To The People That Watch Me Get Drunk Every Week,
To the establishment: I’m almost too comfortable here. Some weekends I tend to spend more time here than I do my own apartment, and I know you don’t judge me (out loud) for this. I walk in to the scent of stale beer and bad decisions, and know I’ve returned to where I truly belong. There isn’t a corner of this bar I’m not familiar with. I know which stall in the bathroom doesn’t shut, which table has a bum leg, which area has the best lighting for my friends and I to take a picture, and which bartender is still in training and should probably be avoided. I’ll be completely honest, I was once comfortable (or drunk, whatever) enough to try and take my shoes off here when my feet hurt, but I was quickly reminded that’s still DISGUSTING.
To my regular bartender: We spend a lot of time together (some would say enough time to warrant AA,) but even when I’m not with you, I’m sitting at work daydreaming of when I get to see your beautiful (and usually exhausted) face again. You just get me. You watched me transform from a young, naive underage attendee slugging back vodka sours to a mature, more legal liability that prefers vodka sodas like the classy betch I like to pretend to be. While I still have to tell my friends my drink order twice before they remember, you know me better than I know myself. With the first glance across a dimly lit room you pour my drink, knowing not to dare mix up the soda and tonic. As much as I hate to admit it, you wear the pants in this relationship. You givith, and you takeith away when I’ve had a few too many. You’re the only one that could ever hand me a water and tell me to shut up, and I do so willingly.
I’m sorry I always stand there with a huge grin when I need to interrupt you during the busiest time for an extra lime or a new straw, but I always try to remember to say please and thank you. I’m sorry drunk me thinks it’s a good idea to try and negotiate extending happy hour like I’m Mark Cuban. I’m sorry I always try to bribe the sixteen year old bus boy to get me a drink when you’re busy, but I swear he looked older. I’m sorry I always ask you to charge my phone, and then ask if I got any text messages every ten minutes. I’m also really sorry when you were mean to me (which was totally warranted) I played Let It Go on TouchTunes three times in a row to make you mad, thinking it was funny.
To the bouncers: As a bouncer, you still ask for my ID (fake or not) every time, but then proceed to put the stamp just about anywhere but my hand. You always yell at me when I try to walk outside with a drink, and not once have you ever believed it’s water. Damn. You don’t care that the girl cut me in the line at the bathroom, but you have to appreciate my tenacity when I ask you to kick her out for it. You know I probably did start the confrontation with the girl wearing an ugly beanie, but you look past it and tell me to walk away. I swear one day I will stop asking you to take the picture of me and my friends, or at least not ask you to take six shots on three different phones. While I will never NOT want to dance on an elevated surface to my favorite song, I promise to do my best to resist the urge when you’re working.
You’re like my big brother, but your sober protection comes at a cost. I must tread lightly around you at all times, for sober you has more blackmail on drunk me than all of my friends combined. You’re also one of the few people that has seen me drunk cry and been sober enough to remember it. You’re not paid nearly enough to be my therapist, but you still unwillingly listen to my drunk rants when none of my friends can be found.
To the establishment, the bartenders, and the bouncers: thank you for all that you do. While the majority of us spend the weekend blowing off steam from a stressful week, you are there babysitting drunk adults to ensure we’re both intoxicated enough to have a good time and safe enough to get home in one piece. As regulars, we recognize all of the time and effort you put into to make our weekends the most fun we’ll never remember – and we appreciate it. Cheers to you! Oh you can’t take a shot during your shift? Awkward, I’ll take both I guess…