Involved as I am in my current pursuit of a young lady, I pause to muse on the economics of the thing. So far, I've been fortunate to coordinate wooage with activities I do normally (such as going to my favorite bar/music venue), so there's no extra cost (I fairly regularly stand a lady or two a drink at said bar).
Friday I went out with my friends to a bar I normally avoid, and bought my visiting friend Wayne a few beers. It turns out that later that night, when our group had gone on to the white-trash karaoke bar, the lady I'm pursuing ended up in the first bar. This did not inure to my direct benefit.
Saturday night, I purposely placed myself in the path of the lady's friends, who were touring the bars of Hattiesburg to celebrate the 21-ing of one of them. To demonstrate my overwhelming class, my knowledge of social niceties, and the fact that I knew it was Jessica's birthday, I paid for their chocolate martinis (three chocolate martinis at $6/pop), and had a few drinks of my own. For my judiciously invested $18, I received priceless intelligence from my HUMINT assets, plus of course showing my generosity.
The priceless intelligence indicated that I am expected to contrive a way to run into my target whilst she is out, without in fact planning it, and certainly without inviting her out anywhere. As you can imagine, the opportunity cost of this sort of behavior is enormous. I already spend three hours a day commuting to work. Luckily all of my Christmas shopping is done (at ruinous cost, I might add), and I've very few social engagements this week, so I can afford to try running into her at a bar before I leave for Christmas.
If I fail, I'm chucking her expectations out, and I'm going to invite her to dinner. High school games are convenient when you're in high school and see the same people all day. But I work 90 miles away from where I live, and life is short. Opportunity cost is a bitch.