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.