As I’ve mentioned before**, I like watching the ABC tv show What Would You Do. For those who don’t know, it’s a “hidden camera” series that tackles people’s reactions to difficult subjects…everything from interracial dating to polygamy to shoplifting. I highly recommend watching an episode or two, especially as they are freely viewable on YouTube.
Anyway, I was watching some recent episodes that I missed before and stumbled upon this one:
In it a young man and woman are out on a first date, and everything is going swimmingly. That is, until the check comes and the man’s card gets declined. With no cash and a bad credit card, what’s a guy to do?
But wait…it takes two to tango, and two people definitely ate the lunch and desert from this meal. Yet time after time the scenario runs it’s course without a single onlooker taking a moment to remind the gal that she has a wallet of her own. Instead, different men and couples voluntarily pay for this broke Romeo and his cheap Juliet. (Except for one segment, where no one offers to help, the woman leaves, and the man is left to wash dishes to pay off the meal.) Throughout the episode, female onlookers are heard to say that “this is his last date” and they “felt sorry for the girl”.
Perhaps it’s just the fact I willingly pay-in-full for 99% of the “dates” my FwB and I go on (in 7+ years, he’s paid for 4 dinners and 1 movie), but I find it hard to believe that a woman wouldn’t have any money with her when going out, especially on a date. And if we watch carefully, she does make a move to get her wallet out the first time the check comes but is waved off by her overly-chivalrous paramour. Why do none of the other patrons tell her to pick up the tab? Why do they “feel sorry for” a girl who skipped out on a bill? What kind of society do we live in that random strangers open their wallets to pay for a $40 meal…but one-half of the couple who consumed it is treated like an innocent bystander?
If you haven’t yet, go watch the video. It’s definitely something worth discussing below.
**See my post Deserving of Protection for another time I used What Would You Do to illuminate an injustice. https://tarnishedsophia.wordpress.com/2013/06/03/deserving-of-protection/