Everyone has at least one weird thing on his or her bucket list. There are probably more weird things on mine, but the one that sticks out right now has to be –wait for it—sitting at a bar, and ordering a drink, and not giving a toss what the guy at the next table thinks.
(There’s always that one guy throwing reckless glances, undressing you with his eyes, sending a drink your way hoping your panties will come off at the bottom of a cocktail)
Forget bungee jumping. One day I want to leave the house –alone- and purposefully go to a bar. I’m still working up the muscle to do it, though.
For as long as I can remember, a girl seated alone at the bar was something to raise eyebrows about. The lady is quickly labeled risqué, loose, a typified damsel in distress. People are quick to assume you’re waiting to milk a man’s pockets, or show him a good time, or both. Society has set these silly limitations around women. (Haha, how’s that for a feminist sentence?)
I suppose times are changing. But at 33 I still feel funny going to the bar unaccompanied. You feel the burn of everyone’s glare when you walk in. You feel the thump of their minds jumping into conclusions. As you wait for your drink you can almost hear them thinking: “Woiye, she’s been stood up by her man.”
I breathe easier at bars if I have my girls in tow or waiting to meeting someone. Otherwise I’ll feel exposed, wrung out by judgmental stares and the hang-ups of being raised during a time where this was not thee norm.
Sometimes after a long day at work- a girl just wants to climb on a bar stool, kick off her heels, and order a stiff drink.
Is that too much to ask?
It’s easy for guys to do it. They can sit there and nurse a beer, and morality won’t come into the picture. In fact Mike was alone at a bar when I met him. Maybe we’d be telling a different story if it was the other way round.
I was thinking about this the other day, at Trademark Hotel, where I was shooting a video. The interior walls at Trademark are tapered with wood, and the bar was bathed in chandelier light; chrome yellow, bright, looking like a whole lot of elegance. There were round tables with long legs, and soft cushions, and the most inviting couches.
The bottom of my jump suit (low cut, bare back) trailed along the smooth marble floors as I walked up to the counter. A piano symphony trilled from the ceiling. At 4pm there was nary a soul around, save for the barman –standing behind the counter with all sorts of gins and smoky whiskeys I can’t even pronounce. He had a round head and deft hands. He wore a neat white collar, and his movements were swift as he shook up a cocktail for me. I instantly felt a strong urge to order a cocktail.
Finally, he served up the strongest mojito and said, “Enjoy.”
Before I brought the straw to my lips I thought: Would I have been this cozy if there were people around? Would this cocktail taste the same, or would I be too self-aware to enjoy it?
Most probably no, but there is something in me that still wants to walk in to a dim lit bar and order that special drink and silently people watch. Overhear their conversations, as I listen to slow jazz music and get lost in the moment…
I will update once its done.