I have to go to a bachelorette party this weekend. Itís the whole piŮata, complete with dinner, dance club, possible ďmale revueĒ, and an overnight stay in a San Francisco hotel room with an unknown number of women that I barely know. Iím not actually sure if weíre seeing the male revue or not Ė itís been tossed around as an idea, but my friend and her affianced are doing the, ďIf you go to a male revue, my buddies can take me to a strip clubĒ, ďBut I donít want you to go to strip clubsĒ thing, so it may get dropped from the program. Which would be A-OK with me, because the entire prospect of this night on the town is starting to make my skin crawl.
It has nothing to do with the people involved, though Iím generally not happiest when surrounded solely by women. Maybe Iím a traitor to the sisterhood, but girly parties like showers and ďgirls night outĒ festivities that are marked by squealing in one form or another donít usually thrill me. But Iím attending this estrogen-fest for a friend of mine from high school who is the sweetest thing on the face of the earth and for whom I would willingly walk over hot coals. So an evening in the city is a small price, comparatively speaking. There will be a couple of other women Iíve met who will be there too, and they were fun at the bridesmaid gown fitting, so Iím really not complaining about the company. Itís the concept that confuses me. The whole bachelor/bachelorette party notion makes no sense to me.
The ďYippee! Youíre getting married so welcome to the Sorority of Chicks Who Have Done ItĒ concept is pretty outdated for my generation, but thatís sort of the theme of a bachelorette party. When women my age get married, most of us have already done the sticky polka (ohÖ hi Dad. YeahÖ maybe you donít want to read this part, ok? Thanks). So whatís the deal with making a big production out of the fact that the bride is going to have sex with her husband? She almost certainly already has, so I donít understand why weíre expected to act like sheís never seen a guy in his underwear before. I just donít see why we feel so obliged to introduce the bride to the joys of Goldís Gym members in thongs.
If I understand this right, the classic love story goes something like this (your mileage may vary, but Iím generalizing here): boy meets girl, they fall in love, maybe they live together for a while, eventually boy proposes marriage, girl accepts. Then coupleís friends take them out - separately - for a tequila-filled sex-laced night on the town so they can fulfill their wildest fantasiesÖ with someone else.
What could be more romantic?
Now before you write me all in a huff about your ability to go to Candyís Nude-a-Go-Go without acting on your baser animal instincts like an elephant in must, I do realize that only a very small number of pre-wedding parties of this sort actually result in destructive behaviors such asÖ oh, say, cheating. But thatís what the panic is all about, right? I mean, thatís why girls hate the idea of bachelor parties and thatís why there always has to be a big discussion before the wedding about The Party and what are and are not acceptable activities on the night of said Party. More often than not, somebodyís uncomfortable with the whole idea even if the only thing thatís going to happen is a few too many beers and some flirting at Hooters. The bachelorette party seems to have grown out of a sort of spiteful place, as traditions go. Most women have never been thrilled with the bachelor party, so theyíve started to give men a taste of their own medicine by going out with all their women friends and watching male strippers. Even though most women Iíve asked donít get much of a thrill from male strippers Ė certainly not the kind of thrill we attribute to many men when they watch female strippers.
Iíd agree with the contention that a bachelor/ette party is almost always simply good, dirty fun, but I guess I just donít like the implications of the classic activities. What a traditional bachelor or bachelorette party really says to me is, ďI love you. Iím going to commit my life to you. You are the person I want to spend the rest of my days with. But before we do that? Iím just going to run around for a night and have the last fun of my life, because God knows youíll never let me have any fun once we go through with this.Ē
Maybe youíre thinking Iím just jealous. I didnít have a wild and crazy bachelorette party when I got married. No strippers, no dance clubs, no drunken, half-recalled embarrassing moments to be dredged up years later for the amusement of my cohorts in pre-marital crime. But I didnít want one. I only have a few close girlfriends, and when we get together the last thing we want to do is include any men in our fun, for any reason whatsoever. Weíd much rather drink Merlot and complain about the men we have than scope out new men. For starters, the prospect of training a new man is too much to handle, so I think Iíll stick with the one I have, thank you. Besides, ogling men writhing around in their underwear is the sort of thing I think you should do in private.
Itís not that Iím a prude or anything. If there are men writhing around in their underwear in my living room, Iím first in line to see Ďem (you hear that Dave?). But the truth is that Iím not attracted to the types of guys who become strippers Ė and here Iím talking about physical types, not personalities. I donít go for muscle bound men in the least. I donít want to smell what The Rock is cooking, I always think guys with oil all over their chests should probably go take a shower before they break out, and I find it funny, not sexy, when a man canít rest his arms at his sides because of all the muscles in his biceps, sort of like the little brother in A Christmas Story.
I think the other reason Iím not into male strippers is a male vs. female wiring issue. For many men, the experience of watching a woman grinding her groin towards him is a stimulating one. And I understand that, I really do - from the manís perspective itís an invitation of sorts, and men who like the groin grinding like the idea of the invitation. Thatís fine. But for many women, myself included, having a man thrust his crotch towards your face seems vaguely threatening. I donít want a complete stranger shoving Mr. Happy in a banana warmer at me. Itís creepy, and if heís sweating at all itís downright disgusting.
I have been to exactly one bachelorette party in my life. The occasion was marked, for me, by too many Jell-O shooters and the disturbing memory of a stripperís nearly prehensile ass gyrating about 6 inches from my face. It is an impression that haunts me still, and I donít really need any more images to join that dark place in my mind. Iím damaged enough.
So Iím hoping weíll skip the Chippendaleís adventure and stick with dinner and dancing. The dance club is an OK idea, although going to a dance club without my husband seems sort of pointless to me. Iím highly unlikely to dance with any strangers, and the club is just going to be filled with strangers. Beyond drinking overpriced, watered down gin and tonics (and not even too many of those since Iím doing Weight Watchers again), what am I going to do except watch the 22 year olds get drunk on Midori sours and laugh at the white guys trying to do the Cabbage Patch?
That might be pretty entertaining, come to think of itÖ
I think one of the women in our group is still single, so I guess she can dance, and I donít want to put the kibosh on anybodyís fun, so Iíll probably dance with the bride and since itís San Francisco maybe Iíll start telling people that she and I are going to get married and see what happens. I could probably get a whole passel of cute gay men to sing ďSunrise, SunsetĒ if the drinks are strong enough.
Actually, the dancing could be a pretty good time if I play my cards right. After the non-dancing at the dance club and the non-stimulation with the strippers, weíll have a pseudo-slumber party at the hotel, which really isnít really my cup of tea either since I have trouble sleeping in rooms with other people. Some nights I have trouble falling asleep with my husband in the room. Iím just a touchy sleeper, I guess. Earplugs have helped to a large degree, so Iíll have to remember to pack those. Since weíre not sixteen I donít imagine weíll paint our toenails or pierce each otherís ears or crank call boys on the phone. Iím assuming weíll just go to sleep.
Which Iíll surely need after the excitement of watching Fireman Ted climb down the Firehouse Pole of Lust.
- KNP Jan 17, '03