Last month I started thinking (out loud) about reasons for drinking at a pub, as opposed to drinking by yourself at home. I promised to write more about the social aspects of pub-going, so here you go:
One of the regulars at Callahan's, Doug, likes to buy rounds for the other regulars. It only took a couple of repeat visits before Doug was including me in the rounds. I have a natural guilt complex and feel like I should pull my weight at the bar. There have been a few times when Doug buys a round and then he disappears thus making it impossible for me to return the favor.
I don't think Doug has the same guilt-powered internal counter that I do. I can't imagine Doug keeping score. He just likes sitting at the bar in Callahan's talking to people. Since I come there regularly now I'm (de facto) one of Doug's friends.
What I do now is this: every time I walk into Callahan's (of course Doug is always there, it wouldn't be Callahan's if Doug wasn't in his barstool) I order a beer for myself and a shot for Doug. Doug drinks Jack Daniels and swigs the occasion Bud directly from the bottle (a practice which I approve of for that particular beer). My bill for this order is $7.50. Five bucks for the beer and two and a half for the shot.
I usually have two beers when I go to Callahan's. So when I go to order my second beer, more often than not Doug will speak up, "Put that one on my tab, Stephanie." Of course, I thank Doug and drink to his health, but I can't help but think that I'm on the better end of this drink buying deal. I've thought about ordering Doug two shots at a time, but I'm afraid that this could start to get out of hand.