Rebekah’s Human Ethology Assignment

So, on Wednesday night around 9:30, I went to the Alcove on 22nd Avenue. The place looks like a hole in the wall from the outside. Inside it is dark with lots of mirrors and has cool vibes. It’s kind of a hipster place. It didn’t seem too much of the college place to go, although I saw some college age kids (actually saw a guy from one of my classes), but there were older people there as well. I think it’s a local place, and perhaps a well-kept secret from the frat boys. Anyways, my focal point was a man who looked to be in his late twenties. He was wearing a black hat with a black collared shirt; his name was engraved on the shirt so I’m thinking he is a car mechanic or something like that. He was wearing dark jeans. He was standing behind a woman and another man who were both sitting at the bar. He kept laughing and smiling at the woman’s stories. He looked a little younger and better looking than her. He talked really loudly. The other guy wasn’t talking as much, but they appeared to all be friends or know each other. He wouldn’t stop talking loudly and I could hear some of his words slur. He drank out of a mason jar and the drink was dark yellow, so I assumed it was beer. He went to the bathroom at the eight-minute mark. As he came back from the bathroom, I saw him glance at other women, checking them out, on his way back to the bar. He walked past the woman and the man, giving them a nod, and went to the other end of the bar by the door. He put on his jacket and started to talk to an older man and two women. The older man left. He sat down with the women and leaned in to talk to the brunette. He took a long drink of his beer, and then ordered another one. I think he is a regular by the way he talked to the bartender and seemed to know a good number of people in the bar. He kept talking to the woman and her friend. It’s only 10pm though, but maybe he’ll take one of them home.

That concludes my focal point. When I first observed the bar, there were two groups of people sitting in booths, one is a bunch of girls, and another is a mix of boys and girls. They all were laughing and looked to be having fun. The bar had multiple groups around it, most of them just consisting of twos and threes. Behind me, I heard two English men talking and laughing. I liked their accents. The mood was happy. At five minutes, there were a few more people crowded around the bar, ordering drinks. The booths had emptied some, a few of those girl went outside. BREAKING NEWS—I noticed the guy I was observing get up and leave with the brunette girl! Success. For him, I guess. At the ten-minute mark, I saw that the booths have filled up again. Some guys sat down at the girl booths and had brought over drinks. The bar looks the same. The two English guys were still talking, having a good time. Well, by the fifteen-minute mark, my friends and I had decided to move to the other room. Probably shouldn’t have done this, but this room was pretty interesting. There was an Irish band playing. A woman on a flute, a guitarist, violinist, and some other instrument I didn’t recognize. Two women were river dancing. It was entertaining. Apparently, it’s Irish river dancing every third Wednesday at the Alcove. There was an older crowd in here—a group of older men, probably in their fifties, and an old couple, probably in their seventies, who later get up to dance. They were so cute.

That’s about all I got. I think 15 minutes was sufficient time for me to witness the five stages. The man got the brunette’s attention, recognition, talked to her, leaned in close. However, it did take some extra time before I saw them leave together. I was pretty surprised at that. But I have a feeling a lot of people at the Alcove are regulars, and so that might not have been the first time the man and the brunette had met.

Author: Johnna Dominguez

Johnna Dominguez earned her BA in Interdisciplinary Studies: Cultural Studies and Body Politics from the University of Alabama's New College in May 2011. In her senior thesis, Johnna explored the embodiment of identity through sexuality and sports by observing and studying Alabama football fans and participants in the local burlesque troupe, the Pink Box Burlesque. In her Master's thesis, she is investigating the psychological and physical stresses associated with southern women who get tattoos. After completing her Master's in Anthropology, she hopes to return to school for a Master's in Public Health.

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