There’s nothing quite like a tale of dating misfortune to unite – or divide – the internet and ignite a conversation on the mores of romantic etiquette.
Take, for example, the plight of TikTok user @equanaaa, who captured the attention of social media users after she went on a date, ordered four dozen oysters, and was promptly abandoned by her unidentified male companion and left to foot the $US180 ($284) bill.
In the video, which has circulated widely on X (formerly Twitter), the US woman documented her visit to Fontaine’s Oyster House – servers of what she claimed to be “the best f**king oysters in Atlanta”.
Equana explained the man she was meeting had been trying to take her out for quite some time – and once the two were seated, she proceeded to order the restaurant’s Tuesday special: a dozen oysters for $US15 ($23.70).
She then ordered another round … and another … and another – totalling 48 oysters, which is a completely normal and not at all excessive number of molluscs for one person to consume.
“Y’all, when the fourth [plate] came out, he was looking at me crazy. I didn’t give a f**k,” Equana said.
“I’m like, ‘Baby, you invited me out. I’m gonna eat.’”
At some point, her date decided he’d had enough of her slurping, informed her he needed to use the bathroom, and promptly fled the scene.
Equana – who, according to the bill, washed down her oysters with a number of lemon drop martinis, crab cakes, and potatoes – took half an hour to realise he was not coming back, and fired off a furious text when the cheque arrived.
“Running out on a tab is crazyyy,” she wrote to the man.
To which he, quite fairly, responded: “I offered to take you out for drinks and you ordered all that food. I can [transfer] the total for the drinks.”
Suffice to say, there was no shortage of opinions on the prospect of demolishing four full platters of oysters in front of a person who isn’t eating at all – and then expecting them to pay for it.
“I’m sorry but 48 oysters as an appetiser (entree) got me screaming,” one person remarked.
“I don’t know what’s worse, the 48 oysters as an APPETISER or the insane slurping and smacking,” a second commented.
“He literally said can we meet for drinks then you proceeded to slurp down half the ocean,” a third wrote.
“Not even talking on the date. Just filming and slurping,” another said.
“Oh my god. [At] what [number] oyster did he start thinking about getting out of there, and on what oyster did he finally get the strength to ditch her.”
The number of oysters itself, Fontaine’s general manager Kelcey Flanagan – who was working the night of Equana’s date – told Rolling Stone isn’t actually out of the ordinary for solo diners at the venue.
“This is nothing new for us. It was just quite funny,” Ms Flanagan said.
“I will say, it had been a minute since I had a single female eat that many. But then, you know, she was eating crackers and things like that. But yeah, she put it away. It’s pretty impressive.”
She also revealed a surprising twist in the story – after fleeing the scene, the woman’s date supposedly came back after she had picked up the bill.
“I don’t know what was said. But he popped back in and then they left.”