To get a wider view of the Bushwick social engagement action, I talked to a happening bartender who watches people interact socially for a living. I chose Sally Courtois, a bartender at the bar Post No Bills at 253 Bushwick Avenue. Sally likely gets told she reminds people of Scarlett Johansson. She’s been a bartender at various bars in the neighborhood for the past 3 years. I picked Sally to interview because she seems to be a strong, independent young woman with an equally balanced view of men and women. I spoke to her for quite some time before asking her specific questions for this column.
About Sally Sally is 27. She studied creative writing and acting in college and came to New York, (Bushwick specifically) around 3 years ago from Richmond,Virginia, to pursue her career as a comedic writer/director. She is working on a funny web series and performs at the PIT (People’s Improv Theater) when she’s not making money as a bartender. Sally says that in her time in New York she’s dated a number of guys, and has had 3 relationships. She went on a few OK Cupid dates and stuck with one of them for over 6 months. She’s good at vibing people and when she can, she tries to get some action going at the bar for people who seem interested in pursuing some. On a personal level, she’s professional and says she’s never gone out with someone she’s met while working; she’s not interested in the least. Okay dudes – I challenge you to try to make it happen!
Dr. Lisa: Sally, how can you spot people who are looking to meet other people and what do you do to get them to acknowledge each other?
Sally: When someone is constantly surveying the room, eyes darting about. Girls tend to fling their hair around, laugh loudly and men might theatrically throw back a shot or stunts. This is all from a specific sample size but you’ll know it when you see it. Someone who is generally restless yet giddy.
Dr. Lisa: What kind of mistakes do girls make when they are trying to meet guys?
Sally: I think some women try too hard and some men not enough. I think there is probably a law somewhere wherein the number of drinks a women has is directly correlated to a heightening of pitch. Both men and women get louder but the high frequency cackle is physically a concern. Dressing like you have no self-worth and too much make up comes off as trying too hard. Also, women seem to compete with each other. I think two of the most unattractive things you can be is desperate and judgy.
Dr. Lisa: And what about guys, what kind of mistakes do they make?
Sally: The worst mistakes men make are using a tired approach or not approaching at all. Unless you’re super hot and have friends surrounding you validating your every move, chances are a girl is not going to approach you. The best thing you can do is make a little fun of her. This shows you’re not scared and you have a sense of humor. Remember just to tease not offend.
Dr. Lisa: What would be some good advice for women who want to meet someone—is a bar a good place? And what about appearance/clothes/attitude?
Sally: If you’re looking to hook up with a stranger in a bar, bring your friends. That way at least your target will know you’re not a complete freak. Otherwise a party, show or art event where lots of mutual friends will be is the best bet. As far as how to look, just be your cool self, a well-groomed version unless that’s just not the type of dude you’re looking for.
Dr. Lisa: How about guys—what about appearance/clothes/attitude?
Sally: I think most women look for the social leader in the bunch. The cool confident guy that has all the answers or at least doesn’t care if he doesn’t.
Dr. Lisa: Do you think there’s a lot of hooking up in Bushwick in general since there are so many young people? Do you think men and women are looking for the same thing when it comes to meeting people and having sex with them?
Sally: One night stands are certainly a lot more common than they used to be and Bushwick along with most of Brooklyn has become very progressive in its views on sexuality. There’s less of it happening, however, than one may think. I know women who boast about their ability to sleep around untouched by emotions and I’ve been able to do the same but I’m not sure anyone prefers it in the long run. In both sexes, at times, it strikes me as a defense mechanism.
Dr. Lisa: Is there anything else about dating and/or sex that you would like to tell us that I haven’t asked you yet?
Sally: I can guarantee that if you are confident, truly confident, and playful that it’ll be in the bag for you in no time. Don’t talk shit about other people. Be interesting. Read a book or even a news article before you go out. A quote from my favorite anonymous person goes, “Intelligent people talk about ideas. Average people talk about things. Small people talk about other people.”
Dr. Lisa: Sally, this is great—thank you! Any questions for me?
Q. (Sally): I wonder at times what the most appropriate behavior in the presence of an ex is. When you’re the one who’s made the decision to go separate ways I think it’s just as hard as it would be the other way around. You could be questioning if you’ve made the right choice. Then what do you do if you see him with another person at the same social event!? My first instinct is to drag that ho out by her hair, but I just can’t image that that’d be the right course of action.
A. Yes, Sally, hair dragging another girl is never the first course of action. I think breaking up is hard, no matter what end of the equation you’re on. It’s also a big change in your lifestyle, friends and when holidays like Thanksgiving come up, it can affect those times as well, especially if you spent last year’s Thanksgiving together. The most important thing to remember is when you see your ex out with someone else, it’s likely an idealized situation. He’s on his best behavior, probably so is she. Plus, usually it’s in some sort of social situation, one that’s where people are to have a good time. Not one where he’s being annoying playing video games or not showered in two days. But yes, it’s a painful sight to see your ex with someone else, no matter what, even if you happen to be with another person. You must remind yourself at these times why you broke up with this person. Go right away to that mode; it’s the a good way to get through it. If you start focusing on how much fun you used to have, you may disregard the whole picture, and pile on more unnecessary torture and confusion for yourself.
Dr. Lisa, S.P. (Self-Proclaimed) looks forward to answering your questions and addressing dilemmas about your art, life, job, sex, you name it—and she will post responses to your questions and issues weekly, right here. If you have any Thanksgiving related issues this week, I would love to hear from you! Please send questions to: [email protected]