I have three younger sisters. I wanted a brother so bad when I was eight that when my Dad came home from the hospital to announce I had gotten a third sister I burst into tears and the only way he could console me was to take me to work and let me hand out cigars to the guys. I’ve warmed up to her since, in fact she’s getting married and invited me to her bachelorette party.
This isn’t the first sister’s bachelorette party I’ve attended. My middle sister married young and when she went out with her girls there was a lot of small town naïveté in the group. Not being overly experienced when it came to throwing wild and crazy parties I was invited to throw gas on the fire, to make sure things didn’t get sleepy, sort of an anti-chaperone.
They picked a club and when we showed up to find a long line-up my sister was disappointed and started to discuss alternatives. I smiled, because that’s not how bachelorette parties work. I had a quick discussion with the bouncer, explaining I needed to get a bunch of cute young girls into the bar, and handed him some cash. Collecting my sister’s friends and ushering them past the line she was in awe, “How did you do that?” When they had their fill of the club meat market, I took them to a gay bar, no doubt a first for most in the group, and everyone enjoyed dancing and feeling risqué.
My youngest sister isn’t much of a wild child either. She decided to go to Disneyland for her Bachelorette. My Mom, my sisters, and a few of the bride’s friends all booked tickets. My brother-in-laws were supposed to come, but bailed, so I found myself in a place I’ve grown accustomed to, the lone male in a room full of women.
You have to make adjustments when you’re in group of eight and you’re the only one with a penis. Women like to make plans. Plans for dinner, plans for where to meet, plans for activities, and plans for what to wear. They knew where we were eating breakfast in Disneyland a month before we got there. It’s not bad, it’s just different, men throw some stuff in a bag and hope they remembered underwear when they arrive.
I registered most of the discussions regarding the plans leading up to our trip to Disneyland as background noise, information I was confident someone would relay when it became relevant. It was in this spirit that I was vaguely aware of a plan to wear matching T-Shirts one day of the trip. I tend to keep my head down, nod, and if by chance someone asks for an opinion I say, “Sounds good!”
My sister’s friend made shirts for everyone. The shirts were short sleeved in a variety of primary colours, and in keeping with the bachelorette / Disney theme, on the chest they had silhouettes of princesses, the heroines of Disney cartoons. You know, Ariel the mermaid, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, everyone on the trip got one, myself included, and when I was handed my orange cotton T-Shirt I was informed the image was of Jasmine, who was chosen specifically for me because she’s the only Disney Princess that doesn’t wear a dress.
When you have three younger sisters, sometimes you get to be the voice of experience, the one who knows how to bribe a bouncer, sometimes you get to be worldly, the one who knows a bunch of girls will enjoy themselves at a gay club and get to feel edgy and bold at the same time. Sometimes you get to be the cool older brother. But then, sometimes you just have to be content to be the Princess that wears pants.