Oh, hello, there. I’m writing this on Friday morning, aka deadline, but I have a good excuse! (Or, uh, an excuse!) This post, in fact, demanded a highly intensive research process, by which I mean I went to a bar last night to see if I could attract and reject repulsive guys in funny/interesting/absurd/melodramatic/mean ways -- you know, because no one has ever done that before for a story. (I am a journalist and a professional.)
Except. My cocktail-and-a-half (I am 70 years old) made me pretty sleepy, and that seriously effed up my plan. I mean, I was practically FORCED to go home at 10, watch “Girls,” eat sour ribbons, and pass out well before my usual witching-hour bedtime with not a word written.
Anyway! No matter; I’ve blown off plenty of guys at bars before. Because guys at bars are disgusting at least 70% of the time, right?
I mean, really. Some of you have met your significant others in bars or other drink-y situations, and that is awesome and adorable. I, on the other hand, will put on my best heels to just get showered with charming lines such as, “You know what I think? I think you haven’t come into your own confidence yet.” (What does that even MEAN?!)
Or, “My startup made a million-dollar profit in its first year. We have a table at Avenue tomorrow; have you heard of it?”
Cool. PLEASE LICK MY FACE.
Because most of these... specimens seem so horribly, terribly grimy in the soul, I feel justified, then, in telling them to fuck off in no uncertain, if ridiculous, terms. Or in excusing myself with the best excusing-oneself line of all time: “Would you excuse me? I cut my foot before and my shoe is filling up with blood.”
Oh, and because I’m a never-single spoilsport, which makes me adverse to much nightlife in general, I did some last-minute crowdsourcing to confirm the general dirtbaggishness of bar homunculi and to fish for anecdotes.
And, hey, whaddya know: at least FIFTEEN other people have said or done preposterous things to send drunk scum packing! (I have an extremely influential social media presence.) And I’ve grouped the best, for your reading/commiserating pleasure:
The “laugh-in his face”
This is probably the mature-est option on the list. Just laugh at him; laugh LOUDLY in his face when he makes his stomach-turning move. Say, “That is not how it’s done, no way,” as one of my friends does, maybe pat him on the arm, and just LAUGH until he leaves.
The “Oh, I’m not into... whatever gender you identify as. I’m going to go lick someone else’s face now.”
This is pretty basic, right? In hindsight, pretending to be a lesbian hasn’t necessarily helped me rid myself of aggressive, heterosexist guys at a bar. So maybe I should stop draping myself over my girl friends so as better to hammer home that message.
(This would make a good bullet point in the “How to Not Be a Dick” series, probably. I’m sorry, guys.)
At least it’s not just me, though! Like HALF of my crowdsourced crowd confessed to doing similar stuff -- everything from proclaiming to be straight when they’re gay/gay when they’re straight, to kissing and cuddling a friend until Hipsterbeer McNevershowers moved along. (And, no, gender and sexuality isn’t this binary, but 15 people, all right?)
The “I just threw up -- do you STILL want to lick my face tonight?”
Ah, the vom card. I discovered this beaut during my freshman year, when I had left a party with a guy and was making out with him, on my friend’s dorm-room bed, with her roommate and my friend in the room, who was making out with the Guy I Was Making Out With’s roommate. I mean, on her own bed, but yeah. This was all off to a good start.
Anyway, because of the general awfulness of the situation, I was trying to keep things, you know, above the belt, which dude was seriously not having. He kept trying to move my hands down to his general dick vicinity, which made ME even more determined to keep them planted firmly on his back.
He finally broke our lip lock to whisper sexily, breathily, “There’s nothing up there, you know.”
OH OK. THANKS. Not four seconds later, I was bursting into a room down the hall, which housed a few vague acquaintances.
“PLEASE go tell the guy who is probably following me down the hallway already that I am THROWING UP, like REALLY SICK,” I begged. One girl humored me, and now we’re good friends and she’s gotten into law school. KARMA, man!
Anyway, dude eventually gave up and went home, and as of last year, he was still making weird passive-aggressive remarks about me to mutual friends. (I will give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he was too drunk at the time to remember that little anatomy and physiology lesson.) So, what I’m trying to say is, the vom card fully works, and now I use it at bars all the time!
Almost everyone I spoke to has done this in some capacity, whether it was “I just threw up, wanna make out?” or “My friend is throwing up, so I can’t make out,” or “I’m gonna throw up, but just wait right here, I’ll be right back!”
The vom card. It is powerful. Use it.
The “Please consult with your doctor before licking my face.”
This is really just a next-level iteration of the vom card, and while I guess it could entail claiming you’re ill in any way (shingles, ahem, would probably do it), it seems to have the most impact when purporting to have an STI, or really any medical condition that relates even remotely to the vagina.
I mean, I have actually never done this because, even though I’m in a serious relationship, I am the worst kind of Wikipedia hypochondriac, and remember, KARMA, man!
But. What, in theory, shuts down “Can I buy you a drink?” faster than “No, thanks, I have chlamydia”? NOTHING, that’s what.
Other renditions of this include saying something weird, ducking out to the bathroom, and having your friend whisper somberly, “Sorry, she’s not usually -- it’s just, she’s waiting to get her test results back and she’s an awful mess about it.” You can also glower disdainfully at your would-be Romeo and shriek, “I’m pregnant, you ass!”
And if you’ve really had it for the night, consider loudly informing the bartender that you’ll just have a soda, hold the vodka, because you have a REALLY KILLER yeast infection and it’s SO itchy and alcohol will only make it worse and DID YOU KNOW THAT?
The “You know who is really good at licking faces is cats. Did you know I have four cats?”
Look, as a cat person, I would probably love it if you whipped out your phone and showed me photos and videos Bowtie and Hodgepodge and Mr. Blue, assuming those are the names of your cats, not your ex-girlfriends. So it pains me to say that, obviously, cats can be used to spurn an unwanted gentleman caller.
One friend scrolls through albums of her cats and refers to them as “her children.” In one of my better moments, I once used the “NO NO NO” cat to tell a guy “NO NO NO.” It got the point across rather nicely.
The “I am FRON-SAY, what is zees ‘to lick face’ of wheech you speak?”
One of the best things I learned abroad is that you can tell pushy guys from Belgium straight-up lies like, “I am from Wyoming, a little town about 45 minutes outside Montreal, and Polish is our native language,” effectively making communication impossible. You can also just look at them blankly when they overhear you speaking in English, start speaking to you in English, and say, “Je ne comprends pas” over and over, shaking your head when they insist, “We HEARD you speaking English!”
A friend added that just not speaking at ALL is a highly effective screw-off strategy. This sounds super-ballsy to me, but then, I’m just a naïve young thing from Wyoming, Canada. What do I know (except Polish)?
”Please leave me alone”
HAHAHAHAHA JUST KIDDING THIS NEVER WORKS.
All right, now it’s your turn: What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever done to rid yourself of an unwanted suitor at a bar/at a party/in general? Or, give me hope: have you ever fallen in love in a hopeless place, i.e., a bar? Also, this is irrelevant, but xofuckingVAIN, amirite?!?!
Try to pitch Rebecca a terrible pickup lin e on Twitter @rebsanti. No, really, try.