Few things are more awkward than me at a bar. But it was a colleague’s birthday, and a group of friends were going, so I pushed myself to Quackers. My nerve cells bounced erratically like yo-yos on crank, as I trekked through the claustrophobic scene of boozers, flirts, and those eying the busty blonde camped out at the end of the bar. She appeared to be working on beer number three. Two women belted out “I Will Survive” on the meager dance floor. A good message, I thought to myself. I can do this.
Thankfully, a friend and I saw each other at the bar. “Oh, hi Robyn.”
“Hi, Jen. Glad to see you.”
“You too. What are you getting? I’m waiting for a Martini.”
“Oh, um, I don’t know. I want something sweet and light. Any suggestions?”
“Go for a Sex On The Beach.”
“Sounds good.” Really good. I felt a drop of saliva slide down my chin.
The cute bartender turned to me. “What would you like?”
“I’ll take a Sex On The Beach,” I told him, smiling.
A heavy-set bald man, planted a few inches to my right, offered an affirming half-grin. I think he approved of my order. I took a few steps back, though; he kinda creeped me out.
Our drinks came at the same time. “Don’t worry, I got it, Robyn,” Jen said, handing the bartender her card.
“No, I can’t let you do that.” I scurried through my purse and extended my arm towards her, a $5 in my fist. Take it, Jen.” She refused. As I began pulling my arm back, it happened, slowly but decisively: My lower-arm brushed against my drink glass and Sex On The Beach took a free-fall, crashing onto the dark brown floor with a blasting shatter that could no doubt be heard in Kentucky.
Before I could blink, an apron donning employee zipped rapidly from my right to my left, then my left to my right, maneuvering a long broom. Another was at my feet wearing rubber gloves, carefully picking up any shards missed by the sweeper. Next, mopping began. Clean-up seemed prolonged for hours, with all eyes on me. Baldy pierced me with another half-grin. This time, his expression said “You klutz, you!”
I needed to do something. “Okay, people,” I announced. “Now we all know that I can’t hold my alcohol!” Nobody seemed to appreciate my humor, though they slowly resumed a focus on their alcohol and the busty blonde. Thankfully.
But what do I do now? Everyone’s here from the group. They all saw that. I can’t just leave; I’d draw more attention to myself. I made the only choice I could: order another Sex On The Beach.
“I gave you an extra shot this time,” he told me. Extra? I couldn’t even handle the first one. As I brought my drink to the table, I felt relieved to see the group engaged in chatter. But I sat fuming with awkwardness and nobody to talk to. Minutes or an hour later, my eyes caught those of a handsome man on the other side of the table.
He wasted no time in deciding to approach me. “What are you drinking there?”
“It’s Sex On The Beach…Gotta get it any way I can.”
“It’s not as good as it sounds,” he joked.
“Nah, it’s messy and uncomfortable, not nearly as good as it sounds,” I agreed, as if speaking from experience.
We grinned at each other, and I appreciated his nice, warm smile. His perfectly chiseled facial features didn’t hurt either.
“I’m Robyn,” I offered my hand.
“I’m Jake, a friend of Jen’s. Nice to meet you.”
“Would you like to dance?”
“Sure.” My night was suddenly looking up.
…the remainder of this story can be found here.