“Ladies, how would you feel if your date paid for dinner with a coupon?”
Immediately the tweets came rolling in, but what was being said was truly surprising. The two camps were definitely not separated along any gender line, because men and women populated both sides almost equally. But, it should be duly noted that the side AGAINST coupons was noticeably larger than the group of people who stated they would have no problem with using them. In the end, both sides were bitterly divided, but the general consensus was that it’s NOT cool for the MAJORITY of the population, therefore people should be mindful of who they use coupons around (obviously this end result is predicated on the social media narcissism that makes us believe our small sample size MUST be reflective of the general public at large).
This past weekend, my boy told me that he was deciding to take his girlfriend out to dinner on February 13th, because they both aren’t a fan of big crowds and every restaurant in our city is probably going to be packed. Then, when you also take into account that most places will raise their dinner prices on February 14th, it just makes sense to both of them to avoid the high prices and the madness by celebrating the day before. Now here in Toronto, we have a two-week culinary celebration called Winterlicious where certain highly-rated (and expensive) restaurants offer discounted prices in order to be discovered by people who wouldn’t regularly walk into a place like that. This year, Winterlicious is running from January 31st to February 13th, so my boy is planning to take his woman to one of these fancy spots to take full advantage of the lowered prices. When we mentioned that to his woman, she became even MORE excited about their upcoming date because they will be able to attend a specific place that she’s always wanted to experience. It’s definitely a win-win for everyone involved.
But that got me thinking about the conversation that we had this time last year about using coupons and deals to eat at discounted prices on dates, and I figured this would be the perfect time to pose this question to my people on Facebook and Twitter. What shocked me is that the general mood around this question has not only dramatically shifted, but the vitriol is almost all but erased. The mass consensus of the people I informally polled was that they would see no problem with saving money, and even the people who objected to the coupons did so with a lot less fury than the previous year. Now, I’m not sure if that marks a noticeable change in people’s perception of the economy, or if age has brought about a certain wisdom that wasn’t there a year ago, or maybe apathy is just at an all-time high, but the mood has definitely changed around this question.
Personally, I think it’s absolutely STUPID to not take advantage of a discount that is specifically being offered by the restaurant. Whether it’s using physical coupons or discount websites like Groupon, LivingSocial or Gilt City, I don’t understand why anyone would turn down a deal just to pay high price. I hope those same people refuse to take advantage of deals that are being offered on the menu, or when they go grocery shopping they make sure to pay the price with the big red-strike through it if taking advantage of lowered prices offends you so much.
Honestly, I’ve heard a lot of reasons from men and women as to why coupons are a tacky thing to have on a date, but all of them simply sound like egotistical, self-indulgent bullshit to me. For example, I’ve heard women and men say, “if he can’t afford that place, then just go somewhere else or stay home.” That comment is incredibly confusing to me, because it’s predicated on the notion that saving money is something you do ONLY when you are experiencing financial hardships.
I think that coupons are a perfectly valid way of paying for a date, and if any woman or man has a problem with saving money on frills like eating out, you may want to really ask yourself if their priorities are closely aligned with your own. But even though I’m not against coupons, you won’t see me at any restaurant on Valentine’s Day enduring long wait times for food or service, because I will be HOME enjoying the new episodes of House of Cards with my ladyfriend drinking wine and eating dinner we made together.
God bless the man that can cook his own.
Photo credit: Shutterstock
Lincoln Anthony Blades blogs daily on his site ThisIsYourConscience.com, he’s an author of the book “You’re Not A Victim, You’re A Volunteer” and a weekly contributor for UPTOWN Magazine. He can be reached via Twitter @lincolnablades and on Facebook at This Is Your Conscience.