Dear Annie: I appreciate the honesty of "Tired of Paying," the 50-something single man who said women should pay their share on a first date. He said he was looking for a woman who is well-read, can carry on a stimulating conversation and has a great sense of humor. However, any sympathy I had ended when he added, "Unless you are a young, hot supermodel, don't expect a free lunch." It's nice to know everything else is worthless. I'd like to thank him for confirming my worst fears of the dating world — that looks ARE everything.

—Tired of Male Pigs

Dear Tired: We were bombarded with letters from readers, most of whom were spitting nails at this man. Read on for a sampling:

From Boston, Ky.: No wonder this guy is still single after 10 years. He must be expecting more than a "thank you" after his date, and when he doesn't get it, he expects a refund.

From California: Tell me, Annie, what woman is going to date him a second time knowing she wasn't "hot" enough for him to foot the bill?

From Kentucky: Here's good news for the old tightwad: You don't need to pay any longer — just stay at home by yourself for the rest of your life. He says he wants to meet someone with a great sense of humor, who's well-read and a stimulating conversationalist, as long as he doesn't have to pay for her meal. Believe me, if she's all that, she doesn't need him.

From Racine, Wis.: I am a successful single woman in my mid-30s and have no trouble getting dates. I always pay for my meal since it seems the responsible thing to do. I usually arrange to meet in a convenient location and go for a walk in a public place. It's healthy, free and great for conversation. If things go well, the date can be extended to include a meal or coffee.

From Santa Cruz, Calif.: Who would go out with a man in his 50s, wealthy and reasonably handsome, who expects his date to pay her share unless she's a "young, hot supermodel"? Not those who have to pay because they're not babe enough, and certainly not the young, hot supermodel because she most likely sees him as he is: old and wrinkled. Good luck, dude.

From Tahoe: I can only imagine you were holding back when you wrote your very civil reply to this man. Whoever does the asking and the choosing of the restaurant should assume he is going to pay. Period.

Dear Annie: I am a single mom with a 9-year-old boy. When I am asked out on a date, I always offer to pay my portion. Not only does that take care of any possible misconceptions, it gives both parties the comfort of knowing they are not obligated to do more, but can if they choose.

From Santa Clarita, Calif: So, if a woman is normal-looking, she has to pay for her dinner, but if she's great-looking, he's willing to part with his money? What does HE look like? Newsflash: Miss Great-Looking Supermodel is looking for Mr. Great-Looking Supermodel and I bet she wouldn't settle for "Tired."

From Chicago: I guess it's true — everyone DOES have a price. He'd pay for a young supermodel's meal, but resents paying if he has to work to find out if I have a sense of humor and can hold up my end of a conversation. At what point would my personality convince him I'm worth the price of my dinner?

From Louisiana: Is this guy for real? I am an intelligent woman with a great sense of humor and always pay my own way. Yet he is looking for a supermodel who's well-read, able to carry on a stimulating conversation and has a great sense of humor. I'm surprised he didn't include weight and height, hair color and cleavage specifications — all of these are important for a woman to know before she sells herself for a hamburger.


Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to [email protected], or write to: Annie's Mailbox, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611. © Creators Syndicate Inc.