Let the record show that I am not a teetotaler. When I go to a Rangers game, I sure do want to eat a hot dog and crack open an ice cold beer. At the end of a long hard day, I love to sit back and sip a nice glass of wine to take the edge off. I don’t have anything against alcohol. I also don’t have anything against people who chose to abstain from drinking. These are personal decisions, and to each his own. As Jen, A PriorFatGirl so aptly puts it – “My body, my decision. Your body, your decision.”
Now, that having been said, let’s just have a real honest little chat about my less than glamorous experience in Uptown a couple weeks ago. The urban meet-n-greet-n-get-way-too-friendly-way-too-fast scene known as “the bars,” was, as I’ve already said, a relatively unexplored territory for me. Had I done it before? Sure. Had I ever enjoyed it? Heck no. I was always the girl who ended up having some inebriated goober wander my way to ask the inevitable “Hey, izzatyerfrind? Sheeees so hot. Can I.. dooooya think I havachanz? Can, can you tellerIthinksheezhot?” I once was at a bar with a group of girlfriends and some random guy bought shots and had them delivered to everyone I was with. Everyone except me. Awkward much?
Suffice it to say, when invitations for a night on the town go out, I generally make it a practice to be busy re-organizing my sock drawer. But hey, it’s time to try new things right? Throw caution to the wind. Put on the war-paint we call makeup and head out to get mah par-tay on. We started the night at the far end of the Uptown strip at a well-known karaoke bar. That was actually pretty fun. The entertainment was beautifully bad, everyone was fresh and in good spirits. We all ordered drinks and caught up on the weeks events and made fun of the guy doing his best to belt out a really warped version of a current pop song.
After we’d finished the first drink and the initial mingling had been taken care of, we moseyed on down the street to a more crowded pub. Now, when I say crowded, I’m being pretty generous. Generally speaking, I like to believe (perhaps naively) that I own a certain amount of air space around my head. My air, my air particles. I don’t particularly want to share them with you, and if you’re taller than me, I definitely don’t want to be sharing my air with your armpits.
By the time we finally squeezed our way through the deck and up to the bar, I was already starting to feel tense. When everyone started ordering their next rounds, I realized that someone needed to be the designated driver. The bar tender leaned over the sticky wooden counter to get close to my face. He wiped the back of his hand across a sweaty forehead and then wiped his nose. “WHAT CAN I GET YOU!!??” he bellowed.
“Water,” I said dryly.
“WATER?” he rolled his eyes. With his tainted hand, he grabbed a tumbler and tossed three ice cubes into it. Then he grabbed the soda hose and filled it about halfway up. He picked up the tumbler and forcefully slammed it down in front of me. About half of what had been in there sloshed out the side, and the haphazardly placed lemon fell off the edge of the glass. By the time I looked up from the damage, he was long gone. I grabbed what was left of my “drink” and walked over to join my friends. Since there was no seating available, they had stationed themselves near the door in a tight little circle. I squeezed in between two of my friends.
“I got a water.”
“Oh, nope. Not what I said. Nobody’s hotter. I said I got water.”
To be fair, we were having some good laughs at that point. There were a few funny stories that got told – inside joke type of things that everyone is already familiar with. It pretty quickly devolved into everyone just staring at each other and smiling though. The louder it got, the harder it was to hear each other. Thirty minutes later, we had put down our glasses and were making our way to bar number three. I think my fun-meter had peaked earlier in the evening. Old Lady that I am, I kind of wanted to be in bed by now. I started to have an inkling that maybe this just wasn’t my bag.
Bar number three turned out to be another karaoke bar. Only in this one, the music was ear-splitting loud. (Admittedly, I am a misfit in my generation. I hate super loud music. The only time I really enjoy it is if I’m rocking out in my car for a limited amount of time.) I drank another glass of water. Liquid courage had set in, and we were introducing ourselves to the people around us. Karaoke was quickly becoming a team sport. During a particularly deafening chorus of “I’ve Got Friends In Low Places,” I excused myself to sidle up to the bar for a refill on my agua. Suddenly, a beefy arm from out of nowhere was smashed up against mine. I could feel my air particles being sucked away. I turned my head to look at the intruder.
“Hiiiyaaayyiii. Pretty lady. Yer a prettylady.”
“Ok, thank you.” I turned back to the bartender.
“Hey, did I tell you that you are sssthhhsssththsooooo beautiful?” As he slurred out the “s,” spittle flew from his mouth and onto my cheek. I wiped it away with one hand and turned to face him again.
“Can I buy you a drink? I love to buy beautiful ladiessssththhssss a drink.”
Ok, first of all, you spit on me. Game over. Second of all, I’m pretty sure you’d propose to a pineapple right now if I put one in front of you and told you it’s name was Lisa. So why don’t you take your crazy eyes and go dance with that ficus tree in the corner and leave me the heck alone.
“No thanks. I’m the designated driver tonight.”
It seemed like the night went on forever. My hair and clothing had started to reek of cigarette smoke. By the time everyone agreed they were tired and it was time to go home, I couldn’t have been more relieved.
All in all, here’s what I discovered about myself that night:
- Drinking to excess reminds me a lot of eating to excess. I’ve fought hard to learn how to enjoy good things in normal, healthy doses, and that goes for everything I put into my body. If I can see that it doesn’t make sense to devour an entire pan of brownies, why would I think it’s ok to inhale 5,6,7,10,12 alcoholic drinks?
- My air particles, not yours. Definitely not your armpits’. Nuff said.
- If you have to be drunk to find me attractive, I have a hard time being flattered by your advances.
- I’ve worked hella hard to get my body into this shape. I know exactly how many veggies, how many nights and weekends at the gym, how many drops of sweat, how many pulled muscles, how many stupid trees, how many dollars spent on trainers, tears shed over crumbled self-esteem, and hours spent sifting through my “thought life” and retraining my mind to focus on truth and positive thoughts it took to get my body to where it is now. This body is the product of hard work. And you don’t get to just touch it for free. So back off Jack. Do not slide up behind me and try to put your hands in places where they don’t belong. Get sober. Ask me on a proper date. Take me out for dinner. Ask me about my interests. Treat me like a lady. Appreciate my mind. THEN we can talk about you appreciating my body.
- I didn’t feel any better about myself as a result of that experience. But I did smell like a dirty ashtray when I went to bed.
- For a lot of people, the bar scene is where it’s at, and that’s cool. More power to you. For me, not so much. Live and learn, and then blog about it.
One more thing – I didn’t always see things this way. Experience is a great teacher. I’ve arrived at these conclusions because I have made the mistake of not respecting myself or my body in the past. Some lessons are learned the hard way.