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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Surprise Studs (not really): Bar Dads

Here’s a little tip for all of you post-grads out there: Real-world bar life is much different than college bar life.
In college bar life, you pregame with your friends for about an hour, listening to 90’s pop and changing your outfit four times. You arrive at the bar to find 80 of your peers crammed into a 16x30-foot space, sucking down pitchers of watery beer and pretending to be big spenders by buying a round of Sauza shots that actually come to about $2 a pop. You know everyone there, you commiserate about your most recent Business Statistics test, and then you go home with the kid you went home with last weekend who you swore you would never go home with again because he’s like, such a douche.
It’s fucking heaven.
Real-world bar life is much less predictable. First of all, there is no pregaming. Your friends are all meeting for happy hour after work, meaning everyone’s coming from four different directions wearing blazers and heels of a sensible height. You will order a glass of wine, maybe a margarita because it’s “Thirsty Thursdayyyyy!” and you’re still gripping onto memories of senior year. Very few people your age are there. In fact, very few people you know at all are there, but there is one specimen whose attendance you can be certain of: The Bar Dad.
Nice try, Jon Gosselin
He is very easy to spot. Unlike the businessboys of our generation who stay fly til they die rockin’ Microtwill Photographer Suit Pants from Express Men, the Bar Dad’s suit was $650 from Jos. A. Bank and no he did NOT wait for the buy one get two free sale. Everything is tailored to perfection, so much so that it does a pretty spectacular job of hiding his 55-year-old spare tire. His black leather loafers with tassels mean business, as does his slicked-back flow. He wears cufflinks….EVERY DAY. WHAT THE FUCK.
Needless to say, you’re impassively curious as to how Bar Dad achieved his success. Don’t worry, he’ll tell you, but not before summoning whatever bit of 25-year-old suaveness he has left and beginning the conversation with an awkwardly confident, “Well helLO there."
“Hi,” you respond, suddenly wishing you were wearing your high school “Class of 2008” t-shirt or Chuck Taylors or feather extensions or ANYTHING that would communicate, “I’m too young for you, bro.” Damn this pencil skirt to hell, seriously. He asks what you do. You’ve perfected making your entry-level job sound a lot more prestigious than it actually is, so you immediately spit out, “I’m an assistant project manager for an information technology company!” i.e. you staple the project manager’s daily schedule together and watch Pretty Little Liars on Hulu.
“Way cool,” he responds, because that’s what a young guy would say, right? He starts describing his career—an executive at an asset management firm. He pauses for effect, as if you have any clue what that entails, and then goes on to casually describe how they just entered a joint venture with a European money manager, as if you have any clue what that means. Thank God he mentioned Europe, because it was the perfect segue into describing his love for cross-country skiing and how he just went to Italy this past winter to a resort in Pragelato.
“I’ve never been skiing,” you accidentally offer, a mistake you immediately regret as you notice the sparkle of potential romantic opportunity light up his eyes.
Heh heh, well maybe we’ll start you on something smaller than the Alps. I rent out a place in Aspen every few years, you should come with me.”
“Aspen, where the beer flows like wine?”
He doesn’t get the reference, but continues to woo you with, “Yeah, we don’t want you to take on the BIG ones until you’re ready.” (Ew.)
At about this time, you’re throwing your friends a major stink eye, because they’re dying laughing at your misfortune from across the bar. He’s oblivious to you mouthing, “FUCK YOU GUYS” as he describes his various other vacation spots and sports cars and tee times with clients who are apparently a big deal but you wouldn’t know. He finally steps off his soapbox and asks what you like to do for fun. You carefully sort through your hobbies, trying to sound as boring as possible so he’ll leave you for the administrative assistant slut that just walked in.
“Well, uh, I like the beach and reading and I like to work out.”
“Heh heh, trust me, I can tell.” *wink* (Ew.)
Make a mental note to wear muumuus to happy hour for the rest of your life.
"What beach do you like to go to?” he asks, and you weirdly feel like you should say Caños de Meca or Crete or basically anywhere but Ocean City, Maryland. Does this guy go to nude beaches in Europe? WHY DID YOU JUST IMAGINE THAT.
Cautiously, you mention that you and your friends went to Delaware for Memorial Day Weekend and he excitedly responds, “My daughter was there that weekend too!” and starts to break out his phone for pictures.
“WELP my friends are over there waiting for me but it was really nice meeting you!” you say with a wave. He tries to buy you a drink but you’re screaming, “No thanks!” from across the room and vowing to your friends that because of this they will be wearing the ugliest bridesmaids dresses imaginable.
Bar Dad is always there, always waiting, always hoping that you’re desperate enough for a Sugar Daddy to take him up on his lavish offers and play Step Mom to a girl your own age. Feel free to accept his free drinks, but everything else is just weird. Rest assured: most Bar Dads keep their Bar Dad behavior at the bar, but if you notice your boss comes creeping by the receptionist desk upwards of five times a day and is always asking you where they keep the extra paper clips, it’s fair to assume who you’ll be avoiding later this evening.
Note her look of sheer terror

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