Apologies to the groom. This is in no way meant to steal your thunder or suck the life out of your big weekend. You’ve always been a good friend, and I look forward to strengthening our friendship over the weekend. But fuuuuuuck, dude.
Here I sit on the precipice of my first of two bachelor parties in 2017. Up until this week, I’ve done a respectable job blocking out the reality of a 2-day, 3-night excursion to the Texas Coast; a roughly 3-hour drive that, all things considered, I shouldn’t be dreading as much as I am. I’m not even leaving the state. Do you know how rare that is for a bachelor party?
Well, I am aware. But somehow, it’s worse.
As a fighter staring down 33, I’m well aware of the realities of my current situation. This body has seen a lot of mileage in the ring. Maybe too many. There was that one trip to Vegas that put me on my back after only one night. I tried to keep fighting and power through the damage, but everyone knew I was finished. Live on to fight another day, they said. They were right. And then there were the all out brawls with the city of New Orleans that aged me mentally and physically. You’d think I’d learn that you can’t stand in front of that town and trade punches, but I have a flare for the dramatic. Consummate showman.
And now here we are. Older, wiser, and washed.
The round of golf that would normally be the highlight of a trip like this for me must be approached with an abundance of caution. You know what happens when a bachelor party kicks things off with an early morning round on a Friday? People get hurt. You lose your guys, and you don’t even realize it’s happening. They thought Stone Cold’ing those beers on the tee box would be pretty hilarious, didn’t they? Really set the tone for the weekend, right? Yeah, we’ll check on them in a few hours and see how that worked out. Dead before dinner. Poor bastards never stood a chance.
Even the guys who make it out seemingly unscathed still bare the scars of the bachelor party sun which burns brighter with each vodka soda. As you stand in your bathroom waiting on the steam from the shower to mitigate the damage done by a mailed-in packing job, you’ll look at yourself in the mirror and wonder why you waited until the 16th hole to apply the Banana Boat Sport that’s been in your golf bag for a decade.
And when the time comes to remove that Peter Millar from the shower rod, you’ll gently place it over each shoulder while you stare in the full-length mirror at the man you’ve become. The man who’s telling himself that everyone looks better with a little color. The guy who shouldn’t have worn a visor to play golf. The dude who knows that skipping dinner to catch a little more sleep would be in everyone’s interest, but he didn’t go on this trip to be a footnote.
And it’s exactly that mentality that all who are lucky enough to attend will feign, because we know events like these are few and far between. As your late-twenties steamroll into the dreaded thirties, there are only so many weekends like this remaining on the schedule. A quick inventory suggests that I have, maybe, two or three potential bachelor parties remaining. Not bad, but that thought will be in the back of my mind as I slip on the driving loafers to give this another go.
Yes, I’m dreading the hell out of it. I almost dry-heaved when I had to remind my boss that I’d be out Friday. But my fishing shirt will remain unbuttoned throughout the entire weekend, and I will get some sun on this ol’ Powder-lookin’-ass face. That’s what bachelor parties are for..
Image via Shutterstock