Nadia Elkharadly: Viva Las Vegas – Adventures of a Non-Working girl at a Bachelor Party

I’ll let you guys in on a little secret: my column from last week was submitted from good old Las Vegas Nevada. My dedication to you dear readers is so strong that I took time out from my vacation to write you that lovely piece. Why was I in Las Vegas, you ask? Well, DBAWISers, that is precisely what I am going to write about this week.

I was lucky enough to be asked by my good friend/surrogate brother Ian to stand up for him at his upcoming wedding. So when my buddy asked me to be his “groomschick” – a term to whose creation we gave a significant amount of thought and deference, I had only one caveat: I had to come to the bachelor party. As I sit here watching Hard Core Logo (consider it research) on my netbook on this United Airways flight, I contemplate the shenanigans that are in store for me.

Bachelor parties, to most girls, are only legends, or lore, unless of course they are on the, shall we say, payment receiving end of the equation. But here I was, about to venture into the land of the unknown, and I was paying for the privilege. I had tried to recruit a few girlfriends to join me, to share in time by the pool and shopping while the guys were off gambling or watching football games, but unfortunately they didn’t have the ladyballs to join the party. So here I was, wandering into foreign territory, solo. My feelings were mixed; anticipation, nervousness, and excitement all rolled into one. It wasn’t my first time in Vegas, I’d been before, but this time would be different. When you go to Vegas with your girlfriends, it’s all fancy dresses and high heels and clubs. This time, I was going to be one of the boys. Jeans, casual shirts, one carry on suitcase, done. I didn’t want to be the last one to be ready, holding the guys up, being that typical “girly girl”. I knew I had a lot to prove to these guys and I was going to do the best I could to avoid the stereotype.

It was quite the novelty, the idea of going to a bachelor party. People’s reactions were mixed. Some were amused, many were confused, and some just shook their heads with disbelief. But perhaps the funniest reaction was the US customs agent, who, when he learned the purpose of my trip, took a slow, long look at me and said “Don’t get into trouble young lady.” Don’t get into trouble? I was going to VEGAS dude. Trouble was at the top of my list.

We didn’t have any crazy Hangover incidents. The groom was never misplaced, no one ended up in jail, no one nearly missed their wedding (Ian was smart enough to book this trip a good month and a bit before the nuptials). Hilarity definitely ensued however. The night before my arrival Ian’s friends had him dolled up in a girly outfit, ideal for trotting him out on Freemont Street in old Vegas. Based on the pictures, I’d missed out on a hell of a fun time. So I planned to make up for that on Friday night.  I met up with a couple of the guys, played my first ever game of Beer pong (and won the first round!), and promptly got very Day Drunk. That, coupled with a very heavy Brazilian steakhouse dinner (with of course more booze), probably accounts for why I…fell asleep before midnight on that first night. Even now I hang my head in shame, sure to never live that failure down. The next day and night I redeemed myself at least a little, by playing winger to the boys at the pool party we went to. Being the only female in the group, the foremost of my duties became diplomacy; I would approach girls and ask them to take a picture with our boy the groom and his “fiancé” – a pink poodle we picked up for him at the gift shop. Had I not been there, I’m not sure how many girls would have taken a picture with a drunken guy in a pink visor carrying around a stuffed dog – especially at the behest of another drunken guy.

And of course, it being the Saturday night of the bachelor weekend, we decided to go to a club…yes, THAT kind of a club. I’m sure you can guess what transpired there, but I’m not sure if you can grasp the hilarity of a girl at a strip club. Guys go to this place to ogle the girls, fantasize about something they can’t have. When a girl goes to a strip club, it’s kind of like being in a gym change room, but with poles and dancing instead of lockers and benches. I’ve seen it all before, and as much as I appreciate beauty in the female form, it’s the aerial art that appeals to me. I’ve taken a couple of those pole dancing fitness classes that are all the rage these days, and let me tell you, those girls work HARD! So every time one of the guys gave me a dollar to put in a girl’s G-string, I would shower her with compliments about how well she did, and how much I enjoyed her performance. There may have also been applause. The girls would always appreciate my praise. The boys however, did not. Their chagrin was a source of endless amusement to me.

You my dear readers, probably expected to read some dirty stories of debauchery, and there were some, but that story has been told time and time again. What I truly found interesting, as a sort of outsider looking in, what I think is the TRUE point of a bachelor party, is not that “last hurrah” in the stripper boobs in my face, or let’s get the groom so wasted he pukes on himself, oops a hooker died in the hotel room, (and yes some of those things did happen on this trip). No, what struck me the most is the camaraderie, the final salute to single, boys will be boys time that these guys, and I’m sure most guys in the same situation, embrace so wholeheartedly. The sacredness of the bachelor party lies in that concurrent celebration and mourning of the freedom of being single, that symbolic last hurrah with the guys, the guys you grew up with, went to university with, lived with on your own for the first time. It’s the last time that you’ll be with all those guys, doing the boys will be boys.

I came to this realization over brunch at the Bellagio on Sunday morning. It was Ian’s last day (the rest of us were flying out a day or two later) and we were debriefing over the weekend as I introduced the boys to one girly concept – the mimosa (as much as they resisted, I don’t think they minded imbibing this acceptable breakfast drink). Ian was chatting with his best man about the stunt flying outing they had taken a few days before (said the engineer best man “I design planes NOT to do this stuff!”), and before long the topic changed to the hot girls at the pool yesterday, to the road trip they took to Saskatchewan, to other random adventures they’ve shared over the years. I’ve always said that in order to truly solidify a friendship, you have to go through some sort of near death, crazy, wild adventures, and these guys have done that a few times over. They laughed, they joked, and sometimes they just sighed, and sat quietly, clearly reminiscing, and realizing where they were, and why they were there. As much as a marriage is a celebration of a love between two people, it also marks the end of something as well. It’s the end of that complete freedom that you have when you’re single, where your buddies, are your crew, your family outside of your family. Marriage means moving forward, making a new family. People say that nothing changes when you get married, everyone I know who has taken that blessed trip down the aisle, always admits that it is different than just being boyfriend and girlfriend, living together, etc. The gravity hits, the weight of those terms: husband and wife. So as much as guys can swear up and down that things won’t change even when they’re married, the fact is that they do, if ever so minutely. Those moments of contemplative silence, they signify the notice of reality.

So while I learned that a bachelor party can be about strip clubs, the consumption of mass amounts of alcohol, and general misadventures, what I truly discovered is that a bachelor party is about friendship, nostalgia, and creating new memories. I will likely never get another chance to go to another one of these, unless I have terrible turn of luck and have to get up on the pole to make a living, so thank you to Ian for inviting me, and thanks to all you crazy guys who made the trip memorable.

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Nadia Elkharadly is a Toronto based writer with a serious addiction to music. Corporate drone by day, renegade rocker by night, writing is her creative outlet. Nadia writes for the Examiner (.com) on live music in Toronto and Indie Music in Canada. She has never been in a band but plays an awesome air guitar and also the tambourine. Check in every Tuesday for musings about music, love, life and whatever else that comes to mind.

One Response to “Nadia Elkharadly: Viva Las Vegas – Adventures of a Non-Working girl at a Bachelor Party”

  1. […] good friend Ian in his groom’s party at his wedding.  You may remember this from my Vegas themed column of a couple of weeks back.  I can honestly say that this wedding was one of the best I’ve ever […]

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