One check or two?

When I was with Karen, anytime we'd go out to eat, we were never asked if we wanted one check or two.  It was naturally assumed that I would paying the check.  Whether we were just on a date or whether we were married, I would be paying.  This is the culture that we live in.  We could even be just two good friends going out to eat together and want to pay separately, but if that were the case we'd have to inform the server ourselves.  Honestly, I find it funny because the whole time we lived here in Tennessee, Karen made twice as much as I did, so while I would be the one who pulled the card out and signed the receipt, it was actually Karen's money that was being used.

Anyway, whenever I've gone out to eat with Conrad, we've invariably (that is, without exception) been asked "Will this be together or separate?".  Even when we've been extremely open about displaying affection toward each other.  I've fed Conrad bites of food from my own fork, held hands, played footsie, and even kissed.  I think only the most oblivious of servers would not realize that we're romantically involved.  And yet, it has never been assumed that we would be paying together.  This has always been a question.

I'm not pointing this out because I'm offended.  In fact, I think it's very sensitive of the server to make such an inquiry.  If I were to advocate for any change at all, it would be that I think they should ask all parties whether they'd be paying together or separately--whether they're gay or straight couples.  Of course, I wouldn't mind being brought one check and having to tell the server that we want it split up either (if we ever did want it split up).

The only reason I mention this is to indicate one more way that gay people are treated differently than straight people.  It would be one thing if Conrad and I just acted like we were two guys hanging out.  If we, like heterosexual men, always stood at least one person's width apart from each other, never made direct eye contact with each other, or smiled at each other, then I could see the server thinking that we would want to pay separately.  But, when you're making it quite apparent that you're a couple and the server treats you differently than ey would treat a straight couple, the unequal treatment is keenly felt.

I hope you haven't thought that this post was about checks at a restaurant and how servers treat their customers.  I hope you see the bigger picture.  This is about equality.  Gay people just aren't treated the same as straight people.  I do think part of the reason is that homosexuality is new to the general populace.  Straight couples have been out and about for ages, so there's a "norm" there and everyone treats them according to that norm (eg, the guy pays for the lady's dinner).  But gay couples are only recently out and about (until the last decade or two, they were pretty much confined to pretending they weren't gay or only going to a few select gay establishments), so people don't know what to do.  They're not sure if gay couples go dutch or pay together.  That was even something that was confusing for me when I started dating guys.  So, I'm certainly not condemning anything here.  All I'm saying is there's lots of room for progress toward true equality.

On a lighter note, after dinner, we went to Aeropostale, and overheard a fun conversation.  A girl went to the cashier and asked "Do you have eyeliner?" to which the cashier (also female) replied "What?  You mean for girls?"