I’m a big believer in financial equality in relationships. One person shouldn’t carry the load. It just gets awkward that way.
Every couple has their own dynamic when it comes to money, but over the years I’ve more or less figured out what works for me.
I’ve only ever dated one guy with a lot more money than me, and it was super uncomfortable. He made a huge to-do over getting all the checks, which kind of made me feel like I was being bought. He was also a huge douche, which didn’t help.
I also think it has a lot to do with my extreme issues with guilt. I feel so weird inside if I owe anyone money, but if someone owes me money I’m not that weird about it. Probably yet another issue I need to bring up with my future therapist.
After like the first date (when the person who asked the other person pays, but I still offer to split the check) – I start in with my equality schpeel and how I’m not dating the person so they’ll buy me dinner. Then I tell them I’m not ever having children. (I am a fun first date guys.)
I like things to be split 50/50 or at least close to it. If you get dinner, I’ll get drinks. If you get lunch today, I’ll get it tomorrow. That sort of thing.
Anyway, since Tom and I live together, we got a credit card together to split all joint purchases. It’s an easy way to make sure things are even, but much less of a commitment than getting a joint bank account.
Any other non-credit card purchases are dealt with via paypal. There’s nothing more romantic than getting some cold, hard PayPal money from your lover am I right? No, just me?
However, I never carry cash, like… ever. Cash gets spent too fast, and I’m always afraid I’ll lose it. It scares me. So Tom often picks up the slack when it comes to paying for cash only things like cabs and tips, etc.
In order to even things out, I offered to take him out to dinner.
We’ve been wanting to check out Birch & Barley for months, but haven’t ever made the time. I decided it would be the perfect place to treat my man to a meal.
Unbeknownst to me, I requested seats at the chef’s table when I made the reservation (Open Table has a habit of requesting things for me that I didn’t know I wanted, it’s happened more than once), which was pretty cool.
Our server was seriously attentive, almost to the point of hovering, but in a cute way and it was nice to feel taken care of. Before we got our beers (which is what the upstairs bar at Birch & Barley – Churchkey – is known for), we were given two manchengo cheese arancinis, which are just fried cheese risotto balls (read: everything that is right in the world).
I was so excited to eat them that I stuffed mine in my face before I took a picture. They were wonderful, and even better because they were free.
It’s always somewhat difficult for me to maintain the whole Weight Watchers things when eating out. In the case of this meal, it was impossible.
The food was just too good, and too abundant.
The bread basket was legit, a veritable smorgasbord, if you will.
Creme fraiche biscuits, rosemary rolls, and pretzel sticks with some sort of mustard (that I actually liked, and I never like mustard) and, of course, butter.
It was all over from there. We’d already ordered an appetizer before we saw the bread basket from heaven, and it was unlike anything I’ve ever had in my life.
This was called a Peewee Egg, which was an egg covered in a squash blossom and fried (or something like that), served on a bed grits in some sort of a green tomato sauce.
I’ve decided it’s one of the top three best appetizers I’ve had in DC.
Number one is the artichoke and crab dip at Old Ebbit, and number three is an open slot because I can’t really think of another one off the top of my head. No wait, the cornbread at Founding Farmers. Yep, that’s my top three.
For my entree I ordered the Ricotta Cavatelli with braised goat, garlic scapes, goat cheese fonduta and young collard greens. It doesn’t look that great due to my lovely iPhone pic (I’m actually selling my DSLR because I never use it) but it was rich and creamy and perfect.
Also, speaking of food photography, I’ve noticed that it’s gotten a lot less awkward to take pictures of your plates of food in restaurants than it used to be. Everyone is doing it now. I think Instagram is to blame. Or thank. Whichever.
I ate every bite.
Tom had the hand-cut tagliatelle with Maryland crab meat, bell peppers, whole grain mustard crema and watercress. I didn’t try it, but he seemed to really enjoy it.
As I was stuffing the last few bites of food into my face, I was feeling pretty great about my choice of restaurant and generous nature, until I realized something ridiculous.
I had forgotten my credit card.
Total asshole move. I felt so terrible. And cheap.
So, I guess I’ll have to try this whole thing again. Another delicious meal? In the name of financial equality of course. I think I can handle it.