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January 26, 2010

Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: The great divide

riiiiiiiiiiiip goes the relationship

What's worse when you break up -- dividing up the friends or the bars and restaurants? I used to think friends, but now I'm not so sure. Owl Meat, do your thang:

When you part ways and your other becomes insignificant, the division of assets looms darkly. There is a harsh parceling seldom uttered – your broken social scene. How to we divide up your bars, restaurants, and other haunts?

Unless you wrangle the chupacabra of breakups, the mutual breakup, you have bar terrain to divide. Deal with it.

Rule 1: You get the bars and restaurants you brought with you.
Rule 2: There is no Rule 2.
Rule 3: Nobody talks about Fight Club ...

After moving back to Baltimore I met a girl. We had some kicks for a few years. She used to bartend occasionally in Fells Point. Obviously that place became her place after the split.

This was not what you would call an amicable breakup. It was real scorched earth stuff. We both lived in Canton, so it seemed inevitable that we would see each other occasionally. It's amazing that in Baltimore I have seen her only twice in ten years.

In Baltimore there are certain haunts that cannot be divided. The Charles Theater is one. I remember standing in a line there that looped around so that I stared longingly through it at the snack counter. Apparently I was glaring through my ex-girlfriend. I hadn't seen her in several years. I noticed someone in front of me getting out of line and looping around to exit by the far door. It was her. I guess not noticing someone from your past in favor of the popcorn machine is kind of insulting, Sorry.

In the ten or so years since we broke up, the only other time that I ran into her was at Minato's old location. That was a break-up foul. The owner is a good friend of mine and the staff greets me as Sashimi ____.

I was at the sushi bar talking to the owner and I pointed out my former paramour in the back room. "Oh, she's beautiful. Why did you break up with her?" Well, there are other considerations which trump appearance. He suggested I send her some unagi (eel), giant clam, or a spicy tuna hand roll (her favorites). I declined. Gifts of sushi are rife with untethered symbolism.

Has anyone ever listed their hangouts and divided them up in a break-up? I never have. I think common sense and civility provides a decent unspoken guide, but I've moved around a lot, so I may not be the best example. I wonder if people who get divorced document their divided social terrain?. I'll bet some do.

Point of irony: People break up because they can't communicate with each other, yet they can intuit which social assets each other gets. So for things that really matter, like which bars you frequent, communication is easy and unspoken. Oh sweet irony.

(Photo by Getty Images)

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 8:16 AM | | Comments (12)
Categories: Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays


She got the grindcore and metal shows, I got the hardcore and punk.

I'm not sure that either of us won.

That photo is traumatic but beautiful. It would make an interesting valentine card.

She got the grindcore and metal shows, I got the hardcore and punk.

Nice. Sounds like tough list-making. None of those venues seem conducive to bumping into a bitter ex, especially in the mosh pit.

I know more than 1 person who was more concerned about getting max's on broadway in their divorce than getting the house.

At least you're not losing bars to a college girl promoting Bud Light who you never even dated

I think this division of hangouts is one of the primary reasons my college bf and I could never really break up until we graduated. UMD has so few bars that we would always run into each other and after 12 $.50 bourbon and Cokes, it usually ended up being a defualt makeout rather than an awful fight scene. Oh college.

I always thought pre-nups were kind of icky. Imagine a social pre-nup. Sign here, now tell me about yourself

I once took Waterfront as mine in exchange he got Dizzy Izzies; I did get one day of amnesty to celebrate a mutual friend's bday. Lucky me, now it is the Dizz, so I figure, how could I have agreed to go to a bar that didn't exist? That worked out for me.

I completely agree with this. There was a bar in Tallahassee that I always claimed for myself and I would have instituted the bar claim rule if it weren't for the fact that I was in college and my longest relationship while at FSU was about a month. But if we broke up then I better not see you at that bar for at least a month afterward.

Here in Baltimore, however, I would like to say that I claim Bad Decisions, JD's, Blarney Stone, and Gecko's. Bars like Nacho Mama's, Max's, Looney's, etc., have to be common territory.

Once upon a time there was a tavern
Where we used to raise a glass or two
Remember how we laughed away the hours
And dreamed of all the great things we would do

Those were the days my friend
We thought they'd never end
We'd sing and dance forever and a day
We'd live the life we choose
We'd fight and never lose
For we were young and sure to have our way.

Ah, my zipcode rule has some benefit ( never date anyone in your own zipcode) However, fortunately, my "big" (read: he of grave emotional damage) moved to L.A. so now of the east coast is MINE MINE MINE. (evil manic laughter) However, i think i'm still banned from the 8x10.. whoops.
It's a free country, however because it is a free country, you are free to ignore whomsoever you please. If things get nasty ( like you're being stalked) just let your friendly bartender know and they have a magical way of making everything smooth as a pane of glass ( esp Dwight, who bartends at 1919)

As frustrated as I would get when my ex came in to my bar, I knew my bartenders loved it cause I would end up drinking A LOT more.

And flirting a lot more.

I mean, I knew they all liked me better than him anyway so it was never that I was really worried about that.
It was more that I was on a mission to make sure he knew that everyone liked me better.
And so the bartenders always treated him like dirt and I was the princess.

And if I happened to be making out with the bouncer by the end of the night, then so be it...

So while I was in a drunken haze of awkward and uncomfortable, I could take an odd comfort knowing the rest of the customers and staff were really enjoying themselves and the situation more than they probably should have.

I love these stories. I had a GF and we never truly broke up until she moved to California and I moved to Boston. When I worked for an IT consulting firm, I moved about every year, so there was a built-in social reboot. It's best to get that stuff out of your system when you're young.

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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