At this point, if one more person says “what a wild year” in the wrong crowd, we’re going to find a body with its eyes and flesh removed. We’ve reached our capacity, as a society, for broad nothingisms that pathetically undersell the craziness of 2020. Stop saying it, people, or you’ll find yourself torn to shreds like a loaf of challah.
Against that reality, we turn the corner into a new year of rescheduled weddings and bachelor parties. Many people in my life were kind enough to throw in the towel on their original wedding plans, opting instead for small, private family ceremonies over the summer and putting their wedding funds towards a downpayment on a house (smart) and a fun, toned-down party for all their friends to celebrate when possible.
But not everyone. Plenty of people are still clinging to the massive wedding they’d envisioned their whole lives. Where they turn the local country club into a Noah’s Ark for their friends, or convert a barn in Connecticut into a Ralph Lauren dreamscape staffed by white-aproned caterers trying to unload their trays of tiny lobster rolls down my throat (much obliged!) Many people I know are moving forward with these $250,000 affairs, knowing that their stimulus checks will help defray the cost of the chocolate fondue station.
You know something? I don’t blame them. People want what they want. If you spent months studying the blueprints for floral arrangements, conceding on the horse-drawn chariot entrance in favor of the coordinated forest fire on the mountainside that spells out your names, it would take more than a global pandemic to extinguish that dream. To any who did away with the big wedding, who claim their priorities were reset by the Coronavirus, who sermonize that it made them reconsider what really matters—I say you simply didn’t dream hard enough. If you really wanted the wedding, you’d still be having it, you fair-weather wedding fan.
With that said, I do think we should tone down the bachelor parties this year. We’ll get back to the Vegas jamborees and the Bandon Dunes blowouts in due time. For now, let’s keep it local gents. No telling if this virus is going to mutate into a brain-attacking strain that tells us to split queens against a 5 for no apparent reason. No way of knowing if COVID will severely impact the shape of my drives on dogleg-left par fives, forcing me to take the Tiger line over the trees. Most importantly, there’s no way of knowing if we’ll be able to do anything, or go anywhere, in April or May. With a full slate of summer weddings coming up, I would be much happier to save some money and hit some bars around town with my friends before stumbling in to an underground poker game behind some nondescript storefront, where all the smoke alarms have been disabled and sushi orders arrive every twenty minutes.
A friend of mine decided to go this route. He texted our group chat saying he wants to do Kentucky Derby at a sportsbar in New York, followed by a party bus to Sands Casino for those with a pulse that evening. It was the best message we’d seen in that group chat, and there have been multiple healthy birth announcements in there.
In sum, let’s recognize that this summer is going to be hell financially. All those postponed weddings from last season sandwiched between the weddings that were always scheduled for this summer? Between airfare, hotel rooms, and dry-cleaning bills for the two suits I own, it’s going to be a bloodbath. As much as I’d love to burn it down with my pals at some fancy golf resort this spring, I’m extremely grateful for the more localized bachelor party. After all, us guys can have fun anywhere as long as we have each other!