As a former bartender, it goes without saying that I’ve been subjected to my fair share of drunken propositions and come-ons. It goes with the territory. Luckily, most of that action happens toward the end of the night, and for most of a shift behind the bar, patrons are usually too focused on themselves and their companions to notice who’s pouring their drinks.
Several years ago, I was working a deathly slow weeknight shift when a couple came in. They were quite obviously on a first date (you learn to spot these things), so I was more than a little surprised when the gentleman kept insisting on drawing me into their conversations. On a busy night, I could have made my excuses and gone about my work, but with only a handful of other customers to tend to, I had no choice but to be friendly. It was awkward all around—for me and his date, at least. The guy didn’t seem to realize that it might be seen as weird to bring the bartender along on your first date.
At the end of the night, the couple departed, and I saw through the window as she got into a cab and sped off. But instead of hailing his own cab, the guy came back into the bar and asked for my number. “I was only going out with her as a favor to a friend,” he said. “But it’s lucky that I did, because I met you.”
I assumed that this statement was supposed to be a compliment, but somehow it didn’t feel that way. He was genuinely angry when I declined his gracious offer of dinner the next week, but I had learned Valuable Dating Rule # 54: Never go out with a person who asks you out while he’s already on a date.
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