A Girl Goes to the Bar Alone

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.

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19 Comments

  1. Esther
    October 23, 2018 / 7:18 pm

    I travel a lot for my work, and I am used to having drinks at a bar solo.. problem is I can’t sip my drink in peace as someone will be plotting on how to get to me🙄🙄

    • Mercy Jerono
      July 21, 2020 / 6:19 am

      Hi Esther, I totally get you. It is nerve wrecking at times when all you wanted is a cocktail at the end of a long day, by yourself

  2. Joy
    October 24, 2018 / 2:06 pm

    Wow. This is a nice read.
    Reading it for the third time. Has left me longing for that courage to get a cocktail alone. Just alone.

    • Mercy Jerono
      July 21, 2020 / 6:19 am

      Hello Joy,

      Power unto you. Go get the drink girl.

  3. January 4, 2019 / 5:00 pm

    Wow, this is my first time reading your blog. I honestly really love it 😍

    • Mercy Jerono
      July 21, 2020 / 6:20 am

      Hello, you are welcome again and again.

  4. May 27, 2019 / 7:41 am

    Dont fail to notify us when its done…lol

    • Mercy Jerono
      July 21, 2020 / 6:21 am

      Hi Emma, I won’t. LOL 🙂

  5. Edith
    June 18, 2019 / 12:51 pm

    nice read…….and you inspire me in an awesome way..

    • Fashionable Stepmum
      Author
      June 27, 2019 / 6:21 am

      Thanks for reading dear!

    • Mercy Jerono
      July 21, 2020 / 6:21 am

      Hi Edith,

      Thank you for your kind words. You, my readers, also inspire me in so many ways

  6. Kagwii
    July 4, 2019 / 9:28 am

    I hope this post was intended only to showcase your beautiful picture at the bar. In modern day Kenya the struggle for women is being appointed to boards, being CEO, making a speech in front of reputable leaders. Not sitting at the bar – do not trivialise how far we have come. This post shows you do not espouse the qualities of confident and strong women that have gone many before us. And if you do may this be a post about showing off a beautiful picture.

    • Mercy Jerono
      July 21, 2020 / 6:57 am

      I am in no way trivializing how far we have come but at times, a girl just wants to go to the bar alone, unbothered.

  7. CATHERINE MATHENGE
    September 1, 2020 / 8:01 pm

    I love to enjoy my drink alone unbothered…my tomboy style helps🤣🤣🤣…nice read!

  8. Thess
    September 3, 2020 / 8:35 pm

    I fix my face, smell good and go to the bar alone. I buy my own damn drink and ignore the gents that come around. I go home when I’m ready to.
    It makes me feel powerful.

    Try it. I promise you wont stop.

  9. Daisy Tum
    September 7, 2020 / 8:02 am

    I just came across this blog today and damn am already liking it. Everything is amazing . Great sentence structure, very articulate and most importantly amazing content.

  10. Ramani
    September 17, 2020 / 6:09 am

    I have done it, and I have converted freely offered drinks to a sparkling bottle of water! I have refused to be bothered! I agree with most of the comments, it’s a powerful thing. My advice, order food accompanied by a drink the first time you do it. Engage a window (presumably with a view) a screen maybe, or some target. Do not throw glances around you-it’s what makes think that people are interested in you. And if you are notified of a drink offer, don’t send it back, ask for water instead. I don’t know what a water request does to them, but they for sure don’t like it.

  11. Sue
    September 26, 2020 / 9:18 pm

    You look so classy in that photo. I too want to be able to do this. Walk into a nice jazz bar, sit down and order a drink that I will enjoy solo.

  12. Peris
    September 29, 2020 / 10:59 am

    Nice read. I’ve sat at a bar by myself countless times so I’m no longer so self aware about it. You should try it before the end of the year and toast to Miss Rona going back to where she came from.

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