Lament of the lone (female) drinker

I’m sitting, for the millionth time in a thousand years, in the afternoon, in a pub, on my own.

I’m almost certain I’m the only woman who drinks on her own in pubs at any time of day, let alone before the sun’s over the yardarm, but my personal disregard for both male privilege and convention has meant that I’ve never really cared about breaching this particular social norm.

The thing that gets me is the looks. Not from other groups, because they’re there with their mates and aren’t really that arsed about what other people are up to. No, it’s the looks from the hardened bar-sitters that gets me. Their features thickened with drink, and their age, outfit and demeanour always entirely inappropriate to the pubs’ aspirational “edgy” hipster vibe. They come in because they’ve always come in, and no amount of scotched eggs and slate plates is going to dislodge them.

They sit at the bar so they can drink alone and keep up the pretence of sociability by chatting to the barmaid or (less enthusiastically) barman.

Me tipping up and opting to get pissed alone in the corner whilst catching up with Facebook, is undoubtedly daunting to this dying breed. Except I don’t think they’re a breed that will ever die. While ever alcohol exists, you’ll find the hardened drinkers, escaping from reality on a fluffy pillow of lager.

And maybe one of these days, one of the hardened bar-sitters will be me.

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