Cheap Man, Cheaper Woman

A female columnist recently complained that Indian men are cheap, especially when it comes to dating. "On one side, these guys complain about not being able to meet quality women, yet on the other, they can be such tightwads when it comes to spending any money on us women," Lina Trivedi wrote in India Tribune. Tightwads? Let me go on record to state this: my wad has never been tight. No one has ever called me a tightwad, but considering that I never seem to have enough money, you might describe me as a lightwad. Perhaps even a slightwad. Despite the lightness of my wad, I was never cheap during my dating days, a period in my life that, according to my wife, is largely a figment of my imagination. "You dated?" she asks. "Who would have wanted to date you?" I asked myself the same question many times, but fortunately for me, not all women are interested in dating Hrithik Roshan types. Some are interested in dating Shah Rukh Khan types. Of course, I didn't fit either of those types -- I was more the Om Puri type, though perhaps not quite that handsome. Nevertheless, I still managed to get some dates. And let me tell you, they didn't come cheap. Well, the dates weren't cheap, but the women certainly were. They hardly spent a dime, whereas I spent money so fast, I almost ran out of credit cards. (After exhausting my American Express, I even applied for Indian Express, but all they sent me was a newspaper.) I tried to impress my dates by giving them flowers and taking them to fine restaurants. Going into debt to impress a woman may not seem wise, but it's a lot wiser than going into McDonald's. You might as well put a sign on your forehead that says "cheapskate" -- and spend the rest of your life living with your parents. This may be the 21st century, but many women, even those earning big salaries, still want to be treated like dainty creatures who need a man to support them. But a relationship is a two-way street, and if a man is doing all the spending, he's likely to expect something in return, something other than an overdose of perfume. It's refreshing when a woman is willing to pay for part of the date: the movie tickets, the popcorn, or even the motel room. (Don't get any ideas -- I'm referring to a long-distance date.) Some Indian men may seem cheap, but perhaps they're just making sure their dates don't take advantage of them. Perhaps they want to save their money for long-term relationships with women who care about what's in their hearts, not their bank accounts.

Many Indian immigrants are certainly careful about spending money, largely because they've been exposed to immense poverty in their homeland and appreciate the value of money. Spending $50 on flowers may not be a big deal to an American, but give the bill to my father-in-law and he'd probably faint. After he's been revived, he'd shout, "Dear God Almighty! What kind of flowers can be worth 2,500 rupees! Please tell me they are made of gold!"

Melvin Durai is an Indiana-based writer, humorist and occasional stand-up comedian. A native of India, he grew up in Zambia and moved to the US in the early 1980s. Read his previous columns at http://www.melvindurai.com
[ First published: September 1, 2003   Last updated: March 30, 2011 ]

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.
Faaltu Fatta

Laloo becomes a model

After having resigned as the CM of Bihar, Laloo decides to go modelling.
Once he enters the herd of buffaloes and resting his elbow on the back of the
cattle he poses for a photograph. Next day the photo appears on the front page
of a newspaper.
"Laloo, third from left!"

More jokes