Seems like a majority of drinking establishments I frequent these days have young women behind the bar. They also tend to be dressed somewhat provocatively. No surprises there. Bars are filled with men, many of whom enjoy their drinks mixed with a healthy amount of eye-raping opportunities. Most female bartenders seem pretty OK with that if it means more tips. And some are super-OK with it because they engage these male customers with semi-flirtatious banter. Y'know, some "what can I getcha, honey" this and "here ya go, darlin'" that. And, of course, the laughter. Anything some aging, useless putz on a stool has to say about anything gets a big, flirty laugh. Just part of the game. No one gets hurt (except maybe the world-weary stereotypically Irish male bartender who can't get a friggin' gig in this T&A-based business model.)
Seamus McMurphy: hails from Limerick, knows how to make 50 plus drinks and hasn't worked in five years.
But what kills me is watching bartenders flirt up patrons who fall for it. Guys who think, "Hey this chick really likes me. She laughs at my jokes and doesn't charge me for every fourth round." Yeah, some guys are just happy for the attention and looking for something to slip into the spank bank, but you can tell the guys who think more's going on. They try to buy these barmaids shots and get mad when they see her laughing at other patrons' jokes. (Usually, mine. Sorry, fellas, it's tough love. You were bound to find out sooner or later, and, trust me, she's not sleeping with me either.) And then there's the tell-tale sign: They overtip like motherfuckers. (You'd be surprised how well people who bang moms tip.)
"See anything you like? I could be talking about booze or sex! LULZ!!!"
This one really breaks my heart: people leaving social media statuses designed merely to give certain people shit without naming names or being specific. Statuses left by friends excluded from plans, or in the middle of a fight. Half-hearted vitriol spewed by spurned lovers. Facebook and Twitter are the best vehicles for passive aggression since the silent treatment or closing drawers too loudly. It's a very tempting thing to do, and I'm sure I've done it myself even though I'm usually like super good at telling people to go to hell directly. But that's me: A debater, a hasher-outer, an insufferable pain in the ass. I'm always more afraid spaces will grow between me and friends -- not from critical words -- but from things left unsaid. Those awkward, unspoken resentments that sit invisibly between you and everyone you care about. For the record, I'm in the minority on that one. Most people prefer a good silent swallowing of concern. But something that everyone can probably agree on is the need to address those feelings for real or just shut up. Bringing it up halfway online where written words count even less than speech helps no one. Specifically, I'm talking about statuses like:
- Aww, it's OK. I didn't want to go to that party anyway.
- At times like these I value all the really good friends I have who would never dream of letting sincere differences of opinion get in the way of friendship.
- Don't be surprised you got burnt little boy. I'm a tigress.
- You give some people love, but what do you get? A slap in the face.
- Apparently some friends don't value honesty.
- I can't believe how many ignorant people there are in the world. Get informed, then talk.
Why is this so sad? It's not because these people are in pain or even because they can't seem to speak directly to whomever has made them feel that way. It's that for a moment they take pride in this act of assertion, believing they have accomplished something. And all they've done is show off their wounds to a group of e-friends, while simultaneously pretending they're too cool to really be in pain, or that the people they're addressing aren't even worthy of being identified. But of course you are (usually), and of course they are (usually). That's why you go back to being friends with or dating them again. And then you have to do that chilly thing where you delete the status and pretend it never happened.
"Oh, hey. How did that status get there? Silly Facebook-whiny-emo-virus!"
Quick rule of thumb: When someone you care about makes you sad and you feel like writing a status? Don't. All you're doing is spreading the sad. Pick up the phone. Sort your stuff. Then leave a status about how you thought your friend Chuck was a prick, but you've got it all worked out now.
For more from Gladstone, check out 5 Sleazy Strategies for Turning Any Movie Date into Sex and 8 Ways Suburban Apathy Got Me Through Irene: A Hero's Story.