So that's why this won't be an advice column, but more of a lament with some insight.
The involved and difficult intricacies that we are dealing with here are obvious to many, so let's start with some honesty. Under whatever auspices you like (let's get a bite to eat, I'm bored, I forgot my scarf there last Sunday, etc.) there is only one real reason any of us go into a bar or, to a slightly lesser extent, restaurant. That is, to put ourselves within a close enough proximity with a member of the fairer sex in the hope that we might receive a split-second glance, enough for her to notice that we aren't missing any major amount of facial features and that copulation at a later date/time, if sufficiently charmed, is within the realm of possibility.
This is the hope. As is often the case however, these women that we are talking about here are generally engaged in coversation with their bf's/bff's, or simply engaged (that didn't stop my ex-fiancee though, amirite?). So who at this establishment are we to focus our attention on? How about that well put together young lass over there; she's got a great smile and isn't stumbling at all, and she keeps giving me drinks!... Ah. And here comes the trouble. First of all, you/me (I've lost track of the narrator here) is nigh ever as sober as we think. They however, are. They are working, mixing drinks, and generally being Grade A ambassadors for their employer. They get paid two dollars below minimum wage and depend on their tips to pay their rent and bookie. And, obviously, the nicer they are the nicer the tips they get, especially from forlorn assholes like us.
Now I am in no way implying that they are basically emotional prostitutes, not at all. The vast majority that I have met seem like decent people, and the many I call friends are great as well. But the fact remains that a diamond smile, excellent afternoon banter, hangover-pity, or an across-the-crowded-room wave all inspire the thought, that "hey, maybe this girl actually digs me!" thought, that may or not be true. Generally it probably isn't, but copping-out is assuredly not in the Latches Handbook.
In all honesty I've dated a number of servers. But don't look to me for inside info, because for all but one I was actually employed at the same establishment as said server. It is much easier this way, obviously, because a first name basis is a given and, if there ever happens to be a lull in the conversation, all you have to do is bitch about managers/chefs/owners, or ridicule a fellow coworker.
All due respect to the lads picking up at Subway and Booster Juice (I mean that Ye, she was a looker). The difficulty and difference of the bar/restaurant is that servers already have their guard up to a significant degree, the byproduct of the classless fucks who yell "You're hot!" at bartenders and who actually put their phone number and a smiley face on credit card receipts.
Well anyway, some across-the-bar chat with my female colleagues at work yielded this information:
- Numbers have been given when asked, however the rate of success was only worth it when the number was included in a bachelor party/scavenger hunt (who actually does this??) situation.
- Most servers that I have polled are long-term type daters, so it's a real gamble as far as timing goes.
- Much more often than not, they are just being friendly.
- Shitfaced and charming are not mutually exclusive (this one surprised me). However, shitfacedly charming and charmingly shitfaced are two different things, and we are aiming for the latter here boiz.
- Generous tips are appreciated, however they do not increase success rates, because as soon as a server starts feeling like a prostitute, you're shit(faced) outta luck pal.
It's been two weeks since I started this post, and still don't know how to finish it. An introspective and enlightening conclusion? An amusing anecdote? Some text-banter with a server friend that didn't turn out to be terribly hilarious on account of the fact that she's a serial monogamist? A poem?
Anyway I gotta get to the cottage.