Christmas Cheapskate

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On our first date we met in the park. It was a cool day but the sun was shining. We sat on a bench and easily connected. He thought I was so cool when a squirrel ran across my lap and I didn’t flinch. I found him funny with a tinge of quite shyness at times. We had so much fun that we stayed in the park and watched the sun go down. We never even left to grab a bite or a drink – his company was enough to fill me up!

We made plans to go to the movies later that week. When I got to the theater he had the tickets in his hand. I had planned to offer to pay but he beat me to it. He whisked me past the concessions stand so fast I never even had a chance to offer to buy him a snack or a drink. When I mentioned this he said, “I’m not hungry.” I found that slightly odd – who doesn’t like a drink or popcorn at the movies?

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When the lights dimmed and the movie began I could hear his hand rustling around in his jacket pocket. A few minutes later I heard him chewing something crunchy like nuts. I was convinced he had snacks and he wasn’t sharing! Now, if you’ve read my blog before you know I am VERY judgmental (I admit that) about my dates. I liked this guy, I really did. We connected intellectually and physically he was exactly my type. I told myself I must be crazy. When the movie was over we stood on the corner. He asked, “What are you going to do now?” Normally when a man invites me to the movies, they invite you to eat after. So I said, “Well, it’s dinner time so I guess I’ll pick something up to eat.” He hugged me goodnight.

A few days before Christmas, he mentioned he would be in my neighborhood on his bike ride. He called from his cell to say he would be there momentarily. I asked if he wanted to come up to my apartment but he said he was sweaty and knew I had to pack for my trip home. A little sad he wasn’t coming up, I grabbed the Christmas gift I had for him. (I like to give small gifts at the holidays especially if someone is a reader. One of my favorites is Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris and the other, Truman Capote’s classic A Christmas Memory.) As I turned the corner I saw him cycling up the block. We chatted on the corner for a few minutes. Before he left I handed him the beautifully wrapped book. “I have a gift for you at home. I’ll bring it the next time I see you!” he said. 757211a_origI thought, how sweet he got me a gift, too.

I met him the week after Christmas at his Ivy League club. “Ugh. I forgot your gift.” We hung out on the lobby sofa talking. Now I’ve been to his club many times in the past (I get around). I knew where the bar and the restaurant were located. He never asked if I wanted to go up for a drink. I was noticing a pattern here. Jimbo liked inexpensive and/or FREE dates AND he never even tried to kiss my lips. The more I got to know Jimbo the weirder he was.

I gave him one last chance when he invited me for dinner at an authentic Japanese noodle bar. After an obscene amount of time waiting for a table we ordered. “Would you like anything from the bar?”, asked the waiter. I was hot as hell from standing for nearly an hour in a warm and crowded restaurant vestibule in my coat. “I’d love a beer!” Jimbo said, “They’re really large here. We can share it.” Who shares a beer on date? I was beginning to really see what was happening here. This guy was a cheap skate!

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I was disgusted. I do not like cheap people. From my experiences I have found a correlation between cheap/tight people and their ability to love. This was definitely not the kind of person I wanted to hang around with. I didn’t even want him as a friend. We finished eating and he paid the bill in cash. It could not have cost more than $40.00. I put on my coat when the server whizzed past to speak to Jimbo. “Thank you for the VERY generous tip, Sir.” He smiled broadly. I wanted to kick myself in the ass for jumping to the wrong conclusion. Jimbo wasn’t a cheap skate, I was an idiot! Jim opened his mouth to speak. I expected him to say you’re welcome. Instead he said, “Oh, I was waiting for my change.” He was a cheap bastard! And by the way, he never brought my Christmas gift that time either.

Moral of the story: It’s Christmas, don’t be cheap. If you’re interested in someone let them know. You don’t have to buy anything pricey or organize anything elaborate. Keep it simple. Keep it classy. A gift is always a kind and thoughtful gesture – even a beautiful little book.

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