A Woman Alone In A Bar? Shocking…


On Saturday, I went to watch the London derby of Spurs vs Chelsea in a bar – and since I could drum up no interest from anyone else I was with, I went alone. Apparently this is still a shocking turn of events for some men whose eyes seemed to spin in their sockets at the sight of a woman solo in a pub, even though I checked my calendar and we are indeed living in the year 2013…

When I arrived at the pub all the tables were taken but there was a vacant stool halfway along the bar – perfect. I ordered a beer from a barmaid with blackened teeth and greasy hair then focused my attention on the football. The second half was about to kick off and Spurs were up 1-0.

But no matter that I was focusing my attention on the football – time and again when I tuned back into the bar, I clocked men gawping at me. The young one in the red t-shirt by the wall. The older, more weathered pair at the far end of the bar. The cockney wideboy in stonewash jeans near the big screen. But I’m a big girl, I can take it. I simply watched more football, drained my beer, ordered another.

On the pitch, Spurs weren’t doing that well. John Terry – who else? – equalised after 20 minutes to make it 1-1 and despite having Torres sent off with ten minutes to go, we couldn’t make our advantage count and had to settle for a point. The players shook hands and I turned my attention to my half-full bottle of beer.

“Enjoy the game?” came a voice to my right, so I turned to respond. A blond-haired, blue-shirted man stood next to me grinning eagerly. I rolled my eyes in response.

“Usual Spurs – flattering to deceive.”

“You’re a Spurs fan?” he asked, more than a speck of incredulity in his voice. I nodded.

“Been a member there for over ten years. Go to the home games when I can.”

“I don’t like to see a woman on her own in a bar so I thought I’d come and say hi,” he replied. “Greg.” He held out his hand and I shook it, taking in his words.

“Clare,” I told him. “And you don’t have to worry. I’m hardy, I can take care of myself.”

Greg looked suitably abashed.

“I know, you just don’t see it very often that’s all. Women on their own in bars I mean. It’s weird.” It appeared I’d upset Greg by my very presence.

Greg and I chatted for a few more minutes, him offering to buy me a drink and looking slightly put out when I declined. He told me he was an overseas miner and that he’d eaten dinner alone last night. I told him I had to get back. We shook hands when I left and I made my way home, back to my house and my fiancee, somewhat aggrieved to realise I’d been chased out of the pub.

Well-meaning as Greg was – he’d probably just read the male version of The Rules or something – the fact that I couldn’t watch a game alone without attracting male attention depressed me somewhat. It also probably explains why men don’t see more women alone, enjoying a drink and watching the game just as they do everyday without a care. Sometimes, it’s just not worth the looks or the hassle.


2 thoughts on “A Woman Alone In A Bar? Shocking…”

  1. So annoying to not be able to enjoy solitude while out watching your game! I think you should try an experiment at the next solo pub viewing – If you wear a plaid flannel shirt, tucked into trousers pulled up very high exposing large rubber snowboots, wear an orange woolen hat low to your brow and mutter to yourself softly (‘come on you spurs’ repeatedly, while rocking back and forth drooling) you might be left alone. If you can cultivate some facial hair that is also good. Seems to work here in Maine. But you should be able to be your stylish self when out and about and not have to dress like a lumberjack in order to relax when alone.

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