If there’s one thing I’ve learned throughout these quarantined times, it’s that I’m a social drinker. I enjoy imbibing with buddies — buddies who I can sit right next to or across from and rant about the week’s stressors. I love the atmosphere of a corner pub, which offers private nooks for one-on-one conversations or stools pulled up to the bar for banter with strangers.
What I do not like is drinking alone. Even with these Zoom digital happy hours, it’s just not the same. You can’t clink glasses, buy rounds or have side chats with anyone. Random friends don’t show up uninvited, you can only drink what you have stockpiled, and there is no Rusty peddling beef jerky! I miss Rusty. And his beef.
No, we are forced to stay inside, glued to our computer screens, hoping for authentic social interaction through a two-dimensional device.
When will this end? What will the new normal be like? How long is too long to hug friends for the first time in months?
When this is all over, here’s how my ideal first night will go. I will get to The Back Door by 4:30 p.m. to catch up with John, Gayle and Steve — and, of course, all my favorite bartenders. I will order a gin and tonic — or maybe the renowned Pirate Slap — because I’m tired (momentarily) of bourbon and beer.
I will then head over to Dragon King’s Daughter for dinner with friends, where we will gather at our favorite long bar table. I will slide in just before happy hour ends and order a discounted bottle of The Whole She-Bang. Over the course of edamame, tacos and lots of talk, I will consume The Whole She-Bang — of course if anyone wants to help me drink it, I’m down.
After we’ve gotten our DKD fill, we will migrate next door to Big Bar, nabbing some tables on the front patio and enjoying some fresh beer while the boys dance on the bar. We will shake hands, exchange hugs, buy rounds, dance and tuck dollars in the boys’ briefs.
It’ll be epic. It’ll be invigorating. It’ll be social. But unfortunately for now, it’ll be only in my dreams.
Let’s all do a Quaffing in Quarantine toast to the future:
May the winds of fortune sail you,
May you sail a gentle sea.
May it always be the other buddy
Who says, “This drink’s on me!”