Thursday, January 13, 2011

Could I Have a Boyfriend?

I have decided to address a question brought up often during this journey- Could Girl at a Bar have a boyfriend? What a novel concept! For the first six months, I thought that Girl at a Bar plus Committed Relationship equaled Not Gonna Happen. When I go out, I do not want to feel an ounce of obligation to anyone. I do not want anyone I date to have influence over what happens at a bar or what I write. In addition, I was superbly sure that no man would be hunky-dory with their girlfriend going to a bar by herself on a regular basis. I will not compromise- I will not let anyone secretly sit at the bar with killer shades. I will not give up the opportunity to jump on a bus with the circus because I have someone waiting for me at home. I was positive if a man came along he would want me to stop, maybe not at first, but eventually.

I was deathly afraid that if I liked someone who was not comfortable with the blog, I would wonder if I should continue. I contemplated stopping surrounding the boy I met on the first night, before I even told him about it. As I reflect back, I think how utterly offensive that was to myself and humanity! Girl at a Bar stops because she is worried what other people think, the shame! I ended up only dating one person for more than several weeks that I told about the blog. The fear surrounding the grandiose reveal to him was epic. I was half-way done with the journey and at that stage, was expecting his response to be negative. His response was positive. Something changed after that. I got over a catastrophic fear of admitting what I do, to not only a guy I was seeing, but to everyone. I constantly shout, "I'm Girl at a Bar!" off rooftops now. If people don't like it, they can jump off a rooftop. Just Kidding.

Before I did a blog bar last night, I started my marathon evening at Home Restaurant for dinner (fun new discovery), met friends at the Gold Room in Echo Park and saw the band Foster the People at The Echo. I was introduced to some new people and told them about the blog very quickly. I was so darn excited to ask about their favorite bars, not wanting to miss any in this last month. The idea of dating as Girl at a Bar was brought up. Everyone seems to have a different opinion on it- it should be fine if there is trust, a guy wouldn't like it solely because it doesn't seem safe, or a blank expression- Why do you do this anyway? Either way, I realized as we were chatting that after months of angst surrounding the subject, it now seemed so inconsequential to me. Hooray!

Since I started going to bars like it's my job, I now go to concerts like it's my job. I let my sister take me to restaurants like it's her job. I explore hiking trails and parks with my puppy like it's his job. Not only have I discovered alcoholic haunts, I have brought back my obsession with music and exploration of this city. I am embarrassed to say I had not been to The Echo before. Stop rolling your eyes Indie Music Scenesters! Let me be Girl at a Concert here for a second. Foster the People is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Click into their website and you will hear the song Pumped Up Kicks- you will not stop reloading it for the rest of your life. Then see them live and realize their entire essence and Mark Foster's voice blows your mind and will soon blow the minds of everyone in the universe. Conclude Girl at a Concert. As I drove to the Tiki Ti alone, I was super happy with my new discoveries from the night.

The Tiki Ti has been around for fifty years, a tiny shack on Sunset at the intersection of Hollywood into Silverlake, started by a now grandfather whose son and grand-kids own and operate the bar today. I enjoyed a fabulous tropical drink, learned about the history, had idle chat with a funny couple next to me and stared at the exorbitant amount of artifacts filling the minuscule space. It could easily take someone 90 minutes to look at everything from a miniature Volcano, three monkey figurines hula dancing, pineapple lights and the countless masks and coconuts. Since the employees are the owners, they allow smoking, the only bar in California to do so. The cigars were getting to my head so I left just shy of 90 minutes. The bartender sons and father sitting at the bar all waved goodbye and I took a handful of their awesome chex mix for the road.

I remember going to the Tiki Ti when I first moved here and thought "Where the hell in Los Angeles is this?" As I drove home from Silverlake last night, I realized I actually understand the streets of Echo Park and Silverlake now. I passed by bars, music venues and restaurants that I have now been to and love. I thought I had come a long way in the entry The Lake of Silver, but I am even farther than I could have imagined.

I did not end up having a boyfriend during the year of Girl at a Bar. Did I subconsciously push it away because I did not want to threaten the blog, did I deter people because of it or was it just how things panned out? We'll never know, but one thing is for sure- my new job is pretty damn cool.

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