“I had originally decided on an all-day skeet shooting gunfest bachelor party.
We would all show up at someone’s field around noon, throw up some tailgating tents, back up some trucks full of ammo, and expend enough rounds to make a South American drug lord cry with envy. Afterwards, we could go to dinner or even catch a hockey game in person. It fits me because I am a gun nut, I don’t drink (or smoke anything), and I don’t do strippers. This plan also works in that I have 4 brothers who all drink, varied friends who do or don’t drink, but all of whom are capable of coming out to such an event and having a good time. They can drink (or not) as they please.
I threw this idea to my brothers, and my oldest (the party animal of the family) immediately tried to convince me into something else such as a deep sea fishing trip, or a weekend at his hunting cabin over in Arkansas. I got the others on my side about the shoot-fest and thought the idea was done but now the oldest is bringing it up again about how we need to do a weekend out somewhere instead of a single afternoon. I can agree, a weekend long bachelor party would be fine, but there are several big problems in the way of this.
1. My interests in no way match up with my brother’s. My idea of a vacation is going somewhere geologically relevant(I am a Geology Major). For example: I went to Northern Georgia to pan for gold and check out the historic and modern gold mines there. Their vacation would be skiing, deep sea fishing, or a trip to New York.
I play video games or read for fun. They go inter-tubing on the lake, or play poker. I wouldn’t mind hiking some trails in the Appalachians with my rock hammer, my brother laughed at me in disbelief when I said that. (Needless to say, they would hate that.) I generally don’t have fun doing the stuff they like to do, and they don’t have fun doing the things I like to do.
2. My brothers all work for the family business so they have no obstacle keeping them from taking a weekend away. My friends all have various schedules, budgets, and responsibilities such that most probably couldn’t be gone for a whole weekend.
3. My brother did suggest a road trip as a bachelor party, but this brings another problem. My friends and my brothers are amazing contrasts and their only common link is me (I don’t even think my brothers have met half my friends). It would be like taking 5 guys from a frat party and 5 guys from a LAN party, and slapping them in the same rented mobile home. They would just make small talk the entire time.
4. Every time I am on an extended vacation with my brothers, I’m dealing with a bunch of drunken jackasses trying to fight each other. And I only narrowly escape arrest in one form or another. The last vacation I went on with all of them was ruined by their drunken antics.
My oldest brother has now convinced my mom that this needs to happen, and now my sisters are on his side. I don’t know how to rectify the situation, but I don’t think I can make anybody happy with this. You would say that the only person’s happiness that counts in mine, but any activity I do besides the shoot-fest (everyone relevant to this topic likes guns) will make my brothers miserable. I cant exclude them or my friends. Any advice or third option you can think of would be fantastic.”
We’ll see your 4 issues and we’ll raise you 2, bringing us a total of 6. Clearly, these below 6 statements are emphatically true:
1) The most important person in your bachelor party planning process is your mother.
2) The next most important person is your sister, followed by your oldest brother.
3) When you have one activity that everyone–including different people from different walks of life–would like to do, then it makes sense to not do that.
4) The greater your chance of getting arrested, the better.
5) As the groom, your opinion is irrelevant.
6) Geology vacations kick ass.
If you think these 6 statements are true, then no question, you should ignore your own instincts, abandon your original idea, allow your brother (and mother?!?!) to hijack your bachelor party and change the plans.
If you’re a little skeptical of the above 6 points (except geology), then trust your gut. Sometimes these issues are complicated, tricky, morally complex, with no right answer in sight. This is not one of those times.
Miraculously, you threaded the needle to plan a party that would please yourself, all your friends, and most of your brothers. On top of that, the gunfest just sounds cool and far more entertaining than the usual ho-hum stripper-fest. It will be memorable. Do it.
Be firm with your older brother. But keep some perspective. Remember, he’s on your side. And he thinks that his role is to throw you a balls-out, debaucherous, wake-up-in-Mexico bachelor party that will soon become legend. He’s putting pressure on himself. So instead of being confrontational, tell him that you appreciate him looking out for you, you know he has your best interest at heart, but that the party you want–for a variety of reasons–is the gunfest. If he’s still disappointed, remind him that with enough booze and ammunition, a gunfest still provides plenty of ways to get arrested.
One more thing. We’re letting you get off a little easy on the whole “sister and mother” angle. Your mother? Really? Really?!? Are you also going to ask her about sex tips for the night of your wedding? Maybe ask her to help you shop for lingerie for your fiancée? Is she going to attend the bachelor party, and then pop out of a giant cake? While we’re amused at the idea of an awful summer movie comedy called Bachelor Party Mother Fu#ker!, starring Vince Vaughn and Susan Sarandon, we advise you keep the planning to your brothers and your friends.