My heart sank. There was nothing on the menu under $30.
"I'll just get a coffee-I had a big lunch" I lied.
"Suit yourself" my friend Hayley said.
I was out with some old school friends and as usual, they'd picked a restaurant well out of my budget.
All the girls had well-paid jobs or rich husbands. I, on the other hand, was a single mum to twin girls, constantly struggling to make ends meet.
It wasn't long before the conversation turned to everyone's favourite topic: My pitiful love life.
"So any men on the horizon?" Jen probed.
"Nope. And that's the way I like it" I replied."You need a nice man to take care you and the girls" Hayley said.
The four girls nodded their heads in agreement.
Back home, as I rummaged hungrily in my empty fridge I thought back to the conversation over dinner.
Maybe the girls were right.
I'd been single for over five years, ever since the twin's dad left me. Was it time to take the plunge and try online dating?
Before I could talk myself out of it, I jumped on the computer.
The choice of dating sights was overwhelming. But then one caught my eye.
It vowed to match wealthy males dubbed 'sugar daddies' with loving female companions who became their 'sugar babies'.
Often, the men just wanted women they could lavish with gifts. It seemed too good to be true and was free to join, so I figured there was no harm in setting up a profile.
It's been a long time since I've been wined and dined...I typed.
The next morning, I woke up feeling foolish.
Who would find a frumpy mum of two attractive? I thought.
But sat in my inbox were 28 messages.
Some were crude and other were creepy, but a few seemed genuine.
After I'd dropped the girls off at school, I replied to one guy called Steve, 50.
Chiselled, with broad shoulders, he was just my type.
That evening, after the girls were in bed, he called.
"I haven't dated for a while" I confessed.
"Well it's time you started putting yourself first" Steve replied.
We arranged to meet that Friday night, as the girls were staying at their dad's.
Steve wasn't as attractive in real life but he was charming, interesting…and loaded.
He owned a chain of gyms and properties overseas.
Naturally, he took me to the best restaurant in town.
If only the girls could see me now! I thought.
"What designers are you into?" he asked.
"I love Gucci" I lied.
The only label I wore was Target.
At the end of the evening, he kissed me goodbye and we arranged to meet the following week.
During our second date, Steve presented me with a gorgeous Gucci bag.
"I don't know what to say" I gushed, admiring the soft leather.
That night, I went back to Steve's and we slept together.
It hardly set my world on fire but I wasn't in it for the sex.
That was two months ago and Steve and I still regularly meet up.
He's bought me a designer dress, Ipad and some gorgeous jewellery.
My luxury gifts aren't exactly helping with the bills, but I love being spoilt.
Some people would think our arrangement is seedy.
But who's it hurting?