Thursday, July 5, 2012

Rules you can actually use

My dear readers, I hope you had a lovely mid-week holiday. My lovely roommate and I ventured out last night for a very American dinner at one of our local mexican restaurants. Nothing says Independence Day like a pitcher of margaritas and some awesome salad. While we were there, we heard the servers complain in astonishment about a couple who ran out on a $75 check and we witnessed a drunk man a) fall asleep at his table, and b) walk down the street carrying a glass of iced coffee that the waitstaff made for him. A real glass. He just took it and walked down the street. His server decided it wasn't worth the trouble to chase him.

This made me think of one of the earliest lessons my dad ever taught me: do not fall asleep on/at the bar. Perhaps not an appropriate lesson for a 7 year old, but it has served me well since then. I thought that I would impart some other lessons to you, my dear readers! Think of this as The Rules if The Rules was actually helpful to your life.

not pictured: the drunk dude just to the left outside the frame.

* Do not fall asleep on/at the bar. You will be kicked out and it's really bad form.

* NEVER dine and dash. How can you live with yourself if you do this? Seriously. If you don't have the money to go out, don't go out.

* If you cannot afford to tip, you cannot afford to drink. That's it. There is no way around this.

* Not that this ever happened to me* but if you manage to get yourself thrown out of a bar, do not argue, do not fight. Go quietly. You may not return to that bar or restaurant for a full 2 weeks AT LEAST.

* If you return to a bar you were thrown out of, be as quiet and courteous as possible. Tip heavily. Be nice. Don't bring it up.

* Know what you want to drink before you start speaking to the bartender. There are probably lots of people waiting for drinks and your hemming and hawing is not cute. It is one thing to ask what beers are on tap, it is an entirely different thing to stand there being like, "Hrmm, what do I want? What. Do. I. Want. Do I want a gin rickey? Noooo....Maybe a glass of wine? Um, come back to me..." That bartender is never coming back, my friend.

* Similarly, know where you are. Don't order a margarita in a brew pub. Don't ask for a lager at a wine bar. If you're not sure, pay attention to what everyone is drinking and let that help you make an informed decision.

* But it's okay to get suggestions sometimes if you are stymied and the bar isn't jam packed.
WRONG: "What do you like to drink here?"
RIGHT: "I really like dark beers, especially porters. Do you have anything close on tap?"

* Brew pubs or places with interesting draft lists that constantly change are the best places to ask for a taste or a sample so that you know what you're getting before you order a full glass.

* No more than 2 samples, though. Seriously. That's just rude.

* There is never any need to make a big deal out of not wanting alcohol in a bar. Just order your club soda and leave it at that.

* Oh! Bartenders and the like are on your side! A few years ago my friend found out she was pregnant but wasn't ready to tell the world. Unfortunately, she had a number of occasions of going out with friends who would know something was up if she didn't drink. So she conspired with the bartender to give her a seltzer and cranberry juice with a lime in the same glass it would be served if that seltzer was vodka. The bartender thought the game was fun and the friend got to keep her secret until she was ready to announce.

* Always be nice and engage with your bartender but never be fooled into thinking a cute bartender is going to make out with you. They are not. (USUALLY. That is another story for another time.)

* Tip well, smile, be polite, have fun!

*Bachelorette party 9 years ago. Cuba Libre. I've never been back.

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