22 August 2007

Why Men Should Pick Up the Tab

Yeah, you heard me. And this is a Feminist pontificating. But, before you start with the eye-rolling and harrumphing, just give me a second to make my point.

The other day, I was at the CVS picking up a few skincare items. The young man tallying my bill was literally gobsmacked at the price of the skin cleanser I purchased ($17.89).

“It costs that much?” he inquired, ready to call for a price check or reboot of the system.

“Yes. The price of being a woman is a high one,” I responded. “And that is why we expect men to pick up the bill.”

He looked at me with the same baffled expression brought on by the Aveno sticker-shock. I encouraged him to think about it. To think about how much it really costs to be a woman, just in the most basic way. Then what it takes to look as nice, feels as soft and smell as sweet as we do...and then men want us to pay for our own salads? Please.

The young clerk nodded with a new understanding. You could almost see the abacus moving about in his head. I could see that my work there was done.

“See, I’m looking for an equal relationship,” an old flame said to me recently. Yet another reason why he and I would never work out, because I sure as hell ain’t.

Don’t get me wrong. I believe in equality. But things just aren’t equal when it comes to men and women. We shall skip the whole “who’s going to carry the kid for nine months, then birth and breastfeed it” argument and get right down to the simple math:

How much does a man pay for his hair cut? And a woman? Easily double, if not triple, his price. Factor in any hair color or highlights and we’ve got a quadruple situation going here. Now, that’s just the cut and color; we still need a hairdryer, styling products (and with our hair generally being longer, we go through it quicker), the right brushes and the occasional accessories. Men need a comb and some goop and they’re done. Men have been known to use soap instead of shampoo, so that’s another penny saved on their end. And what guy do you know who conditions (that isn’t in an actual hair band)? Another bit of savings for men. Even if you consider metrosexual manscaping, women still pull the heftier wax total, unless you are competing with a Yeti. So, is it any wonder we use our credit cards like we do?

Now we can get to the additional monthly maintenance. Do men have to buy tampons, pads, shields and painkillers every twenty-eight days? No. And most of the time, the chick is buying the birth control as well. Compare the cost of a box of Trojans (which can be acquired on sale) to that of a packet of pills...not to mention the doctor visits that go along with them. Expensive.

That cute outfit she wore to dinner; three times as much as his ensemble at least. And her underthings? Well, how far could a girl go on a BVD budget? Boys, when you look through the Victoria’s Secret catalogue, do you ever notices the prices? Maybe take a look next time. Warning: You might lose your hard-on for it.

Compare and contrast dry-cleaning, alterations (free with most suits), the fact that men’s shoes are cheaper and they don’t have to carry a bag to match. Now factor in that women still don’t earn an equal dollar, either. Sucks, doesn’t it? By the time a gal is ready for that date, she has already dropped a serious dime on her appearance. And you guys should appreciate that effort, and the bill that comes with it.

The cost of being a woman is phenomenal when you stop to think about it. And, gents, don’t even start with that, “Baby, you don’t need all that stuff,” crap. Yeah, we do. Because the effect of that stuff is what lead you to us in the first place. Remember how pretty we look, how soft we feel, how sweet we smell? It all comes with a price tag.

Still want that equal relationship, fella? Then pick up the tab. That would be a start. Flowers are a nice touch, too.

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