"There are notes between notes, you know." -- Sarah Vaughan

Monday, November 15, 2010

Stand up! -- Ludacris

Last weekend I went out to a spot on U Street that has live music on Fridays. I was meeting a friend there (and ended up inviting another friend as I sat there), but I live close so I got there first.

I walked in and the bar seats were all filled with men -- all black except for one lone white guy. One guy was eating, everyone else was nursing a drink.

Lots of women (all black) were standing, waiting for seats to free up. O__-

And let me note that these were adults all well into their 30s.

I walked up to the one guy who was standing at the bar, tapped him and asked if I could steal his space for a minute to order a drink. He said sure, no problem and stepped out of the way. This left me standing between two seated guys -- one white, one black.

In the very few minutes that passed between me ordering my drink and my receiving it, the white guy offered me his seat. I said thanks and told him his next beer was on me. He said, thank you, but not necessary.

Now, I sat there for a good long time enjoying the live music and sipping on two, three drinks til my first girlfriend arrived and not naan one of the black dudes perched on those bar stools offered their seat to the many MANY ladies (all black) who were standing.

I *did* notice that quite a few of the prettiest women came over and hugged the white guy while the black dudes just...sat there. Sipping on their drinks. Not offering up their seats. Not saying hello. Nothing.

This all made me wonder: who raised these dudes? My brother is a hot ass mess. HOT.ASS.MESS I TELL YOU. But he would never sit when a lady is standing. Not ever. I know, because I have seen him in action AND ladies (neighbors, my grandma's friends) are always raving about how polite and mannerable he is, helping with groceries, fetching something, pumping gas, putting away the trash can.

So here's how I interpreted the situation: For the men on the stools, these women were not deserving of a seat. Or respect. Let 'em stand.

In my opinion, it's a sad, sad example of the state of male-female relations today. Sigh.

Or maybe I'm reading too much into it. What do you think?

I guess this chivalry thing is on a lot of folks minds because my friend Lottie blogged about it today, too.

15 comments:

  1. Hmmmmm...I don't know why but this made me feel some kinda way.

    Let me see if I can figure out why while I comment.

    If Robby was at a bar without me he’d be watching a game on the television and drinking a beer and wouldn’t notice a woman standing. Seriously.

    It's a bar.

    If I showed up...he'd give me his seat. Pretty much...if any woman showed up he knew...he'd give them his seat but only because he noticed her because he knew her and once women are around whom he feels an obligation to...he "takes care" of them.

    If he didn't know you he wouldn't have given you his seat because, seriously, he wouldn't have even noticed you unless you were wearing skin tight booty showing clothes and then he wouldn't say anything because he was having pig man thoughts and prolly making eye contact with another dude who noticed your booty too. (Men are PIGS!)

    If this was on the metro he would give his seat up to an elderly person or a pregnant woman or a woman with small kids. (Maybe even a woman carrying a lot of ish.)

    Anybody else? You're on your own.

    Does this mean he's not chivalrous? Not in the least bit. It just means that he has different "rules" I believe for different situations.

    I've never expected a man to give up his seat to me at a bar and I would feel like, if one did, he was trying too hard to holla. I'd pay his tab and keep it moving.

    I'm chivalrous too.

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  2. Girl,
    That's a shame ! I'm with you: Who's raising these men? They aren't polite, generous, kind, caring. What's going on?
    I am always very thankful when a guy opens a door or pulls out a chair - or gives up his seat at a crowded bar - because in today's times that kind of treatment is rare.
    But why should I be grateful or appreciative? Why isn't that the norm?

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  3. Anonymous11/15/2010

    Ok, I may be weird...but why should they have given up their seat? Simply because they are men? I'm sure they dont want to stand either. But thats just me. What makes the standing women at the bar more tragic then standing men? Thats a chance you take when you go to a bar, I think.

    Keelah :)

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  4. SingLikeSassy11/15/2010

    Not weird Keelah, because at least one other person agrees with you. :-)

    But I view it along the lines of opening the door, pulling out the chair type things. Maybe I'm too old school for the new world? I got a seat though so my feet were fine. LOL!

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  5. I don't know SLS. I'm as old school as they come and I just don't think it's mainstream old school thought to give up your seat at a bar.

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  6. I agree with SLS. I'm a little thrown off when I go somewhere and a bunch of guys are sitting and all the women are standing, whether it's the bar or the Metro.

    That said, in this situation, I think all the guys might have been sitting because it doesn't sound like there was much interacting going on. I wouldn't expect a guy to jump up out of his spot every time a woman crosses the threshold. :-) But if people were mingling and chatting, I would expect to see women being offered seats.

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  7. Anonymous11/15/2010

    I find "humor" when it is stated what one's husband would do or not do when out without them. To say that he would not notice another woman is laughable.

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  8. I am of the thought that bar seats are fair game. Many women come to the spot late and expect to get primo seats and/or position. It is unfair to expect a guy to give you his seat when he got there in a timely manner to get one of the few seats available. According to the scenario, if all the men had been up to snuff, they would have given up their seats to the women already there. You still wouldn't have had a seat. So ... it is what it is. White/Black/Indian/Ethiopian it doesn't matter.

    In my situation, if I was by myself and wasn't all that engaged in what was going on (ie. tv, conversation, etc.) I would give the seat up so I can roam. It is still not going to happen automatically. I believe in what goes around comes around. If I am with a homeboy.. oh you can forget getting a seat unless it is two of you and we are feeling ourselves at that point...

    Just so you know, I work in the entertainment industry. We purposefully restrict seating for several reasons. 1. On busy nights we need the bar area accessible to people who are walking up to order a drink. 2. It frees up floor space. 3. People who sit at the bar usually don't have the biggest tabs. They perch and observe.

    I am sorry you didn't get the reaction you intended to get at the bar. Maybe you should have gotten there earlier or wore more comfortable shoes.

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  9. SingLikeSassy11/16/2010

    @Abe: I think you missed the part where I got a seat pretty much as soon as I walked in. I was reflecting on all the other young ladies standing around nursing hurt toes while I sipped my drink from my bar stool.

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  10. Anonymous11/17/2010

    The thing about this post is that the white guy gave up his seat to a black woman while a bunch of brothers stood by and let him. I mean, c'mon. Brothers should be wondering what this white guy sees in this black lady. I think one of them should have fallen off his chair to compete with the white guy. Do white guys see a woman, any woman, and feel compelled to be a gentlemen while a room full of black men do not? if so, that's sad and it speaks to why so many black women are considering their options.

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  11. Anonymous11/17/2010

    I would have expected to be offered a seat as a grown A$$ woman – yep, using your saying.

    Disclaimer: I do not go out and my expectations are higher although I have always expected a date to open a door for me.

    I discussed this with a couple of co-workers representing ages forties and fifties. They say no nowadays. They do not expect a seat to be offered because no one is teaching it unless their old school grandparents raise them. Guess my grandfather is the reason I like an open door.

    I thank any man that does it now but at times feel like some of the men are surprised to or shocked to hear it.

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  12. @next-to-the-last Anon: I'll admit, I did wonder if there wasn't some element of this going on --"Do white guys see a woman, any woman, and feel compelled to be a gentlemen while a room full of black men do not?"

    But your comment is a good conversation starter so I have posted it separately to see if others have thoughts.

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  13. Anonymous8/20/2011

    The thing about this post is that the white guy gave up his seat to a black woman while a bunch of brothers stood by and let him. I mean, c'mon. Brothers should be wondering what this white guy sees in this black lady. I think one of them should have fallen off his chair to compete with the white guy. Do white guys see a woman, any woman, and feel compelled to be a gentlemen while a room full of black men do not? if so, that's sad and it speaks to why so many black women are considering their options.

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  14. I don't know SLS. I'm as old school as they come and I just don't think it's mainstream old school thought to give up your seat at a bar.

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Use your inside voice ... or I'll put you outside. -- SingLikeSassy