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The Last Hurrah

Last week was The Fiancé’s rite-of-passage dudefest commonly known as the Vegas bachelor party. Before his trip, I laid down one simple rule: No touching strippers in inappropriate places. That’s it. One rule. I didn’t ask him not to go to strip clubs; I didn’t remind him not to gamble away our life savings (he knows better). But maybe there should have been two simple rules. On our first weekend apart since getting engaged, it might have been nice for…

Last week was The Fiancé’s rite-of-passage dudefest commonly known as the Vegas bachelor party. Before his trip, I laid down one simple rule: No touching strippers in inappropriate places. That’s it. One rule. I didn’t ask him not to go to strip clubs; I didn’t remind him not to gamble away our life savings (he knows better). But maybe there should have been two simple rules. On our first weekend apart since getting engaged, it might have been nice for him—typically a thoughtful guy—to call me once in a while and check in.

During the five days The Fiancé spent in Vegas with his friends, uncles, cousins, dad, brother, and my own brother—a rowdier group than it sounds—I barely heard from him. After day one the phone calls pretty much stopped; on day two the charming text messages he usually sends just to let me know he’s thinking about me petered out. That’s when I was sure I knew: The Fiancé had changed his mind about getting married!

I used to date a guy—let’s call him The Three-Year One-Night Stand—who told me a story about a friend of his who, during his bachelor weekend in Vegas, met a stripper, fell in love, left his fiancée, and called off the wedding a month before the big day. TTYONS had yet another friend whom he caught cheating on the girl he would eventually propose to—in Vegas, of course. (TTYONS himself was no paragon of malehood.)

Don’t get me wrong: I love Vegas as much as the next red-blooded dude. I work for Playboy and attend Mansion parties for work, so nude women and sexually explicit behavior don’t exactly make me flinch. But while the suddenly silent Fiancé was off enjoying private lap dances at the Spearmint Rhino—or at least that’s what I envisioned him doing—poisonous thoughts began to pollute my mind.

I don’t know for sure if the above actually happened the way I pictured it—after all, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas—but I do know that a lack of sleep coupled with paralyzing anxiety does funny things to people. Even typically laid-back people. And especially when those typically laid-back people are women whose weddings are less than one month away. When I did hear from The Fiancé, once he was back safely on Chicago soil, he confirmed that my fears were completely irrational. That’s when I realized two things: The stress of the wedding is taking a major toll on me, and, even more disturbingly, I’ve become that girl.

* * *

Maybe that was the final straw that convinced the ‘zilla girls—AKA my mom and my matron of honor/sister-in-law, Kim—that I needed a breather. This past weekend marked a second bachelorette party of sorts for me, albeit a much tamer one. We spent a couple of days at the serene Kohler Spa in Wisconsin, where we traded randy late nights for massages and facials, and spent hours sipping wine and talking about the wedding we’ve been planning for the past five months.

As women often do, we got sentimental about family and good friends who will be attending the wedding, and those who aren’t with us anymore. We talked about what marriage really means and how much my life has changed for the better in such a short time—and how natural that all feels. We laughed about how I first met The Fiancé five years ago on a blind date, how I didn’t return his call when he wanted to take me out again, and how we met again unceremoniously at a late-night club last summer. “See,” my mom said. “You could have been married by now with three kids.”

After one of the most relaxing afternoons I’ve had since getting engaged in March, I returned to my hotel room and found a beautiful bouquet of red roses, a bottle of Champagne, and a card that read, “In 31 days I will become the luckiest guy for the rest of my life. You are and always will be my world.”

It was then that all of those irrational fears and insignificant worries over linens and booze and caterers vanished, and I had an epiphany: Timing is everything. And he’s not the lucky one. I am.

Sarah will be taking the month of September off for her rapidly approaching nuptials, but tune in Thursday for her last nightlife post as the Last Girl Standing, then check back in October for the latest in nightlife news.

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