I’m just a girl, standing in front of a bartender, asking them not to judge me.

Dear snobby bartender,

How dare you stand there in your denim apron and judge me for ordering a Long Island Iced Tea? No, I’m not a high schooler with a fake ID. I’m just a grown woman who happens to like a tropical vacation in my mouth. It’s what I need right now. More importantly, it’s what I want right now.

I’m a 26 year old who’s battling seasonal depression, gradual weight gain, a judgmental mother, the Wells Fargo Student Loan collections department, a cracked iPhone screen and an unpredictable menstruation pattern. So could you please cut me a fucking break?

It’s not like I’m asking you to mix tequila and Triple Sec for free. I’ll pay for it (with one of my five credit cards, duh). And look, I get it. I’m the Basic B who’s ruining “drinking culture.” By ordering a cranberry vodka at your hip speakeasy, I am dishonoring the history of cocktails and the simple syrup you lovingly prepped all day. It’s like going to a five-star steakhouse and asking the waiter for a can of Chef Boyardee.

But consider this: What if I’m OK being the Basic B? So sometimes I order a vodka soda. Does it taste good? No, of course not! It’s like sipping a chilled glass of someone else’s bile. But if wanting to save calories is a crime, then lock me up (and make sure my jumpsuit is elastic waisted, because like I said, my metabolism is slow and I’M RUNNING OUT OF SKIRTS TO WEAR).

Oh, I’m not just talking to you, fancy apron mixologist. I’m also standing up to the hundreds of dive bar bartenders who shame me for ordering a glass of White Zinf instead of a PBR and a whiskey shot. I’m sorry, is it “uncool” for me to assume that here, in a bar, you’d carry something other than Old Crow?

I apologize if I’ve come off as disrespectful of your profession. I genuinely admire the art of making a great cocktail—I enjoy the flavor notes of green chartreuse and the smokey quality of mezcal. And how do you get that spherical ice so clear? Truly impressive. It’s just that, this is not always what I’m in the mood for. Chances are, someone forcefully stripped me out of my penguin footie pajamas and dragged me to your bar. Alas, here I am: I’m just a girl, standing in front of a bartender, asking them not to judge me. Respect my prerogative to not drink a $15 IPA brewed with horse hair, and I in turn will respect your Americana-themed craft cocktails.


Long Island Iced Tea Girl