The Life of a Promo Girl*

*I mean Promo WOMAN.

If you’re not familiar with what a promo female is (or as I so coyly put it on my resume, a “Brand Ambassador”) you need only think back to your last visit to a bar when a young woman in some kind of midriff baring outfit that’s only appropriate to wear at the Teen Choice Awards circa 1997, came up to you and offered up some free Captain Morgan’s paraphernalia. I have never done this kind of “marketing”– the most revealing outfit I ever wore for a promo was a red American Apparel jumper with an Amstel Light tee and matching red Keds. Admittedly, I looked adorable.

Feminism!

The kind of promo stuff I do requires me to wear a brand tee shirt and jeans or black “professional” wear. If I’m going to look like a whore, I do it when I am off the clock– my parents raised me with standards, okay?

I either go to a bar, an event or a super market and do samplings of whatever drink I’m promoting, but most recently I’ve just been handing out beer samples at the grocery store. This is both the best and worst job ever.

Best:

  • It’s so easy. You literally just stand there with no one supervising you.
  • You get payed pretty well, and shifts are generally 2-3 hours.
  • The bar is set exceptionally low. I hate to generalize, but I’ve been in the biz for years, Kid, and there are a lot of dummies doing this. Worse than being dumb, most promo girls are lazy and perpetually a half hour late. I’m a model employee by being only 5 minutes late, actually smiling at people, and making a minimal effort to hide my phone behind a tower of beers while I text.

Worst:

  • Ugggh…. people. Just all these people. And you have to fake laugh at their jokes and you can’t tell them to leave when they start trying to recite the Dos XX’s slogan to you.
  • There is literally nothing more depressing than just observing people at a suburban grocery store in a predominately middle class area. Just because they’re giving out free chocolate chip cookies at the bakery doesn’t mean your 7 year old on a leash needs to eat it! Also, there are so many older women who seem to be positively indignant towards the accepted practice of wearing a bra in public.
  • The only thing to pass the time is to think. Like, about all your life’s choices leading up to this moment, and why did you major in acting, and should you have even bothered going to college at all since it’s pretty clear that you don’t need a BA to pour beer while you smile and go numb as some middle aged man hits on you? And other things like that.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a bad economy and I’m happy to at least have some form of income to pay for my clothing and margaritas habit. Plus, it could be worse. I see the envy in the little 12 year old stock boys’ eyes every time I get to leave for the day.

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Drinking Alone in Public

A few days ago I had the pleasure of discovering a new hobby: drinking alone in public. I have always been a big fan of crying drinking alone in a bathtub, and drinking alone at an airport until you’re 30 seconds shy of missing your flight is easily my favorite activity– but just going to a bar to drink by myself is something I’ve never done until recently.

I was in Boston with nothing to do for a few hours while I was waiting to meet up with a friend. So I wandered around and somehow found myself in Faneuil Hall… and I never like to find myself in Faneuil Hall because there are so many tourist dads smacking people with their backpacks while they look for a rogue toddler. It was hot, my feet were starting to hurt, and I didn’t want to walk to another part of town. WHAT was I going to do for another 2 hours? I ate half a $5 grilled cheese and wondered how I could let my life get so bad.

Then it dawned on me! There’s no such thing as waiting when you’re 21! What could I do for 2 hours? What could I do for SIX hours? Margaritasssssss!

I went to a Mexican restaurant and sat at the bar and got a margarita. My phone was dead, so this felt like… camping? I’ve never been camping, but I was cut off from the world! Roughing it! I pretended to watch the Olympics because nobody knew me there so I thought maybe the bar patrons would buy that the Olympics are something I’m into. But I could sense that they knew I was just staring at a TV screen and all I saw were colors, so I finished my drink and moved on to a new scene.

If you’re keeping track this means I’m officially on a BAR CRAWL, through FANEUIL HALL, by MYSELF.

I hit up my next bar because it reminded me of a small restaurant you’d find in an airport and that was comforting. I ordered a Blue Moon, and then some older gentlemen on business started talking to me. They were border patrol agents, and they gave me some good advice like “if your boyfriend ever asks you to hold a package for him, don’t do it.” (I nodded politely as if I had never seen Broke Down Palace and this was new information) and “You wouldn’t last 6 hours in jail” (also duh, but don’t you kinda want to see how that would play out)?

Anyway, it was pretty fun and 2 hours passed quickly. I would probably only do such a thing during the day, though because going to a bar alone is also a great way to get stalked by a bus boy, followed to the parking lot and murdered. I’m just trying to look at this through all angles.

Mini Wine Bottles

I have a passion for things that are either comically large or comically small.

That’s me with a very large wine bottle. Right there I’m trying to hold it in, but you can tell that I’m just loving how unexpectedly over-sized it is.

As much as I love big bottles of wine for their comedic value and the quantity of actual wine inside of them, I have recently developed a new affection for very small bottles of wine (yes, you heard me! I love wine bottles both very large and very small!!! Keep reading for the rest of the details!)

I love mini wine bottles (like this Sutter Home Sauvignon Blanc that comes in packs of 4) because it allows me to reenact key scenes from Honey, I Blew Up the Kid (to be clear, that’s the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids sequel, not some kind of snarky, comedic terrorist snuff film… because even terrorists want to laugh? Maybe they don’t- I don’t know any terrorists. I DIGRESS).

For me, the mini wine bottles are like the hundred calorie packs of Oreos. A little portion control to keep you honest. Individual wine bottles are also the ideal size to sneak into a movie theatre, which according to my mother, is “not cute anymore.” Ya know, one college diploma and suddenly I’m some adult who can’t drink cheap booze during any occasion!

Regardless, these things are perfectly sized for a purse or deep pocket. Much more efficient than taking a bag of wine out the box and trying to fit that in your pants.