Coloring at the Four Moon bar in Chicago, Illinois

On coloring in bars.

"I can't color enough, I would color all day every day. If I had my way, I would use every crayon in my box."

“I can’t color enough, I would color all day every day. If I had my way, I would use every crayon in my box.”

Samantha Jones
Sex and the City


Coloring at the Four Moon bar in Chicago, Illinois


It was another Friday night and I had nothing going on. Most of my friends were out of town for Thanksgiving and my only plans involved leftovers and DVRd Food Network competitions. I wanted to get out of my apartment, off of our second hand couch, so I decided to grab a beer at Four Moon, a bar I frequent mostly because it’s just down the street from me. It’s one of those places I feel comfortable at alone since I can usually sit at the bar and pretend I’m interested in whatever game is one on of the TVs.

It’s weird going to bars alone in the US. Traveling it’s easy to find places where no one really knows any else. You can go and drink and mingle. Here everyone is with someone and doing their own thing.

But I don’t mind. I just wanted to not be on my couch.

Two Eugene Porters in, I was staring at a jar full of crayons perched on top of the beer fridge. I thought about asking the bartender if I could use them, but then I wouldn’t just be the weird girl at the end of the bar drinking alone, I would be the weird girl at the end of the bar drinking alone and coloring. While it’s a prestige I wouldn’t completely mind, I wasn’t in the mood to be that girl right then.

As I pondered asking for the crayons I somehow determined that what I needed from any future boyfriend was that if I suggested that we should ask a bartender for crayons to color in a bar he should be someone who would say yes. It’s a logical conclusion, really.

I know I sometimes get too attached to guys who aren’t really right for me. Like, they’re cute and we get along and maybe have a thing or two in common (I think this is part of why it is easier to meet someone while traveling, you automatically have one thing in common), but not in the way that I imagine getting along with the guy I’m meant to be with. What I want, more than any other quality, is someone I can laugh with more than anyone else. Someone who can make me laugh more than anyone else. Someone I feel completely comfortable with. Someone who I can just have fun with. Someone, for instance, who would be willing to color at a bar.

Of course, I tweeted this observation. Because when you’re sitting and drinking alone at a bar there really isn’t much else to do than tweet all your random semi-drunken thoughts that sound incredibly insightful and brilliant to your semi-drunken mind.

This led to whole tweetersations about opening a bar devoted to coloring (seriously, I would go to this bar) and coloring as a euphemism for sex (hello Sex and the City). I texted my friend Mat, who is a bartender, and asked him to come work at my imaginary coloring bar and invent all the signature crayola-cocktails.

He asked me where I was and showed up five minutes later having just ended his shift at work. We had another beer. We asked the bartender for the crayons. And we sat at the end of the bar creating refrigerator masterpieces.


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Hi, I'm Val. I spent most of my 20s in a standstill, unable to pick which path in life I wanted to take. I wanted the nomadic life of a traveler but also wanted the husband, the condo, and the kitten. Unable to decide which life I wanted more, I did nothing. When I turned 30 I’d had enough of putting my life on hold and decided to start “choosing my figs.” So, I quit my job, bought a one-way ticket to Europe, and traveled for three years. Now I'm back in Chicago, decorating my apartment in all the teal, petting my cats, and planning my next adventure.

  • Jen
    December 12, 2012at11:33 pm

    I think it read how you intended.

  • Paul
    December 16, 2012at10:12 pm

    That’s why you shouldn’t censor yourself. It was still entertaining.

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