Bars, Bars, Bars

There’s a joke I’ve seen circulating my social media feeds which I find particularly hysterical. The premise of the joke is a conversation between two people: the first person says, “you don’t need alcohol to have a good time,” and the second responds, “and you don’t need running shoes to go for a run, but it f***ing helps.”

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No matter what city you’re in, bars are truly some of the best places to meet people. Is someone out celebrating? Join in on the party. Is someone drinking alone? Give them someone to talk to. Is the bar empty? Chat with the bartenders or the bouncers, I promise you they have some of the best stories to tell. Oh yes people, my first legitimate blog post and we’re going to have a nice little exchange of drunken stories. I’ll tell you mine if you tell me yours.  Truly though, send me a message, I’d love to hear them.

This past weekend I went to Washington, D.C. to visit a very close friend whom I consider a younger sister of mine. Seeing that we’re both in our mid-twenties and enjoy having an alcohol induced evening, we decided to go bar hopping after grabbing dinner. The first bar we went to was a cool little cash-only dive bar on 18th St. called Dan’s Café, one of the oldest bars there. What makes Dan’s unique is the way they serve their liquor; while ordering a typical mixed drink in a cocktail glass is still an option for those preferring a more standard way of drinking; for those rebellious individuals who are too cool for a standard glass, they also offer squeeze bottles that they fill with ice and then empty a half-pint bottle into with a splash of mixer (don’t worry, they give you the remaining mixer straight in the can to use as a chaser you weaklings). Imagine a clear, unlabeled, refillable bottle of ketchup or BBQ sauce that you might find at a diner with the pointy tops, those are the squeeze bottles I’m talking about. All of this will cost you about $28, with a $5 refund once you return the bottle, but who cares about the logistics of money, right? Oh please, do read on.

We showed up about 9pm, so besides us, there were only two other customers there; needless to say it was pretty easy to chat up the bartender, a hysterical middle-aged man who could easily shoot the shit all night. I highly recommend getting to a bar early if your goal is to talk to the bartenders because once the bar starts to pick up and get busy conversation can become scarce, but assuming you’ve had at least a decent half-assed conversation thus far it’s unlikely you’ll wait long for a refill. Bars can also be an amazing place to people watch, just remember not to stare at someone because that’s just downright creepy. At one point after the bar had become packed a college-aged man came up behind me to order a drink, I was seated at the bar itself, however, instead of ordering a drink, he asked the bartender what he could get for $20. It was easy to see the frustration on the bartender’s face as soon as the words left the man’s mouth. Ladies and gentlemen – in my not so humble opinion, if you’re going to a cash-only bar, or any bar for that matter, never, NEVER ask what you can get for X amount of money. You sound like a child in a candy store and most bartenders don’t have the time to explain to you what is in your price range, especially if the bar is full. But again, this is only my opinion and may not be your experience so please don’t throw any rotten tomatoes at me, I much prefer fresh ones, at least then I can attempt at making a nice salsa. Anyway, as soon as the man got his drink and left, the person sitting on the opposite side of me from my sister began laughing hysterically. Have you ever had one of those moments when you and a complete stranger witness the same comical event, make eye contact, and immediately know what the other person is thinking? Aren’t they absolutely magical? That was one of those moments. We both knew what was running through each other’s minds, as a dear friend of mine once said, “what f***ing idiot let this person loose near a busy bar?”

Knowing that nothing was going to top that moment, I decided it was time to move onto another bar. (I’m so assertive and independent, I don’t need no man! But I’m single AF as the kids say, so… ‘sup? *Suggestive head nod*) We moved onto an Irish pub down the street called Shenanigans where my sister and I met a man who was not only celebrating his birthday, but his successful engagement as well. And let me tell you, that rock was blinding, #goals. No one likes celebrating alone, it’s just depressing, so like I said earlier join in on the party, most people will be glad for some company, and if you’re lucky enough you might just get a free drink out of it.

Drunken munchies man, gotta’ love ‘em. We finished our night out getting an empanada next door to split, ok well my sister got one for her and I stole a few bites like the typical white girl that I am, but never mind the details. Now before I continue, let me say that I’m a messy eater to begin with, it goes with my overall clumsiness and lack of grace. Being a messy eater and being drunk made for quite the show as my sister tried to hand feed me (so much for that strong independence, am I right?) needless to say that more filling ended up on our jackets than in our mouths. I can feel you judging us, stop it, I embrace my klutziness and you should too. It makes people laugh and if I can give someone else a moment of joy at my own expense, why not? Aren’t I just so selfless? You can build a statue in my honor, I’ll wait.

Now I’m not trying to write a book here, so I’ll finish up with two quick points. First, please don’t drink and drive. I’d be a liar if I said that I’ve never done it before, and thankfully nothing ever came of it, but as I look back, I realize how foolish and downright stupid it is. Get a cab, an Uber, a Lyft, call your mom, hell, ride a unicorn sh**ing rainbows home for all I care; but it’s not just your life on the line here. And secondly, please, please, please remember to always tip your bar staff. Don’t be a dick.

-Z

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