To celebrate the impending nuptials of a dear friend, nine of us headed to a cabin in rural Quebec for a bachelorette weekend. We sunned ourselves on a dock, ate a variety of artisanal cheeses, played a few spirited rounds of charades and toasted the bride–to-be with sparkling wine.
The groom, in the meantime, was swept off to Toronto by his buddies to participate in the time-honoured tradition of ogling nubiles in various states of undress.
If the men were the movie The Hangover, we were Oprah’s Book Club.
Think we’re lame? I’ve heard of bachelorette parties that mostly involved board games and pottery glazing (not a euphemism).
It makes me question the long-held wisdom of one Cyndi Lauper: Do girls just wanna have fun? Or would they rather have sedate martinis, gripe about their boyfriends and hit the sack at a reasonable hour?
This is not to say that many bachelorette parties aren’t wild and crazy events featuring pink bridal veils, low-cal coolers, too-short skirts and drunken, ill-advised flirtations with cab drivers. But it seems to me that even the most out-of-control bachelorettes don’t hold a candle to the most unhinged bachelor parties.
Beth Montemurro is an associate professor of sociology at Penn State University. In her book Something Old, Something Bold: Bridal Showers and Bachelorette Parties, Montemurro points out that bachelor parties are historically about making the most of the groom’s final hours of freedom and a supposed reluctance to let that go. Bachelorettes, although they ape the traditions of male bachelor parties, seem more akin to “pep rallies … increasing excitement and anticipation” of the main event: The wedding.
“The most important part of the bachelorette party for women I interviewed was about spending time with their friends,” Montemurro told Metro via email. “Women were less interested or aroused by the sexual elements of bachelorette parties (e.g. going to strip clubs) and more often found them to be embarrassing or funny.”
In summation, the vital differences are as follows:
Bachelorette parties? A female bonding ritual that satirizes sexuality.
Bachelor parties? Last call for fun, fellas!
When my time comes, I hope my ladies know me well enough that they won’t bust out the tiaras, tulle and exotic dancers named Rico. Ideally, I’d want my bachelorette to be held at a karaoke dive. My friends and I would bask in one another’s delightful company and regale each other with the sweet, sweet sounds of Journey.
I might even drink.