The weekend, however, is a different story. It is a chance to break free of the monotony!
If I decide to go to a bar on a Friday night, I will choose my company, and no one will be graced with my attention if I don't want to pay it out.
Imagine with me the following situation:
You're a female. You're sitting with a female friend in a classy restaurant/bar - not a dive - at the counter. She goes outside to make a call. Your bartender buddy (a male) is busy. You're in a part of town where there are no attractive males sitting down the bar from you.
What to do?
Pull out the phone, of course! Now's the time to surf the web, see what's going on with your favorite blogs, check your Facebook messages, etc.
So this is precisely what I chose to do when my friend went outside. I hear the guy to my right slowly shift his weight and turn towards me. He is a short, round, older man. In a gruff but wavering voice, like he's trying hard (but failing) to be macho and suave, he inquires:
"Hey, how's it going?"
"Fine, thanks."I respond shortly and continue typing, but more furiously this time. I pretend I am writing the world's most important work memo. Maybe a Very Important Text, perhaps. One of those, but I make it clear that I cannot be delayed, I cannot be bothered.
He disrupts again,
"So, how are you tonight?"
"Fine!"I responded almost as a challenge, using the most irritated voice I can muster. It wasn't difficult. I finish up what is actually a Facebook message as my friend comes back inside. Saved. We get back to talking. As we do, I study Bartender Buddy's interactions with Roly Poly "Gentleman" (you'll understand the quotes soon) closely. Bartender Buddy seems to not want to engage with this particular customer, makes himself distant despite the efforts of the "Gentleman" to be familiar. Bartender doesn't seem to like him.
An hour goes by, or so. Conversation is flowing, but I hear a man's voice mumble under his breath behind me.
"Hey, you stupid c---s. Hey, you stupid c---s. Why don't you get back on your iPhone? Get back on your iPhone!!"
I chose to ignore it. My female friend stops our conversation a few moments later.
"Hey girl, you might want to turn around. Looks like someone wants a little attention behind you... Seems like someone's woven up a little tight, ready to pounce or something."I turn to my right. I catch the "Gentleman" as he turns as well, to sit facing forward again. At this point, I have some tequila in me and I'm not afraid to set anyone straight.
I tell him I'm not stupid, and that I heard him. That his choice of words is completely inappropriate and unacceptable. I told him I was trying to have a conversation with the friend that I came with, so that I was sorry I didn't get to pay STAT attention to his mumbling, but that I'm sure it was directed at my friend and I. I told him I sure hope it wasn't directed to the female bartender who was taking great care of him. I told him none of us deserve that. That I was out on a Friday night to have a good time and do as I pleased and mind my own business. I choose the people I come with, the people I talk with, and will not spend my free time talking with anyone if I don't care to do so. That I have free will, and I will damn well play on my phone if I feel like it.
I was proud of my little speech. I was happy with myself for speaking up. I think it was the right thing to do - to let this guy know it is UNacceptable to call a woman the c- word if she refuses to flirt with you. Damn dude, offer to buy me a drink at least and then maybe we'll talk. But if I'm buying my own alcohol, don't you dare think for a second that I will be flirting with your lame ass self for free. Last time I checked, "Hey," isn't a pick-up line. Guys get rejected every day. Suck it up and move on.
And by the way, dude, catch up with technology. It's a Motorola, not an iPhone. Obviously he's too old to be trying to pick me up.
Instead of holding on to the good feelings I had post-speech, both bartenders quickly dismissed my complaint about this man. They hadn't heard his advances or his threats, just my public tell-off him - which I must say was given in an calm, even, and logical tone. The male bartender told me this guy was basically a VIP at the bar - comes in every weekend, is a big spender, has always been nice, and has never caused a problem before. They didn't want to create a scene because the owner was in the restaurant that night and he knew this was a good customer.
I told them I had been drinking, but I wasn't drunk. That I would swear by my same words tomorrow and the next day, stone-cold sober. Honestly, leaving that night, I was more stirred up by the fact they dismissed my concerns than by the older man's crude name-calling. I told them, good customer or not, it is not right for a man in any setting to say those words to a woman, and that it upset me.
The male bartender took Not-So-Gentleman outside and told him he would just drop it and they'd forget about the whole thing - just trying to save face for him so he'd keep coming back.
I thought that was a cop-out. I felt like no one believed me - that I had made up the story. The friend I was with even said she didn't hear those muttered c- words. I wanted to see that guy kicked out, told that the police would be up his buttcrack if he ever set one toenail in the plaza again. Guess I'm not VIP enough for that. (Yet, my friends. Yet.)
Several days later, I'm still downright pissed thinking about it all, which brings me here to write off some steam.
I think it just made me brew some more, actually.
I'm not sure I'll go back to that place.