Tuesday, February 8, 2011

I need a drink

It's quite a funny thing that a gal would start a blog on going to bars alone when said gal is a dainty drinker and for three years prior to said blog, barely stepped a pinky in a bar. So as I end this year, I paraphrase a line from the Barenaked Ladies- Oh Alcohol, Oh Bars, I drink to your health. And what a journey it took to get to this salute... I barely had a sip of alcohol before I was 17 and the first time I got properly smashed in high school, I lost track of four hours and confessed every feeling I had for every boy in the room. Due to that night, I cannot be within sniffing distance of a rum and coke to this day.

Freshman year of college opened the gates on a caged-in conservative do-gooder and well, it was fun. But after that joyful age of 18, alcohol went on the back-burner and sporadically took on negative connotations for various reasons- health, fitness, money, apathy and career focus. In the years preceding this blog, I dated an actor/bartender and as I watched his bar lifestyle turn lovely happy sunrises into dark sad sunsets for two and a half years, I barely touched alcohol. We broke up, I drank a glass of wine every day for a month, and through the eight months after and then during this blog year, I have settled into a healthy relationship with alcohol.

Yesterday was a long emotional day of work for me, and when I was free to be Girl at a Bar at 9pm, boy did I need a drink. I took my little booty down to Seven Grand downtown, super stoked to catch the live jazz they offer Monday-Wednesdays at 10pm. I love me some live jazz. I realized I now love me some Seven Grand. A dark, classic haunt, with deep mahogany wood covering the long bar and deer heads adorning lamps, walls, and intricate chandeliers filling the small nooks and one large lounge with pool tables. Not knowing much about whiskey, I had the bartender make a creation for me and fell in love with a Southern Paw, a whiskey concoction with cucumber and a hint of citrus. Looking it up, I can't seem to find a recipe for it, darnit! Guess I'll just have to be going back there soon! You don't have to force me.

I took my drink for a tour around the bar- looked at the shadow boxes in the bathroom hallway showing various plastic hands holding cigarettes, went to the outdoor patio where I eyed an attractive guy and then realized he was holding hands with another guy, and was overjoyed when the sounds of a jazz quintet filled my ears. I was approached by a patron, talked about the music and was invited to join Todd and his friend at a high top. We had a lovely conversation about our work days before they headed out to Villains Tavern, another bar on my list that sounds wicked cool.

I lingered by a pool table where a cute boy was playing a game with friends. I tried to strike up a conversation, in a sudden mood to flirt unabashedly with a hot male, but he scoffed off my remarks. His friend, Jared, asked if I was good at pool and could help him take a few shots. I hesitated, remembering a time I ruined a game of flip cup when I said I was "so awesome at it", but took the leap anyway. I got two shots in a row and was super impressed with myself! Jared told me they were there for their friend Annie's birthday; her boyfriend was the cute boy. Ok, so he didn't want to flirt with me cause he was there for his girlfriend's birthday. That's understandable. I guess. Jared and I played some more pool, he mentioned wanting to take me to more jazz places and I felt my work was done. Seven Grand, you have been stamped.

I will always be a sporadic drinker, the girl who will more than half of the time have water at the bar and have just as much fun, but I now look at bars and what they serve with such joy. I recognize when you need a drink, you need it. And like last night, when you get to have it, it is pretty damn freaking glorious. As I left the bar, I saw the restaurant/bakery Bottega Louie across the street and with an intense craving for a red velvet cupcake, went inside. They stopped serving 15 minutes prior and realizing I had also missed the cutoff for the beloved Sweet Lady Jane near my house, stopped at Swingers. They were all out of red velvet, so I acquiesced to the S'mores flavor. It was still pretty magnificent. So I'll paraphrase a line from the Rolling Stones and say- You can't always get what you want, but sometimes you get what you need. And if you still want it, tomorrow is another day after all.

1 comment:

Erika said...

Sounds like a Southern Paw is a play on a South Side....