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The Barmaid Blog™: Life for a 30-something Manhattan Barmaid

Shoot Straight, You Bastards

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Shoot Straight, You Bastards

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(Hey, has anybody who's bought something from the Barmaid Blog Store received their orders yet? How did they come out? Have you been wearing them around? Looking sexy? Getting compliments?)

So, more on this past weekend. Saturday night is pretty uneventful at the Bar - game one of the World Series is on, but very few of the regulars care, because neither the Yankees nor the Mets are involved. We do get a decent turnout of Detroit Tigers fans, though, which makes some of the Yankee fan regulars a little uncomfortable because the Tigers eliminated the Yanks. The way I see it, though, if Detroit wins the Series it means there's less shame in the Yanks having lost to them on the way there. Besides, people tip better when their team is doing well, and we need all the help we can get - for the most part, for some reason, baseball fans rooting for any team other than a New York team don't tip very well at the Bar. And Cardinals fans might be watching the game somewhere, but it ain't here.

But it doesn't go our way Saturday night - despite being heavily favored, Detroit loses game one to the St. Louis Cardinals, 7-2. St. Louis leads from the third inning on, and tips from the Detroit crowd get worse and worse. Maya starts adopting a very interesting strategy - shaking her head slightly and "tsk"ing quietly when someone tips poorly, as if she just can't believe it. I don't think it's very effective, and it might even make things worse. But that's her problem; we're not one of those bars where the whole staff pools tips and splits them evenly at the end of the night. Todd feels very strongly that working for our own tips encourages us to put forth our best efforts, and I tend to think he's right, at least in general.

There are some kinks in that theory - for instance, Jocelyn's tips are almost always better than mine, but that's because men lose all control of their faculties (and their wallets) around enormous breasts. But for the most part, I like that if I take home $300 in tips at the end of the night, it's because I worked for $300 in tips, not because I worked for $400 and the two other girls tending bar that night each cleared $250. I don't even think I'd like working at a pooled tips bar if I were the one clearing $250 but taking home $300.

Anyway, Saturday night just isn't a great evening for me financially, but when I get home I sleep really well for the first time in over a week. I think that's partly because I finally cleared the air somewhat with Dara and Jessica earlier in the day, but I'm also just dead tired and I want to be well-rested for Sunday.

Sunday evening, Warren is coming over for movies and take-out. I insisted on something low-key and casual because I just want to try to get comfortable with him, and that's been difficult. I've seen him in four different business suits, now - two at the Bar, one at his place, and one when we met for lunch near where he works. Don't get me wrong, he looks great in a suit, and I love dressing up - but I think I get to know people more easily when it's informal. He's bringing the movies, and I'm picking the take-out; he said I could order anything, there's absolutely nothing he won't eat. That's a serious temptation for mischief, but I decide to resist and stick with something at least relatively mainstream.

So I'm by myself for the whole afternoon, because Cassie and Jill are elsewhere for the evening by design, and both independently decided to be elsewhere for most of the weekend. We didn't even do our bagels and pajamas brunch today. Not the first time, and not a big deal - we miss a Sunday here and there, and the sky hasn't fallen yet. We'll probably just make a point of doing it next week. I still spend most of the afternoon in my PJs, though, and instant messaging with the TV on. It's a good, quiet afternoon of gossip and anticipation, but finally it's time to shower and get dressed.

Warren arrives at 7 on the dot, and he's wearing jeans and a navy blue NYPD sweatshirt - which is kind of funny, because I'm wearing jeans and a navy blue UNH Wildcats Hockey sweatshirt, so we match, which is absolutely dorky. He has a six-pack of Sam Adams with him, and DVDs of "Breaker Morant" and "10 Things I Hate About You," neither of which I've ever seen. The Thai food I ordered a few minutes before he got here arrives at 7:15, and we huddle together under a blanket on the Comfy Couch watching "Breaker Morant" and trying not to get pad thai and curry puffs all over ourselves.

It's an amazing, powerful film - it came out the year before I was born, but other than that I have to wonder why I've never heard of it before. It's the true story of two Australian soldiers serving in the Boer War (which I'd also never heard of) in South Africa just after the turn of the 20th century, who are court martialed for basically doing their jobs. Lieutenant Harry "Breaker" Morant (played by Edward Woodward) was also a poet, and the story is made all the more poignant by Woodward's voice-over of some of the godawful poetry Morant wrote while in prison and on trial. Maybe it's just because I also read "To Kill a Mockingbird" earlier in the weekend, but it's an awful lot of injustice for one girl to absorb in the space of a couple of days, and I'm in tears by the end. Warren lifts up my chin, looks in my eyes, and wipes away a tear with his thumb - and then I kiss him.

This isn't how I envisioned it happening... I was going to bring out some ice cream for dessert during the second movie, and then figure out some really smooth way to move in on Warren if he hadn't already moved in on me. It was going to be very cool and seductive, and it would have made a great story. Instead, I'm climbing on him, dripping tears on him, and struggling to get one of my arms unstuck from underneath the blanket. It is, I think, one of the unsexiest moments of my life. Nevertheless, we never do watch the second movie.

I won't go into too much detail - but my first time with a man in more months than I'd care to count turns out to be great. As does the second...! And then he spends the night.

One of the occupational hazards of being a barmaid, unfortunately, is that I'm up until 4 or 5am several nights a week, and it's useless to try to switch to a more "normal" schedule on the other days. That's got its benefits, of course - I never have to fight Cassie or Jill for the shower when I get up on weekdays, since they're already at work. But the downside is spending the night with someone who's on a very, very different schedule. Warren gets up at 6am most mornings, and in fact I've set my alarm for 6 before we actually got in bed - but now that we're here, and it's barely midnight, I'm wide awake (if physically worn out), and he's rapidly drifting off.

Eventually, he's snoring to wake the dead, and I just have to get out of bed and leave the room so I can laugh about it without waking him up. When I come back, I log back on and start IMing again - as long as I'm awake anyway, the gossip is just too good to let it wait until morning, so I chat with a friend on the west coast and have another beer. I even tell her I'm considering staying up even later so I can wake Warren at 5am for a third go-'round, just so I don't have to suffer the pain of a 6am alarm when I've only slept for a couple of hours.

Finally, it's getting close to 3am, and I think I might be able to sleep, so I say my goodnight and log off. But instead of climbing back into bed with Warren right away, I turn around in my chair, put my feet up on the bed, and for a little while, I just watch him sleep.

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