What to Do When Bought a Drink at the Bar

Adrian Fernand – Australia’s seriously stylish agony uncle and creator of idobelieveicamewithahat.com – answers your questions on life, the universe and everything. This week, Adrian has advice on what to do when someone buys you a drink in a bar or club.

Dear Agony Uncle,

When someone buys you a drink, what do you owe them? A conversation? A bang? The stronger the drink, the longer the conversation?

Boozy Lucy, Adelaide

Dear Boozy Lucy,

May I push that stool in for you? I’m sure you’re familiar with the repulsive joke that accompanies that punchline; it’s a classic. In fact, I or someone just like me told it to you. You’re living proof that people still send drinks to one another across the bar. It happened to me once: a dry vodka martini mixed just how I like it—two olives and a pinch of salt—accompanied with the obligatory head-jerking and bar-searching gesticulation when a silver tray arrived with a complimentary cocktail. The questions begin to form and spew forth like an AlcoPop-imbibed youth. Who’s it from? How did they know what I like to do drink? Could it be the man/woman/hatstand of my dreams?

Alas, it was my mother, who too shares my love of vodka. I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. That said, the mystery and the suspense associated with receiving an unsolicited beverage is unparalleled and seldom executed. Likewise the ‘I’ve plucked up the courage to talk to you’ gin and tonic—a staple in the single world—in this digital world of poking, liking and photo stalking.

If offered a drink, remember that you don’t always have to accept. A polite refusal is far more proper than accepting and spending the next half an hour searching for an escape. If you do accept, however, a short chat is polite but you are not obligated to proffer more than your name, your interests and where you summer. As for anything else (drink strength included), well, that’s entirely up to you, but remember that ladies don’t put out on the first date. Well, not ladies who have drinks bought for them (and who aren’t procured by the hour). Never forget that you always get what you (don’t) pay for.

Image reproduced from artofapproaching.com

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