So my boyfriend and I are at a swanky martini bar the other night and the bar gets busier and busier as the night goes on. We’d gotten there early so we had “prime retail” barstools right next to the register…which is where you’ll often find the bartender, which means that people have a tendency to congregate there to order a drink.

It’s slightly irritating when people press up against you in order to get to the bar, but hey, it’s a busy bar…comes with the territory. As long as they order a drink and step back a bit, no big deal.

But this one girl shoved her way in between my boyfriend and the bar stool next to him (also occupied of course) and decided to stand there and chat with her friend for awhile. She had a massive handbag on her arm which she rested directly in my boyfriend’s lap. She was facing the other way the entire time and seemed quite content with the tiny amount of space she’d managed to wedge herself into, regardless of anyone else’s comfort.

After several minutes of this, in which it becomes apparent she’s not going to move, my boyfriend leans over to her and says loudly, “Seriously?” and looks down at her handbag, which is taking up most of his lap.

She gasps with outrage and steps back, giving him the kind of glare that would lead bystanders to believe he grabbed her ass or something.

This was around 11:00; at 2:15 when we’re headed towards the door, this girl steps in front of him and yells, “SERIOUSLY?”

He says, “You know what, maybe I overreacted a bit; if I was rude to you, I apologize.”

As we walk out the door I can hear her boyfriend trying to soothe her, saying, “Hey, he did apologize…what more do you want?”

In other words, this girl was trying to get her boyfriend to “confront” mine about The Great Purse Incident Of 2007.

While I guess my boyfriend could’ve tapped her on the shoulder and said, “Excuse me, could you move your purse out of my lap?” or something more polite, is she not still the one in the wrong? And how crazy is it that she was still outraged three hours later?

“SERIOUSLY?” has now become one of our catchphrases.

Wow. What a bitch.

She sounded like one of them fancy high-maintenance nightmares.

I thought your boyfriend was going to bring it up to her a few times and be ignored and end up pouring a beer in her purse or something.

I would have liked that story more. I’m going to pretend that’s what happened. Audrey, your boyfriend is now one of my new favorite people.

ABC - Always be courteous. Even if the other person is rude.

At first.

From your description of what happened when you left your boyfriend sounds like an even-headed person who doesn’t want trouble. So maybe if he’d asked nicely at first there wouldn’t have been any trouble. Though from your description of the girl it probably wouldn’t have made a difference, so… If niceness doesn’t work get mean, but always try niceness first, can’t hurt.

My rule of thumb is that anything anyone puts in my lap is mine.

Actually, your bf was on the rude side here. “Excuse me, would you please move your purse?” would have been the way to go. Points for defusing the situation when the other bf looked to get involved, but minus one for the weasely “if you were offended” business.

Your boyfriend should have barfed in her purse.

I think he should have started going through it. She would have moved it as soon as she noticed her stuff being sorted on the bartop and commented on.

And then, when the owner noticed and got bent out of shape (“Seriously!”) he could have apologized by saying he mistook it for his own purse. :smiley:

that woman was just another symptom of our culture of “entitlement”… She obviously felt that her need to have access to the priome real estate of that locatioon superceded your own.

Essentially, she “overlooked” your prior rights and claims.

I was once in a similar situation. I was at a bar, and ordered a beer and a meal. When it arrived, The guy next to me put his brief case on the bar and with out asking, pushed my plate off to the side.

Oddly enough, as soon as his brief case opened, my beer “spilt” into it.

I was a regular there, and he wasn’t.

He threatened me, to which I always respond (in a bar at least)… “Take it out side…”

I had no intention of joining him.
He started screaming at me and the bartender came over, shut his brief case, gave it a vigourous shake and said “You owe FML another beer… then you leave! Or I call the cops… I saw the whole thing!”

Its nice being a regular!


You mean as opposed to writing to a public message board about it two days later?

What bar was this? Because it sounds like, with the exception of the other girl’s boyfried, it was full of self-righteous, entitled jerks that night.

You sure your BF didn’t do the old movie theater popcorn box trick? Cut a hole in the bottom and stick his dick through, so when she groped for something in it, she got… EXCUSE ME? :stuck_out_tongue:

Membership has its privileges, eh?

I wrote a big detailed post about something similar, but here’s the readers digest version.
We walk into a bar, 20 minutes later a lady tells us that we not only stole her table, but we stole her other table as well. I think you could here our collective eye roll from across the room. Seriously, whatever.


I must admit, I, too, have a sense of personal entitlement regarding my own lap. I have a distinct tendency toward displeasure when items are placed there without my consent (as with all things, there are most assuredly exceptions to this, but a handbag is not one of them).

Now, your post is positing a pot->kettle->black relationship between a girl who sets her purse atop a stranger’s junk unannounced, then attempts to get her boyfriend to start a fistfight following the grievous offense of having that stranger apologize to her, and that same stranger’s girlfriend posting the story of this incident to an anonymous message board well after its (peaceful) resolution.

Your premise here requires the assumption that posting an anecdote on the internet is somehow practically or morally equivalent to attempting to have a previously-uninvolved third party start a fistfight with a stranger in a bar for having the audacity to apologize to you. When I try to fathom somebody actually believing that, I can respond only…


Thank you, Roland, for stating perhaps much more succinctly what I was going to say to msmith537.

FTR, the moment my boyfriend turned around after the girl walked off, he looked a bit sheepish, and admitted that perhaps he’d been rude when he could’ve been more polite. That’s why he was quick to apologize when she confronted him.

However, that doesn’t excuse the girl in any way, in my mind. If wanting to keep his lap to himself makes him a “self-righteous entitled jerk” then perhaps Msmith537 can explain how the girl in question was entitled to my boyfriend’s lap and personal space.

And if the pettiness of the question and my post bothers Msmith537, perhaps he could point out the serious social issues that are normally discussed on a forum entitled “IMHO.” If my posting of an incident is somehow equivalent to the incident I described, I would like the similarities pointed out to me.

Because, as we all know, describing an event and partaking in it are virtually the same thing.

Or, alternatively, WTF?

There’s something funny to be said here, but I just can’t figure it out.

If I had that happen to me, I’d first ask her to get the purse off my lap. If she didn’t I’d turn the purse into the barkeeper as lost and found. Let the bimbo explain why she thought she was entitled to a complete stranger’s lap space. If she took her purse back, and put it back in my lap, I’d ask the barkeeper to please get the bouncer to have a word with her while giving him back the purse saying “I don’t want this on my lap.” I bet she’d get kicked out of the bar if she persisted in asserting her right to put her purse there.

As I read the OP, the purse was still attached to the woman, it just came to rest in the OP’s boyfriend’s lap, right? She either didn’t notice or didn’t care about where her purse ended up. I might have said something more like “Hey, did you know that your purse is in my lap?” but saying “Seriously!?” was not that rude, IMHO.

As for how she was seething over it three hours later and trying to get her boyfriend into a fight over it, that might have something to do with the consumption of alcohol in the intervening 3 hours.

That’s how I read it. She didn’t come over and set her purse in his lap, she was just standing very close to him with her large purse and it hung down to almost his lap. So she was guilty of not being aware of the space she was taking up, which is common in a crowded bar, but she decided to camp out there for awhile instead of moving on, which is the annoying part.

Am I the only one who was expecting a bit more controversial than a girl’s purse getting in someone’s way? I mean, its not like she spilled a drink on you or stole your seat. These things happen in crowded bars, why the need to be snarky? Your boyfriend was unnecessarily rude to someone who was probably drinking and (surprise!) she was rude back. IMHO, your boyfriend starting this one, and (also IMHO) good bar etiquette includes not starting things with other patrons, unless they’re good-humored which this was not.

It doesn’t sound like you two like crowded bars that much, maybe you guys should find a few venues that are a little more laid-back?