Presented by mike’s® Hard Lemonade
Let’s begin with a quick exercise: Close your eyes. Imagine you are back as a senior in college. It’s an unseasonably warm Friday in late-April. Jovial classmates are tossing a frisbee in the quad. A couple of knuckleheads are chucking water balloons out their dorm windows to unsuspecting students below. Professors refuse to taint such a brilliant day with trivial things like knowledge. The buzz on campus is palpable, and excitable butterflies swarm your stomach at the mere thought of the party you’re hosting in just a few short hours. Endless bottles of mike’s Hard Lemonade are getting frosty back at your off-campus apartment, which is kind of a dump, but who cares, bliss pays no mind to opulence. Jessica is going to be there, she told you herself. She smells like this day feels. What a force of nature. Remind yourself to capture this moment in a bottle because this is living.
Now open your eyes.
Look around. Are you in your shoebox of a cubicle at work? Crammed like a sardine on the subway?
Life comes at you fast, Bro.
I’ll be the first to admit to falling victim to the post-college blues. On the surface, becoming a self-reliant, responsible adult is a DRAG. You have to like, pay taxes and work out twice as hard to look half as good and your mom no longer schedules your dentist appointments. FOR THE BIRDS.
But, it’s always darkest before the dawn, and eventually, you realize that fulfillment can be squeezed out of various stages in life. You’ll reach a point where the thought of living that college lifestyle you mourned extensively after graduating becomes incompatible with who you’ve become. Weird, I know. Almost inconceivable.
One of the biggest perks of being an old(er) fart is that you can always reunite with your college friends who are now dispersed throughout the country, but this time around it won’t be at a random campus party, it will typically be to celebrate the happiest moment of a friend’s lives. Weddings are an incredibly enriching evolution of the relationships you’ve cultivated in college for reasons I will detail for you…….NOW!
FAMILIAR PATHS CONVERGE
One of the great surprises and unexpected elements of friendships that have been put on ice for a period of time is that weddings give you the opportunity to re-calibrate your relationships. What you’ll find is that everything changes and stays the same at the same time. Your friends will have careers you never expected, girlfriends you’ve never met, maybe even a few extra inches around the waistline. You may even worry that your relationships were founded on a BED OF LIES.
Fear not, my internet friend, the best relationships are malleable and don’t need to rely on common experience to flourish. You may have taken different paths, but they both led you to the open bar at this wedding. So grab a mike’s Hard Lemonade and drink it in.
THE FEW TRUE
You have been hand selected, out of the hundreds of thousands of people the bride and groom have encountered in their lifetimes, to join an elite few to celebrate the happiest day of their lives. They even printed out a little name tag with your name on it detailing where you’re sitting for dinner! Who loves you like that! You will witness your buddy in a state unfamiliar to you–wholly fulfilled, bursting with joy, and wearing a collared shirt. His joy will be infectious, you will relish in it. It’s okay to cry. Just be prepared for your buddies in attendance to rip on your about it for the next 10 years.
FREE IS EVERYONE’S FAVORITE FLAVOR
Everyone has that one friend who’s had his wallet glued to his thigh for a decade. His turn to buy a round at the bar? Travis went AWOL. Bill comes to a restaurant? Perpetual alligator arms. Everyone will unavoidably be in different financial situations after college, but the great thing about weddings is that they are a one-stop-shop for partying. Hungry? Try the filet mignon with the rich balsamic glaze. IT’S ZERO DOLLARS. Gassed from cutting a rug with a miscellaneous grandma on the dance floor? Grab yourself a free ice cold mike’s Hard to refresh and get back in the game. This dynamic is important because since everything is free for guests, they feel contractually obligated to party harder. Nice little trick by the wedding gods.
DRESS TO IMPRESS
You may not even recognize some of your friends who were famous for living in lacrosse pinnies and flip flops in college when they roll up to the venue looking like Sinatra. Is that…..gel in Brad’s hair? It’s only right that after coming together after extended periods of time apart, you dress to signify the importance of the occasion. Slurping down cold ones while helping your blue-collar buddy tie his tie in a designated hotel room is an underrated part of the wedding experience. Plus, there are going to be professional photographers there to document the night. Can’t be looking like you rolled out of bed to go to an 8am Rocks for Jocks class.
BACHELOR PARTIES. OBVIOUSLY.
Save the best for last. Think about how many unforgettable memories you’ve had with your friends while contained to the confines of a college campus. Stuffy college dorms, stale classrooms, sub-par cafeterias. You guys literally found love in a hopeless place. Now think about re-locating that tried-and-true friendship to, say, a Las Vegas or Denver or New Orleans for a weekend of hedonistic glory. No RAs. No parents. Just guys being dudes. I’ve been on bachelor parties that I cherish more than my college diploma. If that’s wrong, I don’t want to be right.
There you have it, fellas. For those of you who are on the cusp of graduating or are a confused recent post-grad trying to find meaning in the 9-5, some of the best times lie ahead. Now all you need is for your buddies to unlearn all the destructive habits they’ve ever known so they are suited to meet a good woman who will commit to them for an eternity. Best of luck!!