Like how you act when your SO isn’t here. Or that sadness behind your eyes.
TL;DR eye contact and a knowing look speak volumes.
Here’s a short list of secrets we’ll keep on your behalf.
The fact that you have been here 3 times this week with 3 different dates
And everything you say and do, right down to what you order and suggest for her, is hyper-choreographed.
Not that I give a fuck. It doesn’t matter that you have a first (or second) date go-to — in fact, I fuckin like your style. Totally agree it takes the guesswork out and frees up focus for conversation (which, by the sounds of it, is also choreographed, but whatever — #firstdates.)
But regardless of how I feel about it, it’s my fucking job to be discrete about who else you bring and how often. And any bartender worth his or her salt would agree.
Fun story: When I lived in downtown Denver, I sometimes frequented this upscale sports bar across the street from me — especially when hanging out with dudes. In a single week I went there with a friend, a lunch date that went nowhere, and my brother. I had the same server each time, and on the third visit he was all, “oh hey! You were just in here with that other guy.” My brother thought it was hilarious, of course. And clearly no harm, no foul.
But like… duuuude.
The fact that you know nothing about what you’re ordering but want your date to think you do
I won’t correct you when you mispronounce it or misinform them with some fake facts. Partly because they probably don’t know nothing anything about it, either, so probably won’t remember one way or the other.
But mostly because you telling them about the drink isn’t really about the drink. It’s about you guys building rapport, and I am the wingman.
The fact that you totally slept with that other customer, or want to be more than friends with the “we’re just friends” friend sitting next to you
Pretty much, anything you tell us about your love life stays behind the bar.
The fact that you come here way more than your SO thinks
We get it; we’re your escape. As long as you’re well-behaved and don’t give us any reason to say otherwise, we haven’t seen you since you say you last came in.
The fact that you do NOT come here as much as your SO thinks
Perhaps even more important. The fact that you are not here on nights when it later becomes apparent they think you were.
We don’t give a fuck where you are or what you do when you’re not here drinking. They obviously do, but we care more about keeping you as a customer (and not enough about your inter-relational differences) to agree with you.
This also means, word to the wise / any “bar-regular’s” significant other: we don’t bite the hand that feeds us. Like anybody in a service role, being good at your job means understanding who the client is, and agreeing that they are (almost) always right. So if you want deets, the odds increase exponentially if you become a regular in your own right.
The fact that you hit on me the minute your wife goes to the restroom
Or the fact that you told me “I’d rather look at you than most anybody else”
right in front of your father-in-law minutes before she arrived.
The fact that you cheated on your fiancé in Vegas
Or are about to, during your bachelorette party next week.
Why you feel compelled to tell a stranger this is besides the point, but rest assured that if you just needed to spill to someone who wouldn’t immediately turn around and tell him, we can be that for you. (Now, that’s not to say all the other bartenders won’t eventually find out. Because they probably will.)
The fact that you’re drinking soda water with lime, not vodka-soda
Girl, you don’t have to explain why. I know why — I’ve played this move myself and by now I understand it perfectly. You’re drunk or don’t want to get drunk, but don’t want your date or girlfriends to know. I gotchu.
The fact that you really, *really* do not want that shot
If you are being pressured into a shot or a drink you don’t want, in the words of another bartender: “just keep your eyes on me.” I gotchu.
The fact that you’re cutting off your drunk buddy
Yeah, on behalf of the bar and future-him, thanks for that. Just signal me and I’ll quit swinging by or otherwise work it out.
The fact that you’re trying to get your buddy drunk
One move being to rotate who does shots with him — he’s always doing one, but with only one of you guys at a time.
I’ve seen this quickly turn into a very unloving situation of just trying to get someone fucked up because he’s a “hilarious” drunk. But as long as he’s still having fun, whatever.
The fact that you are an alcoholic
I mean, we can do math.
If you’re here 2 or 3 or 4 times a week drinking 4 or 6 or 10 drinks each time, we see you. And if you mention that you also frequent other places, we see that, too.
As long as you’re not belligerent, we won’t say anything — that’s your business; not ours. But we see you, bud.
The fact that your card was declined after you looked me in the eye and said, “I’ll pay with cash” as you started a tab for you and your date
Higher odds of letting this slide if you’re sitting at the bar — not out of sight on the patio or wandering around.
The fact that you just ran up half the bar’s drinks on your drunk rich buddy’s tab
And then closed it out on his behalf while he drunkenly shouted “Titoooooo’s!” at nobody in particular, with his glass in the air.
My coolness here is mostly dependent on his consent early-on; specifically, him standing there for the first few rounds you order and waving it off with “whatever — fuck it; I got it” like a douchebag who doesn’t want to be bothered with the details.
The fact that you order more expensive drinks when someone else is picking up the tab
I was here when you balked about your 12-oz. pour of Genesis running you $12. I was here when you switched to $5 pints.
But I was also here when you went right back and ordered another Genesis once your buddy showed up and said, “what are you drinking? I’m buying.”
The fact that you order top-shelf to impress whoever you’re with, and then tip like shit
You live in a house of lies, but that’s your bed of shit-karma to sleep in, not mine.
The fact that you tip insanely well
Pretty much, nobody else needs to know how you tip — unless you want them to. But between you and me: thanks, man.
Why you’re here
The fact that you need a distraction from the empty existential crisis that is your daily life.
But to be honest, this one’s easy. Because it’s why all of us drink.