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Spirituality Behind the Ritual of the Traditional Bachelor Party

Posted in bar, beer, family, life, love, passage, religion, spirituality with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 22, 2011 by tymora42
Purification Ritual by Jonas Lonborg (catinatree)

just so you know - we will not be doing this

My best friend is getting married. Being my best friend I have the opportunity to be none other than the best man. As the best man you are in charge of arranging the bachelor party, the sendoff of your friend into the new and exciting realm of matrimony. To perform this function correctly one must reflect on the spiritual aspect of the bachelor party, the debauchery, the objectification of women, the wild romp through the night before the union of two lovers. In our current politically correct society we must slough off the reins of morality to a point and carry on like the animals we are. Aside from the base pleasure orientation of the crusade, I propose there is a spiritual underlining to the ritual of the traditional bachelor party.

In the past I have been in four other wedding parties, this one will be the fifth. The very first I was a groomsman to the highschool buddy just graduating college to go off and have a life with a wife, who was also a mutual highschool friend. They hated each other in highschool. He asked her to prom and she declined because one night he dropped in the bushes next to the Sonic. Now, they have two children and a third on the way if it has not got here yet. My second wedding I had a shared best man duty with another guy. There was a bachelor party – sorta. More about this later. The marriage ended in a bitter divorce with affairs and distrust. The third was unmemorable. He was a good friend at the time. We lost contact. I was a simple groomsman that did not attend the night before sendoff. I think they played golf. I have no idea how they are today. The last wedding was my sister’s. Being the minister I took my role seriously and did not participate in the debauchery, which took place in New Orleans on Bourbon street so you can imagine there was some serious debauchery going on. They are still together.

The traditional bachelor party can wax and wane in structure, however, there is one key aspect that needs to be upheld: 1) The women and men must be separated on the night before the wedding. And this goes for ALL women and ALL men. Just because the groom is better friends with this girl he has known forever does not mean that she should come to the bachelor party. If they are really that good of friends the bride should invite her to the bachelorette. And this goes for the brother of the bride as well and that guy she has known forever. The typical modern pre marriage get together is the combination of both groups of bride and groom for one big blowout. That is what the wedding reception is for. Save it for the rehearsal dinner, split the parties on the night before. The bride and groom will be all mushy mushy the whole night and you do not get the chance to have a special moment with your buddy where you tell him how awesome she is and that he is making the right decision right before you send him and the stripper into the private room for a VIP lap dance. At my first bachelor party I watched the groom’s father, the guy who was always viewed as an authority figure through highschool when we were upstairs in his game room carefully trying not to mess the groomed fuzz on his pool table, slipping twenties into g-strings. This was the moment I started feeling like an adult. It passed.

Another bachelor party I attended did the whole strip club thing with one MAJOR exception. The groom was also friends with my girlfriend, who came with me because she was invited. Thanks pal. His marriage failed. Good. Maybe next time you will split the genders, dumbass.

Failed bachelor parties end in failed marriages. I have theories about this. The co-bestman wedding with the bitter divorce had one of those dinner at Chilis night before gatherings with both parties represented. Lame. Halfway through the night, myself and the rest of the groomsmen kidnap the guy out the back door to hit the town. One guy yelled, “Tittie Bar!” and we were off to our destination. None of us really cared to go, but it was traditional so we did. The groom lasted no more than ten minutes in the place before he paid the bouncer fifty bucks to throw him out. A half hour of searching later we figured out what happened. That pussy had already called a cab from the payphone outside to take him back home to his woman. They woke up together on the day of the wedding. If that was not bad luck, what is?

This anecdote brings up a few of my theories as to why that marriage did not work based on the failure of the bachelor party. Having the parties together hints on distrust, whether it is the bride distrusting the groom or the other way around. Distrustful people have either been burned really bad in the past or are not loyal people to begin with. Then there is the issue of distrusting yourself. Putting yourself into a lustful position with a potential and almost certain one night stand situation is a test of your fidelity. If you do not love her enough to resist that casual urge, much less do not trust yourself in that situation, what the hell are you doing marrying? Obviously your wild oats have not been successfully sown.

Then, there is the matter of going home to her and waking up together on the day of your wedding. You are roped. There is no out. Not that you would take it, but it needs to be presented for you to reject it. Get a hotel. Sleep alone. It may be the last chance you will get. A fundamental part of the bachelor party is for the groom to have that soul searching alone time where he accepts his future. Your brain has been so wrapped up in her and the catering and sending out invitations and getting a minister on top of normal life stuff like work and bills and keeping the house clean. You are stressed. You need a wild night of release where you can ask that one fatal question: Is the sacrifice of all of this worth her for the rest of my life? In a drunken stupor you sleep it off and answer yourself in the morning. Then you go get married.

This is what the whole shebang, the ritual of, the purpose for the bachelor party. This one question is what it is all about. The job of the best man is to be the devil, to throw temptation into the face of the groom to be. The rest of the attendees are minor demons assisting in bringing those temptations to the forefront. It is not because we do not want him to marry. Do you really think Satan, sent by God, really wanted Jesus to cross out of his circle of stones instead of dying on the cross? Hell no! He just wanted him to be confident he was doing the right thing.

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A Date, A Command, A Band – A Good Time

Posted in band, boulder, colorado, faeries, hula hoop, music, review, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 12, 2010 by tymora42

I spent the early part of the day making faerie wings for a friend who will wear them next weekend at the Gay Pride festival in Denver. They were not being made specifically for this event. The faeries told me he needed wings, so I started to make them for him. Most times you have to do what the faeries ask of you after asking yourself why you think they want you to perform such an action. In this case their advice was noble. I set myself to task. No sooner than I had begun in this fashion than they took over my body and hands, sewing dark pink sparkly spines into the shoulders and span, attaching ribbons, and ripping white fish net fabric only to reattach it with tattered love. Some like to make their wings pristine. I prefer the worn throughout ages look, much like the magic of the “used future” that Lucas experimented with in the original Star Wars. At the end of this day’s enterprise I was confident that I would be giving him the gayest thing he might ever own. There is a certain amount of pride derived from this for me, a predominately heterosexual male.

No matter how much I wanted to keep them for myself, I knew they did not belong to me. I was the vehicle for the faeries madness to supply him with a set of aviary devices. But these pixies and sprites did not leave me with nothing. They inspired a story, still in progress, about life choices and consequences that should be released on Stories of the Flea later this season. Jotting this down for editing was the next part of my day.

I called him after his own work day to stop by the house and take a look. He mentioned the style of the lead character in Were the World Mine, a movie about a homosexual boy who gets the lead faerie Puck’s part in a highschool version of Midsummer Night’s Dream. He finds a love potion hidden in the play and turns the whole town gay, including his school basketball star crush. My buddy also had my hard drive, that he was transferring 250 gig of music onto from his personal collection. He could also bring that by. He said he had to leave now because he was going to a concert with another friend being met there. Based on his description, a punk marching band at the Fox on the hill, I invited myself.

They were amazing. March Fourth took the stage with percussive rhythm, a vaudevillian circus of performers, men on stilts, a human puppet show rebelling against the authority of the stringmasters for a night of DIY chaos. Speaking with Joel, a trumpet player in the baker’s dozen or so carnival players, everyone makes their own costumes. Decked in tribal silver face paint, twirling Dali moustaches, black and beaded bodices, striped socks and sleeves, welded spikes on bass drum shoulder pads like something out of Castle Grayskull if Skeletor would have beat that pansy He-Man, hairs of every color, and a layer of that apocalyptic used future dirt that I mentioned before coating their sweat stained bodies I knew there were faeries among us. I was with my people. They had a tribal feel in the same vein as Crash Worship, a similar style group from the 90s, except with a little less darkness and no fire. March Fourth could use a little fire, but that was the thing that got the Worship banned from most places. It was either the torches or the shooting of Roman Candles off the stage that did that. Finally, they resigned to only play in spots that had some sort of horrible accident in its past, like children drowning in the river or the end of a dead man’s curve or next door to a building that burnt down. That was back in the days before ‘goth’ was a genre, people still made their own clothes to go to raves, and raves were non-elitist outdoor events for adults in the know instead of a bunch of kids wanting to experiment with drugs.

LaTisha Strickland, named after a character in a Russian spy novel and one of the energetic dancers, caught my eye before the encore begging for one more song with a single digit pumping the air. She followed suit with her own finger brandishing wind, enthusing the audience for the chant of another. Our sign language conversation went from one finger to two, asking for a second song to be added to the one that looked like it was about to start. She returned my query with seven fingers in the air and I thought that was appropriate, although probably unreasonable. During the movements of that encore performance, she brought out the feather to fan and blow on the audience, who might just as well been working as hard as the band, but still I thought she needed the air more than us. Half naked and dripping with my own sweat, the room cleared as the music finalized. I lingered for a moment, catching my breath, and saw Ms. Strickland sitting on the corner of the stage talking with a group of fans. I went to thank her for her portion of the performance. She mentioned the sweet deal the band got on a house through the International Hostel and that they would all be hanging out there later. Of course I had to ask how a fellow member of this family could get invited back to this Thanksgiving Dinner of sorts and she said I was invited with the tone of telling a brother he was more than welcome to join them on their excursion back to their mother’s place.

Outside I met Blake and Matt flirting with the stilt man, Aaron Lyon, and a cocompatriate, Christopher (not Chris), last name unknown but it might be Long, who has a wife that would happily pay big money for photographs of her hubby making out with another dude. We parted ways with the promise of return later in the evening. Despite work in the morning, Blake agreed to accompany me to the afterparty after a stop at home for a quick refresh, a beer pickup, and a hula hoop grab. LaTisha informed me that Amy was very particular about who played with her hoops so I figured I would bring my own.

We sat outside on the front stoop for a spell crafted of fresh Twilight beer from Deshutes Brewery in Oregon (the origination of this motley crew) and an American Spirit smoke from an African guy outside the Mountain Sun’s Fish Out of Water show a couple nights previous. Christopher joined us while we talked about tigers in the trap with Uranium bullet teeth and frickin’ laser beams. Rich Cawley, the metal worker who designed the M4 ninja star belt buckle, assisted the esoteric conversation out there on the porch and would be a major player in our later evening rendezvous on top of the bus.

Amy Hatfield, the focus of the front page ad and hOt.hOOps teacher, spurred conversation about the kinetic LED hoop I was building for my sister with her collapsible hula hoops. We played with the 40lbs force weighted neodymium magnets I had in my pocket to power the thing as I explained the design of tubes within tubes and coils and reflector sockets. Throwing the ball bearings at her broke one of the cylinders. I did not mind. She could break anything of mine I owned including my heart. She invited us inside to come check out their home on wheels in the back yard. It is nothing special from the exterior, but getting inside is another story. They had beds and seats for the bulk of them in a red tinted glamour of stow away compartments, iTunes flowing music provided by Sid Phillips, the Boone Fairy, and a no ladder entrance to the top, where the rest of the gang drank dangerously from the external sundry supply box seats.

Giggles, Jen Forti, People’s Republic of Portland (buy her stuff here), proclaimed she has been told that she laughs too loud by her fellow bandmates. She brandished this natural talent of amusement for us and still I thought it could be louder. Not that it was not enough to put smiles on our faces, but to be obnoxious it would have to sound more like a cheerleader through a megaphone huffing helium. Anyone who tells you that it is wrong, honey, is just jealous. Jen’s character was one of my favorites. With the spirit of a mime she tried to fit in with the cool kids a la a rope tussle and a stilt war. Constantly, she ducked under and hopped over members without a single place because her skills were too broad to be pigeonholed. Good for you. Keep on chuckling.

We also met Faith Jennings, another dancer of the macabre and hatmaker clothing designer. Utilizing my mnemonic devices to remember names, i told her I did not believe in her nor did I believe anything she would say based on principle. Her famous quote from the evening – “The best part about being in the band is not about the music. It is about making out with the groupies.” They debated about the usage of the word ‘groupies’ and concluded it for our benefit with the change of the word to ‘fans.’ Andy Shapiro, a newer member, who learned to play saxophone just so he could run away with the M4 circus, retorted, “You guys are fans for life. Right?” Sure, you guys are great, unless you do something stupid like go J-Lo ubermainstream and stuffy. I will tell you though, I am not rushing out to get a tattoo right away, buddy.
Even though it is a cool logo. Later he would end up with the perfect traffic cone and Katie Presley’s cell phone sized MP3 player pretending to be the modern punk rock equivalent of the RCA dog. Are those bugle boy jeans you are wearing?

We stayed on top of that bus most of the rest of the night. On a restroom run into the house, trying to conserve the interior traveling tank’s capacity, I saw LaTisha, the instigator to this journey, sitting on a vinyl couch with Luke Solman, trumpet player. She welcomed me, glad I made it, and I let them continue. Twos had begun to separate for the sake of intimate conversation time. Jenny DiDonato and a former member of the band who moved to Boulder a while ago talked on the stoop near the tigers with frickin’ laser beams while I hooped in the street to realign my bearings.

One member I would like to discuss is the bus driver, the Neal Cassady of the group, known by the crafted name of Bangkok, don’t ask him why, and better known as Alex. They have the categories of the Brass, the Beauties, and the Beats on their website, but not the vehicular counterparts that get them to where they are going. They are a valid an important part to the crew. They keep it all moving. They make sure everyone who needs to be on the bus is on the bus when the bus starts moving by taking off at scheduled times. At the very least he needs a spot on the web lauding his accomplishments and relationship with the craft affectionately known as the Razzle Dazzle, or Razz, or a number of other nicknames they declined to tell us. Razzle needs a spot in that category as well. We need the story of the name derived from the Hollywood Bowl and that ninety year old Broadway showtunes singer, who gave it her ancient energy, her blessing, through song to keep on trucking from town to town for the sake of entertaining these millions stuck in the real world.

We left the night with that song in our own hearts.We hugged you all. We never gave Aspen the whiskey, but he found it anyway. We hope you enjoy your travels not only when you look back after the time has gone, but while you are in the midst of it despite the strength of such magnanimous personalities because I know they can be oppressive. I have been there. Keep beating your drums. Keep blowing your horns. Keep on moving and keep on playing. As the command goes, “March Forth!”