My fiancé had his bachelor party this weekend. It’s him and a dozen of his best friends going to Portland for the weekend. I knew I’d have major FOMO since that would be an absolute dream trip for me. But I also knew that my anxiety around forcing friends to spend money, and the fear that people will bail at the last-minute, means that I would never ask for my own big to-do. So my solution (which I thought was brilliant) was to ask my best friend to just babysit me this weekend — just hold my hand and help me work through the vicious FOMO, even if it means just the two of us drinking whiskey and watching Lord of the Rings. But he apparently forgot, and made lots of other plans this weekend. Which left me with an entire weekend wide open, with nothing to do and no one to do it with.
I’ll admit it, old “nerdy kid in high school with no social life” wounds have opened up, and I’m feeling shitty about myself. While Mike has tons of friends who have apparently orchestrated an epic weekend that involves vans being rented, outdoor adventures, surprises, hilarious hijinks, and some mysterious Game of Thrones-themed puzzles… I struggled to get anyone to hang out with me for the next couple of days.
At one point, while I was feeling sorry for myself, I thought FUCK IT, I’ll throw myself my own bachelor party alone. A stag party of one!
Yes, a bachelor party even though I’m a girl. That just feels more in line with my gender identity. Plus I’ve helped plan and execute two bachelor parties, so I knew a bit about what kind of things there were to do of that nature in LA, and I know exactly what I’d want to do for my own. So I kept a constant supply of anti-anxiety meds at my disposal, and planned my #stagpartyof1…
For some it would be gambling in Vegas. For others it could be video games, or LARPs, or table top gaming. My game of choice is pinball. I took myself to my favorite arcade/bar in downtown LA to have a drink and play a few games of pinball. I actually had some fun. I found a Game of Thrones pinball machine and just poured quarters in. But it was a little sad to not have anyone to goof off with. A year before I had taken my cousin there for his bachelor party and the ghosts of “fun group hangs” past was haunting me.
I have always wanted to go whiskey tasting for my bachelor party. I had grand schemes to do a private tasting with a bunch of friends at the “secret” whiskey room at Seven Grand. But balked at the price, so I gave up that dream. But, with the help of one of Mike’s friends, I found out that Seven Grand just started doing whiskey flight nights on Fridays. This weekends was $35 for four tastings, and it came with a free Old Fashioned, which is my favorite drink. Perfect!
But that’s when things went from sad to sadder. I felt so out-of-place and awkward sitting by myself. There were groups of friends hanging out and enjoying the experience, and I longed for that. As I sidled up to the bar to start the tasting, I immediately felt like I had made a mistake and wanted to leave. But then… I explained what I was doing to a girl next to me, and to the bartenders, and they all rallied around it, and kept me company.
Then a friend of mine, who also found herself sad with no plans on a Friday night, texted me that she’d come and join me if I wanted. OH I WANTED! Once Jenny showed up, it really started to feel like a real bachelor party, even if it was just us two. We geeked out about whiskey, and then someone suggested that, if this was a bachelor party we should go to a strip club. DUH.
Maybe it’s a little sexist and objectifying, but I also believe every bachelor party needs boobs. Unfortunately my favorite nerdy burlesque troop (that I hired to perform at Erik’s bachelor party) was performing in Long Beach this weekend. Fortunately, Jenny and I love the same strip club in town — Jumbo’s Clown Room. So we drunkenly headed there — like any good bachelor party would. We spent the rest of the night throwing dollar bills on the stage, and bonding with the other bachelor party that was there, as these girls pulled off moves that made my knees and back ache just thinking about doing.
The rest of the night is kind of a blur. But… I’ll be honest, a bachelor party is more fun with friends.
Go on an adventure of some sort
Going outdoors to get some vitamin D and burn calories after drinking and eating heavily is a good idea for a bachelor party. For example, Mike’s going river rafting with his friends. I, however, went on a hike with my dog. #wolfpack
I made reservations at Jon & Vinny’s and was lucky to snag someone to eat with. But he started feeling ill right before we were supposed to go, and took a rain check. This is where things got dark.
If you ever feel like "omg that one bitch on Instagram has the best life, and it makes me feel bad about my own." Let's talk about that. I hear this all the time. And yes, my life is generally awesome. I'm hashtag blessed AF. But also remember there are times like this weekend for perspective… I've cried a lot over feeling lonely and feeling unloved. I know that's not true. I know it's just bad timing all around. And I know my friends would have rallied if they could. But the point is: I don't ever share the bad shit, because it's not the kind of energy I wish to put out in the world. So it makes it look like my life is all unicorns and trips to Morocco — but no one's is. I still feel like that friendless loser in high school sometimes. I still sob into my pillows and wonder what's wrong with me, while other people post photos of their "way more fun and interesting" lives. I feel that way too! I will also say, that all the people who have reached out to me during this weird time (both friends and internet strangers) have helped me feel less lonely during my #stagpartyof1. So thanks for sticking with me, even when my posts aren't all rainbows and wedding plans… or rainbow wedding plans. Hopefully now I can get back to posting more fun shit for you. #anxiety #depression #mentalhealthawareness
I wanted to factor in some R&R — a nice nap, or some time in the jacuzzi. But instead it ended up being sleeping for three hours and then waking up and crying for two more hours.
A bomb-ass meal
Then it was time for dinner! I actually did get one friend to make plans with me (and keep them) this week. My longtime friend Drew met me for chicken and waffles at a new and awesome restaurant. And that was it.
And that’s how you throw yourself your own stag party — lots of anxiety meds, whiskey, waffles, and random bursts of crying. But if you want your stag party to be a good one, you should definitely invite your friends. Turns out they’re a LOT more fun with friends.