Mo Money Mo Problems

My friend of 12 years visited me and my puppet foot yesterday. Pete makes well over 6 figures, finishes in the top 20 of most Ironman triathlons (Ironman!), is funny and I once saw a 6 year old slap her twin after pointing to him and screaming “Mine!” He’s also heterosexual, smooth as cream and has no problems getting a girl but he can’t keep a girl because his ass is cheap.

Our conversation over Ramen Noodles -

Pete: Not sure what happened. I took her to sushi because that’s what she wanted. During dinner, she was a lil quiet and after the movie, she was really quiet. Now she’s not returning my calls

Me: That sucks. I liked her Match profile. She was cute and didn't mind your Corolla. Was it the sushi place?

Pete: (shrugs) I don’t think so. She said it was good tho she might’ve still been a lil hungry afterwards but the Groupon was very specific. What’s wrong with my Corolla?

Me: What? You took her on a date with Groupon?

Pete: I used Groupon on a date. So what? What’s wrong with my Corolla?

I slurped my noodle yard so hard, it smacked me in the face.

Me: Are you fucking kidding me? You’re that cheap! ? You’re supposed to woo a woman with chivalry by paying for dinner. Not every time but certainly not with a Groupon! ON A FIRST DATE! Cheap bastard!

As his friends, we’ve always joked that if Pete were Native-American, he would be named Clenching with Tight Fist so he’s familiar – but uncomfortable – with hearing he’s hinky. We stare at each other before I launch into snapshots of Pete’s past and he volleys back with excuses that will never get him laid:

- “You took Meme to your favorite restaurant on your 2nd date and just because the chef didn’t recognize you so he didn't offer you free dessert, when the server asked if you wanted any, you said no. WITHOUT CONSULTING HER!” (Desserts there cost $8! EACH!)

- “Julie asked you to spend a Sunday with her in Napa because there was a cupcake bakery she wanted to try up there. All you did was complain about how much gas it would cost for the both of you to make the hour drive. (Gas was almost $4 per gallon! Couldn’t I just buy her a cupcake from 7-Eleven?)

- “AND you’re a GROWN MAN but you drive a 92 Toyota Corolla that is so jacked, one, you don’t need the key to turn on the ignition because IT TURNS ON IF YOU HIT THE STEERING WHEEL and two, after it was stolen and stripped you replaced the seats with ones with protruding seat springs from Ebay. So anyone on the Passenger Side gets a nice lil raping every time you drive over a bump!” (But it still drives….)

When facts don’t break him, I reload with logic. I argue Groupon is not taboo per se, but it can’t be surprised on a girl on the first date because you must communicate that she’s worth it. But when he counters that to do so would be disingenuous and untrue to himself, it is clear – Pete has missed the point and my attempt to convince him change is necessary is as constructive as a girl pining for her ex.

Nonetheless, after he vacates my condo and into his (shockingly) still-parked hooptie, temperatures cool and I look at his half-eaten ramen. He's leaving upset. In my female commiseration, perhaps I've said too much. For all his salty, I remind myself Pete is part pudding too. So I pick up my phone, think for a moment, and send him a final text.

Cheap bastard.

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