Bachelor Parties Are Not for Casual Conversation

There are some things we simply shouldn’t speak of again. This is one of them.
Time To Read: 4 mins | October 15, 2016

I was spending a week in New York City. Because a certain red headed millionaire’s mom temporarily kicked me off his couch (I realize that raises more questions than answers, but it’s a story for another day), I was staying with an old college buddy and his girlfriend for a couple nights.

As my plans had gone kaput and they hadn’t expected to entertain anyone that weekend, I essentially third-wheeled this couple for 48 hours. Fun fact: it turns out that NYC banker’s lives aren’t that much different than anyone else’s. You meet friends on the weekends, play drinking games in loud bars, and later that night decide midnight touch football in the street is a grand idea. The only difference is, you pay triple to do all of it.

One other similarity, it turns out, is the random awkward encounter. In a city of 8 million people, you’d think the odds of seeing the Ghost of an unspeakable Christmas Past would be incredibly low. And I suppose you’d be right; I’m just that lucky.

We were at brunch in some hyper-trendy Manhattan restaurant. Lots of exposed brick, Edison bulbs, and smug superiority. You’ve never seen so many pairs of suspenders outside a ragtime acapella group.

It was 11:00am, meaning 8:00am in LA, meaning Old Fashioneds were deemed appropriate for our party of 6. Someone then ordered ‘Smashes’ for the table, which, turns out, are just pieces toast with artfully-stacked toppings. But it’s difficult to charge $30 for a plate of ‘Fancy Toast’, so the manager named them ‘Smashes’, then left his office and spent the afternoon browsing designer mustache waxes.

I was on my second bite of peanut butter and banana smash when she walked up.

— I should explain the seating arrangements before continuing. 6 of us were sitting at a high, rectangular table, meaning 3 of us on one side, 3 facing us on the other. I was on the far right; across from me was my college friend, and next to him, in the middle, was his girlfriend. The other three people, while probably lovely and interesting human beings, don’t matter.


She walked up. Attractive girl, roughly my age, with pretty green eyes and wearing a tight green dress. All this is to say, I was not upset that she approached my side of the table. Initially, anyway.

Usually, strange women approach me in public for one of two reasons: (A) they watch a certain CBS television show, or (B) they’re flirting. Admittedly, option (B) is significantly less common than option (A), but hey, I’m allowed to hope.

This one went with option (WTF):

“Were you at a bachelor party in Chicago a year and a half ago?”

In the interest of ruining all the suspense, yes, I was at a bachelor party in Chicago a year and a half ago. In fact, I was at that bachelor party with my friend who was sitting across the table from me. And, if my memory of his dating life is accurate, he’d only just met his girlfriend – currently sitting two feet away, mind you — weeks before that bachelor party.

Truth be told, that party was a relatively tame affair. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being The Hangover and 1 being an ambient rainfall soundtrack, we probably scored a 7. Beerfest territory. Only one person almost got arrested.

But that’s irrelevant.

There are some events we, as a society, have silently agreed not to speak of again. Bachelor parties from over a year ago are high on that list. And when my buddy’s girlfriend is within earshot of a whisper, it’s flat-out taboo.

“No?” I didn’t mean to add a question mark to my response, it just happened.

Her face registered surprise, meaning she was likely sure of her facts. She confirmed this when she said, “You weren’t at the [redacted] bar at [redacted] Hotel on Saturday night, with a private table on the right hand side of the club?”

She sounded like the damned GPS navigation lady giving turn-by-turn instructions to our party’s table. Yes, all of that is completely accurate; “Nope” was the only thing that came out of my mouth.

At this point, my friend turned away from the conversation and put his hand over his mouth, but his slightly bouncing shoulders betrayed the fact that he was cracking up. This didn’t help my cause.

I think she repeated, “You’re sure?” and “Really?” half a dozen times. But I’d already started lying, so I couldn’t stop now. I nearly gave myself whiplash by shaking my head so hard ‘No’.

At this point, everyone at the table is staring at us – I think that’s why she finally left. Not for a second did she believe me, but a table full of strangers looking at her like she was crazy (which she decidedly wasn’t) drove her back to her own table by the front door.

And now that I had our entire half-whiskey-drunk party’s attention, I had to explain what’d just happened. 4 of 5 people at the table laughed heartily; 1 giggled, but sprinkled in a large number of suspicious side-glances at her partner.

We finished our cocktails and stupid toast breakfast. The bill came to something like $4,000, but that was the least of my worries: my accuser was sitting right by the front door, and she’d been on her phone non-stop since she left. Obviously I’d been watching, imagining she was chatting with her friends from Chicago, confirming that she had my identity correct and preparing to launch a second assault.

100% out of shame for my lies, I stopped our server. I waited for him to adjust his bowtie & finish telling me about his favorite neo-classic-punk indie band before I asked, “Is there a back way out of here?”


photo: imagine if speedy gonzalez was created today — the PC-crowd would lose their minds. in playa del carmen, mexico

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Malcolm Freberg
Malcolm Freberg
American writer living permanently on the road. Believes rye whiskey is superior to bourbon, Belle is the best Disney princess, and that selfie sticks should be snapped in half on sight. Hosted a travel documentary for AOL & played Survivor a few times.

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1 Comment

  1. MarthaAnne

    Silence is definitely agreed upon for all Bachelor and Bachelorette parties. Also, that Cochran clip was basically perfection.


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