Tuesday, August 7, 2007

On the rocks

In the movies, bars are always comfortably trendy. People sip their drinks at romantic bistro tables or while lounging in deep leather arm chairs. The lighting is soft and the music is never so loud as to inhibit thoughtful, but witty, conversations. Basically, they’re coffee houses, but with stemware.

Given the above, one never wonders why people would choose to hang out at a bar rather than the comfort of...anywhere else. Given an actual bar one has to wonder how anyone takes this imaginary bar seriously.

It isn’t as if I hang out at bars often, but when I do they are always deafeningly loud, crowded with groady people, and covered in dirt and spilled drinks. It’s like being charged five bucks to shop at Aldi, but without the possibility of buying food.

Saturday I went out with the girls. "Come on Melody, we’ll pay your cover and if it’s awful we’ll all just have some drinks and talk."

Now that it is over I am struck by the fact that 1) I’ve never known my friends to find a bar so awful they couldn’t dance and 2) we couldn’t have talked if they’d wanted to.

It was a Mexican bar, so I got asked to dance a lot. As far back as I can remember my friends have made fun of me because I don’t/can’t dance. I’d blame it on growing up in a conservative Christian home, but both my sisters dance well, though I’m pretty sure my brother couldn’t if his life depended on it. Its our one bond outside the realm of sci-fi.

The problem here is not so much that I was asked to dance, but that Mexican men seem to pay no attention at all to body language or facial expressions. Any other guy I can turn down with one look. Not that night.

Most of then men just held out their hand or stood real close. If I knew Spanish they might have been asking me to dance, but I don’t so I'll never know. Shaking my head and saying no was almost completely ineffectual. Nobody comes to a bar to not dance, so obviously I must be trying to say something else.

The only guy who asked me why I wouldn't dance with him looked completely horrified when I told him I don’t like it. If I’d told him I’d murdered his mother it probably would have been less of a shock to his system. When I finally convinced him that I really didn’t mean to dance he walked away and gave a sad glance back, the kind that might be bestowed upon an terminal cancer patient.

As soon as it was remotely close to time to leave I hurried my friends out of the establishment only for us to sit at the train tracks for the duration of half an hour and five different trains. But it could have worse, we could have been dancing.


Robin Marie said...

You did look pretty mortified. Though I must say that it's not fair to say your friends can't not dance in a bar... I can't not dance ANYwhere...

Melody said...

lol, I was thinking more of Celi and Alice. I know you can't not dance anywhere...but that also doesn't stop you from having lovely and insightful conversations, so that doesn't bother me.

Robin Marie said...

lol. Celi and alice didn't seem too concerned, did they?

Melody said...

lol, no, I wouldn't go to a bar/club with just those two. I'd be alone the entire time and I'd never find them to leave!

Robin Marie said...

oh, and just by the way, dancing would not have been worse. You weren't the one holding down the clutch!

Melody said...

But you wanted to drive stick! It's part of the experience!

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