Lady Smarts: How to Visit a Bar Alone

Written by Meredith Russo on . Posted in NY Press Exclusive.


Photo via Flickr/byronv2

Sometimes a lady just wants to enjoy a glass of wine, some candlelight, and a little ambient activity without the bother of making plans or, quite frankly, conversation.

Unfortunately, ever since Eve solo-drank her first Appletini and damned us all, visiting even the coziest bar alone and unbothered has become nearly impossible. Until now. So pull up a barstool, swirl your Syrah, and order that charcuterie board – you’re not going anywhere.

How to visit a bar alone and in peace:

  1. Be a dude.
  2. If Step 1 is within reach, you may stop reading and go directly to your bar of choice. If not, read on.
  3. Stop showering. Give it a few days.
  4. As for what to wear, where do I begin? You know best what looks worst on you. Wear that.
  5. If you’re truly lost – or for some strange reason don’t own unflattering, man-repelling clothes – I’d be happy to lend you some.
  6. When entering the bar, go straight to an open seat. Look for one next to a built-in barricade, like a column, or another loud woman.
  7. Order two drinks.
  8. This makes it look as though you may have company after all. Perhaps he or she is using the facilities. It’s been an hour but perhaps you guys just finished dinner at an Indian restaurant. Perhaps he or she simply suffers from IBS. Regardless, once IBS is out there, no one will be hitting on anything.
  9. That second drink also makes it impossible for anyone to buy your next. Even if they do manage to get past your IBS-suffering boyfriend in the bathroom.
  10. And if you’re worried about getting drunk and taking advantage of yourself, make the second drink a Shirley Temple.
  11. Drain your face of all emotion. Pleasant indifference is your companion for the night.
  12. Resist scowling at the guy who keeps trying to make eye contact from across the bar. Your scowl, his invitation.
  13. If someone does approach, just start acting really fucking weird.
  14. Take any usual filter and drop it in that cute little tea light. Watch it go up in flames and describe how you’re “drifting into smoke and ashes, like the memory of loves lost in labors unfound.”
  15. In fact, mention love. A lot. Like, until he leaves.
  16. Everyone will expect you to bring a book. They know the trick, and they’ll use it against you. Bring a whole stack of books instead.
  17. Inevitably, someone will purse his lips, furrow his brow, and say, “That book any good?”
  18. Eh, you’ll say. Don’t think you’d like it. “Try me,” he’ll say.
  19. Well, it’s about a girl who goes to a bar to read her book.
  20. He’ll smirk and tilt his head at your witty banter – how playful! – but you’ll continue.
  21. No one will just let her fucking read, you’ll say. So she finally puts the book down and talks to the man. The two of them leave together. To his place. But then, before he can even slip his key into the lock, comes the climax: she stabs him. Dead.
  22. “Bye,” he’ll say. Take care, you’ll say, as you motion for another glass of wine and turn the page.

 

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