Learning Bar Ettiquette

By: Brad Manock


         bar   Being a very socially awkward person, I tend to stay away from bars. Why? Bars are usually a place where obnoxious people go, or people with friends. I am currently 21 years old but I have never been into drinking alcohol or going to bars. Nobody ever sits you down to explain what is and is not expected in a bar environment. So what happens when an awkward 21 year old gets into a situation where they need to figure out this “bar” stuff on the fly? That is what I will be discussing in this article.


“Get My Girlfriend a Drink Bro”

            The story begins on a July night. We were at an outdoor summer-festival type of event. One of my best friends had a girlfriend at the time who was not yet of drinking age. Apparently what had been happening is that my friend had been going inside to the bar and ordering alcohol for her pretty much all day. At around 11p.m. my friend turns to me and says “I have been getting my girlfriend drinks all day so the bartenders are getting suspicious, can you go into the bar and get a ‘bloody mary’ for her, I’ll give you money.”

            At this point I am feeling uncomfortable. I had never ordered stuff in a bar before and was overthinking some of the more basic questions. Was there some kind of line I had to wait in, what kind of manners were expected, what if I do something wrong and look stupid?” I tried to explain that I wouldn’t get his underage girlfriend drinks in as delicately of a way as I could. However my friend said “just give the drink to me…then ‘I’ll’ give it to her” The other people who happened to be standing in that circle of friends watched and listened closely, obviously understanding how my embarrassment was about to be their entertainment.


Opening the Bar Door

            Since the “beer tent” was closed for the night, the bar was all that was left. This also means that EVERYONE was crammed into this tiny bar. The bar door opened inwards, so I ended up bumping into people awkwardly as soon as I entered. The bar was so packed that I could not make it to the front to order a drink. Apparently the way you get to the front of the bar is to use your social skills, so a half hour later I made it to the front of the bar.


Getting to the Front

            All of the people in this bar were in circles of people who were having fun and engaging in conversations. It was a very loud, chaotic, environment which I was clearly out of place. Since all of the bar stools were occupied, I ended up having to lean in-between two people. After another couple of minutes the bar-tender, who was an older man with a large beard, shot me an annoyed look and asked me what I wanted. I said “can I get a bloody mary please.” The bar-tender, who had clearly been working all day long said “WHAT?!” The bar was very noisy so I did not think it was odd that he did not hear me so I increased my volume and said as boldly as I could “could I get a bloody mary please.” The bar-tended had a pissed off look at that point “you want a fucking bloody mary?!” At that point I had understood that when he said “what” the first time, that he had heard me but he was giving me a chance to change my statement. At that point it was too late to back out.

            I had realized that when I was arguing with the bar-tender to get me a bloody mary, I was having the argument that my friend’s girlfriend would have been having. This girl was kind of a bitch that controlled my friend and at that moment I realized that I had become a puppet of a puppet that she controlled.


No Worchester Sauce??

            The pissed off bar-tender went to the station with all of the drink ingredients. He came back and said “we don’t have any Worchester sauce” which is apparently an ingredient to make bloody marys. One of the people sitting on the bar stools beside me said “well that was kind of rude!” I thought maybe I had broken some kind of bar-code by asking for a bloody mary so late at night. I timidly replied “sorry I just turned 21 and I’m not really sure how all the stuff here works, did I do something rude?” The man, who also had a large beard and was clearly wasted, said “no he was being rude, he shouldn’t have said that to you.” I breathed a sigh of relief after I understood that this bar-tender was just an asshole and that I didn’t do anything wrong.


What Do You Want Instead?

            Since I had already gone through the ordeal up to that point, I felt that it would be very suspicious if I simply turned around and walked out of the bar. So I asked for something with tequila in it, I had drank tequila on my 21st birthday and knew I liked it. The other bartender suggested a tequila sunrise and made it for me. If I am going to go through a very stressfully awkward situation like that, I need to have something to show for it. I walked back onto the street with my glass with the tequila sunrise in it. My friend’s girlfriend was like “what the fuck where is my bloody mary that took you forever!?” I calmly explained that they did not have the ingredients so I just got this instead, she took my tequila sunrise and drank about a quarter of it before I could explain that I had bought it for me. So I finished my drink, walked back into the bar, and put the glass on the table. I don’t know what I am supposed to do with the used glasses, fuck it.


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