Bars: a Three Credit Course in Awkward Social Interaction
- Article by Kirsten Steuber
- September 5, 2011
Every weekend, as a celebration of all the ups and downs we’ve faced on grounds, the students of UVa like to get away from it all by moving en masse to the lush, scenic paradise of the Corner, a magical district full of shops and smells to delight and choke the senses. Perhaps you’ll head to Coupe’s and find a lovely first year, or maybe it’s over to Trinity to watch the sweat mist the air in the laser lights. Maybe you’re looking for an older, more mature crowd over at the Biltmore. It’s a great time to chill out with friends, talk to the same people you would at school, and get a head start on some Jeffersonian lovin’. Unfortunately, just because you’re in a different place, doesn’t mean you’re a different person and that creepy guy from Medieval Latin is just as creepy at bars. Inevitably you are either confronted by fools or play the fool, and find that perhaps “Bars” is the hardest class of all.
One of the hardest lessons of bars teaches us is public speaking under pressure. Like how omitting important words from sentences makes you look outrageously crazy. This especially comes into play as you attempt to compliment or wish well upon the other person, and in your panic, end up stammering together sentences like, “Have a spring break” or “Have a flight.” You know, because you’re trying to be casual.
In the heat of the moment “Good,” just seems like a lazy adjective that translates to “I really don’t care about your break or flight, it would just be awkward to not say something.” Whereas more highbrow words like “great” “excellent” or “sublime” decidedly profess, “I love you.” “Stellar” would clearly be a sarcastic wish for the opposite.
When you’re down to the wire and one steamy compliment could be the difference between a beautiful romance and another night of Cheetos’ Puffs, in betweens do not exist. Thus the omission stems from not wanting to sound insincere and also not wanting to sound too eager, but being certain you want to confirm you have the mental prowess of Zoolander. Thus you are alone.
Regretfully, I, like many of my fellow students, seem to often suffer from a debilitating inability to interact normally with humans. I guess they left out the “social interactions” program chip when installing my robot brain. Budget cuts are the poops. A result of this is leaning away from a person I don’t care much for talking to, instead of simply taking one step back. At least you’re learning an important lesson about the military strategy of standing one’s ground. And learning a lot about the formation of obtuse angles. So you limbo sans pole thinking, “I don’t want to be talking to this person any more, but if I walk away I’ll just inevitably end up talking to his frat brother or clone or frat brother clone within seconds of departure.” Potato, Potato as they say (an idiom that does not translate well to written language).
Wherever you’ve ended up, you and your crew are bound to meet the other sex out and about. In fact, that was probably kind of the point of going out anyways. Otherwise you would have just stayed at home where the drinks are cheap and you can watch Netflix in your underwear. Sadly, when you meet that total hottie out, the combination of alcohol and general lack of smooth “Fonziesque” moves is bound to leave you looking decidedly un-cool, as well as destroy any chance you had of finally achieving that 3.6 you’ve been gunning for all year.