Bar Fly

It’s a late afternoon in spring, the an almost perfect New York City day, at least weather wise. Sunny, with a couple of cotton candy clouds to show just how deep the cerulean of the sky. Mid 60 degrees as a daytime high, a hint of chill in the air to have need a blazer or light jacket/sweater once the sun set. It was just after 6pm and technically evening, but the sun still owned the sky too much to concede to the imminent call of night yet. As people walk in they are momentarily blinded by the sudden dimness and blink slowly scanning the place as their eyes adjust.

A wall of two-seater dimly lit booths line one side of the wall giving off sense of intimacy that doesn’t truly exist. Not that it stopped one couple whose drinks and libido are getting the best of them. The better lighting is over the various sized wooden tables which crowd the center of the floor and a long oak monstrosity engulfs the far side of the bar. The bar itself with its intricate carved rail was worn dark and smooth at the top over the decades. A mirrored wall reflecting the myriad colored libations of various proofs available for consumption. Though a nice modern touch screen computer reigned next to it doing all the work, a huge old-fashioned brass cash register took center stage along the mirrored wall. Even in the relative dimness in general its tall columns, high arches for the numbers and keys were regularly polished until they gleamed. The décor which changed styles along with the owners over the years was now some half faded New England shore house meets Mexican hacienda hybrid with its aqua and teal hued canoes suspended from the ceiling, and sea colored striped serapes served as pseudo tapestry with the occasional seascape painting dotting the walls. Each booth and table had various centerpieces of miniature cacti with sand and seashells. It looked like Poncho Villa cum Martha Stewart. Did she sell sea shells on the Cancun sea-shore?

Three men are huddled in a group, slowly shrugging out of their uniform of expensive looking suits and polished shoes. One in a charcoal gray pin-stripe, has his royal purple tie loosened at the neck, the shirt sleeves of his stark-white on white striped shirt rolled-up to the elbows. A hint of dragon scales peek out from the half-sleeve tattoo. From the snatches of financial jargon I’m getting from their conversation I’d guess their all day-traders, making me wonder if he ever rolls his sleeves up in the office. He straddles his chair; the material of his slacks, move along the musculature of his solid legs. Argyle socks in purple and grays to match the rest are bunching around his ankles. The sloppiness of the socks are an almost welcome surprise after the clearly practiced orderliness of the rest of his attire. The little bit of calf showing indicates a light hirsuteness. It is confirmed by the dark tufts just peeking out above the neck of the undershirt worn under his shirt and on his lower arms casually drape over the back of the chair. In one hand he holds his beer bottle between his index and middle fingers, using his thumb for balance only when swinging it up to swig in some movie fed imitation of cool. The runs the other hand through already perfectly tousled hair. You just know he wants to shake it out, but restrains himself. His hair is dark, I bet he has a five o’clock shadow by noon. It was past midnight according to the shadows along his jaw now. The matching dark brows contrasted greatly with his light eyes. The irises were so light they reminded me of the zeroes used for eyes in the Little Orphan Annie cartoon strip. He was not conventionally handsome, but he had a certain something, he knew it and was clearly using it as he checked the females at a table in his line of vision.

The females are mostly artsy types wearing the stock in trade professional solid dark-colored slacks or skirts with vivid colored shoes or blouse, or some wildly patterned accessory. One goes even more bold with her vibrant necklace and boxy bangles, more than likely added on after five o’clock. Just adding that little extra pop of wow to prove they still have some bohemian left in them and have not totally sold their artistic souls to the corporate man. As Daytrader sidled up to one, she chats him up, but it’s pretty easy to see she’s only doing so to kill time, and is already eying the door for a potentially better option. After a few moments she’s clearly bored and returns to talking to her friends, giving Daytrader no choice but to return to his.

The place is animated, borderline loud, and all but reeks of the underlying facade of having a grand life. For most, this bar is just a diversion between work, loneliness and the inevitable weekly visit to the psychiatrist.

In other words, your average crowd, in your average bar, at your average after work happy hour.

The Daily Post – Weekly Writing Challenge: Person, Place, Thing

Of No Account

I saw an ad online which had this fabulous dress for plus sized women. The blurb offered special sales and bargain prices. Hey, I’m woman, I’m plus sized, I like a bargain and I am always on the lookout for some place new, so I click.

I get about five seconds of what could be promising items when a dark overly obscures the screen and prompts me to not just sign up for their free email specials, but to create an account. Uh, what? Why is it nearly every online merchant I want to simply browse through these days insists that I first sign up for their email list before I can see anything?  There should at least be one or two preview pages that offer a taste of what’s available first before forcing potential buyers to a commitment.

This new method is especially annoying when after haven taken the plunge by creating the account and browsing around for fifteen minutes realize I’ve been sold a bill of goods  even if it was for free. For instance, that dress in the ad which captured my attention in the first place? Oh they had it, just not plus sizes. The merchant had the dress in several colors and not one came in plus size. I played around with the available options just to see more. Let’s just say, no matter how I played with it, if there were fifty items available, perhaps five were in my size. What few items they did have in my size were not worth the commitment of having an account with them.

Another place advertising plus sized clothing turned out to cater to women who had young children. The adult clothing section was merely a subset to the clothing for tots and the plus sizes and even smaller subset to that.

And it’s not just clothing.

A furniture / home decor seller had a table that caught my eye. All I wanted know were the dimensions and the price. Again, before I could browse I had to create an account only to find out it was a designer place where even their “bargain” prices were out of my price range and the table in the ad could not be found.

So now for the third time this week, I had to figure out how to unsubscribe /opt out of these accounts because the merchant had nothing else of interest to me.   These places are forcing a commitment of receiving, at minimum, weekly emails from them when I don’t know if they are even worth the energy of a weekly delete yet. I have more than enough emails flooding my inbox from places where I do make the occasional purchase.  I do not need any more. I prefer it when a merchant does not offer the option to create an account until after I actually have a shopping cart and want to make a purchase. After all, if I make a purchase now I may want to come back again; then it makes sense. There are merchants that may have lost a potential sale from me because this practice of sign up now – look later, annoys me so. When I shop brick and mortar stores I do not have to give them any information just to look around, so what is with this nonsense online?

/mini vent