Nights tearing up the town when you are young, single (that means anything but married) and not truly adulting is a glorious, fleeting phase. The rules of behavior and common decency at a bar were mere guidelines for conduct, or standards to work towards. After all, you are new to booze, or at least the bar scene. In your young 20s a “night” out often lasted until the wee AM hours, sometimes right up until you had to roll into your first class the following day. You could make out, hook up, excrete bodily fluids in public, strip, throw a punch, whatever. And all of these things were done on a somewhat judgement-free (or quickly forgotten) basis. Any indiscretion, insult or basically any A-Hole-ish behavior could be blamed on adolescence. Ahhh, those were the days.
But now your 20s are behind you and adulting is less of a verb and more of a noun. You are actually an adult. Every. Damn. Day. And while you can and should still enjoy “tearing up the town” every so often, you are now a card-carrying member of the adult community. Yes, if you buy in bulk at Sam's Club or spend your Saturdays at Home Depot, assume that the unspoken rules of carefree youth no longer apply to you; the things you got away all those nights spent at college bars will no longer fly, at least not without intense judgement and adverse consequences. So if you're no longer young but still young at heart, pay attention and never do the following again.
Is there's a bouncer? If there's a list, suffice it to say you're most likely not on it. And besides, do you really want to go into a place that is so packed that a line has formed outside? Don't you remember what it's like standing shoulder-to-shoulder, butt to butt, with your hand covering your drink, while screaming to the person standing six inches from your face? It sucked. Go somewhere else.
Remove Anything You Have On
This means anything. Ladies–not even your shoes. Wearing uncomfortable shoes that you can't spend even a few hours in is an extremely rookie mistake. And as for Gentlemen–getting sweaty, be it from drinking or dancing does not mean you should feel free to take your shirt off. Stay classy, and keep it all on.
Fall For A Pickup Line
Okay, first let's all agree that you are most likely not going to meet your future life partner at the bar. That being said, if you're shmoozing with someone and they tell you that they'll "be right back,” they probably won't. They are politely walking away. So just move on.
Flirt With Your Bartender
Even if you are single, just don't. They are working. Do not misinterpret her looking at you or glancing at your booth to mean that she's checking you out. She's doing her job. Likewise, him smiling at you while you place your order suggests nothing other than his nonverbal request for a big tip.
Insult Your Bartender
This means no snapping or pointing your fingers to get their attention, no asking them if they know how to make a drink; they do know, and when they indicate as much, no requesting that they tell you how to make it or, worse, that they take you behind the bar and show you. Ugh. Please– Don't be that person.
Complain About the Music
If this is you, chances are you haven't stopped listening to the soundtrack of your own bar hopping years. And the newest music you've listened to is mostly likely the Backyardigans or the Moana soundtrack. Live a little. Try something new. And shut up.
Complain About the Younger Generation
How easy they have it. How hard you had it. “What's this Uber thing I keep hearing about?”
How about, just don't complain and keep your Cyril Figgis attitude to yourself.
Yeah, the young single person sitting next to you and your significant other at the bar does not want to hear your awesome advice on how they can pick someone up. Your desperation to be young again is ruining their buzz.
Come on. If you need a selfie to post and show people you're still fun, then you probably aren't.
Seriously. You are not a celebrity. Your boss, child's teacher and frankly, anyone does not want to watch you drinking or asking the bartender where the Golden Tee machine is, even if it's streaming in real time.
Show People Pictures
If you are single and someone is so into you that they want to see pictures of you, they will stalk you on Facebook or Instagram the next day like a normal person. If you are not single, nobody wants to see pictures of your kids, or your cat(s), or your latest pins on Pinterest.
Steal the Garnishes
Yeah, that's no longer the hors d'oeuvre tray you used when you were broke. Keep your mitts to yourself. There's probably a bar menu and the selection in it is better than a smattering of limes, lemons, cherries and olives.
Leave. Take it to the bathroom if you must. If you don't feel well, go home. Whatever friends you are with should be past the point of encouraging you drink till you puke. But if they do, you may need new adult friends.
Urinate Anywhere Other than the Bathroom
We all know the line for the ladies room at a bar is a hellish torture. But taking a squat in the parking lot behind a car or dumpster is not something mature adults do. Yes, even if your friend is a good ‘look out’.
Men, we know you can pee standing up. Congratulations. Just remember, peeing out in public is never OK.
Stay Till Closing
If the lights come on and you're still there, rethink your life because you are probably not adulting correctly. At the very least, make sure your alarm is set so you don't derail your day tomorrow.
Uber is a thing. Use it.