Dateline: "I am looking at my boobs from a variety of angles..."

We're collecting stories about your most entertaining dates. Send your time-stamped dating stories to dateline@nerve.com; don't forget to include gender and age for you and your date.

Female, 29, Comedian
with
Male, 22, Comedian

6:00 p.m. - I am looking at my boobs from a variety of angles and putting on extra deodorant. It's my twenty-ninth birthday and I'm going on an actual date. This is a rare-to-never occurrence in my life. I plan to eat steak.

6:50 - I consider canceling. The guy I am meeting is twenty-two and saw me do comedy a few times. He is also a comedian, which doesn't bode well. He asked me out via a half-joking Facebook status update I posted about someone buying me food on my birthday.

7:15 - The cab pulls up in front of the dive bar/restaurant. I get out, wobbly in high heels.  My "gentleman caller" stands there smiling, in a hoodie. With a backpack on.

7:33 - We each order an eleven-dollar steak dinner. He doesn't get a drink. I do. He "might have one later."

7:47 - He is praying. He bows his head over the dinner and prays to himself.

7:48 - "Did you just pray?" I ask. I had to say something! He says something vague about it being a "personal conviction" or whatever. I decide, in an extremely patronizing way, that it's kind of cute, the praying and all.

7:51 - I quickly forget about judging him and become self-conscious about cutting and eating steak in a way that somehow hides my true animal nature.

8:13 - Facts I have learned about this twenty-two-year old: he tests video games for a living, he has never smoked weed, he is a virgin.

8:28 - He says a bunch of nice stuff about his mom, yet he doesn't live with her. So things are looking up. Although I definitely won't be having sex tonight. Because of the virgin thing.

8:36 - He pays the bill after going to an ATM. (My birthday dinner is cash only.) As we stand up, I peek to make sure he's left enough of a tip. Only fifteen percent; immature and disappointing, but not despicable.

8:45 - Some of my friends come meet us at the piano bar to sing songs. By piano bar, I mean the big piano in the corner of the room where we just ate dinner.

8:57 - Seeing him interact with my friends makes my date seem more attractive, because he's not a social pariah.

9:22 - We sing a duet around the piano. I smile, feeling happy or tipsy or just full of steak. I imagine that we must look cute singing together. This looking cute is something I like and would not mind experiencing again. We haven't really touched each other all night.

11:03 - Two of my friends drive us to drop him off at the BART station. I get out of the car and don't know what is supposed to happen. Do we kiss? We do not. We hug. I get back in the car to get a ride home.

11:05 - My friends are excited to gossip. "He's nice," I say. (We end up dating for two months. He is no longer a virgin.)

Send your time-stamped dating stories to dateline@nerve.com; don't forget to include gender and age for you and your date. Need a date to write about? Check out Nerve Dating.

Commentarium (37 Comments)

Apr 20 12 - 7:32am
owen

why is 15% disappointing and immature? unless the service is superb, 15 is a decent tip. it would shitty if it were less, but Im kind of upset that someone paying for dinner is expected to tip too much just to impress.

Apr 20 12 - 10:37am
dave1976

20%, for whatever reason, has become the new standard tip. You can complain about it, but it is what it is.

Apr 20 12 - 10:45am
Mara88

Agree. 15% is more than reasonable, barring amazing or lousy service.

Apr 20 12 - 10:54am
Joe

20%. 15% is weak. Past 20% and it looks like you're flashing your roll in order to impress.

And it's the name of the game, son. If you don't like it, don't play.

Apr 20 12 - 2:04pm
Ben

It sounds to me like he distinctly wasn't playing the game. Got him laid.

Apr 20 12 - 2:47pm
MRI

20% is not standard for me. I grew up with 15%, and am sticking with it, as my baseline.

More reasonable than anything would be a standard tip of $1 per plate of food brought to your table. It does not take more skill or effort or ANYTHING to serve a $30 steak than to serve a $5 plate of fries - pretending it does is bullshit. When a plate of food is brought with exception tact, skill, and timing, then increase the tip - regardless of the base price of the food.

Apr 20 12 - 3:50pm
screw you guys

Clearly you have never waited tables. The reason for the baseline increase for adequate tips is that the federal minimum wage for servers hasn't increased in 17 years, from $2.13/hr. TWO DOLLARS AND THIRTEEN FUCKING CENTS PER HOUR. It's not about impressing people. You'd better believe that if a new date offers to pay and then tips the bare minimum, I will begin to question their awareness of others at the very least. If you don't like it or can't afford it, don't eat out.

Also, I've got an inkling that MRI has almost certainly had his food spit in (or worse) at some point. While I never would have done something like that during my time in the field, I knew plenty of people who did. Lesson: NEVER fuck with the people that handle your food. This includes taking the attitude that waiters exist to earn your benevolent head-pats in the form of dollar bills.

Apr 20 12 - 4:34pm
agreed

20%, especially in the Bay Area.

Apr 20 12 - 6:20pm
donkeyballs

Less than 20%, especially in city with stupid high cost of living like NYC or SF, means cheap, a rube, or both. Unless you were actually served a steaming turd, in which case you should still tip 20%, since it's not the server's fault. You euros can fuck off--our system is broken, but it's what we've got. Tipping is not rational, but neither is dating or the way most of us eat. If rationality is your standard you can hardly leave your apartment.

Apr 20 12 - 7:04pm
aa

$2.13 is the wage for servers in the US? That's really fucking bad. 15% in Canada and the UK is standard (worked in restaurants)

Apr 20 12 - 11:53pm
:)

I HATE when people say "if you can't afford it stay home". They're paying the bill, they can afford it, they tipped you, they can afford it. It's not their problem if you think you deserved more, maybe you should have been a bit friendlier. If you can't smile and kiss ass while you're at work, stay home. Also, before you get all pissy and assume I've never worked for tips I waited tables for 3 years and made bank because I acted like every table was my favorite table ever. Yeah, there's people that will stiff you on a tip, but every job has it's shitty exceptions. Get over it and stop acting like an entitled brat.

Apr 21 12 - 2:02pm
Rj

Twice the tax in NY (bout 16-17% standard, I'd say).

Apr 21 12 - 2:11pm
Ryan

Yeah I'm sticking with 15%. 10 for bad service, 20 for above average, and I'll dump a 50% tip if it's at waffle house at 3 am in panama city.

Apr 21 12 - 8:45pm
In NYC...

I would say it's 18-20%. You can leave less, but be prepared to be thought of as a jerk for it. I don't spend time with people who stiff servers.

Apr 22 12 - 10:11am
Eric

I tip more than 15% on the pretax bill unless I'm really dissatisfied. However, just because waitstaff say 20% is the custom does not make it so.

Apr 22 12 - 7:10pm
Dewey

Our whole system of tipping IS stupid - we should force restaurant owners to pay their staff a decent wage and do away with this tipping nonsense.
That aside, I have always set 20% as my baseline because A) it makes the math easier; B) "Karma" C) it sucks less for the server if I'm feeling stingy and round down to ~15%

Apr 23 12 - 10:25pm
P

Does a few percent really matter? Jeeze. At least we're tipping. I'm in Ca, so I just double the tax (so we're at 16 something percent) and add another dollar or two and call it good. Stop thinking about it so much.

May 09 12 - 6:25pm
leitning

I feel %20 is definitely the standard. Plus it's easy math, divide by ten and multiply by two. It's embarrassing to be treated to dinner by people who leave shitty tips, my ex's mom would literally leave a dollar or two for a table of eight.

Jun 23 12 - 12:45am
Yeah

We have a system where the minimum wage for servers is a joke and they have to dance for their wages. Unless the service is total shit, 20%. Not because servers are entitled, not because it's a new pretentious thing, not because you're the most generous person ever, or sentimental, or have rich yupppie guilt, or this, that, or the other thing. Because for an hour or more, you got waited on hand and foot, and that costs money.

Apr 20 12 - 12:03pm
Indy

He sounds infinitely more charming than she does. Every one of her interactions is a judgement.

15% is standard, I bring down to 10 if I feel neglected (rare) and up to 20% if they really went out of their way to please or had extenuating circumstances like kids/huge crowds. 20+% if I got her number or he/she blew my socks off with suggestions for food/things to do in the area.

Apr 20 12 - 1:10pm
djc

you yanks can fuck off with your tipping. pay people semi-decent wages and this problem would vanish.

Apr 21 12 - 7:31pm
Exactly

I mean, seriously. I get the tip thing, but tipping is fucking medieval. Europeans don't tip because tip is included in their fucking bill, not because they're cheap, donkeyballs. As your name suggests, you're kind of an ass.

Apr 22 12 - 4:53pm
nope

I think donkeyballs would agree that it would be better if people just got paid reasonable wages or if tip was included, but that's not the way it works, and it's not appropriate to just pretend that your waitstaff isn't being grotesquely underpaid when you dine out. Tip as is fair according to the culture you are dining in; and in NY, that's 20%.

Apr 20 12 - 4:03pm
Dm

Most of you guys keep saying 15% is standard, but it isn't. Like inflation, the appropriate percentage to tip occasionally increases as well. Like it or not, 20% is the standard now. And like the person mentioned above, waiters do not make much money at all; they need tips to balance it out.
I'm note even a server but I know people who have been and it's a damn hard job and doesn't pay enough.

Apr 20 12 - 4:42pm
Ryan

I'm all for 20% tipping, given the poor service wage in most places in this country, although as djc points out, a fair base wage would prevent discussions like this. Nevertheless I have two problems with this discussion:
1) Dm - "Like inflation"... wha? The inflation rate is a percentage too... is that what you mean? The inflation rate (in the US at least) doesn't trend up over time, although there are certainly periods where that's true. I think what you're saying is that "Similarly to it's effect on consumer retail prices, inflation should inform our decisions about what is a fair amount to tip."
2) I'm baffled by the word "standard" in most of the replies. Do you mean "customary"? National average? What you generally tip, regardless of either of those? Most of the guides I quickly googled suggested that 15-20% is "customary", and seemed to imply that this was socially acceptable range accounting for some (but perhaps not all) variation across the US. It's unclear what authority these sites are appealing to (no survey numbers are cited, for example), but it seems clear that they're attempting to describe social norms. It's not clear that other commenters have any idea what "standard" they're referring to.

At least 'screw you guys' makes an argument for 20%, rather than just appealing to authoritarian language.

My lunch break is over.

Apr 21 12 - 2:06pm
Rj

Inflation is the stupidest argument. People's food costs are rising too, which means that your tips are already including inflation and should not have to increase in percentage.

May 26 12 - 1:33pm
J

This whole "Like it or not" argument is incredibly asinine. It doesn't provide any rationale or even the semblance of an argument. Furthermore, I find it funny how it hasn't been mentioned that waiters are compensated if they do not meet minimum wage in tips.

Apr 20 12 - 8:28pm
drakma

I love the butthurt waiters crying for that extra five percent. Guess what guys, even if your wages haven't gone up food prices have! Sorry, you get 15 percent unless you were awesome and go ahead and spit in my food! Either you're doing before I tip in which case you don't deserve a tip at all or I don't give a shit! Hey, maybe people would tip you better if you weren't an entitled jackass who thinks he should tamper with people's food? Maybe that juvenile attitude carries into your service which is why you get shit tips :)

Apr 21 12 - 6:08am
Guess what?

We are not your employer. A tip is a bonus, an extra if you did a good job. The fact that you rely on it is not my fault. I feel for you, I do, but fuck you if you think I'm deciding wether I getTo eat out or not just because your boss fuss you on your pay. Is the minimum wage to low? Well, then, get a better job. I bet the wage would go up if they started having to dig around for quality servers. No one is entitled to extra money for the service, cause you're already getting paid. And if you don't like 15% or 10% or whatever, quit.

For the record I tip 20% if I'm at a place I like, and if the server has entertained me with their kind service. If its busy and I don't see you all night? 10-15%, depending on your attitude. If its nt busy and you come by all of once you'll get the change from what I'm paying. That's it. And I probably won't come back.

Apr 21 12 - 10:17am
hUb

You really need to learn how to spell. That, along with your insane comments, makes you look like an idiot.

Apr 20 12 - 9:48pm
careless

I don't tip.

Jun 22 12 - 3:35am
sigtunafish

You are a dick.

Apr 20 12 - 11:36pm
md

So much drama over how much to tip. I get around the uncertainty but not doing it at all. So much easier.

Apr 21 12 - 3:51am
Joie

sounded like a bay area date. HA.

Apr 23 12 - 2:40pm
SystemE

I love how this date sounded like a complete train wreck AND it resulted in a 2 month relationship, and the only thing people are interested in is tipping. Hilarious.

Apr 23 12 - 5:03pm
M

Yeah, hey you folks, this gal totally devirginized this little Christian within 2 months.

Apr 24 12 - 12:58pm
@M

Hey! This is funny because you're subtly mocking the "little Christian".