This is no San Francisco
Thursday 5th February

I meet Jackson outside Revolution in Fallowfield and we go inside for a few drinks. As we're standing at the bar two guys dressed and made up as women with very short skirts and small crop tops on are at the bar.
Me: "I think you forgot to put your clothes on." I say joking.
One gives me a dirty look kind of like a woman would try.
Jackson: "That was funny but a bit harsh."
Me: "I was having a laugh and it's cold outside. I suppose it might have taken a lot for them to get the confidence to go out like that."
Jackson: "Yeah."
I shouldn't have joked like that. If they want to dress like that then I suppose it's ok. I have got comments in the past for wearing a pastel coloured jumper or chinos and to be fair, what's it to do with anyone else.

I have a drink then drive to the Woodstock in West Didsbury.
We're in the Woodstock.
Me: "It's busy in here."
Jackson agrees.
As we're sitting having drinks I say to Jackson:
Me: "I'm going to start approaching people tonight."
Jackson: "What are you going to say?"
Me: "It's a routine about fashion. I'm going to ask people in here."
Jackson: "Ok."

I haven't approached people for a while now because I've spent the past few months going on dates with ladies who I swapped numbers with - from when I was going out every week up to December. It started when one of them phoned me up saying: "I know you gave me your number ages ago but I was phoning anyway." and so on. I also phoned a couple of others who I didn't call straight away.

I'm sitting opposite Jackson at a table with two seats and next to us is a long table with 10 seats where lots of people are sitting and talking. There's a lady in her late 20's and a guy in his mid 20's at this long table, they're sitting at the end close to us. As I'm having a conversation with Jackson, I'm looking at the lady and the guy a few times deciding on my approach. By the 3rd time I look the lady has noticed and changes her posture completely. Now she's in a cliquey and too-cool-for-school position, to either put less confident guys off or be ready for being tough in conversation.

I make my approach and as I say the first word the lady looks triumphant that she's been approached.
Me: "Can I get your opinion on something?"
Lady: "Yes."
Guy: "Sure."
Me: "In the 90's there were particular fashion trends like Nirvana and Oasis which people going out to bars and clubs followed. So when they went out they'd be creative by doing a slightly different take on the style for example wearing different trainers or accessories. Now there's no particular style – as artists often change their image and people are into a range of bands. Do you think people don't dress up as much – because copying their favourite artist would mean standing out too much?"
Guy: "I think that's very true."
Me: "Thanks."
Lady: "I think people wear what they want." she says as if to disagree. There's no point to what she just said.
Me: "What do you do?" I say to both of them realising the lady is trying to cause an argument. Some women will do this – if there's something they think someone is passionate about they will try to rubbish it. So I change the subject.
Guy: "I work for an environmental consultancy."
Lady: "I'm a social worker."
Me: "You're not students." I say, also considering what a not nice person this lady is and she's a social worker.
Her: "Why, did you think we were students."
Me: "No it's good to see some non-students going out. Are you with friends?"
Her: "I'm out with my fiancée." she says referring to a guy sat at their table.
Me: "That's great." I say congratulating her she's engaged.
She looks annoyed that her having a fiance didn't bother me at all.
Me: "Do you come here regularly?"
Guy: "No I don't go out very often nowadays. When I do it's usually to the Northern Quarter."
Me and the guy have a good conversation about going out and different venues.
The woman says:
Her: "What's your fashion meant to be?" in a critical way. She won't let it go without trying to rubbish something someone is interested in. What kind of social worker is she!
Me: "I'm dressed smart."
Her: "Is that smart?"
Me: "Yes." I say totally sure of myself and she knows she'll lose if she tries to criticise me.
Me: "It was nice talking, I'll see you later." I say to the guy, finishing the conversation because she's not a nice person and the ok guy is not the going out type.

I'm feeling really good now and back in the game. After a break from approaching and having been on dates my skills have improved lots.

I approach two ladies who are sitting down at a table and I ask the same question about fashion. Their response is:
Brunette: "That's a good point."
Blonde: "I don't think there's any fashion trend now."
Me: "What do you like doing?"
Brunette: "Shopping and coming here."
Me: "You're a regular here?"
Brunette: "Yes I come here regularly."
Blonde: "That could be a chat up line." she says smiling and they both become friendly in their body language towards me.
Blonde: "She comes here on Tuesdays for the quiz night."
Brunette: "I like the quiz night and I come on Saturdays too. Do you come here often?"
Me: "I used to come here a lot in November December, it's nice on weekdays too."
They agree.
Me: "What do you like doing?" I say to the other lady.
Blonde: "Extreme sports, snowboarding and windsurfing."
We have a conversation then they start holding hands and putting their hands on each other and smiling to me. It almost seems as if they want me to join in.
Me: "I'll see you round."
Them: "See you later."

I go over to Jackson who is sitting at the table I was at earlier.
Jackson: "How did it go?"
Me: "They're bisexual."
Jackson: "Look they're kissing."
I look over and the two ladies are kissing.
Jackson: "I always said Manchester was like San Francisco."

I go over to two guys and run the same routine. These guys get into it at first, then they become less friendly so I say:
Me: "I'm not drinking, I'm driving just in case you thought I was drunk."
They look more relaxed and I say
Me: "It's good to chat to people in a bar. It's what people used to do in pubs in the 90's – talk to people and be social."
They realise it's not booze and it's cool and we talk for half an hour. It turns out one works for a media company and one works for a production company.
Interestingly during the conversation they say
Guy 1: "Have you noticed how the same people never come here twice."
Guy 2: "We live around the corner so we came here 3 nights a week and we never see the same people twice.
We swap contact details and say we'll meet up in future.

Summary and venue reviews: Thursday 5th February

Revolution Fallowfield
Medium busy. Clientele: students and cross dressers. Decor: 9/10.
Notes: people should be allowed to wear what they like to bars without others making comments.
Revolution Fallowfield

Woodstock pub
Busy. Clientele: smart casual, bisexual women, locals. Decor: 9/10.
Notes: A venue where it's nice to be with friends. It's possible to chat to people and swap contact details.
Woodstock pub

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© Alex Remizo