There are cool ways to grab a girl’s attention at a bar. These are not them.
1. “What’s your name?”
I’m standing at the bar alone grabbing a round of drinks for me and the friends that I came with not because I’m a nice person, but because I want to momentarily break away from the pack of females so that I become more approachable.
I spent two hours crafting the perfect quintessential smokin-hot-yet-casual bar outfit and covering every inch of my face and neck with naturally beautiful make-up (it’s a cruel property of science that the less make-up that you want to appear to be wearing, the more time it takes to apply. Go figure.) Now I find myself at the bar intentionally not trying to get the bartender’s highly sought after attention because I’m giving the entire male population of the bar the (hopefully) sought after chance to talk to me. Then you come up to me (Yay!) with a cool and confident stride.
You extend your hand and say “What’s your name?” and in less than two seconds you have just suicide bombed your trip back to my bedroom. Opening with “What’s your name?” changes the whole vibe; without telling me your name first, it makes me nervous to tell you mine. The unequal exchange of information makes me feel like your prey, and furthermore it makes me nervous to tell you my real name when I now have the irrational fear that the name you’re going to tell me is going to be fake. I spent my entire Sophomore year of high school listening to the health teacher, Mrs. Smith, tell horror stories about young girls being mutilated and dumped in the Hudson River by mysterious psychopaths they met at bars, and now I have a growing suspicion that you are one of those psychos.
A mere few seconds ago when you were walking up to me, I was admiring the way your bone structure looked in the bar’s dim lighting. Now, I’m nervous that the lack of lighting is going to hinder my ability to describe what you look like to a sketch artist after you drug me. I’m instantly aware that I am separated from my friends, and now paranoid that you watched me break away from them and waited until I was in a vulnerably isolated position to talk to me. And lastly, I hate myself for doing such a fantastic job picking out my outfit and doing my make up. Ugh, I think to myself, if only I didn’t look so good right now. If I had just thrown on a wrinkled blouse and worn my make up from work then I wouldn’t be getting hit on by Ted Bundy right now.
I give you a fake name then go back to my friends with the fake excuse that despite my best efforts I couldn’t get the bartender’s attention.
2. “How much can you drink?”
When you’re playing binge-drinking games at frat houses this question is perfectly acceptable, since no one wants a lightweight on their flip cup team. But this question, along with drinking during weekdays, your parents paying your monthly rent, and living on an entirely ramen-based diet, are all completely unacceptable after graduation.
The question “how much can you drink” has an implied extension of “… until your standards are lowered?” If you decide mid-conversation that you no longer want to talk to me and want to say something to make me leave the conversation then touché, this is a great question to accomplish that with. However, if you’re seriously asking me this, then I’m hiding in the bathroom and sending out a mass text to every friend I came with to steer clear of you.
Your curiosity about how much I can drink leads me to believe that you want to hang around until I reach the BAC where you finally have a chance. Why don’t you just ask me “Hey, can you leave your drink unattended for a minute? You’ll get it back, I promise.”
3. “It’s okay, I’ll make the money for our family.”
I was at a bar in New York when a nice looking guy came right up to me and bought me a drink.
It was a smooth yet aggressive gesture which I found to be attractive, so I let him talk to me while the bartender made my drink. He told me he worked on Wall Street and asked me what I did. I explained I was a student at UCLA. “Oh, I’m sorry to hear that,” he said. I was taken aback. He laughed and said, “I’m a Stanford grad,” and joking back about the rivalry between California private schools vs. public schools, I said, “Oh no, the condolences are all mine.” “So what are you studying?” I told him that I was an English major. “Oh, so law school bound?” I explained no, that I wanted to be a writer. “It’s okay,” he said with a playful smile, instantly becoming the biggest douche to ever hit on me, “I’ll make the money for our family.”
I put my drink back down on the bar and said, “How about instead you go fuck yourself?” The cocky smile disappeared from his face, and I disappeared from the conversation.
I wondered if I had given off some sort of Charlotte York-vibe that made him think that the combination of putting me down and bragging about how he could offer me financial security would instantly make me wet. Not only was his comment wildly misogynistic, it was also a personal attack on my passion. What did he expect me to say? “Haha, you are so right! Writing is bullshit, especially for a woman! I’m just killing time during these four years of intellectual stimulation before I get married and become a full-time homemaker and vindicate my rights as a woman! Refrigerators! Washer/Dryers! Spheres of domesticity! Oh, yes! Have sex with me right now!” And even beyond his retro sexism, there is nothing more unattractive than a man blatantly talking about how much money he makes.
A person’s wealth is something that is very unattractive to talk about, but very attractive to witness. Buying a girl a drink is an attractive gesture. When talking about where you live, stating that you live in such-and-such affluent neighborhood is an attractive point of conversation. Telling someone what you do for a living and making it apparent that it is a lucrative occupation without blabbing on and on about your salary and instead making it (at least appear) to be a job that you do because you enjoy it, not because you enjoy the wealth, is also very attractive. But when you talk about how you can offer me a financially stable future if I submit to you as your wife, it makes me hate you. This is a bar, not a brothel, please don’t try to buy me.