So I’ve never quite understood this custom of buying drinks for women in bars. I mean where is the challenge in that? Plus it seems to add additional pressure to a situation that is already charged with too much pressure to begin with. Buy your own drink, Sugar; all I have to offer is interesting conversation – and lots of it.
But anyway, the other night I found myself alone seated at the bar of a fairly nice restaurant in the heart of suburbia ordering a plate of fish to act as a late dinner top-off to an afternoon of drinking with friends. I like this alone time. I bring the newspaper. I do the crossword. If the bartender happens to be a bartendress all the much better. On this particular evening, the bartendress (let’s call her Mindy mostly because I haven’t a clue what her real name is) and I were getting along quite well (and by quite well I mean Mindy talked to me about things other than the menu, she called me sweetheart, and while she was serving me my basket of bread, she brushed up against me lightly); the camaraderie between Mindy and me was fueled by the fact that Mindy was pregnant -- but only slightly pregnant. This immediately took the pressure off, and I felt like I could ask her anything. I discussed with her an article in the food section of the newspaper that claimed that in times of stress people turned to cheese for comfort. Mindy disagreed and said chocolate was her choice. Mindy and I laughed at this.
But Mindy and I were not alone. Seated five empty barstools down from me were two attractive cougars (let’s call them Laura and Meg) enjoying a glass of wine and chatting amicably between themselves – as is the custom with attractive cougars. “Oh, what to do?” I thought. I had finished my fish, I had drunk my last martini, I had solved the remaining clues of the crossword puzzle. “Mindy,” I said, “I need to go, but I want to buy those two ladies at the end of the bar a drink, and then I am going to get up and leave. Do you think that would be ‘dorky’ or ‘mysterious’?” Mindy replied with a tone that made me think she wasn’t being truthful. “Mysterious,” she said. Naturally I agreed, and so as Mindy refilled the wine glasses of Laura and Meg, I retreated into the dark night, a genuine man of mystery muttering to my myself, “Phew, I escaped from there just in time. Imagine the pressure.”