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Lucky Bar, 4:45 p.m. Two men—-decently attractive, wedding band-free—-sit at the end of the entrance bar.
After overhearing me pestering a young waitress for bar pick-up stories, they take interest in my subject matter. Of course, they both have picked up women from bars. Is the White House white? Is Lucky Bar a bar? I wasted my breath even asking.
Notepad out, I ask their names.
They look at each other. “Steve,” says one.
“Yeah, Steve Smith,” says the other.
“Yeah, Steve Smith—-that’s my name too,” his friend returns.
Okay, so no names.
The Steves establish two things right off the bat. First: They get hit on too—-they’re not just the pursuers. Steve 1—a brown-haired dude in a short-sleeve white shirt—says about 50 percent of his bar flirtation is instigated by females. In Steve 2’s experience, it’s about 25 percent of the time.
Second: “Lines are just awful,” S1 says. So no plays-on-words. No Are you wearing spacey underwear because you’re out of this world!!! utterances.
We start to talk about the typical “What do you do (professionally-speaking)?” as the classic D.C. line that people ask when they’re trying to get to know someone.
S1: “It’s annoying. Really, you try to avoid it. It’s bullshit chit chat”
S2: “It’s like a filler question.” If someone jump-started the convo that way, he wouldn’t write off that person as totally boring or probing for salary info. “It’s not necessarily a loaded question to get at net worth. If you start with that question and then veer away from it, then come back to it—-that’s a red flag. They’re a cougar maybe!”
His friend isn’t up for meandering discussions, regardless. “Rather than have a long, drawn-out conversation there, I’d like to see them again later at a restaurant,” he says.
Now, the listening waitress—-a recent college grad, who just finished a three-month romance with a Lucky Bar customer—-interjects: “Well how do you know they’re not crazy?” she says.
S2: “I met my wife at a bar.”
He’s got his hands folded down below the bar, but moves them up when he goes to sip his drink.
“You’re not wearing a wedding ring,” I say.
S2: “The whole wedding ring thing, as well as the changing of the last names, goes back to ownership,” he says—-and then we’re talking about European history all of a sudden. He and his wife aren’t into ownership, gold rings, etc. He says he met the woman when he was 22, and they got married seven years later. He’s now 38.
I tell him he doesn’t look 38, he looks younger.
S2: “That’s what the drunk guy said too!” (He just left, but was sitting next to them at the bar.) So here’s the secret to love and a youthful appearance: “Stay out of the sun. Come to the bar.”