First comes love, then comes marriage they say, but there’s usually a bachelor party somewhere in between there. From left to right, Drew, Ryan, Giov, Michael, Jesse, Duncan, Jon Kim, Giancarlo, me, Mike, Levi, Ricky (George and Charlie not pictured here). We were a pretty big group. Fourteen strong, coming from all over the country. We chose to party in Denver, Colorado. Most of us hadn’t been before, and It was pretty close to meeting in the middle geographically. It felt right.
We did a lot over 4 days and 3 nights. Usually it’s your best man who puts these things together. My best man was my brother, but planning really isn’t in his wheelhouse. My friend Drew offered to take up reins and get it all figured. He’s a good guy to know to say the least.
Our first night we went to Red Rocks Amphitheater to see The Head and the Heart, and Group Love. Don’t even know how to write about this one. Seeing a band you really care about in a place like this… It’s the kinda thing that holds a spot on a lot of people’s bucket list. I drank, I sang at the top of my lungs, I stood shoulder to shoulder with my friends and looked out at the Earth as far as the eye can see. I can happily cross this one off my list, and I look forward to adding a few tally marks next to it.
That first night had me up and drinking till about five in the morning. You can imagine day two was a little slow out of the gate. We revived ourselves floating around for few hours in our hotel’s rooftop pool. A little hair of the dog helped clear a path for the rest of the night. The plan was to get some barbecue, board a party bus and drive around to different bars, eventually ending up at a casino. We almost made good on that exact plan, but the inhabitants of the bus had spoken and pointed us in the direction of a gentlemen’s club instead of the casino. It’s a funny thing they call it a gentlemen’s club, you won’t find a single one in there. Not a lot of pictures from this night. Probably for the best. It was the drunkest of them all.
The next day we played some paintball. It was my first time, and hell was it fun. If you get hit anywhere, you’re out. Pretty straight forward rules, but because I was the bachelor, the ref made a new one. I had to be hit directly on my face mask to be taken out, nothing else counted. Friends being friends, they aimed for everywhere on me except my face mask. Gotta say, those paintballs have some bite to them. No idea my body was capable of making such colorful bruises.
We had dinner that night at a bar-restaurant-game room-bowling alley. it was all the right ingredients. We bowled a few games and George got a turkey to beat Drew in the home stretch, it was a whole scene. It wasn’t long before last call crept up on us and we moved the party back to the hotel for a nightcap.
To delight of our bodies, we reached the last day of our trip. Everyone was on their own timeline for travel. I still had enough time to catch one last beer and play the most bizarre form of beer pong I’ve ever seen with Mike, Levi and Ricky. Then the four of us headed back on the same flight to Los Angeles together. Won’t even get into my experience at the Denver airport. In short, what started with a belt left behind at security, ended with me in an all out sprint across what seemed like the entire airport.
And that was that. My bachelor party was everything I could’ve hoped for. Just to shoot the breeze with so many of my friends in the same room at the same time, would’ve been more than enough. Truly. But I’ve got friends like these.
If I’m being honest, I was on the fence about even having a bachelor party to begin with. It’s a tough thing asking people to put their life on pause, to spend their time, their energy, and their money on you. I’ve always struggled with that. But then you remember, that these aren’t just people, these are your friends, and they want to be there. In the end, I’m so glad we did it.
To the only group of gentlemen in the gentlemen’s club, thank you. Especially for all the doughnuts, and of course the shirts.
Left to right, Shweb, Dan, Charlie, Frankie, Chris, me, and Anthony. I was probably 11. Was one hell of water balloon fight. Anthony’s mom, Sally, took this picture. I can’t imagine an image that better captures how we grew up.
We’d spend our days seeing who could throw what the farthest. Who was the fastest. Who was the bravest, which typically entailed wrestling Frankie. He had such a strength advantage, that anyone only ever agreed to wrestle him if he was on his knees. We were wild and we ran like it, and the suburbs was our place to do it. Couldn’t have gown up anywhere better. Not specifically my hometown, but just the fact that it was the suburbs.
I live in the urban sprawl of Los Angeles now, a long ways from my hometown. I like it here, but didn’t always. It’s the people I’ve found and the girl I love that make it what it is for me. It’s where I belong now, but I couldn’t imagine being a kid here. I don’t know that I could have grown if not in suburban soil. I don’t know that any kid could. Confinement and wild freedom seem at odds. For that, I think some far off day, I may belong to those suburbs again.
Charlie, Jess, Ryan and myself. Hadn’t seen these ones in years. Didn’t even know Ryan and Jess lived here in Los Angeles. Charlie and I grew up together. Met the summer between fifth and sixth. We’ve grown a lot taller and wider since, but here we are, in the same picture. Can’t help but smile thinking about the all things we’ve done and lies I’ve told my parents to do them. But I always made my curfew. Was glad to see my friend.