Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Guest Post: Dawn Weiner's Guide to Drinking Alone for Women

Hey, folks. I got an email from a faithful reader earlier in the week in response to my guide to drinking alone. Dawn wanted to talk about the female side of the issue and I thought it was pretty interesting. So here's our first guest post, written by the lovely young Dawn Weiner. If you have something you think might make a good guest post, email us at hcarblog@gmail.com.

So I’m sitting at the bar, by myself, eating a sandwich. A guy comes up and sits next to me. He glances over at me a few times. He’s interested. I’m not. I’m eating a sandwich.

Me: (eating a sandwich)

Him: So do you come here often?

Me: (mouth full of sandwich and without looking at him): Yes

Him: That a good sandwich?

Me: (mouth full of sandwich and without looking at him): Yes

Him: What do you…

Me: (interrupting him midsentence): Do you mind? I’m trying to finish my sandwich.

Him: Sorry.

After a few minutes I finish my sandwich. It's delicious.

Him: So do you…

Me: Look, dude, I’m not interested in talking with you so could you please stop talking to me.

Just another mildly annoying interaction recalled from my many years as a solo female drinker in New York City bars.

There are several assumptions floating around about women alone at bars.

They are alone and want someone to talk to them, most likely a man.

They are alone because they wanted some quiet time out of the house and to be around people but not be with people.

They want to engage in a friendly chat, either with the bartender or other patrons.

They want to read a book/magazine/paper and drink.

These are all true.

They are alone because they want to get fucked up and maybe also get fucked (perhaps by the bartender or any of the guys sitting along the bar)

They are alone because they are a drunk and couldn’t find someone else to check out with.

These are not always true.

If you’re a woman drinking alone at a bar, the bartenders are your best friends. They keep an eye out for you in case some hooligans from the other end of the bar traipse over to harass you. This happened to me once. I had my laptop up on the bar and was doing some research when these drunk tourists came by and the drunkest one of all stood next to me and demanded that I engage in some conversation with him. I refused his advances. All of a sudden he started yelling at me about what a bitch I was, and then all of a sudden his buddies grabbed him. One of them said, “Lets get out of here man. Come on! We have to go NOW”. What happened? Well, the bartender caught wind of what was happening and took the drunk guy’s buddy aside. He told him that if his friend didn’t stop harassing me, he'd physically throw them all out of the bar.

Most women are afraid to go to bars alone. I’m one of the few among my friends that hasn't been. I don’t do it much anymore, and if I do it’s to my friendly neighborhood bar. But I was quite a successful lone female drinker for a while, there. Wherever I went. Men wanted to talk to me (usually without hitting on me) about interesting topics. I was nice and polite to all my bartenders, and tipped them very well. Once, some mysterious stranger somewhere told the bartender to bring the lonely girl (me) a drink. Thanks, dude, but I'm alone, not lonely. At the bars I frequented most, the male bartenders became extremely protective of me, making sure that the men I was talking to weren’t bothering me. And making sure to let them know right away, because they’d take care of them pretty quick otherwise.

I even made up a signal at this one joint, where I didn’t even know the bartender. This drunk guy was slobbering all over himself and screaming at me about lord knows what. I yelled out really loudly, “YO!” and held my hand up in the air. The bartender looked up and I took my arm down, pointed it at the dude and then thrust my hand toward the door. I said, “This guy needs to go!” The bartender nodded, jumped over the bar and shoved the guy out into the street.

Sometimes people feel sorry for you. Once at Union Square Cafe bar (the best place to eat, there, is at the bar). I was eating seriously the best fucking donuts I've ever had in my life. Half the bar looked over when they arrived and exclaimed "Oh, my God, what is that? Is it good?” I was working on a glass of 20 year Tawny port when a drunk rich lady took the seat next to me as I was polishing off the remainder of my drink and asked me if I was by myself. How sad it was that I was by myself! I told her that I was very happy considering that fresh tasty donuts and port make for excellent company.

Personally I have more fun at bars by myself than with my friends. With your girlfriends you’re always chatting about boys and junk, and leering desperately at the men around the bar that you’re all too afraid to talk to. By yourself, you keep your own pace, decompressing after a long work day or whatever. You don’t have to gaze intently into your friend’s eyeballs to ensure her that you are indeed listening as she blathers on about this boy and that blowjob. You are free to look around! And that is especially fun when there's a cute guy at the bar. You can eyefuck the shit out of him. Who cares? Maybe they’ll talk to you. Maybe he'll get scared and leave the bar and you’ll run to the window to watch him go. This actually happened.

Another great thing about drinking alone is that the bartender can become your friend (for the time being) and even your matchmaker. They know all the people in the room and can set you up. You can’t get to know your bartender when you’re with your gaggle of girls. But you should, because he or she's the most important person in the room. Besides protecting you from men, bartenders are a great source of entertainment. They're interesting people who have have lives beyond the bar. You can exchange boy dirt with a girlbartender. They’re usually tough and smart and have good stories. Boybartenders are usually good to look at, have an excellent sense of humor and sometimes are good for a romp in the sack. Also, friendly banter with your ‘tender increases the likelihood of a buyback.

Drinking alone is a fun activity. You've gotten your quiet time, a nice buzz going, increased your knowledge of various topics depending on who you were chatty with at the bar, read your magazine or book, talked with, or drunkenly smiled at, a cute guy at the other end of the bar. Now its time to go home and burn frozen sausages in the pan because you drank too much and passed out long before they were cooked. Or you are buzzed enough to chat with your parents about what you’re doing with your life. It's a pleasant conversation. Or maybe you drink more and sing loudly to various musicals you drunkenly bought on Itunes.

Whatever it is that you do when you get home, make sure you get home intact. Be aware of your surroundings while you walk home. Don’t call people on the way home because it will distract you. No Ipods neither. If you’re really blasted, take a car service and ask the driver to wait until you are inside your front door. Be safe.

--Dawn Weiner

photo totally stolen from internet


  1. What a nice blog, let me say that you have what some people call: ''writer's wood'', no really,
    this could be the best thing i've ever read since that last post of ''Tabasco's Grill'' by Henry Townsend, i can't wait
    for another masterpiece of yours!!!! =)

    Vincenzo Aquafresca (vincenzoaquafresca@gmail.com)
    4853 Tully Street
    Dearborn, MI 48126

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