I came across some old musings and notes I made last year before I got married, and thought it was worthy enough to share on here.
This little article came the night after the (now) husband was returned to me from his stag do. It was a last minute affair, clumsily cobbled together by old school friends that involved nothing more than taking him out for a night on the town and getting him pretty much as plastered as possible. I guess I should be grateful for the simplicity of the whole affair, and that he was actually returned to me instead of being left, taped to a telephone pole with lipstick all over his face (that’s a true story – a friend of mine in Melbourne was given that treatment on his buck’s night).
OF BUCKS AND STAGS
Yesterday I experienced the conclusion to a night out on the town. That is, I experienced my fiancé staggering home just past midnight, led by a sober friend, returning from his Bucks night.
Now, I was expecting the worst and not just because of the nature of a Bucks party, but because the two guys who organised it are the fiancé’s school friends. He was also best man at each of their respective weddings and organised both their parties celebrating their final days as a single man. As a responsible best man, he utterly destroyed them both at each event. It was therefore inevitable that when his own day came, they would both be there with similar enthusiasm ready to inflict that cold dish of revenge. I spent the wee early hours of the morning awake, wildly messaging friends as to what I should do, monitoring the fiancé, at that time lying naked in the foetal position at the bottom of the shower, covered in marker graffiti, alternately spewing violently and turning on the shower to wash away the sick. He was in there a good hour before drying himself and stumbling into bed, but I appreciate he took himself in there and did not come out until he was sure he was sure he wouldn’t chuck up on me, the bed, or the house in general.
This brings me to the point of this story: whether I am ok with this celebration called the Bucks party, or whether it is an outdated, horrible excuse for antisocial behaviour. I am in both absolutely understanding, and also condescendingly prudish minds. As I write, the fiancé is curled up on the couch, freshly washed and with breakfast in his gullet. I do not imagine he will move from this position for many hours yet. Half of me is seriously annoyed his friends would take him on such a bender and get him to the stage where he cannot operate even on a basic level. That half of me wants to lecture the friends for being irresponsibly juvenile, thoughtless, and insensitive for pushing him far beyond what they needed to. The aggressive feminist in me wants their testicles as earrings and their masculinity rattling around in my handbag for me to snack on. The Victorian moralist in me wants to lambaste society for condoning and accepting binge drinking as an appropriate way to mark occasions, and to think otherwise means you’re a tight arse or a pussy. This side of me questions why we celebrate the “last days of being single” when many of us are in defacto relationships anyway.
Does this imply that life ends when marriage begins? How quaint and chauvinistic.
The start of the night and the only photo
Conversely, though, I knew this would happen. I think the fiancé also knew and had the grace to accept his fate – that his friends were going to get him real good. On the morning after their own parties they probably felt just as horrible; their wives probably just as annoyed as I am now. Before he passed out on the couch, the fiancé showed me the tshirt from the night, covered in graffiti from collar to hem: comments, well wishes, jokes, a game of naughts and crosses, and a tally keeping score of the number of people who signed the shirt. There were fifty marks, all of which signified a complete stranger took the time to write something supportive for my fiancé. And this struck me inexplicably. Fifty randoms banded together to give mutual congratulations to a guy they do not know and probably will never meet again. Fifty people took their time to say good luck to a stranger in his marriage. There seems to exist an unspoken camaraderie; the result of a guy out celebrating the fact he will shortly tie the knot and become someone’s husband.
So with a certain level of reluctance in ignoring the socially aware side of me, I can’t stay mad at my fiancé’s friends for pumping him so full of shots he has potentially lost brain cells and killed a part of his liver. The result is that fifty strangers on the streets wished another stranger success in his marriage. Perhaps a Bucks party is nice if only because everyone, regardless of relationship to the Buck, is unified in experience, and I found that quite sweet.
At least, that’s what I’m telling myself as I clean up the bathroom.