Monday, August 4, 2008

A night to remember

My friend and I had a chatty cab driver on the way home from the bar Saturday night. The first thing he said was, “Did you have fun tonight? Did you get hit on by a lot of guys?” I think it was his bluntness that bothered me most. Usually people ask things like, “Were there a lot of people out?” or “Did you meet any cute boys?” They usually don’t plop that direct correlation out there so obtusely: Did you have a good night, i.e. did boys pay attention to you, and/or hump your rear somewhat rhythmically to a Rihanna song, and/or invite you back to the frat house?

Whether delicately verbalized or not, this singular idea of what constitutes a successful night appears to be widespread. I can’t even count how many times I’ve been catching up with a (female) friend I don’t see very often when we’re interrupted by some rando who says something like, “Boy you girls are just chatting away!” or “You guys just been sittin’ here chatting all night?” or “You ladies look like you’re having a heated debate!” What about those observations compels these men to cut in? Must be the ASSumption that even though we appear to be having a good time, our situation could only be improved by a representative of the male gender.

Even worse, when having drinks with two or three friends, I’ve been stopped mid-sentence by randos who just waltz up to our table and stand there, staring. “Well, hello there,” one of us is eventually forced to say in an attempt to squelch the awkwardness. But of course it only gets worse because the rando really has nothing to contribute. He apparently expects us to be so grateful to him for saving us from our heinously female night that we will be more than happy to entertain him with spontaneous conversation.

Now, I’m not saying I never go out to perhaps meet a new boy, or maybe run into an old one… but the funny thing about that is when I’m sitting on a barstool, eyes wandering, only sporadically exchanging bits of celebrity gossip with a friend I see all the time, randos seem less likely to physically approach, but instead—if anything—do strange things like send over tap water and kiddie cocktails. It’s as if they feel more comfortable interrupting conversation than boredom.

My point, though, is that there are numerous ways to have a fun night, and they certainly don’t all revolve around getting “hit on.” Why must that be the main measure of success? And why, while we're on the subject, is that phrase so unpleasant? A smattering of events I consider to be equally, if not more indicative of a successful night out:

  • Karaokeing “Manic Monday” with a friend of a friend you randomly ran into.

  • Winning a dance-off with your shopping cart skillz and lifeless robot stare.

  • Hustling a gaggle of Orange County ingrates in beer pong.

  • Making it through a night of multi-level bars without falling down any stairs.

  • Discovering that Ian’s is serving up BBQ chicken pineapple AND tomato pesto pizza. And eating both without guilt.

Plus, you know what they say: You’re more likely to stumble across The One while you’re busy doing the robot, or something like that… actually perfecting the robot and attracting men are usually more of an either/or sort of deal… but nevertheless a choice every woman must have the right to make for herself and her own night.


Dr. Bob said...

In my continuing crusade to make my local bar a little more pleasant, I've now taken to purposefully blocking tools, mooks, misogynists, and the generally unpleasant males that prey in the bar.

It's like I can predict the future when I watch them work their magic.

Not that I think these lower forms of male life cannot be handled, but why should there be a gauntlet of challenges each night from the usual suspects?

Oddly enough, I watched someone that bore a strong resemblance to your sister handle one of the desperate-os with great aplomb. I couldn't help but wonder, though, if that event will send the person with the clue to another bar. And my bar retains exclusive rights to Mr. Oh-Yeah-I've-Got-What-She-Needs.

If the predators leave, normal mingling can occur and everybody could go home happy (alone, paired or tripled). OK, yes, I believe leprechauns and compassionate conservatives could exist, too...

Amy said...

Don't get discouraged, Dr. Bob. Your good work is appreciated.

Caroline said...

What about my all time favorite line, "What are you ladies doing here all alone?" Hmmmm.... I thought I was here with my friend....

Dr. Bob said...

Implied is: "How come you don't have a man to protect you from a-holes like me? You leave me no choice but to harass you. You have no one to blame but yourself."

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