The Maneater

Column: Cheap dates are good dates

You can still have an enjoyable date without going broke.

Now, it may seem unlikely to you all, but I have been on many dates. I would say that, in my lifetime, I have been on anywhere from five to six dates. I learned a lot on those dates — mainly that dating is expensive.

Sure, going to a movie sounds like a good idea (I think that sitting in complete silence in a crowd of strangers is a great way to get to know someone), but two hours and two sodas, a popcorn and a box of Milk Duds later, I am broke and she wants to go get ice cream.

I would like to present some date alternatives for all of the broke college students out there. These options will provide an opportunity for you to get to know each other without breaking the bank.

Option 1: Go to the library

Nothing is sexier and more provocative than knowledge. That’s why the library is referred to as the modern-day brothel. Walk through aisles and aisles of obscure books and archived magazines. Silently browse through Gray’s Anatomy with each other. If you are feeling daring, maybe go to the computers and start watching videos on YouTube. The silence will keep things interesting by adding some mystery to the date; it will also prevent you from saying something embarrassing or offensive.

Price of date: $0; unless you forgot to return the book you checked out from your last library date.

Option 2: Go for a walk

What is more romantic than simply walking and getting to know each other? A lot of things. But what is cheaper? Nothing. You can take a walk through the park to show your date that you are one with nature and that you have only moderate allergies. Or maybe stroll downtown and weave through the more intoxicated citizens of Columbia. If you have some time to kill, play drunk-person bingo. Try and get five horizontal, vertical or diagonal spaces with options such as “Girl Crying,” “Man Yelling” or “Person Stumbling.”

Price of Date: Two blisters on heel.

Option 3: People-watching at Walmart

Walmart is America’s greatest theme park. There are hardly any lines, and the food is actually reasonably priced. Start off by taking a stroll through Health and Beauty Products and sampling the collection of colognes and perfumes. Afterward, hop on the electric carts they provide and hold your own Grand Prix. Finally, head over to the furniture section and pick out the comfiest-looking futon. From here, you can either view whichever movie they have playing on the display big-screen TV (probably “Jack and Jill” starring Adam Sandler), or, if you are feeling wild, observe the exotic clientele. This would provide a good time for you to bond with each other over which physical shortcomings you find funniest.

Price of date: $0 ($3.29 if you decide to buy a pre-made sandwich from the deli)

All of these dates provide fun times at low prices; you will literally save dozens of dollars if you follow this advice. That is money that can be put towards groceries or tuition — or booze for your girlfriend so she can forget you just tried to pass off a trip to the library as a date.

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