When a woman walks into a bar, alone…” Lord Help Her!!!”
This elicits consternation, and disgust from people. I mean, can’t a woman just walk into a bar and ask for her favorite cocktail or a beer without a problem. The way people jump into conclusions, head first, fact-less and unapologetic, you would think that they are being paid. If only people exercised as often as they jumped into conclusions…
When you reach your mid twenties, I’d like to believe that very few things scare you. Your friends have drifted away and you keep making new ones every day. But it is hard to find that one friend who will be free on a Wednesday evening to accompany you for cocktails. Sometimes, it is interesting to enjoy a drink on your own. In fact, it is a quiet luxury. So you head out and smile at the barman as you ask him to pour you a glass of Pinot Noir.
But people get worked up when they hear that you went for a drink alone and give you the “Woiyeee… Are you okay?”. This ‘woiyee’ has undertones of pity, disgust and surprise. There is also the judgement that comes with it. People think that you are there to hook up and you get hit on incessantly.
Growing up, we have known that bars belong to men. They go there to drink and converse in loud voices and belly laughter. It is very normal for a man to go to a bar alone as he contemplates on where his life is going. For most women, drinking is to be done with friends. We store bottles of wine, vodka etc. and wait for a friend to pass by so that we can open them. The more you grow up, you realize that your circle gets smaller and you no longer go for drinks all night. You only meet once in a blue moon.
So I asked a bunch of my girlfriends at work whether they would drink alone. We’ll very few would have the courage to do so and there is always the fear of looking desperate & idle. Most of them go there armed with a full cellphone battery and a magazine or book. “At least we want to look busy to avoid small talk and being hit on. Why cant people understand that we just want to have a drink, celebrate a good day at work, celebrate a good deal or simply relieve stress?” says one.
I think there are a few places in Nairobi that a woman can enjoy a drink unperturbed. A few that I have gone to this year are.
1). Salt bar( WWW Shop & Bar) at Junction that has an array of wines & Drinks.
2) Champagne bar at Sankara.
3)Cin Cin Bar at Fairmont.
4) Artcaffe .
5) Caramel Restaurant & Lounge
This is just a growing personal list. I would love to know which ones you enjoy.
I think if a woman feels like drinking alone, she should not feel like she owes anyone an explanation. A person who aims to please everybody only displeases themselves. However, be sure to look for a chilled out place. Don’t go to ‘the local’. Make sure you don’t get drunk. Don’t overdo it. A drink or two will suffice.
Featured image source 1.