On a typical Friday evening I pack my things and leave work with a smile on my face and a skip in my step. It’s the weekend. Amen! I take the subway up to my apartment where Ryan, my lovely boyfriend, is waiting for me. We take it easy, have a drink, go out for dinner or catch a movie and then hit the hay. We’re 27, but on most Friday nights we’re like an old married couple. Saturday nights, on the other hand, we reserve for friends. We go out in the city, even venturing out of the Upper West Side, acting a wingman for our friends, most of whom are single.
This past Friday night, however, was certainly atypical. As avid music fans, Ryan and I, as well as our friends, Rick and Eugene, made our way to Central Park’s SummerStage to see Two Door Cinema Club. The show was great, and after a couple of beers for me, and many for the boys, we decided to head to Fred’s, our favorite neighborhood bar, where everybody knows our names.
We arrived at Fred’s where we met our friend, Heather, for dinner and drinks. Upon realization that the bar’s amazing sangria could be ordered by the pitcher, Heather and I lit up like Christmas trees. This was going to be a great night.
But, it wasn’t a great night. Not at all. It was the night I got into my first bar fight. Or, bar argument as Eugene puts it.
After dinner our party of 5 decided to move indoors to the bar. It was pretty packed but two stools sat unoccupied at the penny-clad counter. Score! As we settle into our spot and get the bartender, Alex’s, attention, we begin to hear shrieks and screams from two girls, or ogres, sitting beside us. As I don’t know their names, we’ll refer to them Tess and Tina.
So. Tess and Tina start yelling at Alex, and then at us. “Alex sucks! He’s the worst bartender ever! He should be fired,” they slur. They then turn toward Alex, “You are ruining this entire bar! I spend at least $15,000 a year here and this is how you treat me?! I’ve been coming here for ten years!”
They start harassing us, demanding we take their stance. Unfortunately for Tess and Tina, we didn’t. Just the weekend before Alex reopened the bar for us after he had already shut down for the night.
Since T Squared refused to stop their chaotic diatribe, Rick decided he’d jump on board and stir the pot. He told the two drunkards that his dad owned the place, and Alex was his favorite. You could see the smoke blowing out of T1 and T2’s ears as Rick continued his tale.
My stool and I were the only buffer between Rick and his adversaries (lucky me), and after about 10 minutes of highly uncomfortable arguing, bartender #2, Amanda, declares Rick a liar. And that’s when things went from bad, to worse.
After a cigarette break, Eugene made his way back inside. Unaware of the severity of the situation he, too, inadvertently got involved. After witnessing the poorly dressed “things,” donning offensive oral hygiene, berating his cousin (side note: Rick and Eug are cousins… handsome family I might add), his eyes lit with annoyance. Tina continued to argue “I don’t see why it’s so hard for you to undersatand…” as Eugene cut her off and declared loud and proud, “Well clearly you two haven’t seen anything hard in a while.”
And that was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I sat there. Looking straight ahead, trying to ignore the quarrel surrounding me.
And then it happened. All hell broke loose. Tina goes ahead and points to Rick, “Douche One,” she then points to Eug, “Douche Two” and finally to Ryan, “Douche Three.”
What now? A. Don’t talk to my friends like that. B. DON’T talk to my boyfriend like that. What did Ryan do to get that name? In fact, what did any of my friends really do to deserve that?
As it turns out, just by being associated with our group’s douchebaggery, makes Ryan the scum of the earth. I start screaming, SCREAMING, at these girls to check themselves as Ryan screams from across the bar, “Well then you’re C*nt One and you’re C*nt Two.” True point. But Ryan, really? Was that really necessary?
At this point Ryan is being dragged to another side of the bar and I’m shouting at the two thugs about their alcoholism and their poor usage of money (must be the Jew in me). That’s right, I relied on my multiplication skills – over ten years the one girl had spent $150,000 in one bar on alcohol. “Oh, I hope you own an apartment!” I yelled maliciously. Oh yea, I fight dirty. Their come back? “why are you wearing a hat? We’re inside!”
All eyes were on Tina, Tess and I as the battle continued. Thankfully, Bartender #2, Amanda, came to her senses and kicked the ogres out.
Rick was red as a beet, anger boiling through his veins, Eug stood there with a slight smirk on his face, Heather was wide-eyed and shocked, Ryan was pacing in the back, and I sat there on my stool. And started to cry.
Everyone in the bar was looking at me as the tears fell down my face. I’m not a confrontational person. In fact, I avoid confrontation at all costs. But when I do end up in a position where I’m up against the devil’s spawn, I keep my cool until my weakness can no longer be detected.
Rick pulled me into a warm embrace and whispered in my ear. “I’m proud of you, Shelby,” he said, “the Jersey came out in you tonight.” Me? Jersey? I guess it happened. I became an in your face, don’t fuck with my crew, Jersey girl. And I’m not going to lie, for a moment, it felt good.
We received many free rounds that night, and despite one very quick reappearance of Tina, the night began to turn around. By the time I got back to my apartment, at 4:30am, I was ready to put the night behind me, and put my inner Jersey girl to sleep. Hopefully for good.