The ramblings and musings of author and musician Geoffrey Young Haney.
Much more coherent and loveable fare from his wife, Michelle.

Friday, February 5, 2010

The Bachelor's Night

The winds of change blow consistently across my seas; each unpredictable wave threatens to maroon me on some forgotten island shore. But then, of course, I would at least be on solid ground. Stability - security - these are but ghosts shimmering in the memory of days gone by; simple dreams that fade in the waking moments, disappearing into the blood orange sunrise of a new and unfathomable day. Every great tale has its plot twists, and my many arc and turn like a winding road through a thick old forest. What lies around the next bend? I cannot say. And there in lies the danger. And the fun.

Tonight was my friend Ben's bachelor party, a milestone in a young man's life. Having been to my own as well as a few others, I can honestly say that - as much as society would love to pigeonhole all bachelor parties into ravenous and sexed-up romps through barrooms and strip clubs - each one has been different. Mine was the closest thing to what one may consider your standard bachelor party. There was a keg, and a barbecue, and lots and lots of friends, and lots and lots of alcohol consumed. (But no strippers, not my style AT ALL.) It was, to say the least, my last big blow-out. I was passed out by 8:30pm. My friends did what we did always did - drank, ate, and talked about anything and everything under the sun. It was festive in an almost medieval sense - loud men coming together to escape the workaday world. Eat drink be merry, that sort of thing.

I rarely see those friends anymore. My life shifted from that sort of "party" scene only a week after that last bash, when I made the best choice of my life and said "I do" to the most wonderful person I have ever met. Have a tossed back some booze since then? Of course. But it's never been as much fun as it was that night. In fact, it's starting to get less and less fun each time. If that's growing up, count me in. I can deal with one less vice. I've been slowly ticking them away for last two years. Now if I could only kick caffeine...

My buddy, Matteo, had his bachelor party just a couple of weeks ago. He had been at mine, and pretty much it was the same crowd populating his. And, as I stated, I hadn't seen a lot of them in a while. We threw down and had a good time, but there was a difference in the air. A few of that old crew had gone off and gotten married themselves. Most of us were living different places, different cities than we had back when most of our days were spent together. Everyone was growing up, you could see it on our faces and hear it in our conversions. Maturing life, with its different aspirations and responsibilities, was beginning to take hold. And I, for one, found that comforting. After all, who wants to stay the same all their lives. And it felt good not to be the only one changing hats, changing roles in the theater of life.

Tonight's party Ben was in a completely different vein. Six TVs set up in our friend Rick's basement, each plugged into some video game system (the majority being Xbox 360 armed with copies of Halo 3). There was beer, pizza, munchies, your typical bachelor party staples. I think we all put on about 70 pounds! But there was also something refreshing in this air, something I'm less familiar with than even growing older. Familiarity. In this room were a bunch of dudes who had known each other a great long time - most from high school, if not the very early years of college. Their relationships formed differently than those of my old peers had - in hallways and late-night parties at their parents' homes where they had still lived, rather than in the liquor-soaked houses and rock venues mine had. Most of my high school relationships have gone the way of the dodo.

I'm not saying one is better than the other. Every experience is worth the taking and can sow seeds in us that shape the very fiber of our character. Each life is our own to live. My party looked and felt like a party the way I had known it, Matteo's had his personality in it, Ben's his. In their own separate ways, our friends did what they were supposed to - made the night ours to remember. And I guess that's what it boils down to. We can spend time debating on which is the proper way to celebrate a bachelor's leap into wedlock. We can fret about who will make it and who will not, who needs inviting or who gets left out. We can say mine was "pure debauchery" and Ben's "too tame". But if our friends are their - no matter how the friendships grew or how lasting they may inevitably be - than the celebration is perfect just the way it is.

Congrats Ben. Tonight was a great and fitting way to raise a glass to you.


R! said...

Come check out my blog:

Mic said...

Well said my love.

JB said...

As Trent in Swingers would say: "Cuz you're growns up and you're growns up and you're growns up!" Seriously, though, I think you hit the nail on the head, man. Very well put.