Is a peaceful meal too much to ask?
I went to a bar and grille with some friends who do not drink, so I followed their lead and ordered a Coke with my ribs. The ribs are the reason we went to this place in the first place, but because of time conflicts, we didn’t get there until around nine o’clock. By that time, most people who wanted dinner were already gone, and the majority of our comrades were there to drink. They did so with great enthusiasm, celebrating a carefree Saturday night with lots of beer and liquor.
I had the opportunity to observe this crowd with unabashed curiosity and saw that alcohol really does have the power to transform people. As I sat at our table, listening to the noise and watching the antics, I couldn’t help but think that a guidebook should be written on the etiquette of drinking. This book might start with minimizing the number of times a person holding a drink yells. While my friends and I were at the bar, a particularly drunk man shouted unintelligible words more than a dozen times. He wasn’t trying to get the attention of somebody far away, but instead chose random times to just holler. I have no idea what he was saying or what point he wanted to make, but I can tell you he made the dining experience less than perfect. It might have been funny if he’d done this once or twice, but I had long stopped laughing by the time he left.
R-E-S-P-E-C-T (or the lack thereof)
It would also be nice for inebriated patrons to remember that waitresses deserve respect. A table of men and women on the night of my foray repeatedly asked their server rude questions, and even I could tell she was embarrassed. “When’s the last time you had a boyfriend?” one male patron asked in a bullhorn-like voice, while a woman several seats from him said, “We need some music. Don’t you have a jukebox in here?” These are only a few examples, and the server handed this barrage as well as could be expected. I bet she was relieved when that table finally went outside to listen to the band, at which point, she probably needed a stiff cocktail herself.
Those who imbibe should maintain their own natural personal spaces. I saw countless people with bottles in their hands bumping into chairs and tables without regard for those they disturbed. One couple who had enjoyed a few too many drinks even began dancing, although no music played, and struggled to stay in upright positions. They rocked and swayed like tree branches in the wind and prevented servers from freely delivering food and drinks. Several patrons couldn’t even get to the restrooms.
P's & Q's
Everybody needs to cut loose once in a while, and going out for drinks is a great way to forget the day and ring in the night. But drinking to the point where one forgets his or herself is plain obnoxious. Drinking like that should be saved for home, where nobody else has to see it. I know that, in the future, I will definitely pay more attention to my actions while I drink. I don’t want to be one of those who unknowingly causes a raucous, waking in the morning with nothing more a throbbing headache. It’s great to have fun, but it’s equally great to retain a few manners.