[Editor's Note: We all know local music and dive bars go hand-in-hand. So in the interest of merging the two together on Heard Mentality, we bring you our weekly nightlife column Dive, Dive, My Darling. Read as our bold web editor, Taylor "Hellcat" Hamby, stumbles into the dive bar scene every week to find crazy stories, meet random weirdos and guzzle good booze.]
Among the crowd that haunts Marty's Bar and Grill on weekend nights, all have had at least one divorce–and they're happy to tell you about it. While heading from the parking lot to the bar, I walked behind two women just shy of middle age, gussied up as if they were ready for a night at Foxfire, not a night in a Tustin strip mall. I had been to Marty's once before, during daylight hours, so I thought they looked a bit overdressed, in the way you'd be overdressed going to Denny's after prom.
But I soon learned, as the only female wearing shorts and a T-shirt, I was the one in the wrong. Hair was worn high, dresses skintight, and makeup coated thick. The lights were dim, the disco ball spun brightly above a makeshift dance floor, and a band played bluesy covers of "Blurred Lines" and the appropriate "Get Lucky." While the patrons can be a bit flashy, the drinks are anything but–simple two-ingredient cocktails and a no-frills draft beer selection here. It's a sports bar by day, after all.
As I sipped my beer from a leather booth, I noticed a couple seated at the bar. A large, white-haired man savagely sucked face with a short brunette. "These two have to have just met," I thought to myself. No one who has been together for a while displays PDA that fiercely. I noted the lack of wedding rings present and moved on.
A little while later, I met my boyfriend in the enclosed smoking patio. He nudged me and motioned to the right. Our friends attached at the lips were out there with a younger couple. "Are you guys married?" asked the lady from the younger set.
"No, I was married for a long time, but it's not for me," the white-haired stallion said.
"Wow, that's crazy," she replied. "You two look like you've been married–happily–for a long time."
"I love this guy so much," the Silver Fox told the younger man. "I think I'll kiss you." The young man wasn't quite drunk enough to accept that offer, though, and quickly fled.
After another dance, the aforementioned couple returned from the floor. As the two made their way back to the barstools, the man pointed at Dwayne and Henry, two black patrons with whom I was chatting. "These guys are my brothas," he exclaimed, before sitting down with his brunette.
"Kenny Rogers over here," Dwayne quipped, a perfect description of the gent.
Then, almost like a stanza from The Gambler, a blonde approached Kenny Rogers. The brunette hightailed out of the bar to the smoking patio as though she were a jackrabbit dodging oncoming traffic to avoid becoming roadkill. "That's his main girlfriend," Henry explained. Though the blues band was playing too loud for me to hear, Kenny was doing some fast-talking to explain away his brunette. When that didn't work, he decided to go in for a kiss; the blonde pushed him away and went straight to the arms of another man.
Kenny Rogers slinked back to the smoking patio. After a couple of minutes, he returned, knocking into our table hard and spilling half of my mug down my legs before looking at us wide-eyed and walking away. This didn't sit well with Dwayne, who, after grabbing a stack of napkins, went and told Kenny he owed me a beer. Dwayne and Henry were stand-up dudes!
It was getting late, so we said our goodbyes. Suddenly, Nancy, a woman old enough to be my mom who had earlier tried to steal my man, went into my guy for a hug. He later told me she whispered in his ear about me: "I'm prettier than her. Well, I think so anyway."
Marty's reminded me of Friday nights at Holiday Skate in Orange during middle school. Some things last a long time.
FAVORITE PIECE OF FLAIR: The old Frank Sinatra and Beatles 45s on the wall.
BE SURE TO CHECK OUT: The divorcée-watching