Dec. 29 2010 12:00 AM

'I’ll have the scrimp cocktail!'

Q: I’d love your take on a bizarre first date. I suggested happy hour drinks, but he wanted to take me to dinner, and picked a really nice restaurant.

When we were ordering, he suggested we play “a fun game,” which entailed closing our eyes and picking a number (the entrees were numbered). I said okay, then he said I couldn’t pick numbers between 20 and 25 because those entrees were expensive. Completely disenchanted, I opened my eyes and chose something cheap. Later, the bill came, and sat and sat. He finally picked it up, muttered audibly about who had what, and eventually put his card out. Obviously, I turned down his request for a second date.

—Not Into “Games”

A: Just think of the “fun game” he had in store for date two — probably something like “Close your eyes, Babe, and pretend we aren’t under a bridge waiting in line for free soup.”

It’s a tough economy, and people are increasingly worried that they’ll be dining on Fancy Feast casserole at 80 (or 45). More than ever, men need to be wary of gold diggers. But, this guy had good intel that you aren’t one of them. The girl who suggests happy hour drinks is not the girl who orders the lobster dinner — and then adds, “Oh, and can I get another one of those to go?” He’s the one who chose to up the price tag of getting to know you. The reasonable assumption would be that he was inviting you, not you and your Visa card. Assuming he didn’t lose his job between “Pick you up at 8?” and appetizers, he’s either a pathological cheapskate trying to pass himself off as Mr. Big Spender or is convinced that all women are out to milk ‘n’ bilk him. Either way, a date with him seems like a twist on “L’Oreal — because you’re worth it.” His motto: “Don’t even think of incurring the $2 substitution fee for onion rings — because you’re not.”

The ironic thing is, even if you’d picked one of the pricier entrees, how much more would it have cost him…$10 plus tip? He ended up spending a whole bunch of money on a girl who now never wants to see him again — charming as some may find it when a guy mutters over the check, “Let’s see, you had that extra packet of ketchup —that’s probably two cents right there…”

© 2010 Amy Alkon, all rights reserved.