I like to go to bars on school nights. Don't judge.
It is one of the few ways I can still say to the world, "You're not the boss of me. I do what I want."
And Monday night feels to me the ballsiest of all school nights.
One recent Monday, I found myself at The Blue Rooster. On the weekends, this place is my jam. I can drink a spicy Pimm's cocktail, while listening to Lauren Mitchell or Doug Deming.
But Monday night is a bit more low-key. I popped in right from work, knowing if I went home first I'd lose my momentum. I found myself walking into the "early dinner crowd" with about a dozen people in the restaurant. But hey, I knew Monday night would be a gamble.
I parked in the corner of the bar, expecting prime viewing of RJ Howson's musical guests that evening, set to take the stage in less than an hour.
I passed the time with a Stella draught and fiddled with my iPhone. The other barstools started slowing filling with a cast of characters that would unknowingly become my entertainment. Two ladies took the seats to my left, on what I can only assume was a "Girl, you better meet me after work" night out. They both stepped out of an 80's country music video, with gravel-y voices you can only achieve from years of smoking Virginia Slims.
One of them (I'll call her Peggy) set to order her drink but was disappointed when the bartender couldn't make a watermelon margarita "like they make at the Longhorn." Her friend (she'll be Loretta) opted for a vodka-orange juice, explaining it was the wise choice since she was coming down with a cold and needed the Vitamin C.
These two ladies were fabulous.
They spent the next half hour alternating between trips outside for smoke breaks and lecturing each other on relationship advice. "Girl, you need to throw his clothes out on the lawn is what you need to do."
Without realizing it, I had stepped right into a Reba McEntire song.
My other side of the bar was balanced with what I can only guess was a WASP-y Lakewood Ranch divorcee who was annoyed when the musician finally took to the stage as she was having a hard time making her cellphone calls.
The band was fine. I honestly didn't catch their names. I was way too busy eavesdropping on my new best girlfriends. I left shortly after as I'd gotten my fill of entertainment and remembered why Mondays are not for the faint of heart.