"So, how much would it be to get a table?"
I asked this question to the bounciest of bounce-bag bouncers currently checking my ID to grant me entrance into one of the trendiest bars in town. It was my good friend's bachelorette party and I was really only asking because I more so wanted somewhere to put my purse and be able to order a drink without getting my leg humped rather than flaunt the bottle service.
"Oh yeah, that's not gonna happen," was his oh so kind response.
"Excuse me?" I shot back.
"It's Saturday night. And the only tables we have left our reserved for VIP customers. And they're like really expensive." He said this all while not even bothering to look me in they eyes, his way of say just go inside & stand like the other middle-class bitches.
This conversation was to set the tone of almost every guy we were to encounter that evening. But what did I expect? I had been to this part of town several times before and nothing had nor would it change any time soon. So I zipped up my $11.99 forever21 clutch and assumed my above average position at the bar. It was my friend's party and the wanna-be Ken doll at the front door was not going to ruin our fun.
Once we were at the bar, we actually met a couple (exactly two) nice guys who congratulated my lovely friend and bought a round in her honor. Then one of the girls handed out bachelorette 'dare' cards to everyone. Games aren't really my thing but it wasn't my night, it was my friend's night. If she would've asked me to wear a penis costume out that night then a penis costume is what I'd be rocking for the evening. I can't stand when girls try to act too good for something that is solely designed for fun. It's just a silly game, get over yourself.
Luckily, I landed a card that was harmless enough and simply instructed me to get the bartender to give me a free drink. I didn't have to lick anyone's face, show my ass or grind on a strange man? SCORE. So I headed up to the bar with my friend and waited for the spray tanned gorilla of bartender to take my order. He was chatting up a real life bro-ho Barbie that my request would obviously interrupt. He finally came over.
"What do you want?" (Oooo, he was a poet too!)
I handed him the card and explained to him that we had this game going and that he would really be do me a solid if he could just give me a free drink. It didn't have to be creative or even desirable, just free.
He rolled his eyes. "Sure."
Sweet. Mission accomplished. Piece of painless cake.
He grabbed a glass of ice, set it in front of me, filled it with water from his bar gun, tossed a lime in it, said, "Free" and walked away.
I gottta admit, at first, it made me feel about as desirable as the crusted bottle of Sambuca that no one had ordered in over a year that was sure to be tucked away in the back of his fancy bar fridge. It wasn't the fact that he didn't give me the free cocktail, I'm a big girl, I can pay for my own. It was just the way he did it. It was like he found a certain joy in shooting me down.
I started to wonder, would he have given it to the girl he was talking to? Or the one over there with the teeny-tiny dress on? Or maybe the one over there whose perfectly pouted lips would put any duck face to shame? Was I getting old? Could he tell that I used a sharpie to color in the chips on my heels? Was the dress I wore out of style? What was wrong with me?
As soon as that last question crossed my mind, I immediately snapped out of it. The only thing that was wrong with me was that I was giving this pompous 30,000-dollar-millionaire-meathead a second of my thoughts or time. I knew better than to let this guy affect my mood or suck the wind out of my sails.
I took a moment and silently gave myself the pep talk that has worked for me over the past couple years. It goes something like this: I am worthy and beautiful and have plenty of worthy and beautiful people in my life to know this. If someone cannot see this then that is their opinion, not my definition.
I encourage you to use it or your own version the next time someone makes you feel unworthy. It takes some practice, but eventually it works. They are literally my magic words. They can break almost any cruel spell instantly. Yes, it took some time to fully believe them, but practice makes perfect, right? And that is exactly what you should think you are, perfectly imperfect.
I took in my surroundings after I refocused on where I was and who I was with instead of wondering why I didn't belong there. I saw a lot of girls who were standing still, looking pretty and seemingly miserable. I saw a lot of dudes with puffed up chests, muscles shaped by memberships rather than hard work and expressions that begged that no one would call them on their bluff. A sense of pity filled my heart for them. What a tiring facade to uphold it must be.
Then I saw my friends. My beautiful bride-to-be was in the middle of this sea of serious-sally's dancing to the beat of her own wedding drum and encouraging everyone around her to do the same. She was hugging her bridesmaids and thanking everyone for being there and enjoying one of the last nights on the town that she was to be considered a "single" woman.
She was going to have fun with or without anyone's permission and I don't think anyone was going to dare to stop her. Her charisma was contagious and I was proud to belong to her group of celebrating friends. We were going to party and laugh and not care. And having to pay for our own drinks once in awhile wouldn't stop that from happening.
Before I returned to my group, I turned back to the bartender and motioned him over. Was I going to call him an asshole? Insult his intelligence or the girl he was talking to? Give him some advice on being a gentleman? No. It would have been a waste of breath and time.
Instead I grabbed a $5 dollar bill from my non designer bag, took out the black straw he so politely tossed in my "free" drink and replaced it with the infamous penis straw that can be found at almost every bachelorette party. I placed the dick straw adorned water on top of the five dollar bill and thanked him for all his help.
He probably didn't lose any sleep over my little gesture but it did make me feel better. Not because I felt like I cut him back deeper or showed him up but because he helped me remember that no one else determines my happiness much less my worth.
It was my way of thanking him for reminding me that I will never need a free drink or any kind of validation from him or any other VIPenis.