Jordan’s Human Ethology Assignment

This past weekend I went to Charleston, SC for a few days and stayed with some of my friends. I finally had the chance to go out to a bar called Midtown, located in the middle of downtown Charleston. For the first part of the assignment, observing a single person, I decided to go with a late-30s looking man. It would’ve been pretty hard to tell his age if he didn’t have normal aging wrinkles. This guy could only be described as looking like a classic college “bro”…15 years after he finished college. He had on a pale blue polo that was obnoxiously tight and light wash jeans. Nothing he was wearing should have been allowed. His general attitude suggested he thought he was the biggest deal in that room. He then proceeded to knock back drinks and hit on every single female that came with a bachelorette party. Now, this took him a little over a half hour to work his way through that whole group. During his rejection fest, he took breaks hitting on random girls walking by, including a friend I went with. When she came back from the table she said, and I quote “his pickup lines are twice as old as anyone in here and reek of desperation”.

Next, I went out to a different bar to check out a group of people. I just went with one other person this time. We settled on Gene’s Haufbrau. It was much less crazy and filled with groups of people.  The group I kept going back to, I didn’t really understand what I was seeing. Now, I’m thinking maybe a polyamorous relationship (or possibly just really, really drunk people in for a fight in the morning). The start of my observations, there were two men and three women. There wasn’t anything significant in their attire. The men were dressed casually in dark jeans and subtle v-neck sweaters. The women were in jeans and casual tops. They weren’t loud or obnoxious like many of the other groups of people. It just seemed like friendly chatter after work. Two of the people seemed very cozy, like they were possibly in a relationship. Nothing happened in my first five minutes, so I’d almost moved to another group. Then I noticed the cozy couple, the man had his arm around one woman but he was holding hands with someone else. He didn’t seem to be talking to woman number two, but surely there was something going on there. Woman number one never noticed, or if she did, she wasn’t bothered by it/didn’t want to make a scene. After about 30 minutes, a few more people showed up and woman number one left with the man she wasn’t sitting with. They left holding hands. The man she was originally with moved on to woman number two and while he was holding her, he was completely ignoring her and paying all his attention to a new female that had just walked in wearing a very revealing black dress and bright pink heels. It seemed like everyone in this group was attached to one another. After another 10 minutes or so, they began to pair off and leave in twos. The same man ended up leaving with yet another woman. It was a clusterfuck to watch unfold.

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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