Going To A Bar By Myself
I moved to a new town three years ago after finishing graduate school. I’ve found myself with a good group of friends, but they’re all 15 years older than me or married with kids. I feel like it’s time to hit the bar scene and meet some new … friends. How do I go to a good bar by myself without looking sad or potentially creepy?
When should you go to a bar by yourself? Not on a weekend, please. Barring special circumstances, no one over the age of 30 should make plans to be in a bar after 7 p.m. on a Friday or Saturday, when it’s amateur hour all night long. Just don’t do it; elevate the related Yogi Berra saying to a kind of principle. Instead, go out on Thursday night or Sunday afternoon, with a good book and also the crossword puzzle tucked under your arm—a friendly flag announcing that you are game to put your head together with other active minds.
Your second question is, How do I find some new friends? It’s no trick to make a lot of friends in bars—if all you want is to hang out in bars. But surely there are other ways to discover a proper peer group in your new town. Do you think your college alumni association could put you in touch with any acceptable playmates? Do your existing friends have any friends you can leach—people unburdened by children and other such deficiencies? Do you have the temperament to fly solo at concerts and arts events where you might encounter people of similar tastes?
Do you have the inclination to get hooked up with a public-service organization, perhaps one with a charity-ball component? If you do some volunteer work and all the people you meet are dorks, then at least you won’t have wasted your time. Likewise, if you turn up at a fancy-schmancy fundraiser, and all the dudes you meet are jerks, then maybe at least you can get a tax deduction or an heiress’ phone number.
Further, it is not going to bars alone that makes creeps, it’s acting creepy. As long as you are not unwelcomely intruding on anyone’s leisure time or personal space, then the worst that can possibly be said is that you are benignly weird, sitting over there with your blueberry margarita and your scrimshaw project.