Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Is Free Stuff Part of Being a Woman?
Case in point: I go to two restaurants where I rarely pay for my food. In both cases, men who work there give me my food for free. In one case, the manager has been comping my food for about eight years. In the other case, a bartender has been giving me free stuff for roughly a year or two.
I didn't ask either of these men to do this. In fact, both have rebuffed me when I pull out cash to pay. "Your money is no good here," they say, or, "Don't worry. I got you."
Whatever, I say to myself, no need to fight them to pay money I don't have to.
But that doesn't mean there isn't a price. In one case, the manager who comps my food is way older--I'd guess in his 60s--and he blatantly flirts with me. I am pretty certain he knows I'm not interested because it never goes further than his saying slick stuff to me when I'm in the restaurant. Last weekend, he told me he was glad I came to the restaurant alone and not with a date--because he doesn't like to see me with dates. "I don't like those guys," he told me. [Note to self: I knew one day I'd be glad I took my exes who were 6'10 and 6'4, respectively, into said restaurant to pick up food. Obviously, they left an impression. :-)]
WTF. Speechless, I just took my free food and rolled out.
But this man also bought me a dozen pink roses when I graduated from college several years ago. He said they were from the restaurant staff. My daddy--probably just a few years older than him--was none too happy.
Besides free food, off the top of my head, I've gotten free car maintenance, cable service, home repair, and party admission from guys I barely know (or don't know at all), just by showing up and smiling sweetly. The common thread? I never ask for free stuff. Guys just offer. The whole damsel in distress idea, maybe?
TALK BACK: Have you ever gotten free stuff just because you're a woman? Tell us about it.