Bachelorettes and all that jazz

You already know my wedding had a bomb-ass cheese theme. But did you know I also had a kickin’ bachelorette party theme?

At 29+, I wasn’t entirely sure I wanted the whole bachelorette thing. All my college friends did the party in Peoria, where we went to college, and we traipsed the sentimental bar tour we took the last week of school before graduation. Unfortunately for me, by the time I opted in to the marriage achievement, most of those bars had closed.

20s themed bachelorette party

So I debated whether to have a party at all. Ultimately,  as many of my friend groups’ token extrovert and party girl, they all kind of expected something epic from me. Not one to leave my friends disappointed, I told Katie that I wanted a theme. And costumes.

Tuxedo oreos for a 20s themed bachelorette party

We settled on the 1920s and all things flapper and gangster. The party would start with a small shower of my friends at my house and conclude with a party bus to the city and stops at a few speakeasies in Chicago. Costumes not required, but highly encouraged.

Photo booth station with costume add-ons for a 20s themed bachelorette party

Yes, that is a photo booth in my stairwell.

My bridesmaids made fancy crafty things (some of which are still decorating my home today), set up tasty snacks, baked pretty desserts, and planned games and activities for guests to enjoy. I provided the booze because we always have plenty of liquor and bubbles for thirsty guests (I really like to throw parties).

20s themes bachelorette party - homemade decor- signs and boas and pearls everywhere

Ally was basically Pinteresting the shit out of this thing…you know, something I refused to do for my wedding. I expect that when she gets married, I’m going to have my work cut out for me.

Bead and martini glass waterfall for a 20s themed bachelorette party

My friends are incredible. Several of them flew or drove in from out of town and even out of state for this shindiggity. How lucky am I?

20s themed bachelorette party 20s themed bachelorette party

To start my look, I had the hair trial scheduled, because what better day to test out your wedding hair than the ultimate girls night out?

I had my wedding hair trial the day of my bachelorette party

My friend Laura, who also did all my wedding flowers, is super crafty and provided upcycled dresses from Savers for costumes. She added beads and feathers and much to Brian’s dismay, glitter to the dresses and brought them over for me to try on. Katie made me a selection of mix and match headpieces for the ultimate bridal set.

Bride costume for a 20s themed bachelorette party

My pal, the Banosnapper, doing what she does: Bano snapping.

I think the ensemble turned out pretty awesome.

As the day went on, I drank A LOT of champagne. When we finally hopped aboard the party bus, I was flying high.

20s themed bachelorette party

We made our first stop at a speakeasy that inspired the whole plan. One of my city-dwelling friends, wearing her sassy dress and headband, had already been to the venue to scope it out since we couldn’t make reservations. She came out to greet us but to our dismay, the bouncers informed us that we could not proceed. He said that costumes were not allowed. Now,  we may have had flapper style dresses, but no one was wearing anything that you wouldn’t find in a store save a few added embellishments.

As my friends tried to explain, the bouncers got even more defensive.  “This is a speakeasy. Not a club. And you can’t wear headgear.” We were wearing headbands. No one asked us to remove them before entering; they just told us point blank we were in violation of their dress code, and we could not enter. We also tried explaining what a speakeasy is, and the premise of the 1920s to no avail. They must not have paid attention in history class.

Some of my friends went to the speakeasy’s website and looked up the dress code. Nothing about costumes or headbands being banned. It definitely felt like we were being discriminated against due to the appearance and size of the bride and some of the guests (it’s an unconfirmed suspicion, because how do you even confirm that?).

After I found out what was happening,  I may have gone to yell at the bouncers. I was pissed off that they were ruining my plans, and I don’t like when my plans fall through. It’s part of my Clark Griswold complex.

20s themed bachelorette party

This is our motley crew at Black Finn. That’s me in the back hugging the manager.

Luckily, my friends were quick to recover, dragged me from the bouncers before I punched one of them, and pointed us in the direction of Black Finn, where the manager bought us a round of shots and things got way better. I also got way drunker, but that’s expected at this sort of party.

Drumk girl selfie at a 20s themed bachelorette party

Things got a little fuzzy after that…

We made our way to a third bar, where I started doing shots with strangers at the bar and wandering around a bit more than one should. It was time to go home.

We called the party bus for our pickup and started winding down. In the bus, I called Brian, who had spent the afternoon out of the house but came home shortly after we left. I told him we (me and the 8 other people who’d be spending the night at our house) were on our way. And we really NEEDED tacos.

He said he’d pick up tacos and we texted him an order. My sister-in-law was also texting him with apologies for getting me so drunk and warning him of my impending arrival.

We came home to tacos and beds everywhere. Brian had set up air mattresses and put sheets and blankets on all the couches, so there’d be room for everyone to sleep. The dining room table was overflowing with tacos and burritos and horchata. If he hadn’t already proven he was going to be the best husband ever, this definitely solidified it.

Did you have a bachelorette party? Have you been to any crazy or themed bachelorette parties? Tell me your stories!

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

When it Sometimes Sucks to be a Waitress

After I was invited to Ireland by a couple of strangers, and went all internet-stalker boy crazy, I may have fucked everything up with the handsome Grown Up. I was dating…a couple of guys. Although I should probably mention that I use the term, “dating” loosely. Based on your knowledge of my bad-ass stalking skills, and my penchant for crushing fast and hard, you can probably guess how well that was going for me. If not, let me make it abundantly clear: I was something bordering on pathetic.

a long day at the bar

One Saturday afternoon in mid-January, while working at the bar, my manager asked me to stay on and work a double. He promised that I’d be the first cut at around 9 pm. I didn’t typically work Saturday nights, so I wasn’t sure what to expect (but I did know there was a lot of money to be had). There was a band playing that started around 9 pm, and the bar didn’t get any less busy as the evening went on. It seemed as though several of my tables were there for the band. Fuckballs. I had planned to meet up with my friends at our favorite local karaoke dive for booze and tunes as soon as I left work. Apparently that “as soon as” was going to become “if.”

Around 7 pm, I was delivering food to a one of the other server’s tables when I looked up and the two people sitting there recognized me. And said hi. And I COMPLETELY blanked.

Ughhblughhderrr…

I smiled and looked back and forth between the two of them…and realized it was Bright & Shiny and The Grown Up. Whose real names had completely escaped me.

And then I got excited.

Because I was on the prowl for some new man blood in my life, considering the two guys I was quasi dating were quasi sucking…(probably because I was bat-shit crazy)…and I remembered The Grown Up had a way with words that was really fucking sexy.

I was feeling especially good about myself that night. I was skinnier then, and my work uniform was a fitted black tee shirt, a plaid pleated kilt, and black knee high socks. My hair was probably a disaster having worked all day, and there were probably 15 or so mysterious stains on my shirt, but I like to think I still looked fucking adorable.

Throughout the rest of the evening, I made my way over to their table, convincing them to order dessert so I could bring it out to them. I flirted terribly, smiling and stalking their table, even though it wasn’t in my section.

As the band started playing a little after 9, the bar got dark and loud. The boys were ready to roll out. Bright and Shiny asked when I was getting off work. I told him I was supposed to leave around 9, so it shouldn’t be too long. He then asked what I was doing after work and if I wanted to join them at another bar they were heading to.

I explained my karaoke bar, and Bright & Shiny looked optimistic. He yelled over the music that it sounded like fun and maybe they would join me. I told them where the bar was and how to get there…I really wanted them to join me. I pretty much told them as much in that clingy, crazy style I seem to be so very good at.

I imagined my night ending with kisses from The Grown Up outside my regular watering hole…even though I had long-ago established rules against that sort of shenanigans.

I would sing some sultry song and he would be so impressed by my skill and style that he would become instantly smitten with me and never want me to go away. We would snuggle in a booth at the bar, with Bright & Shiny telling us how cute we were together. He would be my advocate in this potential relationship. The Grown Up would walk me to my car and kiss me good night, planning a real date sometime soon. He’d give me his phone number instead of just e-mailing me. I’d make him love me.

There I was…planning my future wedding again.

They stayed for at least an hour longer (as I occasionally stopped by their table to smile and offer my assistance), but I was still running around the bar like a chicken with no head. Slinging drinks, running food, and diving through crowds of people begging me to take their order. Madhouse didn’t begin to describe it.

Around midnight, 14 hours after I started my shift, the lead server finally let me go home. Frazzled, I walked over to the table where the boys had been sitting. But they were gone.

I made my way out of the bar, and stopped at my karaoke spot on the way home. A few of my friends were there, but there was no sign of the two boys that I was dying to run into again.

When has your job hindered the possibility of something magical and wonderful (even if you just imagined it in your head)? What lengths would you go to in order to see a someone you had only met twice and chatted with for a few days on Gchat? How would you respond next?

What crazy shit did I do next? Did I find another way to pester The Grown Up? Did he come into the bar again? Are Bright & Shiny and The Grown Up gone for good?

Dating Advice

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

When I Like Like Someone, I Internet Stalk Them

As we began our story last week, I met a couple of dudes in a bar and they invited me on a trip to Ireland. Just like that…

And I considered it for a hot minute.

And then fucking logic set in…

“But probably not. I don’t even know you guys!”

When I like like someone, I internet stalk themBright and Shiny was all, “Well give me your number just in case. Maybe we’ll all hang out again sometime or something. And then we won’t be strangers.”

So I gave him my number. I was having a good time with these guys…maybe I would end up going to Ireland with them. Maybe I would get to hang out with them again.

The brooding handsome guy didn’t say much…but he seemed really smart, and when he did speak, I’m sure he had very interesting things to say. I just don’t remember. But as they were leaving the bar, he asked for my email address instead of my number.

“Uhhh sure.” I rattled it off to him. Within 5 minutes, he had sent me a very simple email with his full name, the day of the week we met, and the bar.

So I got a number and an email address in one night. As a single, carefree 20-something, I thought it was a pretty successful evening. Even if I was way more interested in Handsome than Bright and Shiny.

Before any of us left the bar, I let my beer respond to Handsome’s email with, “you’re adorable.” And I meant it. (Yes, I emailed him while I was sitting across from him. Don’t judge me. That guy did it first!) Handsome didn’t read my email right away, and if he did, he didn’t let on.

He was attractive and smart. He had a job. He didn’t live with his parents (or anyone else’s parents). He seemed…like a grown up. And I had been dating a lot of non-grown ups. I decided then that I was interested in him. Apparently, the bartender, my girlfriend, could also tell I was into him before I knew it. She thought it was hilarious. After they left, she came up to me and teased me for my awkward flirting.

So I did what I always did when I was interested in a dude. I went home and proceeded to internet stalk the shit out of him. I  Googled his name. And searched for him on Facebook. And MySpace. And anywhere I could possibly find him on the internet. I searched by his name. His e-mail address. Everything. Anything. Every detail he had provided the night before. I was a woman on a mission.

And he was a fucking ghost. I was intrigued. Who doesn’t have a Facebook?

Do you vet potential dates on the internet before going out with them? Did you ever meet someone at a bar? How do/did you check out potential dates before going out with them?Who is this guy? Did I date him? Is this another story of unrequited crazy?

Click the pic below to read the next installment of this story

Desperately Seeking Something

 

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

I Was Working as a Waitress in a Cocktail Bar…That Much is True

Once upon a time, many years ago, there was a girl who waited tables at an Irish bar where people were mostly dicks. She also spent a few weeks running pub trivia, which is where our story begins.

(Oh hey, that girl is me, and I’m about to switch to the first person).
image
I may not have loved waiting tables, but I really enjoyed running trivia. I was able to create questions and make really bad jokes in front of a crowded bar. They gave me a microphone. For several uninterrupted hours. Weekly. It was a beautiful thing. And I’m pretty sure I drank for free.

One night, mid-December, while emceeing trivia, a pair of dudes I had never seen before jumped into the trivia game. I didn’t take much notice of them until trivia was finished when the shorter of the two came up to me and said, “Hey! What are you doing, now? Come have a drink with us!” He was bright and shiny and happy…and offered to buy me a drink. Obviously, I joined them. I walked over to their table, and some of my regular trivia guys came over with me. Bright and Shiny was super chatty and hilarious. I loved him immediately. He ordered a round of drinks while his friend was in the bathroom.

When the taller, quiet guy returned to a fresh round of drinks, the trivia girl, and her posse, he seemed…perturbed, to say the least. But he was handsome. So very handsome. He mentioned something about it being late and having to work in the morning, and I just smiled at him and probably teased him, just a little. I didn’t have to work in the morning thanks to my server job, and so it was fun for me to play around with those who had dreaded corporate jobs (I was setting myself up for a karma ass kicking).

Bright and Shiny started telling me why they were at the bar. The two of them were planning a trip to Ireland the following spring and thought an Irish pub to be the perfect setting to do so. I mentioned that I was going to go to Ireland one day and the  bright and shiny guy said, “Hey! Why don’t you come with us?”

I laughed. “I don’t think I’d be able to pull it off.”

“No, seriously, I have a bunch of miles and stuff…if I helped with your flight, would you be able to pay for other stuff?” He looked so sincere and smiley. I couldn’t tell if he was serious or joking.

Honestly, to this DAY I’m still not sure I heard that right.

“Uhhhh…”

Every fiber of my being was screaming, “BE WILD! DO SOMETHING CRAZIER THAN YOU’VE EVER DONE!”

I looked at Handsome and Bright and Shiny. They looked nice enough. They seemed really cool. And they sure did have me laughing all night.

“Dude, that sounds crazy. And amazing.”

I considered for another minute.

“I’ll think about it.”

Would you have gone? What’s the craziest thing you’ve done after meeting new friends for the first time?

Did I go on the adventure of a lifetime with these two random dudes? Click the pic below to continue the story and find out what happened next:

When I like like someone, I internet stalk them

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

I’ve Got Friends in Low Places…

Friends come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.

I’m blessed to have found all of the above. Yes, even the seasonal friends. Sure, they didn’t have some BIG part of me becoming me, but I sure enjoyed the ride.

For Day 13 of the 25 Songs in 25 Days, we’re asked to share a song that reminds us of a former friend.

With my chosen song, I think of many former friends all at once. Back when my parents owned a bar and I was an Irish princess. Everyone’s your friend when you own the bar. It’s when you stop owning the bar that you discover your true friends. The lifetime friends. And even the reason friends. The rest were just there for a season. And that’s okay.

When I was a little girl, dancing around the bar after my daddy’s softball games, playing with the other kids, we’d listen to the old-school jukebox and rock out to the 80’s music we loved. Of course, we weren’t the only ones plugging money into the machine (money we got from nice bar patrons who would hand us dollars to play whatever we wanted). And more often that I would have liked at the ripe old age of 8, Garth Brooks would croon about his friends in low places. And you know what?

He was right.

I may have hated that song when I was 8, but by the time I was an adult, consuming my own legal beverages at the bar, I was singing along to the tune with the best of them. I had friends in low places, where the whiskey drowned and the beer chased my blues away…From Peoria to Lombard I had friends at bars across the state. And that was my world for a spell. An intoxicated, swaying world. But it was fun. And I still have some of those friends. But not all. And such is life.

What songs remind you of old friends?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Let Me Tell You a Little Something About Beer and Working at a Bar

Happy Monday, Blog friends!

OK. I revoke my statement. I’m exhausted. And you probably are too. Weekends just sort of…take it out of us, don’t they? Especially when it feels like you’re trying to cram a week’s worth of life into 2 days. BUT…I had a great weekend. I hope you did too.

One of my many adventures this weekend was a pub crawl with a couple of my cousins. 4 bars. 4 bars that progressively got a little trashier, and I felt like we were in a college town (which we weren’t). The first bar was pretty nice. A tiny Irish pub with decent food and cold beer. But, being tiny, it got crowded. Fast.

So our plan was to stay one step ahead of the bar crawl. Which worked out mostly well. As the rest of the people showed up, we got our stamps and moseyed on out of there…on to the next bar… Except we had problems at every. Single. Bar. And not like normal problems.

The first bar was the most normal of issues…we ordered food and it took almost an hour for fried cheese curds, a reuben, and a BLT. And they ran out of the cider Brian and I were drinking.

The second bar…Oh the second bar. After enjoying a couple of 20oz Guinness’ at the first bar, my cousin wanted a smaller size glass of Guinness, so he ordered a small Guinness. I asked what they had on draft and she made it seem like the list went on forever. Then I asked if there was a beer list…Nope. I wanted something dark and devious, so I asked our waitress what she had that was dark. Her first suggestion was ciders. *cringe* OK. No. How about a porter? Just…bring me a porter. So she comes back to the table with a “Baby Guinness” shot for my cousin (Kahlua and Bailey’s) and Newcastle Brown for me. I’m sorry. What?

A Twitter response summed it up pretty succinctly…

Brown Ale is not PorterSo on top of our flighty, bitchy (and soon to be non-existent) waitress, the Heineken girls were wandering the patio in the most ridiculous dresses on the planet. I had to say this because. Gross. Tight white dresses that barely cover women’s asses just don’t do it for me. Especially when you can see every crevice and every line. I Googled it and apparently there are much better costumes out there for these sample girls…even the same dress in black looked better. The white was just…Gross. Guys, does that really do it for you? Seriously.

Obviously, we moved on.

So the next bar, the waitress was nicer, but she didn’t know what Leinenkugel was. She tried to repeat the name back and said it all wrong. Even though of the 4 tappers behind the bar, there was a Summer Shandy (by Leiny) she had no idea.

At the last bar, they finally had a beer menu posted. They had Adult Rootbeer (OMG, go drink this now) and Left Hand Milk Stout and a slew of other delicious beers. And I knew it because they had a freakin’ menu. They also apparently had pizzas, but weren’t serving them because the bar crawl was bringing food in. And I was starving. And had to wait another hour before the food.

Bar crawl

We managed to keep our spirits

So what did I learn? Bar crawls probably aren’t my favorite pastime. Not since college anyway.

Oh and if you’re going to work in a bar…Know the difference between a brown ale and a porter.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Wordless Meets WTF Wednesday: The Adventures of Olive Baby

Yeah… I have no clue. This was taken a few years ago on “Sunday Funday.”

Meet Olive Baby

Meet Olive Baby

Olive Baby loves a good snack

Olive Baby loves a good snack

Olive Baby works hard for the money

Olive Baby works hard for the money

Olive Baby is hanging out

Olive Baby is hanging out

Olive Baby gets thirsty sometimes

Olive Baby gets thirsty sometimes

Olive Baby goes for a swim

Olive Baby goes for a swim

Olive Baby goes for a swim

Olive Baby in her hot tub

Olive Baby takes a nap

Olive Baby takes a nap or gets stabbed. One of those.

 Blog Friends, Have YOU ever done anything strange when you were out at the bar? Tell me! Don’t make me feel totally alone and embarrassed here.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Knock Down Drag Out What?

One of the few times I saw the sun come up before going to sleep, happened about a year after I graduated college. We decided that once Flaherty’s closed, it would be a good idea to go to Galways, the nearest 4am bar, which closely resembles a frat party. One 30 dollar cab ride later, the cabby was trying to screw us out of another 10 dollars, because we were 3 drunk girls. Unfortunately for him, I was smart enough to catch that shit. So I handled it and we proceeded inside. We went in, and found it was exactly like a frat party complete with the typical Talky McOld Guy who would always manage to find me and not leave me alone at these places. Finally, we were hiding pretty decently. Beth was getting her mack on with some very nice guy, Elizabeth disappeared and I was chatting up some random cute guy.

Fast forward to my showing off to the cutie and hanging out in the DJ booth, talking to the DJ, who somehow remembered me from the night before when I was at a random bar singing karaoke like a rockstar.

Out of the blue, I saw this security guard slam some dude against the wall, grab him by his neck, put him in a head lock, drag him out of the bar, and I swear to God I thought he was trying to break the guy’s neck. Elizabeth was right there in the line of fire when this craziness ensued and she managed to get slammed equally as hard by the security guard, who cared about nothing but his pride, apparently. Elizabeth was standing between the miscreant and the wall, hence being slammed into.

So Elizabeth walked over to me in the DJ booth, and started speaking strangely and acting really weird. For the soberest one in our group, she looked and sounded pretty hammered… The next thing I knew, she had dropped down to the floor like a noodle. My brother was there in seconds to help me out; thankfully he was there, too. He picked Elizabeth up and said in his most dominant don’t-argue-with-me voice, “We’re leaving now.”

I thanked the DJ and waved goodbye to the cute guy as Elizabeth was trying to stumble out, hanging on to my brother. Before we even left the dance floor, she passed out again. I grabbed Beth and told her that we were leaving immediately, as my brother and some other guy carried a limp Elizabeth out to the parking lot. I was yelling at the security guards trying not to cry, basically freaking out because my best friend since forever had come to visit me and this shit happened under my watch, so to speak. I was PISSED.

So we made it out into the parking lot, and the paramedics came to look at her. They were yelling at her, Talky McOld Guy refused to shut up and kept saying that she was fine and didn’t need anything, and  I was sitting there watching her unable to focus because 10 minutes earlier she was FINE. There was no way that she was drunk. Either she was drugged or she had a concussion.

The paramedics were all over the place saying she needed to go to the hospital, threatening Ella’s impending death. I asked them very nicely if I could ride with her so she wasn’t alone and would have someone with her at the ER.

“NO,” they tell me, “Don’t you have a car?”

Um HELLO?

I told them, “I’ve been drinking, and I can’t drive.” What? Do they want me to get a DUI on the way to the hospital because my friend got knocked out by a security guard?

I may have started to make a scene, arguing with the paramedics and police…The police officer yelled at me, “No, you don’t have to get a DUI. Take a cab.”

I had two dollars in my pocket and I wasn’t really sure how I would get home from the hospital even if I could get there.

So finally, my brother came around and said “Get in the car, I’ll drive you but then I gotta go home, you’ll have to find your own way home.” In the hopes that someone would come pick us up and for fear that I may have gotten arrested, I got into the car.

We beat Elizabeth to the hospital, snuck our way into the ER, and finally (after her arrival) ended up in her little curtained corner of the ER world. The super bitchy registration lady and the evil/awful nurses shot us dirty looks every time they passed. I really wanted to say to them, I’m sorry, do you SEE my friend laying there shaking like a freakin’ Mexican jumping bean? She’s alone and scared and this wasn’t her fault. I’ll show you bitch ass nurses what you can do with your dirty looks.

So finally, this adorably hot doctor (Doctor Rob) came to the rescue. He checked out all of the important stuff, got Ella’s CT scan taken care of, and spent a little time chatting with us.. He told us that Ella had a concussion, and he said we could go home. The bitchy nurses took their sweet time getting things unplugged, but Dr. Rob talked to us for a while like we were actual people. We told him our story, including the nasty paramedics who yelled at drunk Chrissy and told her to drive herself to the hospital. And he sympathized and joked with us.

Finally, we got to go home. Joe, this guy that we all met at the bar (the one with Beth) who’s a friend of my brothers had graciously stayed at the hospital with us, and kindly offered us a ride back to Flaherty’s for our cars. Thank God for small favors.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!