The Unknown Ethics Dunce And The Date Refund Invoice

Indianapolis  resident Amanda Burnett, 23, had a dinner date with a man she didn’t relate to very well. What she ate is pictured above: it’s not exactly Le Cirq, but he paid the tab.

She decided to stop answering his texts, cutting off contact with him. A few weeks later, he sent her this, an invoice for the cost of her meal and drinks…

…followed by this text…

Amanda posted the invoice to two of her social media accounts, writing, a picture of the invoice on both her social media accounts,  and added,  “A guy just mailed me a bill for our dinner a few weeks ago because I didn’t text him back… I can’t make this shit up.”

To her amazement, we are told, much of the social media reaction was negative towards her.

I don’t understand the sympathy at all. As is usual with these private exchanges turned viral social media controversies, both parties are probably jerks. However, the underlying assumption of the guy’s “invoice,” whether it was intended as tongue in cheek or not (I assume it was) is that the social gesture of paying for one’s companion’s meal in a social engagement is an implicit quid pro quo. No man who assumes this is any higher than sus domesticus on the hierarchy of the animal kingdom. It’s not a contract. The man (or woman, as the case may be) isn’t paying for company, gratitude, a long term relationship, a chance at a long-term relationship,  or, heaven forbid, sex. It’s called a gift. It’s called “being genteel.” It’s called manners. Nothing that occurs after this gift cancels it or changes its nature.

The presentation of the invoice characterizes the evening not as a date, but as a transaction. What an asshole.

To Amanda’s credit, she did not publish this creep’s name on social media, so a group on feminist web-shaming trolls didn’t resolve to destroy his life. Many of her critics assumed that she cut her bad date off without texting him why: we don’t know that, and it doesn’t matter. The invoice is disrespectful and insulting.

___________________________

Source: Daily Mail

23 Comments

Filed under Character, Ethics Dunces, Etiquette and manners, Gender and Sex, Romance and Relationships, Social Media, U.S. Society

23 responses to “The Unknown Ethics Dunce And The Date Refund Invoice

  1. JimHodgson

    George Costanza lives!

  2. dragin_dragon

    Been around a while, been married three times, dated quite a bit. Several of those dates did not pan out. I’ve never sent a bill for one of those dates. I did have one young lady try to reimburse me for a date she felt like I didn’t enjoy, and I refused it. She and I wound up being buddies. I would point out that our personalities were compatible as friends, not so much for romance. It was also a long time ago, but not in a galaxy far, far away.

  3. Chris Marschner

    I was taught that if I invite someone or a couple to join me or my wife and I for dinner, I pick up the tab. However, I do not expect others to do the same when we are invited out.

  4. She probably thought the invoicing was creepy/ funny, like a telemarketer today made a third call in a row and asked if I wanted to know his size. We were having coffee and we all had a laugh. (the company keeps calling twice a week and refuses to stop wasting everyone’s time and is now asking for random family names to find who the decision maker is… I’m considering naming the President or Governor next time)

    • Rich in CT

      Just after I graduated high school, a telemarketer called my house asking for “Mr [Last name]”. My eye’s twinkled, and I said, “Yes, this is Mr. [Last name] … No, I am not interested [product]”.

      • Scam Car Warranty calls, slickwilly style

        Telemarketer: We are calling about you 2013 Nissan Murano…

        slickwilly: I don’t OWN a 2013 Nissan Murano (hangs up, while driving a very nifty 2013 Nissan Murano)

        Maybe they will take me off their list?

  5. JP

    I don’t believe she owes him anything. But I would assume it would be unethical to ghost him?

    • valkygrrl

      There can’t be a hard and fast rule about that. It’s situational.

      • JP

        Well, I agree there is no hard fast rule for every situation, but I believe for most situations the golden rule still applies.

        • valkygrrl

          I understand why you would think that. I don’t know what your interactions with people are usually like, I’m willing to bet you’re a decent person who always or at least almost always treats people you meet with civility and understanding.

          I’m also willing to bet that given your own decent behavior you assume that most other people behave the same way and vastly underestimate the number of total creeps out there.

          When it says she decided to stop answering his texts, you assume he said hey had a great time want to go out again? Then maybe 3 days later, asked again or asked if he was being ghosted. Is that about right?

          Read some of the text exchanges on /r/niceguys.

          • JP

            Yes, I know those exist. But like the golden rule, it rarely matters how you were treated in a situation and a lot of those examples it seems like a clear no should be necessary (especially if it comes to using the legal system).

    • Other Bill

      Are you kidding? The guy obviously owns or works for a collection agency.

      Should I bill the girl I took out to see Dr. Zhivago who literally fell asleep over hot chocolate afterwards? I don’t think so. Dating is a risk one takes. If they guy wanted to repaid, he should have made that clear at the outset and split the bill. What a dope.

      • JP

        I’m talking about the specific action of ghosting. I think most would agree what he did was wrong, but he is, in essence, responding to a negative situation (ghosting). This does not give him justification for his actions, I just curious if her action is also (though not equally) unethical.

  6. Aaron paschall

    I can think of only one possible justification for the guy’s response. There is a growing, and reprehensible, trend of young women using online dating services as room services. They accept dates simply for the free meal, with no interest or intent for the fellow who is providing it. Many of those also gloat about it via social media afterwards. No idea if that was the gal’s intent, or if the guy had been burned by such meal diggers before, but it’s at least a possible explanation for his odd behavior.

    • “There is a growing, and reprehensible, trend of young women using online dating services as room services.”

      Do tell!

      That…um…approach has made it into the popular lexicon as a Foodie Call and Urban Dictionary’s Food Digger.

      Some gal even put in a column, though maybe she just had no ideas and was up against a deadline?

      https://www.jetmag.com/jetlove/dating-free-meals/

    • Glenn Logan

      Back when I was dating (in the days before indoor plumbing when heating was done by shoveling coal into a furnace at 3 AM), I always assumed that a date could be just an attempt to get a free dinner at a nice restaurant. It never bothered me, because rightly or wrongly, I felt I could charm my way into making it something more if only given the chance.

      Ah, the confidence of youth. But I don’t regret a single one of them, and I paid happily for them all. I can’t imagine a guy doing what this one did, but then again, I couldn’t imagine cell phones back during those days either.

      Maybe it’s progress. Maybe it’s regress. You pays your money, you takes your “gress,” I guess.

  7. Yikes…Flashback!

    Before online dating, there were personal ads, a method I employed back when I was traveling and working far more.

    This gal not only got fed, but conversation explicably veered to creating a need (taut countenance, which [truth be told] I already had) and a…um…recommended ”solution.”

    Turned out she was a Mary Kay rep and thus ideally suited to supply me with some Mr. Kay products that it seemed I ought not be without; short con, but just the same.

    Oy, all of a sudden I feel so…played, and haunted by the thought that perhaps Narcissus isn’t a myth after all…

  8. Jeff

    The guy is clearly an asshole, but I have to give him props for the $1.99 “processing fee”. I am not ashamed to admit that made me laugh.

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