First, I’d like to entertain you with the backstory. When I dine out I love sitting at the bar. It’s often where I look to first for seating when with myself or another. This probably came about for me the more and more I dined without a companion, particularly on business trips. And, then included those days when I choose to just be with me, whether by design or no one being available.
Bartenders provide company even if we don’t say much to each other. It’s like they are my secret appointed date. But, then what is true is I’ve always loved Mixology, so much so I received my bartending certificate some time ago (Why I never bartended professionally is for another post. However, I’m often appointed the resident bartender at gatherings.). Sure the bar area is all about the adult beverages. But, I’ve found I love the energy of the bar. This includes experiencing bartenders do their magic. Especially with the whole Mixology craze going on right now. It’s exciting witnessing the use of all types of lovely and interesting ingredients (i.e., thyme, rosemary, cucumber, beets, syrups, bitters, special libations, eclectic beers, etc.). It’s no longer just about Budweiser and vodka and cranberry juice. Although there is no judgment if that’s your thing. Okay, the foodie snob in me tries not to judge… Lol
I appreciate being able to talk to bartenders, if that’s my mood, of course (Or their mood. Nothing worse than a bartender that ignores me, if only for a drink, WHICH YOU ARE THERE TO PROVIDE! I digress.). Talking life. Impressing them with what I know. Getting suggestions. Being adventurous (I’ve started exploring Bourbon based cocktails. And, that’s been a stretch for me. But, I’ve been pleasantly surprised with the right combination of ingredients.). Sitting with a companion and having a conversation and enjoying the moment and the scene. Less feeling of being rushed to vacate the table. These are some additional cool things about sitting at the bar. However, not everyone digs sitting at the bar. Maybe feeling it’s not comfortable seating. Doesn’t set the desired mood. Feeling like it’s not ladylike.
Last week a dear friend of mine requested my company to go out for drinks. She explicitly said she wanted to sit at the bar. I was like, really. This because, it was delivered from someone whom, when we’ve dined out previously and I’ve requested to sit at the bar, they preferred not to. However, in an effort to show love to me, this time, she opened herself (and initiated) up to step out of her box and comfort level. When trying to decide the perfect bar to visit, it was clear that if we go somewhere and the bar is full we’d move on to find another that could accommodate us. This was another surprising declaration from my friend. As we drove off to go to one place we detoured because I thought a better option would be one of my favorite spots, Republic. Cool restaurant/bar, great cocktails, and the food is delish. Trifecta! Oh, and the customer service is typically attentive. These are all key components to a perfect dining experience. And, I knew we had to be strategic in our bar selection to ensure a comfortable and good time for my friend. I needed “Operation Bar Outing” to be a success and not a “See this is why I don’t like sitting at the bar.”
So we walked up to the restaurant door with anticipation, hoping there would be two available bar stools with our names written on them waiting just for us. And, they were. The cocktail menu wasn’t pleasing to oh risky one as the selections were a bit too Mixology for my friend, so it was the always on time glass of Riesling. I opted for one of my favs, the Last Word, which with slight coaching (a little on the sweet side please) was perfect. We dined on appetizers of pulled pork fries, pork empanadas, and shrimp sliders. Now that was some tasty bar food for ya. Oh, and let’s not forget the sweet tooth scratcher of the apple pie donut. Topped off by good and fun conversation. And, guess what? She had a great time sitting at the bar and is already plotting and planning for the next outing. SOLD!!!
I think of three things after this experience. First, we like what we like. This is cool and fair. However, sometimes we don’t know what we would or wouldn’t like until we try it. Preconceived notions, what our family taught us, or the messages we’ve received from society can tend to determine how we flow in the world. However, sometimes we should buck it, be risking, and step out of our often times suffocating boxes. Oh, the joy and fun that can be waiting for you when you’re a “Yes” to something new. And, it could be just what the doctor ordered. If you try something and find it’s not your cup of soothing tea, no harm. No burnt tongue. It’s just an opportunity to continue experiencing life, building your confidence, and obtaining a sense of you and who you are. Ultimately deciding to keep it moving on to what you do like (vodka and cranberry juice) and/or the next adventure.
The second takeaway is the importance of allowing others the opportunity to love and be a gift. We sometimes tend to think about what we can give, and not allowing others the gift of giving. This can require one to be open and vulnerable to receiving, which is difficult for some. However, that’s just as much as a gift, taking the focus off of you and being of service and present for another. It can be the most beautiful and selfless act one can do. Because of that moment at the bar and my knowing my friend was doing this for me, I felt/feel special. I felt/feel that I matter. I felt/feel loved. And, in turn, I imagine and hope she felt/feels the same. This is what’s real, true, and important to the success of any relationship.
The third takeaway is to respect people where they are. Just because I appreciate sitting at the bar, doesn’t mean others will. And, I get to respect and not shame people for their likes and dislikes. Yes, it is an honor for me to introduce someone to an experience they never thought of partaking in or feared. Creating joyful moments for others I consider a gift from God. Sometimes we all require encouraging from family and friends to move us from a place of fear to the ultimate joys of life. However, it’s not my place to on deaf ears, try and force or judge someone for where they are.
So today and ALWAYS I encourage you to do something new. Release the fear you have around people, places, and things. It’s about creating joyful moments one after the other, after the other… God has provided sooooooo many ways for us to explore and find our “sweet spot”. Also, surprise someone today and ALWAYS with a love offering showing just because I love you and you matter to me, I’d love to do this for you or with you. The joy you create and the smile and love you receive back will be priceless and continually revolving as it flows throughout the Universe. This giving others permission to do the same. And, that my friend is the BeDoLove way! Peace! #BeDoLove –kcb
“When was the last time you did something for the first time?” –Unknown
PS: Shout out to Marla for teaching me and reinforcing these valuable lessons about life, love, and friendship. Thank you for being you. Cheers! ♪♪One hundred bottles of beer on the wall… ♪♪ (hiccup)