Advice From The Beer Garden
do you ever find yourself reading into things?
like maybe when someone says something off-handedly and you decide it's maybe the best, most important thing you've ever heard? (even though maybe vodka has something to do with your perspective?)
well, whatever. here's the stupid story:so on saturday of memorial day weekend (hi? remember? i toldja i'd get around to writing this) i rounded up my friends for a mid-day gathering at my favorite bar in all of sf.
the reason it is my favorite bar is because it is as frill-less a place as you can get. it is the dive to end all dives. the drinks are simple, strong, and big. the decor is punk rock and biker-chic. if i were cool (and ever-so-much-less clumsy) i would want to ride a bike just to go here with it and add my cool helmet to the shelf. the bar's motto is: "fast. friendly. service. pick one."
the outdoor beer garden is amazing. it's huge and adorned with long wooden tables (and port-o-potties) and very accommodating for all sorts of sunny activities (in my case knitting, but we've already established i'm not cool).
anyway, the best part about it is that everyone there understands that it is what it is, so you end up sitting at tables with people who are actually cool and unpretentious and who you don't know but really may as well.
so what does this all mean? let's consider my day. by the end of saturday night i had:
- developed a new love for vodka gimlets
- completely failed to capitalize on having the greatest wing-woman EVER
- knitted in public wearing this shirt
- fit seven people in a cab with a case of beer and an enormous pizza
- received sound advice from a rather opinionated man from hoboken, NJ, and
- also given his girlfriend a haircut
re: vodka gimlets -
so i am not a vodka drinker.
because after an episode in college wherein i played my first game of "catch up" and chugged a BEER STEIN full of very, VERY cheap vodka barely colored with orange juice, i decided that vodka wasn't so great. actually, i decided that the next morning. for a while there, i thought vodka was actually the greatest thing ever. and then i decided i needed to shower. at a party. (that was my i-need-to-sober-up-MO for a while there. p.s.? doesn't work. p.p.s. also hard to explain to the party host: "hi, i'm sorry but i'm going to have to use your shower.")
so every so often, now that i am an "adult," i partake in some vodka drinking. usually sparingly and usually with many cocktail mixers.
but. Snarky discovered last summer that the end-all be-all summer drink is a gimlet, and in the spirit of creating an annual tradition, i decided to go with her on it this year. and damn, if tart lime vodka gimlets aren't awfully good.
(in case you are wondering if there is a point here, the answer is no. except maybe you should try a gimlet.)
re: wing-woman -
Snarky deserves an award.
here's how it went, before i read "he's just not that into you" and decided i am never, ever hitting on a man again. if he is interested in me, he will hit on me. and if he doesn't have the courage to hit on me, we are probably not compatible.
so right. i returned to the bar to get my second gimlet, with Snarky trailing behind me. as i entered the bar, i had to walk past THE HOTTEST MAN in the bar. and apparently, as i passed him, he noticed me and turned his head to watch me go. Snarky then saw this and ran into the bar to tell me.
now, remember the part where i said the drinks were served in pint glasses? uh huh. so you know what i thought was a good idea after a pint of gimlet? i thought having my friend go tell the hot guy that i thought he was hot was a good idea. uh huh.
and you know what a good friend does after a pint of gimlet? she agrees.
um, see, vodka-addled brains don't so much think strategically. for example, they think, "that guy is hot i should talk to him." they do not think, "if i were to engage that man in conversation, i should have something interesting/witty to say."
so when you get your friend to talk to the guy, and he is receptive, and then he joins you in the bar and walks up to you and introduces himself and you are suddenly standing face-to-face (as much as my 5'4" face can be 'face-to-face' with someone who is probably 6'4") with him, you are woefully unprepared.
and so instead of engaging in light and charming conversation, you become a complete conversation tragedy. because you think, "i have had a strong cocktail, but i don't want to sound like an idiot, so i should watch what i say because we know what can happen if i run off at the mouth without concern."
unfortunately, that means you just sort of stammer. and start sentences and cut yourself off. and end up sounding rather crazy.
it's not pretty.
and so despite having the best and most effective wing-woman on the planet, your stymied stammering conversation drives him away in record time.
and he was a fireman.
re: yarn ho -
there is not much to say here. a few people, including the bartender, asked me what it meant. and i just said "i knit." because that is my version of being cool and aloof and mysterious in a punk rock biker bar.
re: the point -
so my group of friends met this couple from hoboken. they were funny and spirited*. and we got to chatting and decided we should all be friends (as you do, especially when gimlets are encouraging you).
and this led to the pizza-getting and after-bar partying. and haircut. (which i will not detail for you but just know that it wasn't that bad and i'm sure Emily's hair grew back evenly.)
but before the after-bar situation, i had gotten to talking with the male half of the couple, Ben. and he said the off-handed thing that instantly became the best and most important piece of advice i've ever been given (remember how i mentioned that at the beginning of this post? no? well i did. go see.).
it was like this:
Ben from Jersey: so do you have a boyfriend?
Ben from Jersey: do you want one?
Ben from Jersey: then why don't you have one?
me: that is a very good question. i have no idea, i mean --
which is where i was going to explain my stilted verbal run-in with the fireman, but...
Ben from Jersey, interrupting: if you want a boyfriend, why are you sitting here talking to me?
me: well, it's just --
Ben from Jersey: why don't you use your yippity-yap and go talk to any one of these other guys?
and that was it.
(now, i realize you might not find this as profound as i did in that moment, but probably you have not had pint glasses of gimlets, which is key. so bear with me.)
here is what i think. i think Ben from Jersey reminded me that it's not about wing-women, or funny t-shirts, or even men on the bus, or men like The Boy who may or may not even bother to read emails from you**. it's about the fact that i am verbal. and while left unchecked i may be filter-less and exceedingly chatty and tangential and illogical and have a tendency to blather on in person AND in writing (HI!), but that is who i am.
so rather than ignore the yippity-yap, or try and work around it or subvert it, perhaps i should actually try and use it.
perhaps the yippity-yap is actually a selling point.
well okay, no. i know it isn't. but maybe i should just embrace it anyway.
and that is what i think the point is. for me, and for so many of you invisible internet friends who are also (clearly) verbal: maybe it's time we just embrace the verbal insanity and use our yippity-yap.
you know? i figure eventually someone's bound to find it charming. and if not, i'll always have sun-soaked days at the beer garden with yarn and gimlets and good friends.