An unorthodox initiative that recently started in Lincolnshire, England, aims to help women out of the kinds of precarious situations that are all too commonplace in bars. By asking for "Angela," a woman who wants to get away from her date is employing a code word that alerts the bartender to run discreet interference so that the woman can make her escape. This maneuver is a proven tool for avoiding creepy and potentially unsafe predicaments.
As a bartender, I have served as the third wheel on many Tinder dates. Quite frankly, I'd rather suck dry the spill tub than overhear your painful, clumsy exchanges, but I stand ever ready to facilitate your needs for both social lubrication and security.
Perhaps it's not danger that has you thinking you'd rather chew off your own leg than continue this painfully awkward evening. And maybe the idea of bellowing "Angela" when your safety is not in jeopardy feels overdramatic. After all, this guy simply cropped out the man bun from the profile pic you swiped right. But it won't seem overdramatic when homeboy whips out his vape pen and blasts you with a cloud of pumpkin-spiced WTF.
Ladies, you are not alone. You and I can communicate through a series of safe words and signals to improve your evening. After all, we are in this together. Imagine if I could have swiped this guy for you.
If he's more obsessed with the ABV of every craft beer, rather than the flavor ... Swipe left. Drinking is not a sport with participation trophies, and this guy seems too afraid to get his jersey dirty.
If he needs to sample every wine before finally ordering a glass ... Swipe left. This behavior is indicative of his fear of commitment, and it's better to catch this early.
If he calls me "chief," "sport," or "boss" ... Swipe left. I have a name. Not that he should overuse it to the point at which I hate my parents for naming me, but still.
Trust me, the job has taught me to spot all the red flags before it's too late. Anyone asking me to make him that drink he had that one time he was in here long ago—he can't remember the name of it, but it was pretty good, can I make him one of those? Well, I don't see much of a future for the two of you. Nor do I offer much hope for the fella who asks for a sweet red wine that's kind of dry.
However, if you'd like to keep with the asking theme, I'll offer a posse of potential safe words.
If he talks too much about his ex, ask for Jolene.
If he talks too much about himself, ask for a time out.
If he says you'd be a lot prettier if you smile, ask for an ambulance.
And if he spends too much time clocking his phone, or the cocktail waitress—or worse, your feet—maybe you're better off asking for a mulligan.
The point is simple: dating in this day and age can be tricky. You are not alone. If you find yourself feeling unsafe in any manner, please, by all means, ask for Angela.
Or, better yet, ask for me.
Lord knows I'll know what to do with him.