1. Visit a sex shop. Make sure it’s in a questionable neighborhood. Begin to share your history/hangups with the one and only employee running the show. Tell her you’re looking for something “slutty and borderline offensive” for the bride-to-be. Quickly turn this conversation about your friend and her big day into a conversation about you and your needs. Proceed to ask the patient sex shop attendant about the toys on display and their “signature” features. Grow visibly uncomfortable as she delivers a surprisingly articulate, tongue-pierced explanation of each toy’s functionality. Feel so paranoid that your nervous energy and excessive questions are killing the store’s vibe that you allow her to upsell you on organic lube, a bougie/terrifying vibrator that you’ll surely never use, and a colorful candy penis necklace (for your friend, clearly).
2. Buy the bride-to-be something blue (and inappropriate). Decide that she’ll appreciate your creativity so rather than giving her something she wants, commit to a gift less traditional: tropical blue Skittles and a blue 3 pack of spermicidal condoms. Once you’re at the register, make sure to emphasize that these items are NOT FOR YOU. Crack a joke about the word “spermicidal” that leaves you feeling like you should wait a few days/weeks/forever before you shop at your neighborhood drugstore again. Walk out feeling really good about your purchase. So good that you Instagram it immediately (X-pro II brings out the blue!). Observe as your pride quickly turns to shame.
3. Leave said blue condoms out for your immediate family to see.Witness the moment when your baby brother notices the Trojan men casually sitting on the kitchen counter. Wonder if you should acknowledge that you saw that he saw. Decide to keep your silence because you enjoy his heightened state of discomfort. Go upstairs and blast the “sexiest” music you can find (rotate through Sade, Frank Ocean…and Toni Braxton because despite appearances, you’re actually a 47 year old divorcee) as you wrap your friend’s pink bachelorette party favors. Come back downstairs to find your brother in a state of disgust and silence. Bask in the fact that you’ve finally found a way to shut him up. And it only took you 22 years!
4. Read Cosmo quizzes out loud at the spa. Get “shushed” by the rest of the girls at the party. Continue to read the quizzes, but in your inside voice. Laugh when one of them reminds you of the spa’s “code of conduct.” Be reminded of why you hate spas and forced relaxation. Serve yourself some luke warm lavender tea and finish your “Are You Enough of a Bad Girl Quiz” alone, in silence. Discover you are NOT, in fact, enough of a bad girl. Go figure.
5. Hit on the underaged waiter at dinner. Tell him it’s you’re 21st birthday. Let him believe you. Make sure to assign him 2-3 nicknames throughout the night. Determine within the first 10 minutes of being seated that your best friend’s little sister/the maid-of-honor has developed a serious crush on him. Start to make jokes about how cute and Anglican their babies would be and watch her face go from Orange County tan to desk job pale. Ghost write a note on a napkin to him, from her. Make it forward and funny and something you could never come up with if your love life was on the line. Feel a combination of joy and envy when he texts her within the hour. Remind yourself that he’s barely legal to vote and allow this to snap you out of your pity party.
6. Go dancing in your hometown. Get the bride-to-be drunk enough on fruity cocktails and sangria that she’s unable to protest your decision to herd the group over to trashiest bar you can Yelp. Convince the bouncers to let the underaged bridesmaids into the bar, if not for the art of dance then at least to balance the testosterone to estrogen ratio. Offer your Chase debit card and your pink tiara as collateral for this generous favor. Allow him to refuse your lame gesture and let your group in anyways. Look back to realize you’ve been holding up a line half-filled with your fellow classmates of ‘05 (oh the places we’ll go, you were right Principal Williams!). Once you reach the dance floor, realize that your body still considers snapping and swaying “dance moves”. Watch as your best friend makes her final attempt at a scandalous dance solo in the center of the circular force field her friends have formed. Feel yourself glowing with joy and premature nostalgia for her rare and perhaps final moment of silliness.