What’s A Real Date? Day 19


Apparently, my thoughts of going to a coffee shop or hiking don’t qualify as a “real date” according to my sister. While I realize this is just another attempt by her to try to get me to spend more money in the minimum wage challenge, it did get me thinking about how one does go about determining what is a date rather than a casual meeting. This is the conversation that we had:

Sister: “Going to the coffee shop isn’t a real date.”

Me: “You’ve got to be kidding me…”

Sister: “Seriously. Going to the coffee shop is a pre-date. It’s a time to decide whether you’re compatible enough to go on a real date.”

Me: “I don’t think there is such a thing as a pre-date…”

Sister: “That’s because you don’t know anything about dating. A real date requires a meal, not just a beverage.”

Me: “What?”

Sister: “If you go out and do something where you consume a full meal together, then it’s a date. So, if you go to the coffee shop and talk for an hour and there is no spark so you go your separate ways, that isn’t a date — it’s only a pre-date. If you go to the coffee shop and talk and you’re both interested in each other, then you’ll decide to go to lunch to keep talking and it becomes a date.”

Me: “What about hiking?”

Sister: “It’s the same rule. If you go out for a meal after the hike, it’s a date. If not, it doesn’t count. It’s just a walk together.”

So, what do you all think? What determines if a date is a “real date” rather than a time where you’re figuring out whether or not you want to go on a date? When two people meet, is that automatically considered a date or is there something that turns a meeting into a date? When do you consider a date to be a date?

I lied a little in my post yesterday about the contents in the refrigerator. While it certainly was as empty of food as the photo I took, there was one more thing in it:

gift card in fridge

Inside was a Safeway gift card for $40 with a note that said, “We didn’t want you to starve to death! — Amy & Jen” Of course, as soon as my sister heard about the gift card, she immediately claimed that it would be cheating if I used it. Her argument is that both Amy and Jen know about this blog and challenge, so they bought the card just to help me out. She claims that they wouldn’t have purchased it for me if I wasn’t doing the challenge. Besides, $40 means that I will have a lot of extra money left over since I will only be house sitting for 4 days and I won’t spend nearly that much during that time.

While I completely disagree with my sister and believe that I should be able to use the full amount of the card, I decided that I would compromise. I will use the card for food while I’m house sitting, but any extra amount left over won’t be used for myself in the future — instead I will use it to buy food for a local food shelter. This seems reasonable to me since I was able to eat without spending money on my first two house sitting jobs, but they also didn’t give me another couple of weeks worth of food for me to take home when I was finished.

Now, the temptation was to go out and buy $40 worth of food and eat really well during my stay here just to jab my sister a little, but I decided that would me be doing something merely to annoy my sister. Instead, I went for something more typical. I took a walk to the store (only about 1 mile away) and I bought myself a $5.00 whole chicken, a few cans of soup (on sale for $0.99 each), a loaf of bread ($1.49) and five bananas ($1.69) for a total cost of $12.15. That, when combined with some of the food that is at the apartment, should easily last me the four days. I will go to buy food for a food bank with the remaining $27.85 on the card. Since the gift card paid for the food, I had another no spend day.

Today’s Spending

Food: $0.00
Car: $0.00
Housing: $0.00
Travel: $0.00
Misc: $0.00

Total: $0.00

Total Spending

Food: $14.02
Car: $0.00
Housing: $0.00
Travel: $0.00
Misc: $17.50

Total: $31.52

Next article: Day 20″ $5 Down The Drain

(Top photo courtesy of anemoneprojectors)

This entry was posted in Minimum Wage Challenge, Personal Finance, Relationships and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to What’s A Real Date? Day 19

  1. denise arneson says:

    I say you take advantage of the gift card and buy a luxury meal(Maybe treat your date). Steak, lobster or whatever, including beer. People who live on minimum wage take advantage of any opportunity, obviously your sister has never experienced prolonged money issues. According to Merriam-Webster a date is : an appointment to meet at a specified time; especially : a social engagement between two persons that often has a romantic character
    b : a person with whom one has a usually romantic date
    I don’t see any mention of dinner.

  2. Alexandria says:

    Being a cost conscious person, I don’t think I have gone on many “real dates” in my entire life. 😀 Your sister’s idea of a date is a “money is no object date,” if you ask me.

    I hardly ever go out for a meal with friends or anything – it’s freaking expensive. I make a very good wage these days, but I also have many other priorities. It’s a rare day when I spend the money on a nice meal out. If I were dating, the exact same rules apply. You can’t meet a compatible person pretending to be something you are not. I don’t agree with your sister in the least.

  3. LuckyRobin says:

    Okay, I consider a hike a date, but I would not advise it being a first date unless the woman has known you for some time as a friend. If this is a blind date or someone you barely know, a woman would very likely not want to go wandering in the woods, mountains, or any other secluded area with a man who is a complete stranger. That’s right up there with walking down alleys at 2 a.m. in the shady part of town. It’s a safety issue that you, as a tall male, probably don’t even think about. Whereas you know what kind of gentleman you are, a blind date would not have first hand knowledge of this, just hearsay from whover set you up. A first date should put both people at ease. A picnic in a nice, open park if the weather is warm enough would be a better option. Bowling would be good and isn’t too expensive for two people. There absolutely does not have to be a meal shared. That’s just your sister being ridiculous.

  4. Debbie M says:

    A date (the kind your sister is talking about, where you might meet a future spouse) is any meeting with someone you are romantically interested in or (at the beginning) hoping to or open to being romantically interested in. It’s any meeting where, while you are planning it or getting ready for it, you think the issue of kissing might come up. It has nothing to do with food.

    I also think that things that don’t start out as dates (like parties or group outings) can turn into dates if you end up hanging out with someone of the exciting gender in such a way that the issue of kissing might come up.

    If it’s only an issue of whether a date will come up (like you meet someone in a grocery store or on a plane), then that counts as a pre-date. Even if you both ate on the plane.

    If the sweet old lady sitting next to you on the plane buys both of your box lunches as an ice breaker, then it’s not a date or a pre-date.

  5. phantom says:

    I think most dates I’ve been on have involved eating, but if it’s a rule that dates must include full meals, I’ve been on far fewer dates than I think I have. I had plenty of dates where we went and did some activity followed by dessert or coffee with no meal involved. It didn’t mean my date and I didn’t want to spend time together, it just meant we didn’t feel like eating a meal for one reason or another.

    The first few dates any couple goes on is largely just a series of meetings to determine whether or not they want to keep meeting. So, I don’t think you can discount something as not being a date just because you’re trying to figure out if you want to date more.

    It sounds like your sister is just making up rules to make dating as expensive as possible for you. I’d make sure to have as many dates as possible involving picnic lunches and romantic homemade dinners just to show her you can follow her silly rules and still keep things inexpensive.

  6. A real date is in the eye of the beholder. That being said, you need to know who you are taking on a date, and know what they would expect. For example; if someone took your sister on a date to go hiking, should would not see that as a date, but some women might. It really depends on the conversation. For me, my wife also expected dinner at some point, and I totally messed that up on our first date. I skipped dinner, bought some ice cream when she mentioned she was hungry, and snuck her into the movies. Still not sure how that ended up in marriage, lol!

  7. mimipaula1 says:

    Jeffrey, if you were working a “real” minimum-wage job, you would certainly be allowed to accept “tips” for a job well done. It would seem to me that the gift card was given, not because your employers felt you were going hungry, but because they are appreciative of your willingness to take care of their possessions in their absence.

    Just my opinion, of course!

  8. Aleta says:

    I think going to a park and having a picnic would be a great date. It doesn’t have to be at a restaurant. You can make it as nice as you want with a tablecloth and any extras you want including candles.

    As for the gift card they do expire. You could have bought the items and kept them for future use thereby not using it in the time of your challenge. You can freeze some items and buy canned goods as well that can be used in the future.

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