Drinking With Strangers: Why Everyone Should Try Going To The Bar Alone

by Olivia Klayman
Warner Bros. Pictures

I would argue I’m more comfortable being alone more than your average person.

While I consider myself outgoing, I feel I'm truly an introvert.

I love spending time with people, but I feel refreshed after spending time in isolation.

Now and then, I just need time to myself where I can unapologetically binge-watch Spanish telenovelas and consume vats of ice cream and butterless popcorn in f*cking peace.

To put it frankly I’m independent as f*ck, quite possibly at my own expense.

I can imagine that by this time next year, I may be a human Jabba the Hutt. (That’s okay because my cats will love me anyway.)

While I’m quick to pat myself on the back for my reclusive tendencies, sometimes I find I choose not to do something for no reason other than the fact it’s taboo or frowned upon.

For example, it would be totally inappropriate for me to marry myself, but I am pretty confident no one could make me quite as happy as I could (a more plausible outcome if I continue at my feminist-hermit ways).

While it’s easy to talk a big game, I impulsively decided I needed to grow a pair and try something completely out of my comfort zone.

Something totally affordable and painless seemed to be a solo adventure to a bar.

Going to bars alone has always seemed like a societal no-no.

In general, alcohol (understandably) is highly stigmatized.

When you think “bar” and “alone,” you think of someone who has gone to this late-night graveyard to drown his or her sorrows in a bottle of cheap Jack.

Let’s face it: Nothing’s worse than drinking alcohol cheaper than you are.

What’s the point in going to a bar by yourself when you get peer-pressured to go out by people who still depend on their parents to finance their bar tab?

(Maybe I need new friends.)

Anywho, I decided to give a solo bar adventure a go for sh*ts and giggles.

I’m not going to lie to you; at first, it was super uncomfortable.

Purely based on impulse, I got dressed up for a night on the town.

I think I spent about 20 minutes awkwardly pacing in front of the bar’s entrance.

After several catcalls, I retreated to the confines of hard liquor and darkness.

(There’s nothing quite as humbling as strangers soliciting you for sex on a Wednesday night. Sigh.)

When I walked in, I can’t say I felt anymore relief.

It was the beginning of the evening, so the bar was still dead.

It wasn’t far enough into the night where people are piss drunk and proposing to strangers they’ll never see again.

It was the part of the evening when people are still easing into their inebriation.

So, I majorly f*cked up by going at 11 pm and not 2 am.

Like a mature adult ready to face the word, I retreated to the women’s restroom.

I stayed there for quite a while until I met some nice women from Atlanta.

I’m sure they interpreted my eagerness for companionship as a come-on, but they still accepted me with open arms.

As we returned to main floor, I felt a little more at ease.

I stayed with them for maybe 15 minutes before I felt uncomfortably young.

The talk of children and husbands was not the sort of adventure I had set out to find.

As they bonded over adulthood, I slipped away to the bar.

There, I struck up a conversation with the bartender.

I feared he may also perceive my desperateness as genuine interest, but to my relief, we had the same taste in men.

The next hour or so, we went as far as to gossip about the various men circumventing the room.

Bars are the one place where you can unapologetically “people watch” because tequila enthusiasts are too inebriated to notice.

If I had come to the bar with friends, perhaps I would never have seen "Gentleman A” aggressively "sprinklering" several women on the dance floor.

Boy, it was ugly.

After three hours, new friends and a $20 bar tab, I retreated to the comfort of my own bed.

Will I ever go to a bar by myself again? F*ck no.

But that’s not the point.

I was willing to take a risk, and I’m proud of that.

I pushed myself out of my comfort zone.

I found friendship in people from different walks of life.

If not for my peculiar situation, I may have never talked to them.

Life is about taking risks, overcoming irrational fears and getting drunk. (Well, maybe not the last one.)

I invite you all to challenge conventional boundaries set by society. If it scares you, try it.

There is nothing more empowering than defying pre-existing stigmas and stereotypes.

Independence cannot truly be judged by the amount of time you spend alone, but rather, by your willingness to branch outside of your comfort zone.

I learned so much about myself and dance moves from the '80s during my solo adventure at a bar.

If something excites you, dive in.

If you’re afraid to try unconventional, do it anyway.

Don’t let a socially constructed set of rules determine the type of life you lead.

Life’s too short to live in fear. Take risks, and drink wine.