I remember my early-to-mid twenties. It was a time when every bartender in town knew my name. Even on vacations, I would become a regular within the span of a weekend. I used to spend so much cash in bars, clubs and lounges that lines never existed for me. Anybody who tells you that hot girls get special treatment in the night life spotlight is a rookie. Men who spend are the stuff that V.I.P. lounges are built of.
Last week I read a U.S. News report on why Generation Y is too frugal. Honestly...I didn't know what to make of it, so I'm here to see what you guys have to say about it.
The article paints your generation of 20-somethings as afraid of debt, mommy and daddy dependent, candidates for a lifetime of frugality. Is this how you see yourselves?
I was inclined to dismiss this article as yet another page filler in a slow news day; the calm before another MENA storm or in yesterday's case, Japanese Tsunami. Something happened a few nights ago that changed my mind all together. Allow me to share:
I'm sitting in one of my favorite lounges on a slow weeknight. My Maker's Mark no longer enjoys the finely complimenting cigar it had grown accustomed to over the years. This place is perfect for me due to its dimness and plush seats. When I started coming years ago it was the hot spot for young hotties and wannabee players spending cash. Now its like a Depression era dive with only the tumbleweeds missing. This is a good thing for me as I want some quiet. Except this time, I can't have it. My waitress is making it impossible...
In the span of an hour she's been over to see if I need anything half-a-dozen times, each time attempting clumsily to engage me in some sort of conversation. I don't mind having a pretty young girl's attention, but usually her type does not hover so hard unless there's an ulterior motive. I quickly found out that there was and it came with the unsurprising aura of dollar signs around it.
Apparently, I am her best customer. Amongst the slew of faux compliments she unleashes only one makes sense. I tip really, really well. This is funny to me as I consider myself a reformed spender. But then I realize something crucial...this girl's barely 20, she missed the boom times.
Over the years, I have dated quite a few waitresses and let me tell you fellas: these chicks made bank. It was not uncommon for a girl with good looks and charisma to pull down four figures in a night. We are talking about legit bar work here, no stripping or pole sliding. As I got deeper into conversation with this chick I was shocked by what she told me about her pay. She effectively makes a little better than minimum wage. Her main complaint is that hordes of young guys come in on Friday and Saturday occupying her time with one bottle of Belvedere amongst the seventeen of them. My two bourbons and one Alexander Hamilton are the highlight of her week.
This is an isolated story, of course. I know it doesn't tell the tale of an entire generation, especially the young financier set. It is to me, however, a sign of extreme shifting values from generation to generation. Back in those years, if I had a hundred bucks in my pocket, you can bet that my local fun house was getting $95 of it. You could also bet that even with holes in my pockets at the end of the night, I was still running up and down the block seeing which girl(s) wanted to split a cab. I lived for the moment and tomorrow was a light year away. Looking at how you guys scrounge and save now makes me wonder if perhaps you are missing out on the funnest time of your lives?
Am I wrong to base my opinion on the words of an underpaid waitress and a magazine article...or is there something to this claim? Is your generation just plain cheap?
C'mon guys, I know some of you are ballin' outta control. Come out of the woodwork and tell Midas all about it.