A few weeks ago, I went on a date with a girl that accidentally cost me about $200.

She’d told me she is a big fan of whiskey drinking, and that she would go scotch for scotch with me. Which we did, drinking mostly Johnnie Walker Black Label and I think a couple of Manhattans. When the bill came I did my best to remain stoic, tossing my credit card into the payment book without flinching.

In my current financial state, I cannot afford $200 dates. So I tried to forget about it for the night and chided myself about it the next day, but I remained optimistic — things had gone well and we were going out again. (This time it would be cheaper.) Maybe in the long run, my ill-advised drunken-sailor spending would be worth it. This is going to sound crass, but I viewed it as a kind of investment.

But when a week after date number two she said she would like to keep hanging out with me, but “just as friends” because she “has a lot of stuff coming up in the next couple of months.” This was totally understandable, and I’ve been there before myself. But I wanted to punch myself in the d*ck. Because when you think about what $200 can buy, and you’ve spent it on a couple of hours drinking and talking with a stranger, it’s difficult not to have some level of regret.

I wish I would’ve spent the money on something else, like:

  1. Four brand-new pairs of Vans—my main sartorial way of expressing myself.
  2. Some Large Tall T-shirts from the GAP, so that I can wear T-shirts around this summer without showing too much midriff. (I have an abnormally long torso.)
  3. Domain names for a couple of websites that I might actually construct someday.
  4. A really nice pair of Ray Ban sunglasses that would hide my leering gaze when I am blatantly staring at women in public places.
  5. A whole shopping cart of books.
  6. A Kindle and some ebooks.
  7. An entire year’s pass to pretty much any pornography website on the market.
  8. At least one semi-complex tattoo, or a number of simple tattoos.
  9. Enough Chinese food to literally make my heart explode if consumed in one sitting.
  10. A really solid charity. Like one that isn’t Lady Gaga’s charity.
  11.  A plane ticket to see a girl.
  12.  A plane ticket to see my family.
  13. A plane ticket just to hang out with my family’s dog.
  14. A year-and-a-half Spotify Premium membership.
  15. Every album Bright Eyes and Brand New have ever come out with.
  16. A pet.
  17. Three months’ worth of Internet access for my apartment.
  18. The complete series box sets of both Seinfeld and Friends, or any other TV show that I love that would have provided me with hour upon hour of relaxing and/or hysterical entertainment.
  19. Premium memberships to all of the dating websites I could possibly handle.
  20. Four cheaper dates.
  21. Concert or comedy show tickets to anyone in the world I could possibly want to see when they play a show in New York City.
  22. Opening an IRA so that I can maintain the illusion that I will someday retire.
  23. Gifts for my loved ones, like some awesome clothing for my brother and sister-in-law’s first daughter, who is due in September.
  24. An assortment of mind altering-substances.
  25. Two gallons of Johnnie Walker Red Label, with some change left over for silicone ice sphere makers.
  26. A new wireless router.
  27. A ticket to get my picture taken with one half of Avril Lavigne.
  28. A Netflix subscription for nearly two years.
  29. Half a year’s worth of haircuts.
  30. A new trimmer for my body hair, so that the next woman I somehow bed will not be extremely grossed out.
  31. Enough unsweetened iced tea to fill a swimming pool.
  32. Enough boxes of wine to build a medium-sized fort.
  33. Some furniture for my apartment so that I can stop using a foldable lawn chair as my “reading and thinking chair.”
  34. Twenty months of gym membership at my local Planet Fitness, so I can get fit and sexy.
  35. A prostitute. Maybe even two.