The Amazon Trail: Butch Stag Party
The Pianist and the Handydyke got married a couple of weeks ago in Seattle. I couldn’t go because I had the honor of officiating at the wedding of the Lady and the Kid in New York at the same time. Therefore, it was very important to me to have a stag party for the Handydyke.
But what would such an event consist of? Sitting around talking about femmes who would probably be in the next room? Throwing a blowout party at the local brewery when neither I nor the Handydyke drink? There would be too many designated drivers. A lesbian strip club? Do those even still exist? To tell the truth, I never understood the attraction and we certainly don’t have one in our little town.
How about pizza with the softball team? Thank goodness we’re beyond softball field age. Did I mention that the Pianist and the Handydyke have been together 42 years? The Handydyke is 82.
We do, amazingly, have a Starbucks. Maybe we could stage a butch invasion and have a java jamboree, except we don’t drink coffee either. A whale watching wingding – but we did that for her 70th birthday. I was beginning to think we’d have to do a boring old restaurant dinner.
The Handydyke was so excited about getting married; she deserved all the fringe benefits. She went all out on her wedding garb. She found a vendor in the United Kingdom that makes rainbow cummerbunds and bow ties. Then she found a supplier of rainbow cufflinks. She bought a pair for her best butch and another for me to wear at my New York ceremony. Her best butch gave her a ruffled white shirt located at a kitchen supply store. The Handydyke was all spiffed up! With her black tux and gray hair she was one handsome groom? Bride/Groom? Broome?
I did get to see the couple in their finery. They hosted a marriage equality fundraiser once back home and wore their wedding clothes, the Pianist in a gorgeous flowing blue patterned dress The best butch wore her wedding gear too, matching the Handydyke’s, and I wore the clothes from the day I married my sweetheart. The only change was the shirt: I had to find one with French cuffs for my new rainbow cufflinks. As it happened, I stumbled across a Brooks Brother’s shirt in an upscale consignment shop that filled the bill. The Handydyke is an inspiration.
But what to do for a stag party? I should have asked the Kid if she had one. There are lots of ways to gay-party in New York. The Kid wedded in a silver tux with silver sneakers while the Lady wore an elegant yet simple cream gown. I’d guess hunting down those silver sneakers would make a hilarious stag party in itself.
I had no stag party. Unless you call spending every second with my sweetheart partying, but that’s a pretty chronic state. Being married, these days, is a party in itself. Gay folks are celebrating their love at the same time we’re celebrating an unexpected freedom. What gets me most is the family stuff. Writer Lori Lake sent me a beautiful video of a proposal in a Home Depot. It was all bouncy fun and then the family joined the dancing gay friends. Watching it turned me into a blubbering mess.
As it turned out, the Handydyke came up with her own stag party idea. She invited the Quiet Butch and me to attend the Disaster Preparation event at our local Armory. The disaster was not, of course, getting married. It was about living on the edge of the earthquake and tsunami-prone Pacific Ocean.
The Handydyke and I have been gathering emergency paraphernalia for years. Our spouses may be glad, but I suspect it’s really a way we can amass butch toys. Things like combination searchlights with built-in sirens, red warning lights and weather radios which require eight D batteries that must be replaced frequently as the lights are stashed in our sea-air soggy cars. We have backpacks full of heavy sox, compasses, bug spray, jackknives, foil blankets, hats, flares, sterno stoves, propane for camp stoves, survival water, ropes, multi-tools, toilet paper, canned foods. We have backpacks and duffle bags and army blankets and crumbling chocolate bars and first aid kits.
What a stag party! We learned about (and bought) Water Bobs for bathtub storage and purifying sipping straws and museum wax for protecting our treasures. They gave out escape route maps. We had a free lunch with a Red Cross guy just primed to educate us. It was great! Better than drinking or any of those traditional pre-wedding celebrations. I’d recommend it to any butch who ever longed to rescue her girl or, as we can now, at last, say, bride.
The combination of deliberately dangerous words and poorly informed people can destroy our democracy.November 14, 2016
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