The other night a good friend and I met up at a bar. Once upon a time this bar used to be an Italian restaurant my grandparents took me to which is probably why I have a fondness for this location. In the ensuing years it has changed hands and names several times over. Its latest incarnation is a ‘bar and grille’ with an Italian sounding name. As it has changed I’ve visited a couple of times, finding the food tasty and the prices decent which is why I suggested it as a place to meet up with my friend.
We arrived around 9pm on a Friday night, looking forward to the low key atmosphere of a dive bar. Friday was also Tiger’s opening day which is practically a holiday in the Detroit area and a popular excuse for people to get drunk. Allie and I did not participate in any of the drunken baseball-themed shenanigans. We were two gals looking to have a drink, a little food, and a lot of catching up.
When we sat down at a four top table we saw a gentlemen sitting alone out of the corner of our eyes. The bar was rather small and most of its inhabitants were clustered around a large hightop table. There was a couple sitting at the table adjacent to Allie and I, and another couple at the bar, which left the lone dude at the nearby table. We noticed him try to catch our attention but we both ignored him and started chatting. He got up at one point and we were certain he was coming to our table but he passed us by. We breathed a sigh of relief as neither of us were looking to engage outsiders in conversation.
Our relief was short lived as he soon approached our table. It is not unusual for Allie to be hit on, she’s gorgeous and I’ve never known a woman to get hit on as much as she does. I mean, who else has the man in the car ahead of her at a drive thru pay for her co-
ffee and leave his number? Drunken Idiot (the nicest name I can give him) came over and tried to chat her up, he offered to buy her beer. Initially I think he offered to buy both of our drinks but when Allie shut him down his attention focused on her. She was sarcastic, as is her nature, and told him she could pay for her own $2 beer. He was insistent, as drunken idiots in bars tend to be, and started rambling about buying her drink as he pulls out a wad of cash. The wad seemed to be mainly fives and ones though I didn’t look that close. I was more interested in the fact this moron, hitting on my friend, had a wedding ring on his finger. Still not interested in him buying her a drink, Allie said to him, “Are you sure? I mean that’s two hundred pennies. That is a lot of pennies,” hoping her sarcasm would give him the hint.
Instead, Drunken Idiot put a five down on the table, looked at me, and instructed me to use it to pay for her beer. I agreed, and did what I usually do, slap on my customer service personality, be nice and agreeable in the hopes that you’ll leave me alone and not shoot me. Am I paranoid? Maybe. However there’s been a lot of senseless gun violence so I trust no one.
He eventually left our table and our waitress/bartender appeared to take the food order. Drunken idiot came back at that point, rambled on to me about how Allie thought he couldn’t afford to buy her drink but he could afford it. He shrugged as he said he had the money to buy her a drink, blah blah blah. When the waitress left he confronted Allie and accused her of being racist. A logical conclusion to draw from her not wanting him to buy her a drink… (Drunken Idiot is black and Allie and I are both white). He held his hands out in front of her, gestured with one hand at the other, as he mumbled something about how she shouldn’t judge. He turned to me and said that she judged him. I tried to assure him that she hadn’t, she is just very sarcastic. He finally left. Again.
Allie and I went back to our conversation. She had some exciting changes happening in her life, we were both catching up on our (generally) abysmal dating lives, and commiserating about how neither of us know what to do with an actual nice guy (not Drunken Idiot). Shortly after our pizza arrived, another guy came up to hit on Allie on behalf of his friend who was “too shy,” to come over. Guy #1 called Guy #2 over. They chat with Allie and apologized for interrupting our meal. Guy #2 declared himself too old for Allie but let us know we were both invited to his 50th birthday. They went back to their table (the hightop full of people) and Allie and I once again hoped to get back to catching up.
Drunken Idiot thought this was the perfect time to re-approach. He gestured at his $5 still sitting on the table and looked at me. I told him we hadn’t cashed out yet but I would use it for its intended purpose. He rambled on about how he raised two daughters who were both teachers and acted like that was a challenge of some sorts to Allie. He slapped another $5 on the table to signify he could afford to drop more money, I guess. At this point in the evening Allie decided that ignoring him would be the best option. He talked to her and she refused to respond. He looked at me and started asking me questions about her which I tried to answer as vaguely as possible. He then put his arm around me and started to tell the both of us that I needed to teach Allie, I was nice, I needed to teach her. He kissed my temple which, combined with the spitting on my face as he spoke, really got on my nerves.
Finally I decided to be a bit more assertive and told Drunken Idiot we were there for girls night and only wanted to catch up. I hoped that he would get the message and finally leave us alone for good. He kept talking. Allie repeated, in a more assertive tone than I, that we were there for girls night, we hadn’t seen each other in months, we wanted to catch up, and we didn’t want to talk to him. (God I love how ballsy she is!). He determined that we were going to continue to talk to him, at which point Allie flat out asked him to leave us alone. I can still hear her saying, “Can you please just leave us alone?” He refused so Allie said, “Fine, then we’re leaving,” and grabbed her things from the table. I collected my things, leapt out of my chair and followed her. The waitress/bartender stopped Allie, who had been in the lead, and immediately asked what Drunken Idiot had said and offered to go talk to him. Allie told her we wanted to cash out and go. The waitress tried to get more info but Allie wouldn’t give anything else and headed to the bathroom. With Allie gone, I told the waitress that Drunken Idiot wouldn’t leave us alone and accused Allie of being racist when she wouldn’t accept his offer to buy her a drink. The waitress turned on her heels and said she was going to go talk to him. I stopped her and asked her not to, asked her to cash us out and let us leave. Guy #1 came over to cash out at the same time and apologized for his buddy. I still don’t know if he was referring to Guy #2 or the Drunken Idiot. The Drunken Idiot had been hanging out with Guy #1’s crowd and dancing with the women at that table.
Allie and I left angry at Drunken Idiot’s insistence of interrupting our night.We were going to try going somewhere else but decided we should just head to my house at that point. We didn’t want to risk meeting another drunk asshat.
Two days later and I’m still angry. I’m angry that Drunken Idiot felt so entitled to our time and attention. I’m angry that I didn’t have the balls like Allie to just shut him down. I’m angry that I allowed him to put his arm around me and that, in his drunken state, he thought it was ok to kiss my temple. I’m angry that I’m afraid to assert myself in situations like that because of possible violent repercussions. I am angry that in todays’ age, we still live in a world where people think they can get in someone else’s space and not leave them alone. Yep,
I’m still angry.