In September, I had a chance to visit some buddies over on the East Coast for a few days. On a particular weeknight, since they had work the next day, I ended up going out with a bunch of people who I had randomly just met that night. We went to some tiny club that I thought was actually pretty decently packed for a Wednesday.
After maybe an hour of doing what I do best, which is… you know, pretty much getting rejected by every girl I hit on, I decided that it was time to booze up. I go to the bar, where I see one of the people I came with. She tells me about how their other friend is super trashed already and she is getting some water for him. The bar is pretty packed and she looked like she was close to next in line so I asked her if she was only going to be getting water. She told me she was, so I asked her to order a beer for me as well and I gave her my credit card to pay for the beer.
When she gave me back my card and receipt, I saw that she also charged like an $11 bottle of water. I thought this was weird for a number of reasons, such as 1. Why didn’t she just get a cup of water for free? 2. Why does bottled water cost $11 or 3. Why didn’t she make any mention of it?
I shrugged it off because I was aware as to how much more dudes in New York, in comparison to me, love paying for girls so the etiquette there may have been slightly different.
I did, however, tell this story to a few different people over the next couple days and pretty much only got one out of two reactions. According to them, I was either…
1. A tool bag, for giving my credit card to a complete stranger. or…
2. A tightwad, for tripping about buying a drink for a girl.
What’s interesting is that these criticisms are exact opposites. It seems as though there is a very thin line between being a stingy-ass and a douchey tool. It just depended on who was giving the feedback.
I have wondered about this before in the past. I will admit that I sometimes find myself spending more money than I probably should so people won’t think I am stingy or poor. Hell, I’ll admit that even while I am writing this post I find myself secretly hoping that people would agree more with criticism #1 over criticism #2. So, I guess the question is… Who draws this thin line that separates the two?
The answer is… you do. Well, I guess everybody does. It’s a purely subjective opinion and everybody has one. And everybody judges each other based on their own opinion. And while we live in a society where spending money is an attractive trait, where you can rent-to-own a big screen T.V. in 24 monthly payments, where gaudy jewelry and “making it rain” is idolized by teenagers, where prepaid cards exist because adults don’t have the self control to balance a checkbook, I say… fuck what everyone else thinks. I acknowledge this is easier said than done.
Everybody values money differently and it doesn’t matter how they value it. Just make sure you understand your value of money and understand it well. Then, similar to last month’s post, act accordingly and never falter due to social pressures.