Creepy guys at bars

My city is home to the largest Oktoberfest celebration outside of Germany, so this weekend I decided to partake in the festivities. Oktoberfest is a lot of fun: polka music, schnitzel, and beer, beer, beer. People get dressed up in lederhosen and hats with giant feathers. The crowd was about 70% male, making for a plethora of do-si-do partners for Der Ententanz (the chicken dance). It’s a lot of fun.

Two things happened that are relevant to discussion on this blog, and I want your opinion on how I handled them:

I went to the bathroom with a friend. I was waiting by the sinks for my friend, when another girl asked me if  a guy with a mohawk was waiting outside the bathroom. I peaked and saw him, and told her so. She asked if I’d help her sneak out back into the crowd without him noticing. She said he had been following her around all night, and she couldn’t ditch him. Part of me wanted to march out there and give Mr. Mohawk a stern talkin’ to, but I decided that not only would it not be effective, but it wasn’t the help the girl was asking me for. So I told her that of course I would be her camo! We waited a minute for my friend to finish up (she had actually finished before me, and was waiting elsewhere thinking I was the slow-poke) and during this wait time, the scared girl’s friends came into the bathroom.

Scared girl was like, “oh, you guys! I’m so glad you’re here! That guy won’t leave me alone!” and her friends replied something like, “oh please, he’s just being nice! Come on! We’ve been looking for you!” and they dragged her back outside the bathroom, where she was reunited with the guy she was trying to avoid. Worst friends ever, right? But did I do the right thing  by letting it go? Or should I have stuck my nose out a little bit more?

The second situation is more generic.  At the end of the night, some guy we didn’t know offered to buy us shots. The other females I was with were like, “hey, why not?” but I retreated over to where the guys we came with were. Nobody has ever offered to buy me drinks before. I thought that was something that only happened in terrible movies. It’s certainly not a “what would you do?” kind of situation that I have an answer and plan all ready for. In this weekend’s instance, I had already had a fair amount of beer, and so that I declined his offer was more a case of “I don’t feel like doing shots” than it was a case of “I don’t want strangers to buy me alcohol.”

But in thinking about it, I’ve come to the conclusion that I would feel really weird accepting drinks from somebody I didn’t know. Why would a stranger pay for my drinks? Because he wants to talk to me? So if I accept drinks, does that mean I have to talk to him? That seems like a weird exchange. I also think that could spiral pretty quickly. I

Quoting Jezebel commenter Cimorene, “Women are trained to be polite, non-aggressive, and above all nice to men. If a guy wants to buy you a drink and you decline, you’re a bitch. If he buys you a drink and you don’t talk to him—bitch. If you talk all night but then don’t go home with him—bitch. And what’s the worst thing in the world? Being a bitch.” (h/t PilgrimSoul)

I don’t know. What do you do (or what would you do) if somebody you didn’t know offered to buy you drinks?

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2 Responses to Creepy guys at bars

  1. Mary says:

    Sometimes my friends buy a round of drinks for everyone, sometimes I buy a date a drink, sometimes a new person offers to buy me a drink. In my experience, its a bar culture show of goodwill/merrymaking to buy other people drinks. When it comes to a stranger, the same applies: its someone who is interested in getting to know you, trying to break the ice (this could be someone who is interested in a simple conversation or they could just be after a piece of ass). If I feel like our intentions are different I’ll pass but I don’t see any harm in the situation in general.

    As for the former creepy dude situation, that is tricky! Honestly, I likely would have tried to help get her out of eyesight to avoid confrontation. But the more I think about it the more I feel that openly confronting the behavior would be the best way to handle it. And I don’t just mean saying “Hey dude stop it!” But maybe “My friend is not into you.” Its not like I’m trying to *not be a bitch to men*, or soften the blow, I just think perhaps give people the benefit of a doubt before assuming they are creeps.

  2. K says:

    First offer: politely decline
    Second offer: politely decline
    Third offer: “NO”
    Fourth offer: “What do you get out of it?”
    Fifth offer: walk to another area

    This has happened repeatedly. I don’t like to drink in general, so stranger-shots are even more discomforting

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