How to Pay Your Bills Without Losing Your Girl: A Lesson from Bannister Merwin’s Classic Story
The Girl and the Bill by Bannister Merwin
Have you ever been in a situation where you had to choose between paying your bills or pleasing your girlfriend? If so, you might relate to the protagonist of Bannister Merwin’s short story “The Girl and the Bill”. This story, published in 1911, tells the tale of a young man who finds himself in a dilemma when he receives a large bill for his car repairs and his girlfriend expects him to take her to a fancy restaurant. How does he solve this problem? And what can we learn from his experience?
In this article, we will explore the themes and messages of “The Girl and the Bill” by Bannister Merwin, and how they can help us deal with our own financial and romantic challenges. We will also look at some tips and tricks on how to pay your bills without losing your girl, or vice versa.
Summary of “The Girl and the Bill” by Bannister Merwin
The story begins with the narrator, a young man who works as a clerk in a department store, receiving a bill for $37.50 for his car repairs. He is shocked and dismayed by this amount, as he only earns $25 a week and has no savings. He wonders how he will pay this bill, as he has already spent most of his salary on his girlfriend, Helen, who is a demanding and extravagant woman.
He decides to call Helen and ask her to postpone their date for that night, as he has an important matter to attend to. He hopes that she will understand and sympathize with him, but instead she gets angry and accuses him of being stingy and unromantic. She tells him that she has been looking forward to going to the new French restaurant that has just opened, and that she will not accept any excuses. She threatens to break up with him if he does not take her there.
The narrator is torn between his love for Helen and his duty to pay his bill. He does not want to lose her, but he also does not want to get into debt. He tries to think of a way out of this predicament, but he can’t find any. He considers borrowing money from his friends, but he knows that they are all as poor as he is. He thinks of selling his car, but he realizes that it is worth much less than what he owes for it. He even contemplates robbing a bank, but he quickly dismisses this idea as foolish and criminal.
He finally decides to take Helen to the restaurant, hoping that it will not be too expensive and that he will be able to pay his bill later somehow. He calls her back and tells her that he has changed his mind and that he will take her there. She is delighted and praises him for being generous and thoughtful. She tells him that she loves him more than ever.
They meet at the restaurant, which is elegant and crowded. The narrator feels nervous and out of place among the wealthy and fashionable people. He tries to act casual and confident, but he is secretly worried about the cost of the meal. He orders the cheapest dishes on the menu, but they still seem too expensive for him. He hopes that Helen will not notice or care about his frugality, but she does.
She complains that he is not ordering enough food for himself or for her. She says that he is spoiling their evening by being so stingy and unromantic. She orders more dishes without consulting him, including champagne and caviar. She tells him that she wants to enjoy herself and have a good time with him.
The narrator feels helpless and angry. He realizes that Helen does not care about him or his situation at all. She only cares about herself and her pleasure. He wonders why he loves her so much, when she is so selfish and shallow. He wishes that he could leave her right then and there, but he knows that he can’t.
He resigns himself to his fate and tries to make the best of it. He smiles and pretends to be happy, while inside he is miserable and anxious. He hopes that the bill will not be too high, but he fears that it will be.
The story ends with the narrator receiving the bill from the waiter. He looks at it and gasps in horror. It is $37.50 – exactly the same amount as his car repair bill.
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Analysis of “The Girl and the Bill” by Bannister Merwin
“The Girl and the Bill” by Bannister Merwin is a short story that uses humor and irony to convey a serious message about the importance of being honest and responsible with your money and your relationships. The story shows the consequences of living beyond your means and lying to your partner. It also shows the contrast between true love and superficial attraction.
The narrator of the story is a sympathetic but flawed character. He is a hard-working and honest man, but he is also naive and weak-willed. He loves Helen, but he does not know her well. He does not realize that she is a gold-digger who only wants his money and his attention. He does not stand up to her or tell her the truth about his financial situation. He lets her manipulate him and control him. He sacrifices his own happiness and security for hers.
Helen, on the other hand, is an unsympathetic and shallow character. She is a spoiled and greedy woman who does not care about the narrator or his feelings. She only cares about herself and her pleasure. She does not appreciate or respect him. She takes advantage of him and abuses him. She does not love him, she only loves his money.
The story uses irony to highlight the absurdity and tragedy of the narrator’s situation. The irony is that he ends up paying the same amount for his dinner with Helen as he would have paid for his car repair bill. He could have avoided this problem if he had been honest with Helen and told her that he could not afford to take her to the restaurant. He could have suggested a cheaper or more romantic alternative, such as a picnic in the park or a movie at home. He could have shown her that he loved her in other ways than spending money on her.
But he did not do that. He lied to her and to himself. He pretended that he was rich and generous, when he was poor and desperate. He tried to impress her and please her, when he should have respected himself and protected himself. He wasted his money and his time on a woman who did not deserve him.
The story teaches us that honesty is the best policy, especially when it comes to money and love. It teaches us that we should live within our means and be responsible with our finances. It teaches us that we should choose our partners wisely and be loyal to them. It teaches us that we should value ourselves and our happiness more than anything else.
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How to Pay Your Bills Without Losing Your Girl: Tips and Tricks
If you are in a similar situation as the narrator of “The Girl and the Bill” by Bannister Merwin, you might be wondering how you can pay your bills without losing your girl, or vice versa. Here are some tips and tricks that might help you:
- Be honest with your partner about your financial situation. Don’t lie or hide anything from them. Explain to them why you can’t afford certain things or activities, and ask for their understanding and support.
- Be creative with your dates. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to have fun with your partner. You can find cheap or free things to do together, such as going for a walk, playing games, watching movies, cooking meals, etc.
- Be romantic with your gestures. You don’t have to buy expensive gifts or flowers to show your love for your partner. You can write them a letter, make them a card, sing them a song, give them a massage, etc.
- Be respectful of your partner’s wishes. Don’t force them to do something they don’t want to do or go somewhere they don’t want to go. Listen to their opinions and preferences, and try to compromise or negotiate with them.
- Be realistic about your expectations. Don’t expect your partner to pay for everything or do everything for you. Don’t expect them to change their lifestyle or personality for you. Accept them for who they are, and appreciate what they do for you.
- Be grateful for your partner’s presence. Don’t take them for granted or neglect them. Don’t complain or criticize them too much. Don’t compare them to others or make them feel insecure. Tell them how much you love them and how happy they make you.
Q: What is “The Girl and the Bill” by Bannister Merwin about?
A: “The Girl and the Bill” by Bannister Merwin is a short story about a young man who has to choose between paying his car repair bill or taking his girlfriend to a fancy restaurant.
Q: When was “The Girl and the Bill” by Bannister Merwin published?
A: “The Girl and the Bill” by Bannister Merwin was published in 1911 in The Saturday Evening Post.
Q: Who is Bannister Merwin?
A: Bannister Merwin was an American author who wrote short stories, novels, plays, screenplays, and poems. He was born in 1873 and died in 1922.
Q: What are some other works by Bannister Merwin?
A: Some other works by Bannister Merwin are:
- The Short Line War (1909), a novel co-written with Samuel Merwin, about a railroad conflict in the West.
- The Road to Frontenac (1901), a historical novel set in the French and Indian War.
- The Mystery of June 13th (1913), a detective story featuring the character of Professor Augustus S. F. X. Van Dusen, also known as “The Thinking Machine”.
- The Man Who Rocked the Earth (1915), a science fiction novel co-written with Arthur Train, about a scientist who invents a device that can cause earthquakes.
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“The Girl and the Bill” by Bannister Merwin is a classic short story that teaches us valuable lessons about money and love. It shows us the importance of being honest and responsible with our finances and our relationships. It also shows us the contrast between true love and superficial attraction.
If you want to pay your bills without losing your girl, or vice versa, you should follow these tips and tricks:
- Be honest with your partner about your financial situation.
- Be creative with your dates.
- Be romantic with your gestures.
- Be respectful of your partner’s wishes.
- Be realistic about your expectations.
- Be grateful for your partner’s presence.
By doing these things, you can avoid the dilemma that the narrator of “The Girl and the Bill” faced, and enjoy a happy and healthy relationship with your partner.
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Thank you for reading! 😊
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