The thing about so-called gold-digging is this: when a man is decent, a woman doesn’t have to dig for gold because he’s naturally generous with what he has. A good man wants to look after his wife or girlfriend. He may not give her expensive gifts if his income doesn’t allow it, but he certainly won’t be stingy. If he’s stingy during the dating phase, what’s to say he’ll be better when he marries you? If he’s of that mindset when he’s trying to win you over; letting you pay, then the likelihood is he’ll be worse when he has you.
It can be awkward, when the bill comes on a date. Manners say you should offer to split, but chivalry says the man should pay. Enduro doesn’t dream of letting me pick up the tab, and it’s not simply because he knows I’m a financially stretched single mum. I know that if I were a city hedge fund manager he still wouldn’t let me pay, because he’s a proper, grown up male.
The only times I pay is when it’s for smaller things – coffees, ice creams, sandwiches and whatnot – and I insist, so he’s not reaching in his pocket all the time.
The other day Enduro, my aunt and I met at Oliver’s Pantry, in Ripon. To his frustration Enduro was a whole 90 minutes late owing to a hold up on the A1. Both decidedly hungry and salivating over the menu, my aunt and I went ahead and ate before he arrived.
Oliver’s describes its food as ‘fresh, wholesome and uplifting’ and they’re quite right. My aunt’s harissa and mint chicken kebabs came sitting on a salad bursting with colour, peppered with carrot and pomegranate seeds.
My burger featured melt-in-the-mouth Yorkshire halloumi, enveloped in creamy hummus and roasted peppers. The sweet potato fries we shared are what Oliver’s is all about; good, healthy ingredients made delicious.
We pre-ordered a starving, motorway bound Enduro a plate of chicken kebabs and, knowing that would offer to pick up the bill for all of us, sorted it before he arrived. When a person has been trapped in a car for so long, they just need to chill. This major A1 incident meant we spent a few drawn-out hours in the quirky Ripon eatery, but it’s just the sort of cosy, easy place in which to relax.
My aunt, coming here a lot, knows all the friendly staff. The blue-eyed, good-looking Chris gave her a hug on the way out. Great coffee, wonderful breakfasts and just the right amount of bustle: you can see why Oliver’s is Ripon’s favourite café.