The Bartender

I propped my elbows on the bar and nursed my drink and poured out my woes to the bartender.

(At this point my father, if he were reading this, would sigh, “So this is why you marry them off at 19. Why didn’t anyone explain it to us?”)

Okay, that’s not exactly what happened, but wouldn’t that be a great ending to a bad date?


Hasn’t the idea ever occurred to you? It hadn’t to me. Truth is, I never really noticed the bartender much. He is the guy who fills the glasses with drinks, who you thank, and who you then promptly forget. I don’t even always see him, because sometimes I’m seated first and the guy fetches the beverages.

But it now occurs to me that the bartender at the Marriott must see an awful lot of shidduch dating. Moreover, he probably finds it about as exciting as a Quaker sweet sixteen.

I know this because I had the privilege, one dull dating evening, of livening up his night just a tad.

It started when my date asked, “Would you like a drink?”

Okay, so I tend to get hung up on semantics. If he would have said “would you like something to drink” I would have asked for the usual water. But he asked about “a drink” which has slightly alcoholic connotations.

“Like a scotch?” I asked.

We’d known each other for a grand total of 20 minutes. Otherwise he probably would have known enough to just shrug and say, “If you’d like.” Instead, he said, “I won’t call your bluff.”

“You think I’m bluffing?”

“Like I said, I’m not calling your bluff.”

So I turned to the bartender and asked for a beer.

Now, I know this raises many questions that will haunt you and disturb your reading, eating, and sleeping for weeks on end unless I answer them.

So, to address the most important question first: Sam Adams, of course. You don’t seriously think I’d order Miller Lite on a date? Or at all, ever?

Second, if I was permanently x’d out by any Women in Black for this behavior, they haven’t told me about it.

Third, yes, we went out again. (And I had a fruit juice Snapple.)

But anyway, my point was, the bartender raised an eyebrow, turned to my date, and said, “You got a live one.”

Now, I was in the Marriott last night, wearing a suit, for an event down the hall in the back where dates never venture. But I took the time to drop in on the lounge before leaving to smirk at the daters. It is a pretty dead scene. I nearly fell asleep watching.

I glanced in at the bar and sure enough, same bartender there. One day I’m going to interview him for a tell-all about the Marriott dating scene. I’m just afraid it won’t be much of a tell-all. He’ll shrug and say, “They get coke. They sit. They talk.They leave and come back next week with someone else. It’s like watching icicles melt. Oh, wait, actually, there was one time when one of them ordered a beer…”


33 thoughts on “The Bartender

  1. Boring life? I don’t think so. I have only dated in restaurants so far (to be exact: at a small dairy restaurant at a walking distance of 5 minutes form my home – I refuse to bother for strangers!) but I think the staff has quite a lot of fun with all the daters, which they follow avidly. They are so eager to help that one of the waitresses once pointed out the wrong guy to me. (And then we sat together for about a quarter of an hour before realizing the mistake. And yes, I should have asked him for his name, but he appeared to be the only frum guy there, so I wasn’t wary enough)

  2. There’s definitely something mutated with the system. For an outsider watching a dating lounge scene… Is that really the way G-d plans on you finding the person whose fingers fit perfectly between yours?

  3. “You got a live one.”

    That is too funny. But it only goes to show, no offense to you, how “dead” some girls are on some dates if all it takes to be “[a]live” is asking for a beer.

    Girls should be spunky and sometimes unpredictable. As should guys.

    I would have then asked for a specific single malt scotch and a water. I find beer unpalatable.

  4. I prefer my men boring, and my drinks boringer.

    Thankfully, I have only once been to a lounge. And it was not memorable, especially when the other four couples showed up. How does one concentrate on the date when you’re checking out the other daters and creating hypothetical backgrounds and conversations? “She looks as though she’s ready to kill him, because her aunt made her go out with the Chatty-Cathy again, while he, being erroneously told by his mother’s neighbor that she’s interested,keeps on digging his own grave by mentioning his hobby of drag racing . . .”

  5. Princessl Lea,

    I have never taken a date to a lounge and I’m proud of it.

    (The only type lounge I can see myself going to is a classy place not located in a hotel, quiet and properly lit, with someone playing a classical piano, off the beaten path, where it will be highly unlikely I will see any other orthodox jews).

    And, I have better things to talk about on dates than “hypothetical backgrounds,” so I’ll have to take your word for it!

  6. how do you manage to be so funny, bad4? I’m still laughing. Can you seriously do the interview? I really want to know what he’d say.

  7. You are a bad girl. Not the beer thing. No, leaking the secret. Now the rabbonim will start specifying the allowable beverages. I am not talking kashrut of food, but of attitude. Moreover, it will be different for boys an girls (I am speaking their language, as oppose to men and women). So bochurim with single minded concentration will get to order the single malt (without the H2O full of crustaceans). But the girls will have to stick to non-alcoholic stuff. Naturally Chabad will do vodka.

    Naughty one, you think rabbonim do not have enough to worry about what with calcuating REBS Rates for shidduchim and evaluating deniers for stockings.

    Seriously, I love your stuff. Keep writing it. I hope you do interview the bartender. It could create a whole new genre of humor similar to the ones about the non-jew who finds jews have strange holidays where Sabbath they smoke in the loo, Tishabaabv, they eat in the loo, and Yom Kippur, they do both in the loo.

    Yerachmiel Lopin,

  8. I guess that’s why I’ve never went to Marriott! Great one Bad4!

    And idea of interviewing is great too – who knows, may be there was something else interesting going on once or twice which you couldn’t think about

  9. and I got to hear this story before it reached the press!

    I feel so privileged.

    yeah, I always wonder what the staff think. sometimes they ask if we have a hotel room there, so guess they aren’t all so clued in..

  10. Kinda reminds me of the yeshiva legends where the guy was having a bad day, and a worse date. when he goes to the bar to get the drinks (sans the girl), he asks for “coke and jack, and go easy on the coke”

    I’ve been tempted sometimes, but I’m the one doing the driving.

  11. quite amusing… I once saw a couple on a first date at Abigail’s where the woman ordered a beer – not the guy – and she spent the entire date complaining about how the particular beer wasn’t her brand. I felt very bad for the guy… Seriously, though – if you were to actually conduct such an interview – you could make a new regular feature on the blog – “the supporting cast of the shidduch world.”

  12. bad4, you’ve inspired me. If my dating career lasts longer than 5 girls (I’m not dating yet), I hereby pledge to order a scotch on the first date with girl #6. I suppose I’ll have to get her to drive or else go on a driving-free date, because I don’t want a DUI. Thanks bad4!!

  13. Note to self: next time I’m in NY make sure to spend a night visiting hotels and shidduch watch. Who wants to be my date?

  14. Bz,
    Do you need to buy special binoculars for that?
    Maybe I can pitch the hotel and get them to let me install one of those stick-in-a-quarter binocular machines. I’d split the profits with them. Everyone would pay to see those minuscule coke stains on the guy’s shirt. Come to think of it, I think we should ban coke as a drink on shidduchim. If a girl somehow manages to spill on herself, it could stain and attract attention to her, which wouldn’t be tznius. From now on, let all shidduch-dating girls buy only sprite! If you buy a coke, I’ll bleach you. Wait, wouldn’t that defeat the purpose?

  15. It could be (although hey, I’m just guessing) that when the guy said, “I’m not going to call your bluff,” he meant that he knew you’d go through with it. That’s usually what the phrase means.

    And referring to an earlier post…you’ve really never gone out with any guys taller than 6 feet?

  16. SMB – That may be what he meant, but if that’s the case, it wasn’t a bluff.
    Re 6 feet: Nope.

    Anon – Course he can. Only I don’t think he’s the type to. And if so?

    No, no carding.

  17. He’d probably be amused if he read it. And keep in mind, even if he weren’t the type, he might have friends who read it, that might mention it to him.

    I think that the idea of “calling a bluff” in cards, is when you assume that the other person is bluffing – but you can never be sure until they show you their hand.

    So in that situation, he might have suspected you were bluffing (and as you yourself implied, you weren’t really planning on ordering a beer OR a scotch), but if your bluff was called, you’d go through with it. So maybe, even though he’d only known you for a grand total of 20 minutes, he’d already figured out that you were the type of person to do that, and meant to tell you that he KNEW you’d go through with it if your bluff was called.

  18. I actually laughed out loud at the bartenders comment. Sounds like me, though i wouldnt have the guts to do till i know the guy well enough:) Go for the interview idea….would be interesting reporting….

  19. Pingback: Bad4’s First Dates, 3 of 4 « Bad for Shidduchim

  20. Pingback: The Truth is They’re Out There « Bad for Shidduchim

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