Photo by O’Reilly
Out in Western Virginia (not to be confused with “Wild and Wonderful” West Virginia) there is a magical place. Well, several actually, and most in the Natural Bridge area, but this particular one is called Hot Tub Heaven. Strangely enough, though, the road to paradise is an unpaved one, filling our imaginations with worst-case-scenarios involving various horror movie villains as we made our way to Front Royal for the Hen Party Weekend. The party guests might have backed out mid-commute had we actually been doing any real camping alone in the woods. But the isolation was spent in the comforts of home (complete with a working turntable and sidewalk chalk!).
It was just the eight of us. And we could make it if we tried.
The men were left at home to wonder what exactly it was that eight girls could get up to during this weekend together. Alone. In the woods. With a jacuzzi built for six. (Why, pillow fights, of course!) After all, this wasn’t just any weekend. It was Bachelorette weekend. A rite of passage that, like 21, carries with it the obligation for utter debauchery! Or at least the very least, heavy drinking. Even the events of Phil’s Bachelor party — golf and a BBQ at the house that same weekend — were presumed to always be spoken of with air quotes.
As we were discussing potential settings for the weekend a while back, the Other AC suggested that whatever we decided to do, we had to recognize that the entry into Married Life marked a major turning point, especially in terms of independence. And thus, it demanded one last fit of crazy. Just like in the movies!
Shag: the original Hangover.
While it sounds tempting to take advantage of his recommendation (I do love a good dare), I couldn’t think of anything you could really call outrageous-crazy. Though I lack the personality type for it anyways, if not the resources. Give me something with beer, burgers, and a couple dozen muddied go-karts, a replica of a Double Dare obstacle course, or an adult Bouncy Castle. That’s more my style — messy and goofy rather than scandalous. In fact, that we were eight girls alone for a weekend at Hot Tub Heaven with lots of alcohol was about as scandalous as things were going to get. Pretty much in name only.
Even with a fridge full of beer and a table full of hard liquor (the leftovers of which were all graciously donated for use at the upcoming wedding, though what do we do with the 12 bags of hamburger and hot dog buns also leftover from the Bachelor and Bachelorette parties?), things were relatively tame (though we did adhere to the traditions of embarrassment). We are older now. Hangovers are more invasive. Broken bones take longer to heal. And, arrests are much harder to cry our way out of. There were no games of Truth or Dare or emotional testimony. On the first night, we gabbed about the Royal Wedding (not-so-commoner Princess, Kate Middleton, looked stunning), a mutual friend’s upcoming wedding (it wasn’t arranged?!), and another wedding doomed from the start. And from then on, we talked about everyday life. We were just friends hanging out, having a good time. Exploring the country. And dinosaurs.
In fact, there was an apparent sense of exhaustion, part of which was probably due to rough days at work and for some, long drives out. Clearly, we either need to be younger or older (and free from kids for a weekend) to really enjoy all of this.
For all of the things I’m supposed to reflect upon (or maybe mourn by tying the knot?), I think I’d need much more than a single weekend. Although, having lived with my husband-to-be for nearly four years already, I’m not sure married life is going to much different except that we’re, you know, it in for the “long haul.” What the weekend did hit home (finally) is that in just a few days now, I will be a wife. I will have a husband. I’m going to be friggin married! AHHH!!!!
(A super huge thanks to the Other Mrs. C for coordinating!)