Are You Paying Separately…?

Image: Simon Sees.
Image: Simon Sees.

A small disclaimer: please take this article as tongue in cheek. Mum, if you’re reading; I realise that Grandad was a policeman who got shot at and that this is inconsequential in comparison. It’s lighthearted, a joke, fun-ny. I’m not actually such a massive whinge.

I’ve noticed something odd lately.

At first I didn’t realise it was happening. In fact, it crept up on me. I’ve been dating this boy for a couple of months now. It’s been long enough now that it’s acceptable for just one of us to pay for both our night’s entertainment. (For those of you heterosexually and heteronormatively inclined, splitting the bill is more effort, but actually much better, try it sometime.)

So, we’ve been trying to pay together – massive emphasis on trying. It’s not us who take issue with buying each other things. It’s the waiters, the ticket salesmen, the cashiers at bloody Tesco, who don’t seem to understand that, yes, I’m paying for him too!

It usually goes like this:

One of us – lanky homosexual knobheads that we are – will approach the counter of a cinema, restaurant, other fun establishment. Said gangly gay will then ask something to the effect of “two tickets please” or “one lemon and herb chicken pitta” – I’m a wuss – and “one extra hot butterfly chicken breast please” – he’s not.

At this request, something in the air goes funny. The fully functioning human being behind the counter goes all queer, (excuse the pun) and charges us for just the one ticket, or somehow manages to forget one half of the order. At first this left a vague sense of confusion, sometimes even embarrassment. Had we mumbled our order? Is it that hard to hear someone who is 6″4?

As we proceeded to out on a few more dates however, it became a matter of principle, a little verbal jousting contest between us and those accepting our order. We would have to pointedly say (with a raise of the eyebrow) “I asked for two tickets” or “you seem to have forgotten the other fry up.”

Now maybe it’s just society. Maybe it’s just the way things are. Maybe cashiers just don’t expect two fully grown men, one with a shaved head and a ‘Saaaaf Lundan’ accent and one who drops all his H’s and wears a Crystal Palace jumper, to pay for things together.

But it is the way things are. Men across the nation are walking (not mincing! Shock!) into your establishment and trying to purchase things together. Women are together (not holding hands! Gasp!) but still on a date. People who don’t have a gender are striding right up to your ordering point and trying, desperately, to part with their hard earned wages.

So, please, please, please let us (Just once! Maybe just once a month!) pay for something without having to point out that we’re…”um, together.”

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