Some of us don’t get out much. I’m lookin’ at you, worshiper of the porcelain goddess. You look like you could use some help.
Most adults have learned how to hold their liquor, while others of all ages are still learning. Plus, braving the crowds isn’t always easy. Don’t worry, Madame Barfly has spent enough time on both sides of the bar to know a few things about sending the night off right.
∎ Do catch your bartender’s eye at a busy bar. She won’t forget about you if you make unwavering eye contact. Not in a pushy way, though. Do not wiggle or wave your money in her face or give the hairy eyeball. Simply, and politely, maintain a steadfast stare and she’ll get to you.
∎ If the bar is super busy, do pay for each drink as you go. Then, if the line’s too long by the time you want your next drink, you can always dip out to the bar next door without having to wait in line just to pay your GD tab.
∎ Know your body. Some of us can mix alcohols without consequence, and some of us will get a mega-hangover that starts tonight. Bathroom-dwellers are no fun for anyone involved, so pay attention to what your body is telling you.
∎ Don’t drink on an empty stomach. Duh.
∎ Pace yourself. If you don’t know where your limits are, don’t take shots. And if you do take shots, wait at least 20 minutes before ordering more booze to allow your body time to inform you how drunk you are.
∎Don’t mix your meds. Whether it’s Prozac or that new medication you’re taking to help you kick cigarettes, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that nearly half of America is on some sort of prescription medication. And Madame Barfly reports that many forget about said medications when it comes to drinking time. And while the resulting flailing and Jell-O legs can be hilarious to watch, you can only smack that guy in the face so many times with your wayward dance hands before he loses his cool.
∎ Do not take way too many mushrooms and then go to a packed bar. That is a recipe for paranoid psychedelic disaster. Stay home and fingerpaint instead.
∎ Do watch your drink. Roofies — they happen. Even here in Western Mass. And watch out for that guy who seems to be a friend of a friend when he tries to buy you a drink.
∎ Do be sure to tip $1 per drink or your bartender will be sure to skip over you next time. If she treats you well and makes you super-involved drinks, tip extra. If you really think she was an asshole, then don’t tip her, but I also wouldn’t order a drink from her again — she’ll pay you back for your lack of gratuity by making you wait a long time or by pouring you a wicked weak drink. Bartenders never forget the face of a non-tipper. Just like with flies and honey, you catch more bartenders with money.
∎ Do keep valuables to what you’re willing to carry in your hands and your pockets. It doesn’t make for a fun evening if you’re constantly keeping an eye on your shit. It helps to have a phone case that doubles as a wallet.
∎ Assert your space, but temper your drunk self. Don’t let that drunk dude next to you step on you continuously, but don’t react with a hard shove, either. You never know if he has a Tazer.
∎ Don’t start fights. If you’re that person, you’re the reason there’s precious little dancing happening in the Valley. You’re scaring bar owners away from hosting loud music and you’re ruining it for all of us.
∎ Do wear a coat that looks different from everyone else’s. You’ll be happy you did when you’re thrashing through that coat mountain in the dark at 2 a.m. and the bar staff is trying to get you the hell out the door.
∎ Do designate a driver. Or walk. Or take a cab. Or a bus. Because it’s not worth it.
∎ Do drink at least one glass of water for every alcoholic beverage you intake. And don’t forget to pee before bed.•
Contact Madame Barfly at firstname.lastname@example.org.