Saturday, November 18, 2017

It's No Fun Being the Ugly Guy at a Bar

It isn't any fun being the ugly guy at a bar. While all of your friends are out making new friends, getting the smiles and being dragged onto the dance floor, you're just sort of there -with nothing to do- standing around with a glass of booze in your hand.

After a while, you invent things to do just to keep yourself occupied. You make suggestions to the playlist, or start thinking of better ways the stools could have been organized. You make double sure your glass is handed into the bartender when you go to get another drink and if the place is low minded enough, you may even start to play some darts or a game of pool. But all of those occupations are just examples of what the ugly guy at the bar does because, well, he's ugly and at a bar.

Most fellas fall into the trap of thinking that if they invite their friends to the bar, each as ugly as they,  that the state of affairs will be ameliorated.

Let me tell you, it does nothing to improve things. At the end of the night, it winds being just a group of ugly guys making suggestions to the playlist or thinking out loud of ways the barstools could have been better arranged. The group winds up giving extra work to the bartender because they're all bringing their empty glasses to the bar at the same time and are all asking for quarters for the pool table or for a few extra darts for the dart board. I know bars. And I know ugly. That's a potential train wreck.

Now there are tons of things that go into making a guy  ugly. It's not like someone just snapped their fingers. No one is born ugly. Consider, for a second,  this guy could be overworked. He may have stopped paying attention to his outward appearance. Fewer trips to the clothing store and the barber eventually makes a guy less attractive, don't you agree? And when you're less attractive than you otherwise would have been, well ... yeah.

But all of those "causes" of ugly just melt away when you actually open the door and enter the bar. Think about that moment. The instant you swing open the door to the bar and everyone looks up at you. W'eve all been there. Do you think they're thinking "wow. His kid must have been sick this whole week." or ""Poor guy! He must not have had time to keep up with the latest fashion trends!" or "Eh, he's shopping at the wrong store". Of course not! They're looking at you thinking only about the image you've been able to craft for yourself leading up to that one singular moment.. And if you've had time to keep up with trends and make sure your appearance is presentable, then maybe they're thinking good things when that door swings open and you'll catch a few smiles and make some friends.

And, if you're me, they're thinking only one thing: "Ugly guy" and they turn away. At this point my life, I just look around them for a pool table.

Now every once in a while, you get some bar dude who needs to remind you, or your group that you haven't paid enough attention yourself or to the world to be outwardly presentable in quiet some time. This guy knows the score. He knows you and your group may have been busy and may have missed one or two image related innovations over the past few months or even years. He knows you're there trying to get your groove back but, for whatever reason, he just doesn't care. This guy will literally stop his entire night just to make you feel worse about yourself. He'll follow you everywhere to remind you that you're out of place. He'll go to that pool table, or stand in the way of your dart board or even stand next to YOU and make suggestions to YOU as YOU make suggestions to that playlist. Guys like this are like Ahab. Here's how much Ahab hated Moby Dick:

All that most maddens and torments; all that stirs up the lees of things; all truth with malice in it; all that cracks the sinews and cakes the brain; all the subtle demonisms of life and thought; all evil, to crazy Ahab, were visibly personified, and made practically assailable in Moby-Dick. He piled upon the whale’s white hump the sum of all the general rage and hate felt by his whole race from Adam down; and then, as if his chest had been a mortar, he burst his hot heart’s shell upon it

That's how much this guy has it in for you. And you've got to be there, at the bar, trying desperately to function, despite him. Many of my nights have been ruined by guys like this. They are not fair and they're not right and they make matters worse.

There is no truth with malice in this post! I am so proud that my union, the UFT, is Mobilizing [its] Members for Battle To Get Paid Parental Leave (paywall) I could burst.  I would give back -lots- of what I and those like me have currently earned if it meant that no one in the future would ever be damned to the first 12 weeks of a child's life that my wife and I, and thousands like us, endured when our child was born.  That's not just the big picture. That's the only picture.  I've read the Facebook posts and Twitter feeds and blogs making nonsensical assertions assertions like 'no givebacks' and "Whereas ..." "it should be .. ." and they're all wrong. I've lived through the education wars and have gone ten years without a real raise just like other folks. I have the same scars as other people with keyboards and big mouths. (Actually, my scars are worse). They don't make any sense in any context.  We can come together behind Unity and help right this one wrong for mothers and fathers and children and families all across this city with none of the usual need to be recognized  and without any of the competition or anger or petulance or drama. It's time for anyone who isn't Unity to stop what they're doing, to simply support the efforts being made and, like the line from Legally Blonde,  try not to look so constipated.


  1. Unless you're a straight guy at a gay bar. The UFT will not be representing me next year and I will not be paying for anyone's maternity leave.

  2. Nope. I've been that guy too. No play. (I'm talking bone ugly).
    Not sure how I feel about you opting out after the decision. I won't be. I'll go down union.

    In so far as whether or not you'll be paying. The UFT has been the legal negotiating body with NYC since 1961. If they decide it, then you will be paying. There is no truth with malice to that, either. I'm just saying how it's going to be: You'll be paying for womens' and mens' family (maternity) leave.

    1. That’ll get even more to drop out. The UFT is not a union.

    2. Besides me having fewer readers, it won't really make a difference.

  3. A bad union is better than no union at all. Just ask the people living in Wisconsin how they feel about a right to work for less state.

  4. I don’t care about Wisconsin - I hate the Uft and I’m not paying those ganevs. Let them all move to Wisconsin.

  5. I disagree I'd prefer no union to the UFT. If the UFT started acting like a real union I'd stay, so would many. I see no change at all, in fact they have become worse. Outrageous lies and complicity with the DOE.

  6. If people who are teachers want to breed, good for them. Don't ask me to give back anything. I give back enough every day I step into a classroom. Don't touch my CAR!!! if the UFT makes me pay for the breeding rights of others, I will opt out of dues!!!

    1. Yet, others pay for your right to healthcare, for your right to 2 full months of vacation and for your right to be one of the few the remain in the middle class. All of that is ok, because it directly benefits you, right?

      I like public roads, public police and public garbage collection so I don't mind paying taxes. I like having job protections, so I don't mind paying dues and I like other benefits, like having Labor Day off so I don't mind forking over some of my other benefits. Then again, I come from a time before the ownership society mentality invaded, of all things, public sector employees.
      Then again, you've already decided to opt out. Haven't you