Once upon a time a boy proposed to a girl. The girl said yes and several months later she and a bunch of her friends went down to Key West for an epic bachelorette party weekend. We all know that 99% of what happens at a bachelorette party stays stored under lock and key in the minds of the fair ladies who attend. But some things are suitable to share, so here is our tale...
Like most good parties, this one started with a theme. Our bachelorette was a particularity wild little thing so it seemed only fitting that we were instructed to "get wild" and by that I mean, "wear animal print." We all remember from C's bachelorette party how challenging it is for me to find suitably themed attire, so I was not optimistic as I began my quest.
Unfortunately, the year was not 2002 when I was a college sophomore with a closet full of animal print. Tiger shirts, zebra skirts. You name it, I had it. My absolute favorite in all things big cat was a pair of leopard print pants so tight it looked like the spots had actually been painted on my legs. My favorite thing to pair it with was a black backless shirt.
I still have that shirt that I keep in a drawer I like to call, "what were you thinking?"
After trying on every animal print shirt I could find from the abysmal selection of my depressing mall, I finally settled on a shirt with a pleather tipped collar. I know you're thinking it can't get any better than pleather...but this shirt? Was also backless. And shear.
I know, I know, ladies. You're totally jealous, but this shirt is mine. MINE!
Due to its shearness, I couldn't just free-boob it like I did in my college days. I wore a black bra that I couldn't be bothered to cut the tags off of so they hung down my back, which we all know is not only classy but super sexy.
The first official order of business was a sunset cruise, or as some people like to call it, a booze cruise. "Some people" being not us, though, because we are grown ups. Grown ups do not booze, they sip on a margarita...or four...ish.
We boarded the boat and claimed our table. I felt so excited for all the other seafarers who were about to have their boat, and world, rocked by the awesome that is us.
No good story is complete without a knight in shining armor...or in this case 19. A bachelor party had taken over the dock across from us and were waiting for their own "sunset cruise." (No boozing for that group, I'm sure.)
Several members of the bachelor party had on leopard shirts (mixed with some sort of awful floral print that I hesitate to recall too vividly lest I go blind at the memory) and since we all had on animal print we were all, "Awww, their bachelor party is the soul mate to our bachelorette party."
As the boys were waiting to board their boat, my friends T and A and I naturally began evaluating their looks,
One guy kept trying to stand on his head, which made me seven kinds of anxious. No one else seemed to be concerned that it was a very narrow dock, and he was intoxicated, and his head standing ability wasn't so much bad as it was awful. I worried the non-existent pearls around my neck while screaming, "Someone stop that man! He's a hazard to himself." No one heeded my cries, probably because the screaming only occurred inside my head cuz no one like a hysterical woman.
At the conclusion of the cruise, the bachelorette party planners divided us into two teams and handed us laminated cards with a list of scavenger hunt items – bachelorette style. Our tasks consisted of completely innocent acts like, “find a guy with the same name as the groom”, and “take a picture with a drag queen.”
Our teammates and I were quickly crossing items off our list, and it was time for me to have a cartwheel off with a guy. The rules were quite simple. You and your competitor see who can do the most cartwheels. If you win, then you get points for completing the task. Losing WAS NOT an option, and, well, what I did next I wouldn't exactly call cheating...more like creative winning.
Basically I told the guy, "Look, I'm in a competition with you. But my team, The Golden Girls (so named for our advanced age of older than 28), is in competition with those young whippersnappers over there and we HAVE to win. So here's what's going to happen. You are going to do one cartwheel and I will do two. Which means I will win and get four points for my team. Yay me."
And he was all, "But I can do lots of cartwheels."
Me: YOU WILL DO ONE!
The competition began. He did a cartwheel and I did two. Then he did another one
After every one I did, I jumped up and down and clapped my hands with pride and glee as though I had just walked on the moon and not just thrice rubbed my hands all over a sidewalk where drunks and druggies had pissed, and spit, and puked, and only the good Lord knows what else.
This obnoxious celebration was captured on video. I watched it several times that night and every time I did, I wondered how exactly it is that I have any friends. Please don't view this as a personal affront to my self-esteem, but if someone were to lock me in the closet for the rest of my life, only to be let out on holidays and Champagne Thursdays, they would be doing the world a favor.
We continued on with our tasks, like asking guys for a business card. When they said, no, we'd follow it up with, “Do you have handcuffs?” Which always led to a bewildered look followed by a promise to make handcuffs appear (out of thin air, I assume). We decided our best source of handcuffs was a police officer which should be easy enough to find since it's after midnight...in Key West...on Duvall Street.
We found ourselves a lovely pair of officers but they were all arms crossed, frowny faced, Imma taze you, bro. We were a wee bit nervous to approach them and be all, "Excuse me, big strong bulging men of the law, but can we borrow your handcuffs for a sec?"
My friend, D, suggested that instead of asking them for their handcuffs we should just do something to get arrested...and then the whole handcuff thing would logically follow.
It sounds absurd in the non-Key West light of day, but I'm not going to lie. D and I considered it as a legitimate option for at least a full minute.
Soon our group was scattered on both sides of Duvall. Some of us were dodging traffic, others of us were doing dodgy things in dark alleyways (more cartwheels, people.). It was a mess. We managed to get everyone over to Rick's (which is a club/bar/hotbed of debauchery), which was nothing short of a miracle. Getting 11 girls anywhere at the same time is like herding cats (all that sipping goes straight to our silly little heads).
I ran into my cartwheel buddy at Rick’s and we start talking about his wife and his life and his kids. He looked like a sad little puppy and I found out that this wife wasn't with him because they are "having problems." Like the trained therapist I am not, I proceeded to give marriage advice.
Because, Random Stranger + Key West Bar + 3 Mango Martinis = Of Course Marriage Advice.
Me: Nooo you can't have problems. You love her. She is your high school sweetheart. You have to stay together for-ev-er.
I was very concerned because I am a kind and generous soul. I kept counseling him until my friends were all, "group picture time!" and I was all, "see ya!"
I don't claim to be a mind reader, but I was pretty sure he was glad when I left and he was once again alone with his piña colada.
All good things must come to an end and soon it was time for us to return back to our cottage. Which was exactly what everyone did, except for me, K, and D who decided we must absolutely find a drag queen…and then promptly got distracted by the music at Fat Tuesdays where D taught me to angry pigeon dance and my life was forever changed.
Stay tuned for day two of the party. Most of the details of that day are locked within a vault that has been tossed out to sea, never to be found again. But there are bits and pieces that can be shared...some of which may or may not involve the return of the bachelor party.