Feeling Empowered At A Bar (Or, How To Take Advantage Of Summer Interns)

Over the weekend I experienced a very empowering moment. I was at a bar that was teeming with people who were probably mostly younger than me. As a relatively recent 30 year old, I have lately become hyperaware of my age and this bar full of “young-ins” was only emphasizing the age gap to me.  (Breaking my jaw simply by running has likely played a role in being self-aware too.) Undeterred by the lowered average age in the bar, I went up to order a few drinks for my party.

I was trying to find an opening in the crowd to get the bartenders, but a few tall guys were near me, taking over the remaining space. One of the guys (or rather boys, given their younger age compared to me) asked me for my drink order. I assumed they would simply be ordering for me as they were closer to the bar, so I informed them. I started for my wallet, but it seemed they weren’t asking for my payment. (Sure, an overly confident person might immediately offer it up right away, but I was curious to see what would happen next.) It was taking a while for the boys to reach the bartender and my simple journey to purchase drinks was becoming something of an episode.

These boys reeked of privilege and naiveté and as an outsider to their circle I concluded that they must be part of the new crop of interns who flock to D.C. every Summer. Knowing that such specimens just want to be accepted into their new world, I decided to go along with their antics and relaxed my demeanor. There were three of them and they were bringing me into their friendly banter with each other. I felt like a timid outsider but smiled along.

They ended up ordering shots, which I thought would be a good time for me to thank them and slip back to my party, but they were confused with their own drink order and had apparently (or accidentally) ordered me a shot too. Baffled, I joined in on their tomfoolery, wanting nothing more than to please these new “bar-pals.” My hands were full so this time I could not even reach for my wallet if I wanted to, but the boys told me they were covering my drinks.  It was finally time to part ways and thanked the boys repeatedly.

The best part of this encounter was that even though I have lately been trying to adjust into my 30’s, I can still get hit on by boys who probably assumed I was in my early 20’s. The other kicker was that I was buying drinks for me and my boyfriend- had they known I wasn’t single, they probably would not have been so flirty with me! The take-away? If you want to feel young again, head to the areas to which Summer interns flock and let the crowd unknowingly absorb you in. Worked for me, at least.

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