7/28/03 Jasper, GA (12 days

7/28/03 Jasper, GA (12 days before wedding)

Finally I am able to make coherent thoughts and actually write them down, here in the gorgeous hollows of northwestern Georgia. Bachelor parties, in general, have always confused me. I didn’t know if the bachelor was supposed to have sex with somebody, or if strippers were an ironclad requirement, and if your best women friends were allowed to come, etc.

My worst bachelor party experience was probably Sean’s first marriage, when his horny ex-brother-in-law hired some Orange County white meat to shake her fake thingies in his face while he became more and more embarrassed. Being the best man at that wedding, I suppose I should have put a stop to all that and done something cooler, but clearly, I was not in charge.

The idea of a bachelor “getting one last one in before being shackled by the ball and chain” has to be one of the more utterly pathetic and depressing traditions of the American psyche. I hardly believe it is possible to have any meaningful sexual contact with someone other than your bride within a few weeks (or hours) of your wedding, and expect it to be a satisfying send-off from the world of crazy singles. Yes, I saw some boobs this weekend, but THANK GOD that has long become more of a National Geographic special for me, rather than the 4 Jack-and-Coke purpose of every evening. Plus, for me, strippers are just about the least sexy creatures in the animal kingdom; I have never been attracted to things I can’t have.

The bachelor party has been redefined in this day and age to be an excuse for your best friends to gather somewhere they don’t currently live and roll back the atomic clock about ten years. I’m pleased to say that we did so quite effortlessly. While we were at Coop’s Place at the bottom of the Quarter in New Orleans, I had a private moment while watching the various seminal attendants interacting with one another, playing pool, doing shots of Jaegermeister, talking shit at 30 words per second – and I was struck by how young we all still were. At a time when I have to deal with so many stupid physical ailments and career stuff and health insurance and the impending possibility of children, we have not substantially changed our social behavior since 1987. All we have now is a little more money.

Both Sean and Michelle have weighed in on the weekend, but I just have to state this here in a semi-public place: along with those two, my friends are truly incredible. When I met these people, all I brought to the table was social rage, paralyzing self-awareness, acne, diamond-edged cynicism and a middling jump shot. They took what I had and melded me into the kind of character that deserves somebody as amazing as Tessa, which is all you could possibly want from a party of people surrounding a bachelor.