Since that first kiss back when I was in second grade – at least, that’s the first I remember; according to many others, I had very popular lips before that – there had always been a price. Food, gifts, time… there has always been a give-and-take. And as I moved forward and discovered new avenues of relationship-related entertainment, the price has risen dramatically. Fancier meals, pricier gifts and now-precious time given (technically) freely in exchange for everything from hugs and kisses to sweaty workouts.
No matter what anyone says, the best things in life are never free. We don’t date to get to know one another; we date as a down-payment on a possible future (or just a blow job). Competition is akin to an auction: the bigger wallet wins. Sounds nothing like that Disney-inspired fairy-tale life, does it? I know, I know. I sound incredibly jaded. And maybe I am. That doesn’t change my point.
From the beginning, we’re all whores. It’s not quite fucking for profit, but it comes close. We earn our keep by keeping the other person happy. And it all begins with getting noticed. When was the last time someone looked at the grubbily dressed guy and thought I should get to know him or saw a homely (try and claim looks mean nothing) girl and wondered about her bubbly personality? Find me one person who honestly does this and I’ll eat those condoms in my nightstand. And we willingly place ourselves in this dog-fuck-dog rat race in the hopes of everything from happily ever after to a hot and nasty one night fuck.
There are times I wonder why. Is it really worth all the bullshit? I mean, getting laid is easy; just walk into your closet bar, club or library and you’ll find people dying for a good hard screw. I’ve done it more times than I can remember (hence the stopping of the count) and for all those romps, I can’t even remember a fraction of their names.
Good thing I wasn’t the one paying, at least not before the bedroom (or car or table or…). I offered something money can’t buy; not legally anyway. Oh, did I ever earn those drinks. And got a hell of a workout at the same time. My favorite way to lose weight, don’t you agree? Finding someone that means more than a place to stick my dick is hard to find. So much whoring with so little meaningful payoff…
But then the seemingly impossible happens and we get lucky enough to be able to whore ourselves out to just one person and they turn out to be worth the time, money and effort. Honestly, I had no fucking idea. Scratch that. I had given up on that idea. I knew all along it was possible. Just highly improbable. I had a better chance of getting adopted by Branjelina. But, of course, its never as simple as kiss, kiss, bang, bang. And next thing you know, money (in a big or small way) becomes an issue. Even when you think it's nothing to give any thought to.
For me and Scout, this has only just surfaced. It wasn’t anything big; not a birthday or holiday (though we did start seeing each other before Scout’s birthday and Christmas) but a night at the diner.
See, every time we go out, it's pay-your-own-way. Nothing was said to make this law, mind you; it just sort of happened this way. There was one night prior that I didn’t pay towards pizza, but there was no feeling of a need to repay, though I did use my particular talents that night (but that’s nothing unusual). Anyway, this night at the diner, I decided to pay for both of us. I mean, why not, right? And Scout’s response was I’ll get next time.
I swear that’s not why I pulled out my wallet. I was just trying to be nice. There is no need to owe me. I just wanted to treat Scout to dinner. We’re dating.
Oh, wait. We’re dating.
Yea, I’ve always known the whole give and take and favors and cash back lifestyle was related to relationships of this (or any) sort. I’d heard (and made) many a joke about how oh now she’ll have to and the whatnot. And now all of a sudden, Scout officially pulled me into the monogamistic (definition: of or relating to monogamy; yes, I made that word up – eat that Stephen Colbert!) version of do-me-do-you. And while I understand and accept that this sort of thing is part of how a relationship works, I don’t want to find the two of us keeping track of tit-for-tat. It's complicating enough when that occurs in non-fucking relationships (also called “just friends”). I don’t want anyone, especially Scout, feeling like they owe me.
I enjoy spending money on people, when I have it to spend that is (and lately… it’s been not so much). I don’t do it to get anything in return. I do it just to do it. And while it’s nice when its reciprocated, it’s not necessary. And there’s no need to claim the next tab; pay whenever you decide to pay. Really. There’s no pressure.
Damn money. Mucks up everything.
Yea, maybe this should be a non-issue. So then why does it feel like one, or at least, a future one? I can’t help but wonder if something bigger could come along. For instance, I’m trying like hell to turn writing into a career. What if when that works out, it creates a major money-making difference between us?
Fuck. Over-thinking again.
It’s just dinner.
Now, if you want to leave a couple hundred on the nightstand, I’ll take it as a grand compliment. I did good. Yay me. I have no problem taking your money. But when it comes to someone like Scout, who I am having increasingly strong feelings for, I don’t want them to feel like they need to pay for every other meal. Or movie tickets. Or that package of condoms. But it seems Scout feels differently. And perhaps correctly. While I don’t entirely disagree, I also believe its possible to not need it. And as long as its not out of a sense of owing me, I can accept it.