Monday, November 12, 2012

Tips for Talking to the Person Who Is Not a Doormat

Because I've worked part-time in a bar, I've had my share of opportunities to talk to new and interesting people.  Ninety-nine percent of the time, it's awesome.  As Bill Nye the Science Guy said, "Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don't."  But every once in a while, there's that outlier that doesn't make the experience awesome...

(There is a disclaimer at the end of this post.  Some of the below experiences are borrowed from other people.  If that much bullshit were directed at me, I'd explode.)

** Personal space.  This is particularly important in a bar environment, because you probably have beer breath.

** There is a limit to how many times you can call/text/email her after one conversation.  Disproportionate attempts at communication will make her wonder if you are a stalker.

** Don't get upset if she doesn't call/text back immediately.  She probably has a life.  That's a good thing.

** Don't tell her who she can/can't talk to.  Talking is a particularly useful form of communication, and often means nothing more than a pleasant (or sometimes unpleasant) conversation.  Holster the jealousy or be prepared to be punched in the throat.

** Grabbing her ass will not be taken as an invitation to come home with you.  It will be taken as an invitation to punch you in the throat.  Same goes for the old slide-your-hand-around-her-back-and-under-her-arm-for-a-bit-of-side-boob squeeze.  You are not being subtle.  You are being a dick.

** Buying her a drink doesn't obligate her.  In any way whatsoever.  A long conversation doesn't obligate her.  In any way whatsoever.  Trading phone numbers doesn't obligate her.  In any way whatsoever, if you were still wondering. 

** If she says she has plans, you can probably assume that she has plans.  Accusing her of lying to blow you off will earn you a punch in the throat.

** And if she says she's not interested in going on that date you suggested, you can probably take that to mean she's not interested in going on that date you suggested.  Just a suggestion.  There is not always romantic subtext.  Sometimes, a conversation is just a conversation.  Try to force more, and you'll deserve more than just a punch in the throat.

** If she says, "No," or "Enough," or "Stop:"  No, you aren't going to change her mind.  She's had enough.  Stop.

Or, in other words, (Wil Wheaton's, to be exact), don't be a dick.

(True:  These are all experiences I've had, or friends have had, or friends of friends have had.  I've used the pronoun "she" because I'm a she.  And most of the friends/friends of friends whose experiences I've borrowed for this post are also shes (but not all).  Substitute pronouns as needed.  And you might notice that I'm giving these tips to a "you"--not a "he" or "she."  That's because dickitude is not exclusive to any one gender.  Neither are these tips specific to romantically-inclined conversations or situations.  Friends don't treat each other that way, either.  Get it?  Don't be a dick--whoever you are--to whomever you're speaking to.  End disclaimer.)


  1. Wellllll said girl friend. I wish I wrote this!♥

    1. Honestly, I'm frustrated it still needs to be said. Love you!

  2. I totally have customers at my restaurant who violate these rules. One I might add is "don't stare longingly at someone while they are working, and then tell someone else on the staff that you are imagining what that person is like in bed."

    1. Ugh. Add another bullet point: "Don't be gross. Not in word, not in deed, not in hygiene."

  3. Amen! Hubs and I were eating dinner in the bar at our favorite restaurant one night, very obviously together, when one of the guys at the bar decided he would join us. He was pretty wasted but at least he had the sense to slide in on Hubs' side of the booth. Until Hubs, trying to encourage him to leave said he wanted to go play a song on the jukebox. The guy got up, Hubs slid out and headed for the jukebox. Meanwhile, the guy sat back down -- wait for it -- next to me. Hubs was NOT happy but he kept his cool admirably.

    He came back to the table and asked the guy to help him with the jukebox. It's one of those newfangled digital machines so that was plausible, for anyone but Hubs. By the time they had selected music and returned to the table our food was there and after a few more minutes of him trying to continue a non-existent conversation with us, he was escorted out.

    I was very glad I wasn't there alone!

    1. Yikes! What a creep. I'm not one to believe that being drunk is an excuse for acting that way. I don't think one's moral compass suddenly changes

      It sounds like the restaurant staff were looking out for you, though, at least! And Hubs, of course.

  4. Having spent time as a beer wench at a Renaissance faire, let me just add that asking "dude, are those REAL" while reaching out is a fabulous way to get punched in the throat. ;)

    Sigh. I swear some people were just born missing a common courtesy gene.

    1. And you know, you never hear about women reaching for a guy's zipper and asking, "Do you stuff your pants?"

      Or maybe I just don't know the right people.