One of my girlfriend’s forced me to have a bachelorette party. Not that I didn’t appreciate the sentiment. It’s just that I got married at the ripe old age of 44. I made it past 40 without having been married – putting me in the issued outs* category and I read somewhere after the age of 40, a woman has a .013% chance of ever getting married (I made up that number but it’s probably close to true).
I envisioned bachelorette parties designed for dewy skinned, childless, doe eyed 20 something year old girls who still liked going to crowded bars and getting shit-faced (to clarify – I still like getting shit-faced, just not at crowded bars – to further clarify, I prefer getting stoned to getting shit-faced). Not only did I feel like I was oddly old for a first marriage (weird to say first as if there might be a few more) but I was downright geriatric for a bachelorette party.
When I picture the bride to be at her bachelorette party, I see a drunk 22 year old stumbling from bar to bar in high heels and a frilly dress, wearing a tiara and a sash. I left the princess stage at about age 6 and since then have not worn a tiara. I never was one for beauty pageants either and have never had a desire to wear a pink sash.
So I made it very clear to my lovely friend that if I agree to this youngster shindig, there were not to be any tiaras, sashes, dick straws, sex toys or muscle inflated male strippers. She agreed. She lied. (except about the guys dancing around – I find male strippers look too much like caricatures of hyper masculinity and find nothing sexy about that).
I must admit that after about 3 drinks I actually had fun with the dick straw and defiling the stripper cake (see incriminating photos). It was flattering to see how much my friends cared about showing me a good time (affirmation people like me is always a good thing). And because the celebration was in my honor, I got to get shit-faced and not be a designated driver.
*An article I wrote in my early 30’s before I was considered weird for not being married by the age of 40
The “Issued Outs”
“He’s got that nervous look in his eye,” she said.
“You know, that issued out look.” That was my friend
Jessie pointing out a man standing across from us in a
bar at the Jersey shore. I asked her to explain it
more. She told me it was a little shifty, like he
wanted to approach a woman there but something was
holding him back.
Sometimes the men do approach you. Sometimes they
even ask for your phone number. But that’s as far as
it goes. It’s like guys on internet dating sites who
you exchange several emails with but when the topic of
actually having a phone conversation comes up they
suddenly vanish. It makes you wonder what they’re up
In my circle of friends we often use the term “issued
out.” We’ve all come to understand what it means.
Men with emotional baggage that prevents them from
entering into a relationship wholeheartedly. Often,
issued out men find something wrong with you after the
first date, like your eyebrows are a little unevenly
tweezed. Another sign of the issued out man is his
fear of calling you when he says he will. Well, in
that case add inconsiderate.
Sometimes there are clear warning signals that the man
you’ve met is issued out. The most obvious – over the
age of 40 and never been married. Other times, the
red flags may seem orange at first. Take the man who
seems to be so into you initially, he’s already
planning next year’s vacation together to Cancun.
While you’re starting to think this could be the one,
he’s already got one foot out the door. Then there
are the ones with the odd lifestyles, for example,
still living at home (even though there are no ill
parents there) at age 45.
Yet another sure sign of the issued out man is the one
who gets pickier as he grows older – especially about
looks. Even though he’s balding and his six pack abs
have turned into a beer ball, he still believes he’ll
get the 28 year old Molly Sims look-alike. Clue to
issued out man – unless you have the money of Trump or
the power of George W. – forget it.
At that same bar a few weeks earlier, Jessie’s friend
was approached by a man she considered to be issued
out. At first, her friend was polite to the man,
telling him he looked 35 when he asked her to guess
his age. But quickly her graciousness turned into
animosity when she got tired of dealing with the
issued outs. She told him she was only being nice
when she said 35 and he really looked 42. She asked
him if he really thought he had a chance with a young
attractive woman like herself. She berated him for
probably going out with several nice women in his past
and dropping them like hot cakes in his quest to find
someone “better.” Finally, she reminded him he was
alone in a bar trying to pick up young women when he
might as well accept he’d most likely end up alone
because his issues prevent him from having a
Wow. Quite the tirade. Jessie and I agreed we
probably would not have done the same although we
might have been thinking it. Why make the guy feel
like more of a loser than he already does?
And after all those years in the dating rat race it’s
normal to have some issues. We all do. We’ve just
got to learn how to deal with them.
I’m sure the men out there can write comparable notes
about the issued out women they’ve encountered.
Perhaps while we’re avoiding the issued out men
standing in the corner sipping their beer, they’re
sizing up the women with a little too much carry on
baggage reapplying their lipstick.