Dear Avi and Adele:
A guy I really like took me out on a second date. He was a gentleman and offered to pay for the meal. However, I had leftovers and instead of letting me take them home, he insisted on eating them at the restaurant. His rationale? He paid for them. Should I feel insulted by this gesture or should I just be happy that he paid for the meal?
-Tacky Table Manners
When you find yourself saying “Should I just be happy that he (fill in the blank)” you should really be happier moving on. And fast.
Your radar for weirdness is in a fine-tuned state in the early dating stages, since you have less emotional clutter and more sense of normal human decency. You are picking up on a behavior that somewhere deep in your psyche is not okay with you. Always – always listen to that little voice.
In this case in particular, we read this situation as a little more than off-putting. Your gentleman friend should still be on best behavior. And, so, if this is his A-game, we find ourselves offering a grade of D-minus. He paid, but that doesn’t convey ownership of the food. And in fact, we wonder what else he might pull in this same vein: if he brought the challah for your Shabbat dinner, would he take the leftovers home with him? Tsk, tsk, tsk.
We recommend parting ways faster than Moses parted the Red Sea. Consider yourself warned and if you end up sticking with him until you say “Ani l’dodi,” we bet that you’ll be coming home from your honeymoon resort stay with hotel-sized shampoo souvenirs. Hey, he “bought” them, right?
Livin’ and Lovin’,
Avi and Adele
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