Wednesday, May 03, 2006

TAN & The Bartending Muse (Day 2)

I have developed a crush on a bartendress. But it’s not a specific image of her that is distracting me, it’s more the idea of her. And thus I have dubbed her The Bartending Muse, and I am currently chronicling my pursuit/stalking/wooing of her. The saga begins here.

My notes from Day 2 are below:


So we had the initial meeting a couple weekends ago. And the second encounter popped off about a week later. I didn't want to wait a week to resume wooing, but the schedule didn’t work out. I still only had access to the BM when she was working, which was a couple nights a week, so limited window. No 3-4 days waiting, full 7.

So on the night she was working, I planned to stop by. Again, I'm not completely obsessed by any means, just sort of intrigued by the challenge/prospect. So I can play it cool. Not planning to camp out at her bar, I'd just stop by, let her know what's up, flash some of the TAN charm, and then meet up with another friend of mine who was out also. But as it turns out the friend’s plans fell through, so he just joined me at the home of the Bartending Muse (incidentally, I don’t say “the bartending muse” with the fellas, lest I'm forced to escape to New Hampshire Vito style). Once my friend arrived, I settled in for a long night of poaching bartender.

The spot was significantly less busy than the first meeting, and my friend and I parked ourselves at the bar, right in front of the BM, and the quality time would commence.

Overall, it had the feel of a group date. I had my friend to talk to. And she had her friends (the other patrons at the bar), but we were still able to touch base and get some decent conversation time … over drinks.

We started off slow. I didn’t have a ton to work with in the first meeting, and after a week, I admittedly was playing it a little herby in the early going. Very passive aggressive. Non committal. Conservative. The most important step in any wooing is getting over the hurdle of putting yourself out there. The hurdle is labelled "rejection," and some people are natural hurdlers, some are not. But regardless, once you clear that hurdle, you’re good to go. Game on.

Now she actually made the hurdles a little higher by not remembering (or pretending not to remember) some of the "funny talk" we had going from the first meeting. This is where the partner/wingman helps out, as you can buffer the situation, and find the rhythm. By yourself, you might get a little sensitive or defensive when she doesn't remember how you used sign language to order your ketel and cran. But with a pardner, you can say, "oh word, you don't remember? Ok, well I"m just gonna talk to my boy about the upcoming NFL draft. You go serve drinks." And then pick it up later.

In hindsight the initial misfires seemed to be standard second-time-meeting-a-person-whom-you-first-met-serving-drinks-at-a-bar awkwardness. As we settled in, she started giving positive signs, remembered (or pretended to remember) our particular banter from the week before, I cleared the hurdle, and we were off and running.

Now even while running, there’s still a little bit of the “she’s the bartender working for a tip” question going. One thing with wooing the bartender is you have to be flexible. And have a high tolerance. It's a lighter version of dating or wooing a stripper. And it can be tough to get a consistent convo flow with the bartender. You might have a hot story, or the perfect retort, and just as you're about to unleash it, she raises her index finger and says, "wait, hold that thought..." and she leaves to serve a customer, or five. Sucks. On the flip side, if she's coming back to you, and you're getting a lot of eye contact when she's pulling the tap, and she’s sharing personal info ... then you feel special, maybe a little extra empowered because it's easy for bartenders to avoid a stalker. There are plenty of distractions. They're working. So those otherwise normal signs demonstrate a little more pro-active interest on her part. And that's the situation we had going here.

So after a couple hours, I’m thinking about the segue into the exchange of contact info. And that's when she decides to mention that she’s seeing someone. Not only that, she mentions it in the context of a story that had nothing to do with the guy. Something like, "yeah, I'm seeing this guy, and as it turns out the supermarket was all out of peanut butter AND jelly. Can you believe it?" So obviously an eyebrow is raised at that. But then she follows that up quickly by changing the "seeing" to "we're just sort of dating." And later interrogating reveals she's only known the guy a few weeks, so nothing too serious.

I make a few jokes about "eliminating" this other guy, which she responds to, and eventually we get off this subject, and into more casual banter/information reconaissance. But then some chaos in the bar led to us not being able to talk for the last hour and she left before I could push the issue or initiate the Information Exchange.

So we've got a "I'm seeing someone," followed by an immediate correction. We have eye contact and special attention throughout the night, but she left without saying a word. Though admittedly, I got a little distracted at the end.

At the end of the night we’re left with some positive, some negative, and an ellipsis that leads us into Day 3 of the saga of TAN & The Bartending Muse ...


  1. i can't wait to read the rest of this.....

  2. Distracted you got a little distracted at the end of the visit...was this because she was seeing someone, or where you craning your neck at the women at other places heh heh...distracted? Maybe you don't love her.

    Enjoying this as well TAN!

    I feel all nervous for you...maybe even giddy.

  3. p.s. please tell me you haven't told anyone else (especially her) that you call her job "bartendress".

  4. Well there's definitely some mixed signalage going on there. i was trying to think of something pithy to say about perseverance. I got nothing.

  5. Dude, she's just not that into you.

  6. She let you know she is seeing someone after giving you attention. The way it was worked in to the conversation may have been awkward, but she wanted to get it out of the way and be able to move on from there. I respect that. Especially since the guy is someone she hasn't known long but wanted to be fair.

    The plot thickens as mystery and intrigue permeate the story. Will BM exchange contact information with Patrice? Will Patrice be forced to follow her home dressed as a garbage can in order to see where she lives without being spotted?

    Don't touch that remote!

    (Fun story, Patrice, I'm enjoying it)

  7. Anonymous5/03/2006

    this sounds like an obsession to me. Way too many details. What was she wearing? Did she put extra alcohol in your drinks?

  8. Anonymous5/03/2006

    Furthermore-- I'll tell you one thing-- if she reads this you can expect all hopes for romance between you two to be swept down the tubes--

  9. well knowing TAN's eye for detail, I bet there could be more. I don't think it's automkatic if she reads this you'll be in the doghouse. She might like being put on a pedestal and the attention. We'll see what day 3 holds I guess eh?

  10. Anonymous5/03/2006

    Did you tell her about your blog TAN?

  11. The "Seeing someone" line is a classic female defense mechanism, and I think the fact that she is technically working for tips, as you noted, puts an interesting wrinkle in the situation. I've dated waitresses before who've confided about the extra flirting for a better tip. Of course, their customers weren't TAN, so the example may not fly.

    I'm pulling for you, but I'm thinking it looks doubtful...waiting for installment III.

  12. Anonymous5/03/2006

    I dunno, I LOVE this blog, but if the first I heard about it was to be informed I was the subject of multiple posts, I'd RUN! (to a judge for a restraining order)

  13. No No TAN hasn't gone overboard. This is okay, it might even be flattering. You sound like you are super cautious, not scary or anything. Now if she rejects you and then you start posting photos from her garbage, reciepts form your drinks bought from her and and stealing glasses from her bar...well THEN we should be worried.

    Besides whats wrong with making new friends...oh ok thats lame to a guy right?

  14. I'm with candy minx, I would be flattered, not put off by it.

  15. Anonymous5/03/2006

    yeah, I might be a little unnerved initially. But once I checked out the rest of the blog i'd be EXCITED. TAN's the MAN, ... but not if MAN stands for Miss Assimilated Negro of course.

    it's also a problem if she doesn't like assimilated negroes, for some reason.

  16. Anonymous5/03/2006

    Love this blog and mostly lurk...looking forward to the next installment....just don't scare the girl, eh?

  17. I don't think your being too scary. I know MANY women who plot things like this.

  18. Anonymous5/04/2006

    Perhaps I missed it, or perhaps it doesn't matter. But in a way it does. What is this beerwench's hue? Is she St. Pauli Girl or more... "ethnic"?
    Seeing as I've never seen a black woman bartending in a mixed bar outside of the cinema, I'm guessing St. Pauli.
    Good luck in any case!

  19. I think the fact she said she was seeing someone then corrected herself to say "we're just sort of dating" says alot. I think she's leaving the window open a bit but closed enough to reject you if she isn't into you. I find it very clever really.

    Best of luck though.

  20. Anonymous5/08/2006

    I'm rooting for you TAN. Maybe you should take a collection or something and then use it as some sort of gift. just a thought. if she did discover this, that could help take the edge of. if there was an issue there.

  21. Anonymous5/08/2006

    Due to the fact that this woman most likely spends a good amount of her time being wooed in not-so-subtle ways, I truly think the flattery and genuineness of your approach can only be appreciated. And trust me, when us bartendresses want to let you know we're taken, YOU KNOW. There is no room for questioning. She likes ya.

  22. What's the deal!? are you going to leave us hanging!?

  23. Anonymous5/01/2007

    Having been a bartender for 10 years this is a highly amusing to read the other side of the bar perspective...go for it, charming guys at the bar are a fun distraction and like you said, if she's really not into you, it's REALLY easy to drop it and stay "busy" what your doing, doesn't sound like you the average douchbag that hits on bartenders (you can smell them a mile away)

    urban cowgrrl ...okp

  24. Mahogany5/03/2007

    Hmmm...she sounds like a Gemini, but I may be wrong about that. Find out her sign dude!


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