The Luv Doc: Bachelorette Beach Party
Using a special occasion to even mildly guilt your friends into helping you fund your travel fantasies is a bit gauche
Dear Luv Doc,
I was supposed to get married last September, but we postponed the wedding until after the pandemic. I also postponed my bachelorette party, which was supposed to be a weekend trip to Destin. I rented two condos so that the only expenses for my friends were airfare, food, and drinks. Last year, all of my bridesmaids and several of my close friends agreed to go, but in the last few months, for various reasons, nearly everyone has backed out except a few close friends. Keep in mind this party has been on the books for more than a year. I am feeling hurt that nearly everyone has bailed. Am I wrong to be upset with my friends?
– Sad Beach
First of all, let me say that I think it's OK for you to feel disappointment that so many of your friends are unable to attend your bachelorette party. That really sucks, so feel free to wallow in that self pity for a hot minute while you read my response, which, if I get it right, should prove useful for a lot of social interactions, including bachelorette beach parties.
My guess is that you don't feel you were swinging for the fence by asking your friends to pony up plane fare to Destin. Yes, it might be the crown jewel of the Redneck Riviera, but it's not like you were asking them to summer with you on the Amalfi Coast. Sure, Destin's white sand beaches rival some of the finest in the world, but they're largely frequented by beer-gutted, Croc-wearing, camo-capped Duck Dynasty types with thick, indecipherable Southern accents that give you an uneasy feeling like you paddled your pirogue a few hundred miles up the wrong bayou. The men are much the same, and yes, their necks are redder than fuck. In short, Destin seems like a modest ask in terms of a destination bachelorette party.
I know the preceding paragraph might sound a little stuck-up and judgy, but I'm just telling it like it is. Outside of Sprang Braaayyyke (spelling intentional), you're going to need to pony up Miami airfare if you want a beach experience that doesn't involve shotgunning "ass coal bear" served out of an ice chest that smells vaguely of stinkbait. In other words, you could have saved yourself and everyone else a lot of money by bacheloretting in Port A or Galveston. Sure, Texas beach sand isn't exactly powdery white, and yes, the stinky piles of decaying kelp, beached man o' war jellyfish, and occasional tar balls can be a bit of a turn-off, but the water temperature in the Texas gulf is every bit as toddler-pee tepid as that of the Emerald Coast, and you stand a decent chance of meeting some smokeshow cowboy from Abilene named Cody who has never seen the ocean and is willing to pay for shots all night as long as you're OK with drinking Fireball. Isn't that really what makes a bachelorette party special anyway? That and those plastic penis straws?
Look, there ain't nothing wrong with having a bachelorette weekend in Destin as long as everyone is truly excited about the idea, but a bachelorette weekend is a lot to ask, even if no one has to buy a plane ticket. To be honest, I didn't even know you could fly into Destin and now that I do, I am not entirely convinced it's safe. I sorta feel like there is always going to be a decent chance your pilot is a raging alcoholic. That said, and fully admitting I have never rolled with the type of people who never have to worry about money, I think that any destination party/wedding/birthday/bris/bat mitzvah is always going to be a bit of an overreach socially unless the person who is planning it is willing to pay for everything.
Yes, there. I've said it. Bring on the tear-stained letters of reproach, but to me, using a special occasion to even mildly guilt your friends into helping you fund your travel fantasies is a bit gauche – sort of like insisting someone try a new restaurant with you and then asking them to share the bill. In general, a good rule of thumb is: your idea, you pay. I know, I know. I am on the precipice of sliding into a quagmire discussion about social consent and power dynamics, but I'm going to save that for another column. I am sure somebody at some point is going to be pissed off that their friend had his birthday party at Outback Steakhouse. That's when the fur is really going to fly!