The year before Andy and I got married, we went to nine weddings. Some were my friends, some were his friends, and some were mutual friends. My Chinese-American fiancé attended something like seven bachelor parties. Three were his closest friends: Salad, Pumpkin, and String Bean. Andy was String Bean’s best man, and he did String Bean’s party right – a boy’s night on the town, complete with pimp hat, handcuffs, and feather boa for the groom.
Two weeks before our wedding, Salad, Pumpkin, and String Bean bailed. Not only did this throw a huge wrench in our plans because we lost two groomsmen and the best man, but it meant there was no best friend to coordinate the bachelor party. And thus no bachelor party.
Andy shrugged and said he didn’t care. He said it was no big deal.
I was pretty sure that was bullshit. Especially when I considered the amount of money – even in singles! – the man had shelled out for parties in Los Angeles, Vegas, and even Hawaii. (In Vegas, Andy actually made a profit at the craps table, only to spend most of his winnings on a gift for me. Which kind of makes me wonder just how wild that party was, but that’s another post. )
Stoic Andy refused to admit that he really wanted a bachelor party. He wouldn’t even suggest it to his work buddies and local friends. So I did it for him. I secretly phoned Andy’s one single friend, Ming. Ming was all in. He rallied Andy’s friends. I schemed with my neighbors and we hatched a plan.
I figured Andy’s delight in his surprise bachelor party would be even greater if he fully experienced the sadness and loneliness of thinking he’d been forgotten by his friends. (The fact that I wanted him to admit I was right and he really did want a party had nothing to do with the following sadistic behavior.)
7 Days Out From the Bachelor Party:
Me: “Hey, one week from tonight, and I’ll be out with my girlfriends! It’s going to be awesome.”
Andy smiles. “You deserve some fun.”
Could I be – perish the thought – wrong? Could it be Andy really didn’t want a party?
6 Days Out From Bachelor Party (at the mall):
Me: “Let’s go in here! I need a lacy top for the bachelorette party!”
Andy: “But you have plenty from dancing.”
Me: “They’re all black, and I need white.”
Andy: “Why do you need white?”
Me: “The bride wears white. It’s a tradition. Like the groom getting a stripper at his bachelor party.”
Andy: “Yeah. I wouldn’t know about that.”
Me: “I thought you weren’t upset about not having the bachelor party?”
Andy: “No, no, it’s fine, it’s fine.”
Me: “You sure?”
Andy: “It will be if you get a white lacy thing with a thong.”
Me: “I don’t do thongs.”
Andy: “But I am SO SAD about not having a bachelor party.”
Clearly, the man was disguising his pain with humor.
5 Days Out From the Bachelor Party:
Me: “Hey, our neighbor Alice needs some help moving furniture this weekend. She says you usually help her.”
Andy: “Once or twice, but not since she started dating Juan.”
Me: “It’s a sofa. It’s going to take two of you.”
Me: “I don’t mean to be mean, but, honey, it’s not like you’re doing anything except sitting home while I go off and paaarrrr-taaaayyy!”
Andy: “You say you don’t mean to be mean and yet you are.”
Me: “How is that mean? You’re the one who said you didn’t want a party. Did you change your mind? Did you realize you really wanted one? You could still—”
Andy: “No, no, it’s fine, I can move Alice’s couch.”
Damn it, he’s got to break sometime.
3 Days Out From the Bachelor Party:
Me (whimpering after fighting with the tux shop about changing the measurements for the replacement groomsmen): “I cannot wait for Saturday. I might even drink.”
Andy: “You always say that and you never do.”
Me: “Not this time! I don’t have to be the designated driver and the girls are supposed to buy me drinks and I’m not allowed to pay for anything! It’s going to be awesome!”
Andy: “Yeah. I guess that would be awesome.”
Me: “Do I detect a hint of bitterness? Do you want me to stop talking about my party?”
Andy: “No. Just drink expensive martinis on Saturday. A lot of them.”
Was that resentment directed at his friends? Or did he just want me to get my money’s worth?
2 Days Out From the Bachelor Party:
Me: “Hey, Juan has to work until 6 PM on Saturday. I told Alice that was fine and you’d come over around 6:30.”
Andy: “I’m moving furniture on a Saturday night?”
Me: “Well, I’ll be off with the girls and it’s not like you’re gonna be doing anything else.”
Andy: “Yes, I am. I’m going to be drinking.”
Promising, yet ambiguous. The man always had a few beers on Saturday night.
1 Day Out From the Bachelor Party:
Me: “JM is going to pick me up at 6 tomorrow!”
Andy: “Seriously? She’s driving all the way down from Valencia?”
Me: “Yeah, she says the night is all about me, so she’s going to drive down here and then we’ll backtrack somewhere.”
Andy (cracking open a beer): “My friends suck.”
I love it when I’m right.
The Day of the Bachelor Party:
Andy gave up even trying to be cheerful. A nice fiancée might have let up.
And then there was me, waking up my sleeping fiancé: “I’m going to the gym. Wanna come?”
Andy: “Saturday. Too early. Why?”
Me: “Gotta get a workout in before all the wedding stuff today and tonight!” I sang: “Cuz it’s my par-tay/ I’m goin’ dancin’/ And maybe drinkin’—”
Andy snorted. “You won’t drink.”
“—my CLUB SODA/ If I get crazy/ I’ll get some cranberry—”
“You’re not so pretty when you gloat.” Andy rolled away and stuck a pillow over his head.
My friend JM took a picture of Andy and me before we left that night. I’m grinning like a madwoman under my veil, while Andy’s eyes are sad. His lower lip juts out, a little petulant.
I was blindfolded and whisked off to see naked men dance.
Andy went over to Alice’s townhouse. She thanked him for coming, showed him the couch, and told him Juan would be out of the shower in a minute.
Andy: “He’s in the shower? But we’re about to move the couch!”
Alice: “Oh, Juan’s just weird that way. He has to take a shower as soon as he gets off work. He feels grimy.”
Andy: “Isn’t he an accountant?”
Alice: “Is that the doorbell? Would you mind getting that?”
Andy opened the door and found Ming: “What are you doing here?”
Ming: “Autumn sent me. Said you might want to go get a beer.”
Andy: “Hell, yeah. Hey, Alice! Be back in a few!”
They walked to Andy’s townhouse. When Andy opened the door, various friends jumped off the staircase, bounded out of doorways, and busted out of closets, yelling, “Surprise!”
A few minutes later, I got a text from Ming. Except there was no text, just a picture of Andy, with an ear-to-ear smile.
Under a purple pimp hat.