On Friday, my best friend, Adam, is flying down from Massachusetts, for his bachelor party on Saturday. I won’t post what we’re going to do on here, because some of that is still a surprise (nothing typical). Next month, I’m going to be the Best Man in his wedding, and I’m excited for it.
My wife and I were talking the other day, because we’re planning the flights, and all the other details, and we realized, that after Adam’s wedding, it is very likely, that the next wedding I will be ‘part’ of, will be my son’s. We’ve kind of hit the end of that chapter, almost all of our friends are married, and the few that aren’t I’m not sure I’d be picked to be a groomsman—that’s totally fine, I get that it’s a big deal for some, and don’t need to add any pressure.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my friends and family who’ve had weddings, and I wouldn’t un-go to any of them, or go back in time and not be ‘part’ of the couple that I was a part of, but I have a little bit of excitement at the idea of 20+ years of not being in a wedding.
Wedding’s are difficult, because everyone has an opinion, and everyone feels so strongly about it. At my wedding, there were plenty of people who would remind us of traditions, many times those traditions were based on things I don’t agree with in the first place. I was my sister’s Maid-of-Honor, and I’m glad I only have one sister, because I’d never do that again. Don’t get me wrong, I love my sister, and honestly she wasn’t the problem.
Here’s the thing that women mostly know, and men have very little idea about, being a bridesmaid sucks, because you have to deal with other bridesmaids. I’ve now witnessed my wife be in other people’s weddings, and there is always one bridesmaid who wants to do some ridiculous over-the-fucking-top bachelorette, or get some collective gift, and they want to commit everyone to the same. “Let’s do a weekend at a resort in Hawaii for the bachelorette! Plane tickets are on sale for only $700, and if we split the bride’s ticket 5 ways, it’s only an extra $140!” and it keeps going. Luckily, from what I’ve witnessed, that usually gets reined in. But every woman not on board with the ridiculous bridesmaid’s fever dream has a couple fun days of panicking that they’ll have to choose between being seen as the ‘cheap one’ or being able to pay their bills that month.
As a Best Man, I must admit, my biggest frustration as been the indecisiveness of the groom. Basically, as far as I know, my responsibilities are to write a speech (not a problem) and to plan the bachelor party. More than 6 months ago, I asked him “what do you want to do for your bachelor party?”
“I don’t care.” Cool that’s not helpful.
“Do you have other groomsmen? Who do you want to be there?”
“Black people.” I should mention that he’s black, and so this request was very slightly less ridiculous than if a white friend had said it. But it’s still totally ridiculous.
“You want me to go up to random black people and ask them to come to your bachelor party?”
“Yes.” He doesn’t tend to smile when he says things like this. Like I know he’s joking, but he never breaks.
“Ok, well do you have any ideas of what you’d like to do?” I then proceeded to list a bunch of ideas I found upon googling ideas for bachelor parties.
“Um… Let’s go to a gun range.” Second key piece of information; he’s a police officer, and a gun enthusiast.
“So you want me”—an extremely white man—”to approach random black people on the street and ask them if they want to go to the gun range with me and my friend?”
This is when he finally laughed. “Yes, that’s exactly what I want.”
Hopefully, you dear readers, know that I wasn’t going to do that. We revisited the conversation a few times over the months, and each time he was about as helpful. Finally, we landed on him flying down to see me, and getting bbq, and some activity (which is the surprise part). Before meeting either my wife or his fiance, he and I had gone on long road trips to both Philadelphia for cheese steaks, and Buffalo for wings (both times we drove from Massachusetts and back in less than 24 hours). So the fact that I live in a place with an abundance of amazing food options, it seemed clear.
So that was my stress for this wedding, and I will totally admit that it is not bad by almost any wedding standards, but there is something nice about knowing that this could be the last obligation to a wedding for twenty years. It’s a good cap to this section of life. Don’t get me wrong, everyone’s wedding is special, but this is my best friend, and not someone to whom I’m an after thought.
A quick side note, when Wedding Crashers came out, I had not been to a wedding as an adult, and it seemed like such a cool fantasy to be a single guy at a wedding, or even to just be a drinking adult at a wedding, and I have never been to a wedding that felt like it could have been in that movie, actually, I’ve never been to a wedding that could have been in any film about weddings I’ve ever seen. They’re usually a little boring (honestly) but boring is good. We don’t really want someone to stand up or interrupt a wedding in real life. Most of the fantasy and ‘romance’ (romance for the wedding ceremony process, not the romance between the bride and groom) is completely unfounded, and really unwanted. I just had to add that in. Just one movie show a real wedding?
Anyway, I’m going into this mode for the last time for a long time, and I’m excited for this time, but I’m also excited to go into retirement.
How do you feel about weddings? Have you had to deal with an unrealistic person trying to promise away all of your money? Can you name a single wedding that lives up to they ‘excitement’ of the movies?