You don’t get something for nothing

Anyone who’s been on a night out in NYC, London or Vegas (to name just a few) will appreciate that the main way that guys guarantee entry into clubs is by buying bottles so they can have a table – and we’re not talking a dozen 330ml bottles of beer here, we’re talking 1L bottles of vodka for serious $$$.

Obviously, having a table is one thing – being a group of guys on your own in a pumping night club is another. So the done thing is to rally up some female company with the promise of free, no obligation drinks. Sometimes women are pre-recruited at whatever bar they happen to be at prior to visiting the club, lured into following them to the venue with the offer of a cheap night, no queuing, and a seat to take the pressure off their 6 inch heels. Sometimes they’re tempted from the line outside the club, or just invited to join from off the dance floor.

Any which way they’re asked, they’re being sold the same deal: free drinks for making sure the offering guys don’t look like lonely little boys.

As independent as I am, I have no issue with sponging off guys who are silly enough to feed me for free for the “pleasure” of my company. In fact, when backpacking on a budget with girlfriends, I’ll go as far as saying that we relied on this method of enjoying the night life.

There are a lot of ladies, however, who feel that by accepting free drinks that they have to put out – that they’re expected to give more, and as a result, they will steer well clear of the situation.

It’s true that you don’t get something for nothing in life – even when a family member or friend does you a favour or gives you a gift, it’s done with a subconscious banking of credit in your relationship. You might not owe them physical gifts or favours in return, but you can’t just take without giving back – you should be there when they need you in hard times, to celebrate in good times, to remember to call them to catch up and to keep them updated with the goss. There are no situations in which humans act without expecting anything in return – even when donating to charity, we do it for the good feeling it gives us, for the little bit better we feel about ourselves.

So I understand why some women might hesitate to accept drinks from strangers – and I certainly wouldn’t encourage anyone to have that drink sent over by that creepy guy standing at the bar by himself who keeps staring at you all night, who has almost definitely slipped a roofie in, no siree. But in a group situation where your other lady friends are around you, and you can pour your own drinks from the shared bottles on a table, I see absolutely no issues with accepting the generosity of strangers. And more than that, absolutely no pressure to do anything but provide your sparklingly witty and attractive company.

Some of the best nights out I’ve had have been when making friends with strangers – and the truth is, that no matter how many bad stories you hear about “the only thing that guys want”, there are a lot of decent guys out there who are just up for having a laugh and some fun (and for that matter, just as many women who have only one thing on their mind!). Believe me, not every guy just wants to get into your pants.

And anyway, now that my clubbing days are over and I’m hanging up my heels for the grubby house slippers of marriage, I’m going to have to live vicariously through you all – so get out there and have a vodka cranberry or four for me, won’t you?

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