The Bachelor Party

Yesterday I went to a bachelor party. I got to thinking about it – what’s the point? Do other cultures have bachelor parties? Why?

The one I attended was simply an excuse for a bunch of guys to get together. We ate barbecue, had a couple beers, and smoked cigars. Some guys watched the game on the TV but most of us just talked about general guy stuff. I think calling it a bachelor party was merely a gentle way for the guys to say, “no girls allowed.”

I’ve been to other bachelor parties that were about booze, strippers, and sexual humor. What was the point there? Was it supposed to be a last hurrah for the engaged man? A reminder of the things he’s going to have to give up? Or is it simply the only way most guys can get their wives’ permission to it go to a raunchy party?

I could understand its purpose if it were a rite of passage. You know, the old guys get together with the younger ones and share some of their wisdom. Taking a wife is a big deal – a huge change in one’s life. During the weeks and months leading up to the wedding the multitude of preparations can be rather distracting for the groom. The bachelor party could Help him focus on what his real job is going to be, post wedding. Of course, this rite of passage would still have to include beer, barbecue, and cigars.

So I’m still unclear. What social purpose is currently served by the bachelor party?