They always say there is no such thing as a free lunch, and I think that saying holds true when it comes to a free drink as well.
I went out with a couple of my girlfriends on Thanksgiving Eve. This is probably one of the top 5 nights of the year I love to go out. It’s Wednesay, but it’s really Friday for all intents and purposes. It’s the beginning of the holiday season, and everything just seems a little more warm and bright… Or maybe that was my whiskey cocktail making feel that way, but I digress.
My trio was sitting at the bar, minding our own business and buying our own drinks. We were enjoying our time, because it’s rare when everyone has time to go out together. As so many of these stories start out, there was a guy sitting next to me at the bar. After a while he started chatting me up. He was with his friends, and seemed to be the less intoxicated of the bunch. After a few minutes of banter, he asks if he can buy me AND my friends our next drink? I immediately start declining his drinks. That’s at least a $35 tab right out of the gate. We’re not cheap dates, and the darling bearded bartender knows our drinks. Please sir, put your wallet away.
You’re probably thinking, “what is wrong with this Piper chick?” And I get it, but let me tell you why.
Some guys look at buying drinks as an insurance policy on their evening. If they keep you pumped full of booze, you’re obligated to spend the rest of the time at the bar with them, and possibly go home with them. I’m not saying this is every guy, but it is some guys. I don’t do well with obligations, so buying me a drink is more of a gamble than anything.
This is the alarm bell that is sounding in my brain as I’m politely declining his beverages. He’s persistent, and against my better judgement, I give in, because I didn’t want to insult the guy. I’m thinking maybe he’s old school, he’s a gentleman. I always tend to think the worst of guys, so just let the guy pick up a round of drinks.
It is around this time I spot a couple of friends who have arrived at the bar. Now, I suppose an important detail of this story is, these friends also happen to have penises. So, they’re men.
I jump off my bar stool and bear hug these two because A. Whiskey… B. I was genuinely happy to see them. I chatted with them for a second and made my way back to my girlfriends. At this point the drink buyer says to me, “I get it, this is always how these things go.” Knowing full well what things he was referring to, I ask him wide-eyed, “what do you mean?” I knew he was flipping me shit over talking to other guys. I just wanted him to have to explain his palatable insecurity.
“You know, you know everybody, every guy is your friend…”
I knew I shouldn’t have let this guy buy our drinks. It’s clear he feels entitled to my evening. It’s clear in his mind, I should have rudely ignored human beings I know pretty well to stroke his fragile ego. At this juncture, I’m just a bitch. I would have been a bitch if I didn’t let him buy our drinks, I was a bitch because I know other humans with penises. The only scenario that I’m not a bitch in this story is if I went home with the drink buyer. I’d rather be the bitch.
So you know what I did? I let the guy buy another round because… fuck him. You can buy us drinks all night, but you’re not going home with me. Maybe that makes me a bad person, but you know what? I earned those damn drinks. I had to listen to another drunken idiot recount the same story over and over because he was too intoxicated to remember he already told me three times already. I had to keep reminding him of my name, because in his boozy memory, it wouldn’t quite stick. I waited it out until his friend who was even more hammered than he was, finally pulled a dumb ass move to get them kicked out by the darling bearded bartender.
So that, dear readers is the long story as to why there is never such a thing as a free drink. That is why I’ll pay for my own.