How to Buy (or Accept) a Drink

photo by Southern_Foodways_Alliance

Sending a hottie a drink is an old stand-by among pick-up artists. However, this move may be interpreted as “cheesy” rather than “kitschy” in certain irony-free zones — Idaho, perhaps, or Long Island — or by women who are frequently sent “Slippery Nipples.” Thus, we can only recommend this maneuver in good faith to a gal who is buying for a guy. If you ignore this suggestion — and we know you will — then at least follow this rule: Offer to purchase an entire round if the hottie is among friends. If drinks are delivered to all members of a party, then it would be rude of said hottie to refuse them — not to mention stupid, in the middle of a recession.

If, on the other hand, someone tries to buy you (and not your entourage) a drink, and you’d rather tweeze your nose hairs than spend five minutes in conversation with the buyer, then graciously decline the cocktail. That said, never assume that a drink means that something (time, conversation, digits) is owed. However, it’s downright douchey to accept a second drink as a gift and then refuse to engage in conversation. And after the third free drink, if you’ve got zero romantic interest in the buyer, then you’re obliged to make your platonic intentions clear.

From our bi-weekly Metro column — see it in print here.


  1. As a guy, I’d say that I’ve avoided ever buying a drink because of the exactly that presumption. Think of it this, a complete and utter stranger, someone you neither know nor are necessarily are interested in knowing, has a drink sent over. You politely decline. Depending on the bartender you’re either stuck with the drink or the bartender will act as liaison again and relay your rejection. If you are stuck with a drink, whether you touch it or not, you may be dealing with someone who presumes your time is bought even though you weren’t selling it in the first place. The only times I’ve bought or recieved drinks were after the woman and I had already struck up a conversation and gotten past that moment of “do I want to continue this or not?” By which time it would be perfectly polite to say, “would you like another?” Especially in the age of chemical predation, I don’t think sending a drink over is a practice that should continue. Well, unless it’s someone you already know and is comfortable with you.

  2. My gal pal bought a guy a drink, thinking it would make her feel empowered. Not so much. The guy didn’t even bother to come talk to her, though he did buy her a drink in return. Is it me, or isn’t it just common courtesy to at least say “hello” if someone sticks their neck (and their wallet) out to buy you a drink?

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