I officially consider myself a hero for my role in this past weekend's bachelorette night out in honor of my sister-in-law, A. Parts of the marathon bachelorette weekend were enjoyable. Saturday afternoon and early evening we hung out at A's place and ate food, and the non-pregnant among us (i.e. everyone but me) drank cocktails. I liked spending time with a couple of A's friends who I've heard about over the years but haven't gotten to meet, very cool women I was glad to chill with. There was this thing called a "pamper party" going on upstairs (no, it did not involve adult diapers, alas), and various of the women present would drift off to have certain feminine rites administered to them, such as facials and pedicures and whatnot. I chose not to participate in the pampering, mostly because the pampering came at a price and I'm cheap, but also because I have a thing about people touching my face (I don't let anyone touch my face except my Old Man, my son, and my mom). But I felt no pressure to get pampered, so that was cool. The "going out" part of the night, however, was for me a certain kind of hell.
When I got to my sister-in-law's house, I was relieved to find everyone else dressed as casually as me. I took a risk by assuming that the night out would not be a dress-up kind of thing, but it seemed that my outfit choice of jeans, a low-key blouse, and black lowtop Chuck Taylors was not going to be an anomaly. As the upstairs pampering and downstairs eating started to wind down, however, all the other women began as if on cue to bring forth make-up bags and various articles of evening wear they'd brought along to change into. Thus began an hour or more of dressing and making up, during which time I sat around and watched everyone else transform themselves into party-ready hotties. I took my Burt's Bee's tinted lip balm out of my purse and put some on, which left me plenty of time to observe other women's making-up techniques. Normally I'd have found this mind-numbingly boring, but these days I'm actually looking for make-up tips, because I am the only one of the bridesmaids in this wedding who has chosen not to have my face professionally made up for the event. So I'm on my own, and with very little making-up experience to fall back on, badly in need of some tips to help insure that I don't end up looking like Caspar the Tiny-Eyed Ghost standing next to the other bridesmaids in the wedding pictures. So I honed in on one of A's coolest friends, a working musician who routinely makes up for nightclub gigs, and whose mom happens to be a professional make-up artist, and got some sage advice from her. (Sample tip: you can use cheap make-up if you have good brushes, but if you use cheap brushes, even the best make-up will look shitty.)
So, by the time we're ready to head out, I officially look like the schlub of the bunch. Plus I'm big pregnant, which will make for a fun night at whatever meat market bar we end up dancing at. And on the Jersey Shore, it seems that if you want to dance, you have to go to a meat market bar. If there are any amazing lesbian bars or gay nightclubs around here where you can gyrate the night away with impunity, I don't know about them. (If you do, please share!) And, lo and behold, we end up at bar that is clearly not only a meat market, but where every single man seems to be a muscle-bound meathead
, where all the women are self-parodies of Jersey Shore skanks, and where the techno music is pumping at a blaring level that makes me fear for the health of my unborn child. The music was one thing that made this place seem a burning pit of hell to me. I won't burden you with the set list, but suffice to say that Young MC and Vanilla Ice were the bright
spots. Everything else sucked completely and was nearly impossible to dance to.
But we were out to have fun, so dance we did. And I danced, despite feeling much less than comfortable with drunk people inadvertently nudging my pregnant belly as they staggered toward the bar, and despite the fact that one of the other bridesmaids had dressed A. up in a tiara, fake veil, and "Miss Bride-To-Be" banner, and the sight of my lovely and usually tasteful sister-in-law thus compromised kind of made my eyes hurt. (There was also a bouquet of condom balloons A. was required to hold, but I'm trying to repress that detail, especially since the more drinks she got in her, the more often she christened my pregnant belly with her bunch of buoyant condoms.) I stayed out 'til 1 AM, way past my current preferred bedtime. And all of this without a single drop of alcohol passing my lips. Now you tell me, am I not worthy of some sort of medal connoting great bravery and gameness-beyond-the-call-of-sisterly-duty?
I went home and went to bed, skipping the sleepover part of the bachelorette weekend. I also took a pass on the beach day planned for the next day, since my idea of a beach day mostly involves hiding from the sun under a big umbrella while reading a book, an activity best undertaken alone or with my immediate family, who know not to talk to me while I'm trying to read.
That evening, the bachelorette bash had one last gasp, an impromptu dinner at A's house to finish up the leftovers of the food from the night before. My Old Man, O, and I, A. and her fiance, my other sister-in-law and her husband, and my in-laws all ate from small, pink "girls' night out" plates. (I have to admit, I was impressed the plate maker managed to get the apostrophe in the correct place.)
As we were leaving, I borrowed some eye shadow and several very high-quality brushes from A. to enable me to practice my making-up skills before the wedding. In the car on the way home, O. asked me what this strange stuff was. "Well, it's make-up." I explained to my four-year-old son, "Remember I'm a bridesmaid in A's wedding? And you have to wear make-up when you're a bridesmaid."
"What kind of make-up?" O. wondered, "Like cat make-up?"
Oh, O. Wouldn't that be great? It gave me immense delight to realize that when O. thinks of make-up he has no frame of reference aside from Halloween and playing dress up. It also tickled me to imagine showing up in my flowing, elegant bridesmaid's gown with my face done up in cat whiskers, like the Peter Criss of wedding parties. If only I could actually do it.
But I will continue to be good. I promise. I don't want to have to give back my medal.