Before I was old enough to hang out in bars, before I was even allowed to date, I spent many a Saturday night plopped in front of the TV watching SNL. Every generation believes the Saturday Night Live of their tweendom was the funny period of the show and since that time, be it 30 or 20 or 10 years ago, it has really gone down hill. In funny and not-so-funny times we looked to SNL to define and explain pop and political culture, and to poke fun at those who take themselves to seriously.
So we expected a few laughs every Saturday, and I still catch my breath a little when I remember the night SNL delivered something quite different. The scene opened in a practically empty dim-lit bar. A bartender tended to his counter, a piano guy quietly tickled the keys, and a pretty blonde started to sing:
Single bars and single women
With a single thought in mind
Just to make it till the morning
Looking for what they can find
For a man you won’t remember
For a night you can’t forget
I did a double take at the TV. This wasn’t funny. This was sad. This was poetry – the kind of poetry my relatively innocent unclaimed heart understood. I sat, mesmerized and baffled. Those heartbreaking words stayed with me into adulthood as I attempted to avoid the fate of the lonely singer.
These days I seek out bars with decent Happy Hours and screens that show Packer games when there is a conflict. Thankfully I’ve yet to be the lonely girl sitting with her cocktail singing about the futility of one night stands. Hearing that song all those years ago served as a good warning.
At Called to the Table today is a story about a different kind of bar, along with a confession: I cannot make bars. I just can’t. I am terrible at mixing them, baking them, and chiseling them out of the pan. (My friend L still shakes her head when recalling my first attempt at baking brownies. The bars became little blocks of brown cement that stuck so completely to the pan that we had to throw it away even after soaking it in hot soapy water for days.) I found a recipe for a no-bake bar with all of my favorite ingredients: butter, pretzels, peanut butter, and chocolate. And, as you can see from the photo above, I still haven’t perfected my bar making skills.