Wednesday, March 19, 2008

When what you want to say is "Talk to your own friend!"

I feel like a lot of the time, guys in bars act as if you're obligated to talk to them. You're out in a bar, after all. You must be interested in talking to a guy.



Laura and I caught up at the Saloon the other night. I love that place. There's no standing, so you have to sit. Which means you're always seated, and you never have people shoving against you.

It's great. Unless you're seated next to a troglodyte.

We sat at the bar and had a couple drinks and ate pistachios. She had just come from yoga, and so, while dressed nicely, was post-sweaty and gross. And I'd just come from the hair salon, so had a bunch of product in my hair and was all trying to figure out what was up with it.

We all have our issues, you know?

Anyway, we were sitting there, chatting, enjoying our pistachios, giggling, and just generally keeping each other highly entertained.

There had been two Persian guys sitting next to us, one of whom was talking to Laura before I arrived, and so we'd wished them happy new year as they left, and then had turned back to our conversation, paying no attention to who had filled their places.

There was the briefest of pause in conversation when the guy to my left said, "You know, I was going to talk to you, but this is really hilarious."

I turned and said, "Excuse me?"

"Well, you know, we're sitting here, and you two are having this very intense conversation, so I'm waiting for a break. And then, just as you stop talking, I look at your hand, and whoa! You've got a ring! And so just as I'm going to say something funny to get your attention, that's when I realize that it's pointless."


The thing is, if you're funny, Laura and I will chat with you. Even if you're the biggest farter in the bar. We like to be amused.

But when we go out, it's to catch up. So while we will engage in random conversation, it's not the reason we go out. And if you're not funny, and insist on talking, at some point, well, honestly.

So. There was a little more talk about the ring. I was engaged? Yes. Was this real? Yes. Blah blah blah.

I tried to turn back to my conversation with Laura, but he was persistent. At this point I think it was really about having our attention, and not about hitting on us.

"Wow. Now I get the reason guys want you to wear a ring. It's all 'she's taken!'"

"Yes, that's exactly what it's about. Kind of like peeing on your leg to mark territory."

He looked uncomfortable. "Well, I wouldn't say it's like that."

"No, it's like that. I think it's just like that. Although of course I'd rather have a ring than have someone pee on my leg."

You'd think this would have deterred him, since he wasn't sharp enough to just run with it. But no.

At some point his friend reached over for a napkin, as he'd spilled some water on his sleeve.

Laura pointed and said, "I think your friend needs some help with his sleeve."

"You think we're gay!"

What do you say to this? "No, I think you're juvenile and incredibly irritating? Talk to your friend - he's just sitting there cringing over your behavior?"

We said nothing.

He then asked if we worked in some senator's office. It was seriously like having a bratty kid saying whatever possible, just to get you to respond.

Neither of us are rude, but we turned back to our own conversation. What do you say? Stop talking to me?

Because why waste your time with people you don't want to talk to, when you see your friends so rarely?


  1. Well I think on some level you desire attention even if you are taken. Otherwise, why wouldn't you have that conversation with her in your living room instead of a bar with overpriced drinks and horny creepy persians? It's validation in a "mama's still got it, bitchez" kinda' way. It's like how I like headhunters to call me even though I have no desire to leave my job.

    As for the leg peeing thing, I think it's better than a ring. Peeing is free, and most guys will sleep with a girl with a nice ring without giving it a second thought, but few guys will sleep with a girl who smells like pee...

  2. Totally disagree about the attention! I don't have yummy beer on tap at home, and when you go out, someone else is pouring your drinks and making your food. And the Persians were nice - it was the tool who took one of their seats who was annoying.

    As for the leg make a very good point. But it would have to be daily leg peeing, which would just be a weird ritual. Plus you can wear a ring to work.

  3. Yes, actually, if they don't get the hint I say "stop talking to me. I'm not interested." Because you're right, I don't see my friends enough to waste time talking to troglodytes.

  4. why wouldn't you have that conversation with her in your living room

    because i like to think that being female doesn't have to relegate me to hermit status :) lisa's right - obviously - there are many pros to meeting people out and about sometimes, and it's a pain in the ass to have to worry that just by virtue of being in the "public square" men will assume that they are entitled to your attention.

  5. kate d: it's not conscious, but it is there. why do you think men play sports in front of spectators? it's because even though conciously they think it's to prove who's the best, subconciously the purpose insn't to win, but for others to see you win. A remnant of cavemen DNA perhaps?

    And I'm sure Lisa doesn't dress nice in front of the fiance and dress like i schlub in front of others. Humans are social creatures and part of the human experience is getting joy from the approval of others even if you are not interested in them romantically (otherwise why would women bother with nice shoes when only other women notice?).

  6. Before going to a bar, sprinkle yourself with pasteurized wolf urine.

  7. Thank goodness Rich suggested that the wolf urine be pasteurized.

    The unpasteurized urine is for keeping the deer out of Betty's garden.

    (I think you might consider wielding the ring like a weapon.)

  8. It's tough being pretty. Comes with the territory!

  9. ninja, this is just to say that i think your point - while relevant in a big picture kind of way - doesn't really function when you get down to lisa's point, which is inherently "please don't continue to talk to me when i'm evidently interested in not reciprocating" in terms of "attention" and "approval," there's a mile-wide gulf between simply observing someone and insisting on their attention, right?


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