but if she’s just caught up on how much is being spent in order to spend time with her? Chick is going to be single for long time. And it won’t have anything to do with the recession…

  18. @Aliyah what if he can afford to take you to someplace more expensive? Not every guy has to chose b/w a date at fogo de chao or rent payment. I don’t think that’s the issue here. I think the reason why women are caught up in the dollar signs of the date is either 1. they have standards or the opposite 2. close minded and can’t enjoy themselves in any arena.

  19. @ T. Hanes – What I meant in my last paragraph is that I personally don’t like it when a man feels the need to spend a lot of money on the first date. Regardless if he could afford or not,I feel as if he is trying to “buy” me when he feels it’s necessary to drop loads of cash on me without knowing who I am as a person. Anyone, be it man or woman, who is caught in dollar signs in this recession is foolish and immature.

  20. I don’t object to any food venue unless I just don’t like the food. Good food comes in nice restaurants AND hole in the walls…if it’s GOOD I’m eating it. So that’s never a factor when I’m dating. As for coffee dates, I wouldn’t judge a man negatively based on that…that actually gives me a chance to see if I want to go anywhere else with him. If his conversation sucks in person, 9 times out of 10, it’s going to be VERY difficult to get me to go ANYWHERE else with him.

    Some people have these preconceived notions about dating and if that works for them fine…being reasonable always worked for me and that’s what I’m sticking with! 🙂

  21. I for one am not a coffee girl. I don’t want to taste it I don’t want to look at it and I definitely don’t want to smell it, so a coffee date is out for me. I don’t really think the “single girl” is saying anything too bad. I do understand what you are saying about not wanting to pay for dinner for everyone because if I was a man I wouldn’t want to either. This is especially true in today’s society because men are dating multiple people. At the same time I believe that you can still have good service and a good meal at a cheaper restaurant like Friday’s.

    On the times that I have paid for a date I have gotten 2 meals and appetizer and drinks and only paid $35. Now this may be different for me because I live in Chicago, but really restaurants can be expensive here too. And sometimes the expensive restaurants aren’t even that good. I don’t think people are getting caught up in the money, they are getting caught up in the hype fo what the restaurant represents. So I think no one should be criticized here because it can really go either way.

    Yes she should get over the whole coffee date because I am the kind of person who can get some ice cream and take a walk around the park and have an amazing time. But, we should also realize that even spending money on expensive restaurants occassionally doesn’t eman that a man knows how to handle his money. That can really just be another way to get in your panties.

  22. I once had a coffee date with a man because he didnt drink liquor (coffee instead of cocktails). I kindly informed him that I DID drink and was not up for coffee at 7 or 8 pm (not sure about you, but I have to get up for work the next am and coffee at that hour would keep me up all night!). So, we went to a place where he could get his coffee and I could get my cocktail. We had a nice time chatting, during which I realized he was not my type (there were many reasons why) but mainly it was because I realized he was cheap or broke or whatever. Yes, a coffee date leads me to believe you’re cheap/broke. Meeting for coffe is a short and sweet “I want to see you so I’m making time to squeeze you in” which is usually when you are DATING someone, and just want to see them. If you want to get to know someone, coffee is just not it. And if you are cheap or broke I’d more likely prefer taking a walk or something like that, which will save you even the $ on my ONE cocktail and your coffee, then we can each find ourselves someone we are better suited for. Yes this is a recession, but yes, restaurant week is going on and yes I have found plenty amazing resturants that are having great deals during happy

  23. It’s amazing to me how many comments this topic sparked. Then again I am commenting too, so I shouldn’t be too surprised. Bring your own money is wise old sage advice I got many moons ago. Whether it’s Starbucks or B Smiths, don’t ask for what you can’t give…. This dating world has changed immensly. Much as I’d like to ( in the words of Chissette Michele), go back to the days when commitment was Golden….

  24. Why can’t the guy just not be hungry and wants to avoid the extremely cliched dinner date?

    Isn’t the purpose of dating to get to know someone…not what you can get out of someone? or maybe I missed the revolution..

  25. I feel like this: If you can’t afford to take me on a date (recession or not), then maybe you shouldn’t be focused on dating.

    I have a friend who does this. It’s like, “dude, if you can’t afford a simple dinner date, then maybe you should be more focused on other things…such as your finances!”

    And it doesn’t matter if you’re a Dolce girl or a Red Lobster girl.

    And while I respect your opinion (since it IS YOUR blog), it irks me when people say what a person’s situation will be because their perspective is different.

    That’s like telling a gal that her husband will eventually cheat and leave her if she doesn’t learn how to cook a proper meal.

    Gee…thanks for the words of encouragement. (lol)

    furthermore, everyone has standards.

    Some girls don’t like coffee dates because maybe in their mind it’s traditional to have a dinner date. (Dinner and a movie anyone???)

    Maybe some chicks like coffee dates because there is no pressure…but then again who wants to sit in some guy’s face with coffee breath???

  26. Agreed.

    Coffee DOES NOT equal ‘i want to f*ck’, it clearly means, I want to get to know you.

    What does = ‘I want to f*ck’ during a recession is something more like the old college line “want to come over and watch a movie?”

    I happen to LOVE the coffee/fro-yo/recession-proof dating that’s going on right now. It allows men to be more creative in their approach to get to know you on a budget. This summer there will be plenty more pocket-concsious options about the city, I look forward to it 🙂


  27. This is funny because I was just at her site leaving comments until I got to this post and I thought in my head….this is why she is single and will stay this way. I hope she can find a man to accept her dellusions of dating but this was just a mess.

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