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Sunday, August 24, 2003

Help! My Life Is a Succession Of Tasteless Clichés!


If you happened to be out barhopping in the Belltown quarter of Seattle last night you may have done a double-take at your wristwatch calendar. No, it wasn’t Halloween; it was the night of the Bachelorette Party of the Living Dead. Armies of mindless, bloodthirsty zombies roaming the darkness. The only way to stop them is to drive a stake through their hearts. OK, that last bit may be a bit harsh but there were so many bachelorette parties that I stopped counting at around seven.

If you’ve never had the misfortune of brushing up against one of these female bonding outings they go something like this: The bride-to-be wears a veil and a shirt with a bunch of candies attached. Male passersby are encouraged to eat one of the candies off the shirt for one dollar. The soon-to-be newlywed also may be holding a penis-shaped drinking cup or some other type of vulgar paraphernalia. The idea of this dorky ritual is to give the bride one last fling at being single.

All of these veiled party girls looked like deer in the headlights, like they were desperately asking everyone and anyone, "Is this how I'm supposed to do this?" Most of the parties had themes besides the usual dick joke items, original themes like Hawaiian, princesses, and Hawaiian (no kidding, there were two Hawaiian parties). The brides all looked pretty miserable in their role as slut for the night. The bachelorette party is a direct spin-off of the male bachelor party. I’ve never attended a bachelor party and I would tell these gals the same thing I tell prospective grooms when they talk about their pre-wedding orgy of fun: If you need even one more night of freedom then don’t fucking get married in the first place.

The bachelor/bachelorette party is just another cliché amid a junkyard full of clichés that make up the whole marriage ritual in the beginning years of the new century in America. It has been called the wedding industrial complex. Most of these rituals are pointless and serve no real purpose. They don’t strengthen the institution of marriage or underline the seriousness of two people binding themselves together for a lifetime.

I think it is time we start some new rituals but first let’s shit-can all of the old tired ones. I could list all of the rituals that I think are retarded but instead of being so dictatorial (not that I’ve ever been afraid of being dictatorial) I’ll just say this: Think everything through for yourself and decide for yourself just how you want to approach the whole wedding thing. If you really must have a bachelorette party then have one but don’t just do it because that’s what every other girl is doing. Maybe if you think about it you won’t wake up the next morning in a pool of your own Midori Sour vomit.

Instead of the usual ritual of running around the streets of Belltown made up like a wedding ghoul or Miss Haversham, try coming up with a ritual of your own. A girl I know mentioned that she would skip the usual bachelorette party crap and have a campfire at the beach with her friends instead. God forbid that we create rituals in our society that are actually somewhat spiritual.

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