Warning: the word penis is said probably 15 times in this post. If you care, then by all means don’t read. If you really care, then she’s all yours.
It was Thursday that the wedding party was to arrive at Tanasi Lodge. My bachelorette was scheduled for that night. I don’t know if the guys really did anything beyond shooting pool and drinking a little at the cabin; Clifford hadn’t wanted a bachelor party. Regardless of what they were going to do, the girls were making a night of it in Gatlinburg.
In preparation of our evening out, I had made shirts for my posse. Chalk it up to thinking I’m clever. The shirts made me laugh. I physically ironed on each and every letter myself and insisted the shirts were pink (even though I hate pink) just because. My bridal party probably hated the shirts, but who was going to deny the Bride a request two days before her wedding? Not my girls. I attached a different slogan to each shirt for each maiden depending on their lot in life and sense of humor. For instance, Younger Sister’s said “Desperately Seeking”, while Lawyer sister’s read “Everything’s Negotiable”, and Oldest Sister’s said “Regretfully Unavailable” – because, you know, she was hitched.
Funnily enough, they had a shirt for me, too. It simply said BRIDE. It came with a pink feather boa, because what screams bachelorette like a pink feather boa? Oh, and they had a headband for me, too. A headband with little plastic penises on them that swayed as I moved. Because everyone wears a headband with little plastic penises on them in public at their bachelorette – and hopefully only at their bachelorette.
I’m getting ahead of myself, though. The party actually started at Chelle’s cabin. Behind the lodge was another cabin that the Blackburns rented for the wedding. Before heading into town, we had some games to do. There was a penis ring toss, pin the penis on the hot guy, AND we had a penis cake. I have no idea who made the penis cake, but it was awesome. The entire affair was as cheesy as could be, but it could not have been more fun and was totally me.
After some cake, we younger girls headed out. As the Bride, I had been tasked with a scavenger hunt. Essentially a list of items to find or activities to do that evening. We went straight to the one bar in Gatlinburg to celebrate that last bit of me being single.
It starts to get a little fuzzy here. Very The Hangover but circa 2005 and in The Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. And with girls. Obviously. Rather The Hangover than Very Bad Things is what I say. We went to the bar; I didn’t pay for a drink all night. Lots of shots if memory serves. I was also roped into a little karaoke. Got to sing a solo rendition of Like A Virgin. That was appalling (says everyone that was there). Also got serenaded by a Don Cheadle lookalike. I remember that pretty clearly. Oh, Don Cheadle Lookalike – how you made my night… So that was really cool.
We danced, we sang and at some point a newlywed bride and groom walked in, and we celebrated with them too. At least I think we did. One by one things were checked off my list. Best. Bachelorette. Ever.
There were two final moments of the evening I vaguely recall before passing out on Chelle’s couch. The first was the dogs. My brother-in-law was our party’s DD. We were a solid 20 -30 minute drive back to the lodge from downtown Gatlinburg.
I know we were drunk and were piled into a 15 passenger van with limited visibility, but I’m pretty sure we all saw the dogs. It was the middle of the night at that point. The Smoky Mountains were true to their name as a soft but dense mist of clouds encased us. Suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a dog standing alert in profile on a hill. Well, stray dogs are nothing new. And I wasn’t 100% sure I saw a dog in the first place. Could have been any animal in the inebriated condition I was in. The van continued on and there was another dog. And then another. Suddenly there were dogs everywhere. They weren’t in a group and they weren’t roaming around. It seemed like they were stacked on the mountain, all standing at attention just watching us. Staring. It was so creepy. I wish I was a better writer so I could adequately convey just how freaky the whole thing was. It felt like a weird dream, with the fog and the dogs standing and watching us in the middle of the night. And this wasn’t just a couple of dogs. It was like 15-20 dogs all the way up the mountain to the lodge, just standing and watching, staring and unflinching. Creepy as hell.
The last moment I remember, after racing out of the van and into the house, was that Darewood had arrived. We grabbed a bottle of Peach Schnapps from the bar (like I really needed anymore alcohol at that point in time) and headed to the hot tub at Chelle’s cabin. We did change into our swimsuits, though I don’t remember it. I have flashes of laughing, splashing and sharing the bottle of schnapps in the hot tub … and that’s it. I woke up the next morning on Chelle’s couch. Darewood was poking at me with a stick or something. Apparently I’d chucked a few times in the night and he and Chelle had taken turns checking on me and turning me on my side so I wouldn’t drown in my own vomit. That was cool of them and what best friends are for.
I had slept in my swimsuit and had the remains of my stomach’s rejection stuck in my hair and on the side of my face. That was one of the more fun walks of shame, you know, because all of my family and Clifford’s got to see me slinking back to the lodge in my swimsuit with barf covering half of my body. Best. Bachelorette. Ever.