The bar “experiment”

So, not going to mention exactly when and where, but some week(s)/month(s) back, went to a “bar” of sorts. Bar, full bar, bar in restaurant, brew pub, bar in club, … whatever, I’ll just call it “bar” here. And that was before I posted my alcohol, etc. blog posting. Not that my “bar” experiment significantly (or even at all?) altered my perspective and take on alcohol, etc. So, the bar “experiment” …

Went to bar. I forget for sure what day of the week it was … almost certainly it was a Saturday night. I don’t drink. Whatever, they also serve non-alcoholic beverages – possible in essentially any bar or the like. At least the bars here in California are non-smoking, and have been for quite a while now – compliance varies, but most are very to quite good on that, including this one I went to.

So, … interactions, etc., and potential opportunities thereof? I went, it was fairly crowded, but not (quite?) overly so? The place had quite a number of tables, and space around bar proper. Could have gotten spot at table (possibly with short wait), but that didn’t seem too useful – I came by myself. Sitting alone at table didn’t seem useful way to attempt some more interaction, so I hung out around the bar proper. Was relatively crowded there – most of the seating around the bar occupied. Whatever, got myself a non-alcoholic beverage, and basically hung out.

So, … how did it go? Eh, … eh, tolerable enough, but …
So, … who was interacting with whom, when, where, how? Who was even bothering to look or look around and notice, me, and/or anything or anyone else? Perhaps matter of the venue and the time, but …
Essentially everyone was already “grouped up”. Highly so. Every table, 2 or more persons there, and quite highly not interacting with anyone else – no looks, no glances, no getting up and moving about. Quite nothing – and very much so. Likewise at the bar – pairs or more folks, quite each in their own little world of group, negligible to zero interaction with anyone else. And really, I did watch and look around quite carefully. Just about the only movement among tables, other than when folks arrived, or left, was waitstaff moving among tables. Really, that was quite it, or so close to it as to not even spot any deviation thereof. Maybe a rare trip to restroom as exception, but even then, really quite no interaction at all with anyone else. I forget precisely how I timed it, but had many hours free, didn’t want to spend it all hanging at that bar the whole time, so planned it kind’a around something else to do and break it up in the middle. So, was there roughly an hour or two. Then left. Then came back again – roughly 3 hours later, and stayed for about another hour or two – until closing … was probably there at least 90 minutes anyway on the 2nd visit. On the return visit, it had thinned out a lot more. But really, again, quite negligible interaction going on – at least outside or beyond each “group” that had come there. Only exception I saw were two groups of apparently young twenty-somethings. And the only interaction I saw between those two groups (one of guys, and one of gals), was, well, quite juvenile. Oh really, and how were these guys getting the attention of the gals there? Squirt guns. See a girl you wanna flirt with? Hit her with a squirt gun … but do it – at least often – stealthily – create nice big cold wet spot, then laugh and tease. Yeah, I don’t think that would’a worked well at all for me, especially at then 49. Maybe at a young twenty-something I might’ve been able to get away with it. Maybe the only reason these women tolerated it at all is because perhaps they already rather to quite knew these guys anyway. Regardless, that was pretty much all I saw happening at all in the way of interaction. Heck, for the most part, was never anyone even looking around or so much as glancing around, checking out the “scene” or other folks, or really anything … all quite each to their own little pair or group – notwithstanding squirt gun related interactions. And damn near nobody there by themselves at all. Did see one woman come in by herself. But she never even so much as looked around. I was by bar. She came in, sat at bar, ordered her adult beverage, read her book, and left. Don’t think she ever even so much as saw me or looked around at all. Other than slight interaction with persons working there, was almost none at all for me in the slightest. One guy there who appears to be a quite “regular” said hello to me, but really that was about it.

Anyway, perhaps just not the venue for meeting folks – at least for meeting anyone you haven’t already communicated with and quite specifically planned and arranged to meet there. Really, I don’t think anyone there met anyone they hadn’t already at least communicated with – or perhaps was part of some group where they already knew at least one person in that group. And that was over a total of at least 3, probably as much as 4 or up to 5 hours total of hanging out and observing there (and attempting to interact, had any semi-reasonable opportunity presented itself).

Anyway, at least that experiment, pretty much a waste (other than “learning” experience) … at least for that venue and that time, anyway. Not a bad place to hang out – even has some at least half-way decent “pub grub” kind’a food (better than many “bars” or the like). But, going there to try to meet folks? Sure as hell not at that time, and maybe not even ever at that place.

And, on the way home – did walk by another bar that had just closed. Some folks still talking outside, bits of conversation like, “Nice meeting you” along with an exchange of contact information. Maybe a much more possible/useful venue, had I tried there instead. But then again, maybe not. Haven’t tried that other one yet, but every time I’ve been by it and peeked a bit, seems to be almost exclusively a twenty-something crowd (maybe some youngish thirty-somethings in the mix? – even if so, seems much more the exception than the rule at that place). Also, there’s almost nothing to do at that particular place besides drink (they’ve got like one other thing that can notably be done there) – at least the venue I did try had some other stuff there to make it not so totally sucky (notably more than just a place to drink and with nothing else to do or see at the venue … well, other than theoretically interact with some other folks).

So, “bar”s or the like? I don’t hold out much hope of any useful meetings of folks there – certainly any non-prearranged meetings with person(s) I’ve not even communicated with before. And especially since I don’t drink – don’t even really particularly care to be around alcohol.

And besides, … of all the good successful relationships I’ve ever known – and I don’t just mean me, but anyone I’ve ever known. How many of them first met in a bar? Of all I know? Zero. (Or if maybe any of ’em have, they don’t want to admit it, and use some other story instead?). And, as someone else (sort’a “friend”) put it to me (paraphrasing from memory): “Bars? Only thing I’ve ever known anyone to pick up from there, are diseases and problems.”

So, maybe try some other bar venue(s), or not. Relatively far down on my list of places to try – seems rather to quite improbable anyway. Thus far several hours there, and not for lack of trying, conversations with other than staff there, one “hello” from some apparently regular guy there. Other than that, not so much as anybody even bothering to look around or notice anyone else there, beyond whatever person or group they came with … notwithstanding some going-on-14 very juvenile behavior – that I’m sure would not serve me well.


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