I learned many things in the course of one evening. I thought I would share a few.
1. Even when you tried to think as yourself and strictly a single woman, even when you chose clothes from your closet that you don't wear to church or to school, even when you adorn yourself in otherwise unused jewelry and make up, you can be rudely yanked back into the role of parent when your child calls you at the bar to say he forgot something he needed from you and could you please drive back across town to remedy the situation?
2. It's an entirely different experience, this going out thing, when you are accompanied by a very beautiful woman. I don't know if she entirely sees the difference (because she just lives it) but it was really fascinating to witness. While it has it's obvious perks, I do not envy her.
3. You can get a man to buy you a drink with four coins and a cute smile. I watched it happen. More than once. I suspect, if I had been forced to try it, I would have been more impressed with a man who wasn't outwitted so easily than the one forced to buy the drink. I didn't see that happen, unfortunately.
4. Stoli, while the cheap drink special, will never be my drink of choice.
5. It is very easy to "rule a guy out" when he follows up the disclosure that I work in an elementary school with a response that corporal punishment should never have been taken out of the public school system. I was grateful (and I hoped this help to explain his position) to learn that he was not a parent.
6. I will never understand the desire of those who regularly go out, to bar hop. I completely enjoyed the first place we were at. As well as the second, certainly the third, and of course the fourth. I just didn't know why we needed to cover all that ground in one night. But I did quickly realize it's the thing to do, as I saw the same people at all four places. I'm not sure who was leading and who was following but in any case, we were all there together.
7. A warm coat is critical when bar hopping will be in effect, but it's completely impractical once you are inside. It's as much of a burden as a pocketbook.
8. There is nothing impressive about a man who tries to win you over by showing you pictures of his 7 year old son, only to refer to this beautiful child as "my nigga!!!" with great enthusiasm and passion.
9. I will never be able to drink AND play pool. I am getting too old to keep trying.
10. The song "Ice Ice Baby" needs to die. It needs to never be played again. Ever.
11. It is critically important to inform foreigners at a bar of an 80's convention being held locally for fear they would report back to their nation our country's complete lack of fashion sense.
12. Never underestimate the power of music. If you begin to doubt, go to a piano bar and watch the unanimous and simultaneous reaction to songs like "Purple Rain," "Jack and Diane," or "Don't Stop Believin'"
13. Even if you spent an hour getting ready for the evening, when it comes down to it, at 1am, all you really want is to put your hair in a pony and to borrow a baseball cap. And sometimes a boy will be just kind enough to lend one to you.
14. It will never cease to amaze me that we women still spend hours getting ready to go out, to be surrounded by men very happily (and comfortably) adorned in jeans, sneakers and baseball caps.
15. Getting kissed at the end of a night out can be divine. But sometimes, not getting kissed by the wrong guy can be divine, too.
16. I am not the sort of person to ever buy a dress or an outfit and then plan an event around it. But I can now officially say I know someone who would.
17. You know you are too old to come in at 2:15 in the morning when it is your pre-teen son's alarm clock going off at 5:45 that wakes you up.
18. Even if you had a great night out, even if the food was amazing and the company was fun and you pulled it off without breaking your budget. Even if it all went well and you have no complaints, in the morning, when you wake up and realize you're back to your parenting role again, you will welcome it with open arms and a glad heart.
19. People who think dating is fun haven't done it very long. Or met the right person early on in the game.
20. Above all else, I know this much to be true: meeting a man at a bar (or online) is not the start of the love story I want to write for myself.