My buddy’s wedding is coming up. As his best man, it is my duty to plan his bachelor party.
All of them replied with standard questions. They asked what dates I had in mind, how big my group was, and how much I was looking to spend in terms of food/drinks — standard questions from professional event planners.
And then there was Jenn.
This was Jenn’s first response to me, which seemed normal enough:
Michael, Thank you for your inquiry. I am however going to need some further information from you. What did you have in mind for the party? Is your group going to be comprised exclusively of men or will there also be women attending? Looking forward to hearing from you, Jenn
Despite her lack of commas surrounding the word “however,” this was a fairly standard e-mail. Somewhat weird that she was asking if there would be any women attending, but whatever. Maybe that was her way of subtly asking if we were bringing a stripper along*.
*A stripper will definitely not be coming along.
Jenn, As I mentioned in the e-mail, there will be 10-20 of us (all men), and I was hoping to have a private section for us. I am willing to pay extra for our own server. Anywhere in the club would most likely be fine, but we will probably be coming and going to the dance floor, etc. I’d be happy to come in to discuss menus/prices. Thanks, Michael
Later that day, I got this greeting-less e-mail from Jenn:
Thoughts on how to tackle this one?! Got a response back all 20 people are dudes?!
Two minutes later, I received another e-mail from Jenn:
Micheal, I apologize, I meant to sent that email to my manager. Typically we don't do groups of 20 guys. Did you plan on doing bottle service? You never responded about what you had in mind for the party. Thanks, Jenn
I was flabbergasted. I was under the impression that I was the target demographic for a bar/club like this. A best man with a group of twenty young men who are ready to spend money on food and booze seems like it would be a jackpot for them. It’s not like I was asking an all-you-can-eat buffet if I could bring in 20 homeless dudes to spend the day.
Her surprise at our bachelor party’s staggering male-to-female ratio confused me a bit. And made me mad.
So I typed up a response:
Jenn, Sorry. In hindsight, I suppose that it is a fairly odd request, having all of the guests of a bachelor party being men. I should have been more forthcoming. Please accept my withdrawal from using your bar as a potential place for twenty "dudes" to dump a large quantity of money in a night of drunken celebration of our friend as he becomes betrothed to a member of the fairer sex, of which our party is regrettably void. Please also accept my sincerest apologies for putting you in such a tough situation. If I were in your shoes, I imagine that I, too, would be at a loss as how to tackle such a situation and would undoubtedly seek the expertise of my manager. Although, I most likely would have sent it to the correct person. Additionally, I would have proofread my explanatory/apology e-mail to the customer, ensuring that I spelled his name (which happens to be the most common male name in America) correctly. Again, I'm sorry for everything. Sincerely, Mike (For your benefit, I used this shorter and easier-to-spell nickname) P.S. If you could be so kind as to accidentally send me the message that you will undoubtedly send to your manager as a result of this e-mail, I would greatly appreciate it.
It felt good to write it.
But then I read it again and decided it was too mean, despite the fact that it was well-deserved. So I never sent it.
I suppose it could be considered even crueler to publish it on my blog, but whatever. I didn’t give you the name of the bar.
Plus, I think it is important to speak up.
Men need to develop the courage to write about the prejudice that we have to endure every day. I mean, the discrimination that we have to tolerate anytime a group of us goes anywhere is a giant weight that sometimes feels too much to bear. Historically, men (especially white men) have had it rough. It has gotten better over the years, but the mistaken e-mail I received from Jenn reveals the pure hatred of men that I still encounter every day from misandrists like her.
I am tired of all of the dirty looks I get when a group of my male friends and I walk into a bar or sporting event together.
I am tired of having to invite girls to go out with me and my friends, just to even out the numbers.
But most of all, I am tired of being verbally abused with the name-calling and derogatory words when people call us a bunch of “dudes,” sometimes right to our faces.
So please, let’s all rise together and squash this intolerance once and for all.
The next time you see a group of “dudes,” just relax and remember that we are people too. Our country has come a long way, and we have the right to drink and hang out at the bar, even without the accompaniment of women. There is no need to panic and contact the police or your manager.
But if you do, make sure to use the right e-mail address.