The Engaged Life #7: Why I’m Not Having a Bachelor Party

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As per usual, let’s get all the caveats out of the way first. I’m not knocking anyone for having a bachelor/ette party. It’s incredibly commonplace in America, so insinuating that I’m against almost everyone is laughably inaccurate. I believe that celebrations such as these are the choices of the celebrant, and no one else’s. If you accept that premise, then I feel like I’m well within my jurisdiction to abstain.

To understand my stance on this, I suppose I need to give a bit of background on myself. I’m the type of person that doesn’t like unneeded attention. If I’m promoting a gig or a project that I worked on (i.e. the TRP podcast), then of course I’d like the attention to help either myself or my team succeed. Outside of that, I don’t really need or want a lot of attention. This has been my philosophy for a while which is part of the reason why I don’t even celebrate my own birthday. Sure, some friends have pointed out that my life experiences have also contributed to this “tradition,” but I distinctly remember making a conscious decision in my adult life not to celebrate my birthday anymore. I can make a whole post on my reasoning for that, as well as the social experiment I conducted after I made that decision, but that isn’t the point of this post. I just wanted to lay the groundwork for the topic at hand.

So here are a few reasons why I am choosing to not have a bachelor party:

1. I don’t want the attention

Following through with what I just said, I simply don’t want the attention. I don’t like being the celebrant, especially in America. There’s this odd stigmatization in America specifically. Whenever there’s a celebration, it’s usually the case that you want to support the celebrant and do whatever he/she wants to do. However, the instant the celebrant refuses to want to celebrate, they get admonished.

“C’mon, why don’t you want to do anything? You’re weird. It’s your last hurrah. Don’t be such a lame ass.”

I get that there’s a benevolent agenda behind these words. Trust me, I do. But, there are a few things I find wrong with it, and the main one is that it’s almost like people forget who they’re supposed to be supporting. It’s one thing when someone isn’t sure and needs a bit of encouragement. It’s a totally different situation when they’re sure and that’s their position. If I want encouragement, then I’m not one to turn it away. However, if I’ve made a decision, I prefer support rather than having to fight tooth and nail to defend it, especially when it doesn’t really affect anyone else (see the next point).

2. I know the party isn’t completely for the bachelor, but I don’t really care

Okay, so let’s get real here. Nowadays, I know the bachelor party is less for the bachelor and more for the guests coming along with him. It’s an excuse to get the guys together and spend time. It’s an excuse for married men to relive some of the bliss from before they were married. It’s supposed to be male bonding at its finest. I get that. I’m just not sure if I care. It’s not that I don’t care about my groomsmen or my friends and don’t want to spend time with them, I just don’t buy into this as the reasoning for a bachelor party. I don’t like being guilt tripped into doing something I’m not comfortable with if it doesn’t serve a noble purpose.

I consider my groomsmen my brothers. They were here for me long before, and they’ll be here long after. We’ve been through hell and back together. I’d much rather take them out after the wedding and treat them to a guy’s trip. I’d rather show them my appreciation than have them take me on a trip which I find no personal meaning. Or maybe we can just go out and celebrate what we’ve been through together. It accomplishes the same goals as the bachelor party without any of the subtext which I don’t agree with. This is where I would prefer to take responsibility for being the outlier. Just because I don’t like being the celebrant, it doesn’t mean that there shouldn’t be a celebration or any appreciation shown at all.

If your response is “well it’s harder to do that after you’re married,” then that perplexes me. Here’s what I can’t wrap my head around. Why would it be more acceptable for married men to go to a bachelor party than to go on a trip like the ones I’m proposing? Is it just because a pending marriage is involved? Even though the term “bachelor party” itself connotes and sometimes almost guarantees debauchery, it’s somehow more acceptable?

On a side note, I’m not one that believes that flings on the bachelor/ette party don’t count. Your actions are your responsibility, it shouldn’t matter the context. If you feel like you need to have a fling before you get married or even during it, then maybe you aren’t/weren’t ready. There, I said it.

3. It may be tradition for some people, but it isn’t one of mine

Although I’m proud to be an American, I’m still a child of immigrants. Even though Indonesia is starting to adopt bachelor parties, they’re well aware that it was adopted from American culture specifically. My dad didn’t have a bachelor party. Neither of my grandfathers had bachelor parties. I don’t have any historic or cultural reason to have one. It’s such a foreign concept to anyone who wasn’t raised with it. I personally didn’t even come across the concept of a bachelor party until I was in college. When your family doesn’t believe in them and no one around you is talking about marriage yet, then it never comes up.

It’s kind of like the whole gender reveal party thing that’s been gaining popularity recently. I personally don’t understand gender reveals as a new tradition that people are starting. I completely get baby showers. Your child’s actual birth is still a private family matter so you can celebrate with friends beforehand (read: cash in on some helpful presents). I’m still not sure how gender reveals fit into the whole scheme of things. In my opinion, bachelor parties are to marriage as gender reveals are to baby showers.

4. I don’t need a last hurrah

This is usually the tertiary reason that people give for a bachelor party which is why I put it last too. I’ve lived my live exactly the way I wanted. I’ve prepped myself for being married this whole time. There isn’t any angst in my life anymore. That was the whole point of my early adult life. If you spent your time wisely and gained as much experience (good and bad) as you possibly could, then you don’t feel like you’re missing out on anything when you’re 30+. Are there more things that I would like to experience in this life? Absolutely, but it doesn’t mean that I need to be single or unmarried to do them. Will childrearing later on severely limit my mobility when it comes to pursuing some adventures, travel aspirations, or career changes? Of course, but that comes with it’s own set of rewards that I feel will balance out at the end. It’s all about perspective and making sure that yours conforms to the reality that you have to deal with.

Conclusion

To be honest, I wrote this in response to a lot of people that have been asking me about it. This way I can just link them to this, without having to explain myself over and over. Nonetheless, this is how I honestly feel about the matter. I don’t foresee anything drastically changing my mind, and I feel like that bachelor parties are such a vestigial part of wedding tradition that people aren’t going to really take the time to draw up a full counterpoint to what I’ve said. The underlying point is: if it’s something I can’t logically defend, then it’s something that I shouldn’t logically do.

Change my mind. If you have any thoughts on why I’m wrong or any other comments on this topic, be sure to leave a comment below. As always, you can reach me at therelationshipodcast@gmail.com.

-Drey

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