“Mixing Drinks, Adding Class” is the kind of trend piece that only graces The New York Times Style section once in a blue moon. It epitomizes the genre’s ability to disguise cross-class humiliation as upbeat sociological spelunking. It provides outrageous avatars of the trumped-up phenomenon to the indignant masses. And we were getting hungry.
The trend in question is thirty-something professionals who aim to establish their legitimacy as hosts and hostesses by hiring a bartender, even though the party is in their studio apartment, only includes twenty-odd guests and tending bar therefore means standing in a two-foot wide triangle and pouring vodka punch into a cup.
“In my opinion, if you don’t have a bartender at your party, you’re a loser,” said Dustin Terry, who lives a floor below Ms. Argiro and said his job was to get models and Saudi royalty into hot clubs. “The bartender brings class and sophistication.”
“If you can’t afford to hire a bartender,” he added, “you shouldn’t be having a party.”
But for readers with steelier stomachs, the piece paints plenty more despicable caricatures. The pimp-ish catering company manager who says his bartenders “have the right” to say no to clients who ask them to strip or dance. The stock broker living in Greenpoint for whom the bartender allows him to “feel very sophisticated,” when he would usually “feel like a complete dirtbag.” And what about the hostess, who started all of this, with her Mad Men-inspired need for her “sh-bam”?!
No, this time it’s poor Dustin Terry (who, it should be mentioned, has successfully monetized having outrageous notions of leisure time) who is made a Style Times martyr for all eternity. Or at least until a freelance writer gets sick of paying for the domain name thisismysh-bam.com.