Over a decade ago (yea, you read that right… decade), I used to hustle poor, unsuspecting, drunken fraternity boys for all of their parent’s hard-earned money. Another whiskey-coke on daddy’s credit card? You got it. A round for the entire bar? Whatever you say frat boy. That’s right, I was a college bartender. And life was good.
While the glory days are nothing more than fleeting (and sometimes spotty) memories from my past, as a self-proclaimed responsible adult now, I still like to indulge in a cocktail every now and then. Going out as a mommy can be difficult though. For some of us, it’s been months (or even years) since we’ve been out, pressed body to body, slow-shuffling in a line of people fifty deep, all trying to get a drink from the one-available bartender who looks like she hates her life. (If it’s anytime after midnight, rest assured, she does.)
But fear not ladies. If you are in need of MNO (Mom’s Night Out) and are going to brave the crowds, follow these unwritten rules and no one will even give a second glance at your mom jeans and spit-up soaked shirt.
DISCLAIMER: These are the most legit set of rules concerning MNO bar etiquette that you will ever read. Prepare yourself. Hearing these will likely make you want to get your twerking shoes back on while visions of musty dance floors, beer soaked bar tops, and Vodka-flavored memories dance in your head. (Either that or it will make you yearn for your furry slippers and cozy bed while you snuggle up with your babies and watch Dora). Either way… #winning.
Straight from your bartender, here are MNO Bar Etiquette Rules
Don’t wait until I hand you your drink to begin rummaging in your ginormous backpack of a purse for money. Sandwiched somewhere between an entire set of hot wheel racers and an extra pair of “just-in-case” kiddie underwear, is your wallet, likely filled with pictures of your drooling children. No, I don’t want to see them. Just give me the money because the entire bar is waiting for you to hurry TF up.
Don’t call me ‘honey’ or ‘darling’ or ‘baby’. I am not your baby. Your baby is at home, probably being watched by some teenager who wishes she was somewhere/anywhere else, but is instead dressed, up like Queen Elsa and is singing “Let It Go” for the 900th time. You are in my house now. Patiently (and quietly) wait your turn like everyone else. And while you wait, refer to rule #1.
Do not casually remind me to make your drink “a good one”, or say any other stupid comment which insinuates that I need your advice on how to do my job. I realize you spend the better part of your day providing direction to tiny humans on how to eat, when to potty, and what not to stick into a light socket, but this isn’t daycare. Refer back to rules #1 and #2 while trusting that I can properly mix liquids together.
Spare me your “glory days” stories and how I remind you of yourself. I feel insulted. I don’t want to be compared to anything remotely close to middle-aged, washed-up, or a has-been. Please keep your trips down memory lane to yourself while I pour your drink.
For the love of God, do not show me pictures of your children as a way to make casual conversation. I’m busy and do not have time to pretend to think they’re cute (even if they actually are). That is what your husband/baby daddy/friends are for. Show them the pictures. And while you’re digging around in your purse, refer to rule #1.
Do not try to hook me up with your son. Please, just don’t. I’m not sure what’s worse; your son having his mom pick up chicks for him, or you spending MNO at the bar that your son frequents. You just made things super awkward for us both. You’ll be lucky if I return to pour you another drink tonight.
Never ever assume that I remember you. I get it. Two years ago you came to this exact same bar for a night out when little Johnny was still a baby. But unless you tipped me enough to pay for my full college tuition, I don’t remember you. And being that I’m still here... well, just order your drink.
Don’t pretend to be a total boss unless you have a monetary tip to back it up. Yea yea, mom bosses are all the rage right now, “retiring” their husbands and “working” from their home offices, but if you aren’t financially able to throw down a tip that justifies the making of 22 lemon drop shots for your entire “tribe”, then stop ordering drinks for everyone. And a word to the wise, don’t even think about ordering 3 lemon drops, 4 liquid cocaines, 2 buttery nipples…treat the bar like Costco and order single items in bulk.
Do not apologize for not tipping. It does nothing for me, it means nothing to me, and it doesn’t make me dislike you any less. I’m out here hustling, just like your little Susie will be someday. The next time you decide to stiff your server, think of your daughter, tears in her eyes, unable to pay her rent, on the side of the curb with her suitcase in hand (IN THE RAIN)…all because you didn’t tip. Don’t be that mommy.
Don’t be lame just because you’re a mom. Don’t sit back and order water all night while your girlfriends get after it. Don’t be responsible (just this once). Be an adult. Do adult things. Order adult drinks. And realize that, as your bartender, I would much rather pour you a drink than to refill your water cup for the 86th time while you apologize for your friends because “you don’t get out much.” I know. I can tell.
You’re welcome. Now, get back out there and have some fun! The laundry, dishes, and screaming children will still be there when you get home.