The DO’s and DON’TS of the Bar/Club Scene

I was inspired to write this article after a weekend of typical debauchery with my friends. It was around midnight at a classy little bar a few blocks away from my house. The crowd was mixed: we saw young girls celebrating the weekend with some white wine, and we saw older couples who looked to be enjoying the little bit of youth they still think they had left. All of a sudden an older woman sporting a Kate Gosselin 2008 hair-do slips and busts her ass. Upon regaining her balance (and maybe bitter she realized she’s no longer in her 20’s) she lounges at the group of young women next to her, swinging at them and her aging bald husband, who was doing his best to keep things under control. Eventually the bar tender has to intervene. There’s tons of finger pointing, hair flipping, and shoving. Eventually Gosselin gets kicked out after unsuccessfully trying to go after one of the girl’s face. They followed her to the door, screaming, “Bitch, I will kill you!” It’s not every day that you see a suburban housewife try to duke it out with a group of privileged grad students, but it did make me realize that there’s a certain etiquette to going out as an adult. So to help prevent anyone from engaging in any ratchet bar fights or getting a Kate Gosselin haircut, here’s my list of the Do’s and Don’ts when going out to a bar.

1.DO wear comfortable shoes

Let’s be real, on a typical night out you’re standing/walking about 70% of the time. Do your body a favor and find shoes that you won’t snap your ankles in. No one wants to be the bum who wore sneakers to the club, but even worse is looking like a baby giraffe trying to walk. Some women, myself included, just aren’t cut out for wearing 9-inch stilettos and that’s okay. Going out shouldn’t be a competition of whose got the highest heels. Ladies, if you’re comfortable in your Louboutins and can navigate sticky dance floors and wet bathrooms, more power to you. For the rest of us mortals, go for shoes with a low heel, platforms, or even a cute pair of flats. Your body will thank you at the end of the night when you can comfortably walk up the stairs of your apartment, without falling.

2.DON’T overdue it on alcohol. Know your limits

We’ve all seen it happen. Or we’ve been victims of it ourselves. We go out with a little too much confidence, take one too many shots with the boys, drink one too many cranberry vodkas on our 21st (or maybe that was just me?), and we end up drunk, sick, and a total party pooper. Drinking alcohol with your friends is fun, we loosen up a bit, bust a few dance moves on the floor, and maybe even work up enough courage to ask a stranger to dance. But no one likes a sloppy drunk. Know your limit with alcohol, and don’t feel bad if you have a low tolerance. I used to get bummed out that I couldn’t keep up with the rate my friends drank, but then I realized how much money I’m saving by getting drunk off of less alcohol. Also, stick to one type. If you start off drinking a few beers, that round of shots you want to partake in with your friends will fuck you up. Don’t be the asshole friend who has to go harder than everyone else to feel validated. Drinking is not a competition, and you look stupid pounding down shots of fireball while your friends quietly sip on their drinks.

3.DO be aware of your surroundings

This one is more aimed at the girls reading this. If someone is giving you a creepy vibe and you’re uncomfortable, you have a right to get yourself the fuck out of that situation. Find a group of girls near you, walk up to one of them and say something along the lines of “OMG I was looking for you guys!” This is universal code for “There’s a total creep trying to talk to me and I need help” Any decent girl will recognize this sign and wait with you until you find the group of people you really came with. Girls on the other side of the equation: if you see a girl who looks visibly bothered by someone talking to her, go up to her and give her a smack on the arm for “loosing the group!” and lead her out of harm’s way. There are a lot of good and bad people in the world, and unfortunately a lot of deranged and desperate guys in clubs. Some of which have bad intentions. Remember to never leave your drink unattended (DUH!), and don’t be afraid to talk to the bouncers if there’s a someone who you feel is a threat to your safety and your right to a good night out.

4.DON’T be a douchebag

Sounds easy enough, right? Well unfortunately many have yet to grasp the concept of being a respectful human being when consuming alcohol and other illicit substances when going out. Guys: not every girl you’re interested in wants to hook up with you. Let me interject with a story about someone I know who is exactly like this. Typical frat guy, drowns in low self-esteemed college pussy, and gets rowdy when he’s drunk. We were wasted and out to dinner with a friend from college, and he was talking to her, not getting the hint that she wasn’t interested. Instead of backing off and giving her some space, he pursues her even more, getting in her face, and that’s when she pulled me to the bathroom to tell me what was up. It was awkward because it wasn’t the first time I had received that complaint about him. He’s not a bad guy; he just didn’t understand that not everyone appreciates that type of attention.  Ladies: not every guy in the club is “checking you out” or “totally stalking you”. Another fun story, I was in a very packed and crowded bar with a few guy friends, when a group of very intoxicated girls squeeze by to get to the bathroom. One of who resembled what can best be described as the lovechild of Snooki and a hobbit. Anyway, after brushing by us, she snaps her head around and tries to swing at my friend, screaming “You asshole, you grabbed my ass!” This never happened because my friend’s hands were holding his cell phone, and a drink in the other. Regardless, she made an ass of herself and her friends had to apologize to us and explain that she was just very drunk and confused. Moral of the story: Mind your manners when you’re out in public.  Getting into childish fights/ making a scene is immature and annoying. Your friends, (no matter how many times they assure you that “accidents happen, its okay”) will fucking hate you if you’re the guy that can’t act right in public; and they’ll never invite you out with them again. Being over 21, not only means you have the right to go into a club or bar; along with that right comes the responsibility of acting like an adult. Acting like an adult means behaving in a fun, but appropriate manner. Bars are no reason to act like an animal.

5.DON’T be that creep on the dance floor

You all know what who I’m talking about. You’re on the dance floor, breaking it down to Beyoncé, and all of a sudden you notice a guy in the distance. He’s drunk, he’s sweaty, and his sweat-stained shirt is unbuttoned a little TOO much. He makes eye contact with you and slowly begins to make his way over to you. You begin to smell the scent of cheap vodka and Axe that lingers from him. You don’t have much time left; you try to make a run for it when suddenly something-someone grabs your hand. It’s him. The dance floor creep! Whew, just gave myself the chills. If this sounds like you, then congratulations, you are officially the most hated dude in the club. Seriously, don’t be this guy. If you want to dance with someone, ask him or her to their face. I’ve had guys creep from behind and try to dance with me, I’ve even had a guy wait until my boyfriend left to get me a drink to make his move. But guys are not the only perpetrators of this! I was single for a brief bit, and went out with some friends to a paint party at a local college bar. We were properly trashed and dancing when a girl approached us. I thought she was trying to make moves on my guy friend, who I did the right thing and moved aside so they could dance together. Well, as it turns out, she was trying to dance with me. She followed me to the other side of the floor and pulled me close and told me she was into me. Flattered as I was, I had to respectfully decline, as I am a huge believer in Bros before Hoes.

6.DO have a designated driver

I feel like I shouldn’t even have to mention this one, but I will. If you know there’s a chance you’ll be getting drunk or faded leave your car at home. So many people are signing up for Uber; you should have tons of promotional codes for that free ride. Personally, I ask my parents to pick me up if I’m going out knowing that I’m drinking. Driving drunk is not only the stupidest decision you can make, it can end someone’s life. And what happens to you? Spend the rest of your life in prison with hardened thugs because you didn’t want to fork over the extra cash for a cab? Even better idea, why not play sober driver for the night? Have your friends chip in some gas money and be the responsible one. Think about it this way: you won’t waste any money getting trashed off of over-priced drinks, you won’t make the mistake of hooking up with a 4 who you thought was a 9, and you can rest easy knowing that you’re in control of how and when you get home.

7. DO have fun

Another no-brainer! The point of going out is to enjoy you and unwind. Whether that means getting hammered and dancing at a club, or quietly sipping on a gin and tonic with a few friends, it’s all on you. Don’t feel pressured into going crazy because you think it’s the most efficient way to have fun. Every one enjoys different things. It’s the beauty of being a person; we all come with different wants, needs, and expectations. Same goes for you if you’re someone who likes to stay out until daylight hours. What I’m trying to say is find what works for you, and go for it.