A bartender asked me out and I said yes.
He said he meets women all the time and exchanges numbers and the women never want to follow-up.
I said, well maybe they change their minds and say to themselves, they can’t date a bartender. You guys are always entertaining people. You have to have a healthy sense of self-esteem and ego to date bartenders period.
He said when he’s off the clock he keeps a very low profile considering he has to be in the mix all week. People always assume he’s a player or wants to be out in the streets turning up.
It made me think of other professions that men have that would give me and most women the side eye.
Most women don’t want to seriously date a male exotic dancer. Most women want to do their personal trainer, but don’t want to date them seriously because well, personal trainers are notorious for hooking up with clients saying that they never hook up with clients but will do it just this once.
To be fair, I don’t think anyone is undateable. We all need love, we want attention and we want to spend time with someone who genuinely wants to spend time with us.
But there were actually a few reasons I was willing to give this bartender a chance.
1. He’s handsome. (Shallow I know)
2. He pays attention to details.
3. He’s patient.
4. He fixes a mean mojito.
5. He’s clearly a hard worker and knows how to serve others.
6. He’s a good conversationalist.
7. He can anticipate and adapt to all kinds of situations and people.
8. There’s some chemistry.
Now let me get to the details and patient thing, because that really set all of this up and let me know he was being for real.
There was one other time he and another bartender were both “pretending” to “fight” over me. It was pretty funny. Every time I go to this spot for a bite to eat and a drink after a long day of work I chat it up with them. And at one point the competition was getting interesting. But I laughed it off and kept it moving.
Prior to that me and this bald, chocolatey morsel had a great convo a very long time ago and he said to me, “You know, I’d really try to talk to you, but I’m with someone.”
It was odd to me that he said this, I paid it no mind. I want to say that this was probably sometime last year.
Fast forward to last night.
He’s serving drinks, small talk is going on and then he just says, “I’d really like to take you out sometime. I’m serious.”
I laugh, because I instantly remember his unsolicited rejection of me several months prior.
“Hey, do you remember you actually told me you’d talk to me, but you couldn’t because you were with someone. What happened?”
“We were engaged and it ended. We even bought a house together.”
“Damn, welcome to the broken engagement club, one up high!” I raised my hand for a high-five. He shook his head, laughed and slapped my hand.
At this point I said why not and fought the urge to think of Miranda and Steve from Sex and the City. I guess I already did…
He asked me about my dating situation, and I had to laugh at that too, because the first thing that came to mind was the date I walked out of about three weeks ago.
But oddly enough, I temporarily forgotten about a sweet, simple date over Italian Ices I had with a recycled guy friend who just tends to be a bit more passive about his interest in me than I’d like.
So it’s open season. I’m a free agent. I owe no one nothing and that’s how I’m going to play this thing.
From that point, he shared weird music with me that he’s into from his phone. I told him this is the kind of music people play in high-end boutiques, where sales people can deduce your tax bracket with one glance and there are three items of clothing hanging on a rack, in the sparsely furnished store, none of which are over a size 6.
He laughed, “Not even a six. We carry negative numbers.”
He’s funny and quick. I like this…
Then he complimented my hair, which always gets points.
“Every time you come here I compliment your hair. I just love it.”
“I know, and I love getting compliments on it. I’ve been natural a little over two years now, and for some reason it still surprises me and makes me feel really good when people compliment me on it.”
And all of a sudden we were talking about how I gradually decided to become natural.
I told him about school. He told me about his plans for a business he’d like to open.
He told me he really liked talking to me.
We talked about common sense not being so common.
He sang a little.
I told him I’ve already figured out our first date. Karaoke.
He told me he cleaned up nicely outside of work.
I told him I had no doubt and giggled because it reminded me of the breakdown in Alicia Keys’ “You don’t know my name.” The part where the waitress tells her crush patron that she looks different outside her work clothes.
So he’s a bartender. He’s charming. Generally those things are warning signs, but I saw some other positive signs too. He’d been interested for some time, saw an opportunity, was direct and respectful and he went for it. Hence I decided off of those factors, this was a situation worth exploring.
“Is it too soon to call you tomorrow?”
“Not at all.”