The World's Greatest Wingmen

By Derek Brown
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Photo by laRuth/Flickr CC

In my bartending career, I've seen more strikeouts, flops, and fizzles than peewee baseball, but the idea that you can't meet someone worthwhile at a bar is a little absurd. After all, most of you go to bars, right? And those of you who are single find yourselves willing to meet people and even let those chance encounters bloom in to meaningful relationships. Right?

However, approaching a woman after you've polished off a few too many drinks, with a lecherous swagger or worse the "amorous gaze"-- you affix your eyes on a woman and stare, hoping that by some alcoholic-friendly technology your vision will work like tractor beams--is thoughtless, and shows just how little one believes in humanity.

I generally know if a guy will be pronounced dead on arrival.

I've even grown suspicious of the honest approach. "Hi, I'm Jack...." It's artless.

I'm often surprised when guys walk down the line, stand behind a woman and awkwardly introduce themselves, only to have the woman glance over her shoulder and offer only polite umm-hmms in response.

I generally know if a guy will be pronounced dead on arrival. Had he asked, he could've saved the embarrassment and even shifted his attention elsewhere.

Many "speakeasies" require gentlemen to ask the bartender to introduce them to women they don't know. Sounds a little old-fashioned but think about it: Who's a better wingman than a bartender? We've seen it all and, more importantly, we're sober (at least most of us).

I think it's a classy move and followed by an offer to buy the lady a drink can be more suave than you might think.

Recently I've seen men swarm one of my female regulars, who bears an uncanny resemblance to a very beautiful celebrity.

I often find myself in the awkward position of wondering whether I should bounce these guys for trying their luck and then not easing off. We don't have the same rules of conduct as other high-end bars but there is a limit, right?

There should be a "shot clock" for hitting on women -- the same as in basketball. I can't blame a guy for trying, but if the whole bar knows you're striking out, why don't you?

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2009/03/the-worlds-greatest-wingmen/979/