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We went to my nephew’s wedding in Atlanta last weekend. The time for when all our college contemporaries getting married has pretty much passed, and we are mostly going to weddings that are for folks who are work or family. It was interesting being a close relative but otherwise not involved member of the wedding. We went to the rehearsal lunch because we were in town, not because there was any need for us to be part of the rehearsal. We ate and went back to my brother’s while the wedding party did the actual rehearsal.

Part of the festivities included post rehearsal parties on Friday evening–one for the guys and one for the gals. The dudes were going to go off to a monster truck rally or some such while the girls headed off to go bowling. Turns out the groom was a bit wiped and they ended up hanging out at my brother’s place and vegging poolside with drinks, cigars, and conversation.

The invitation to the hen fest was pretty straight forward, but came with these directions:

Please bring a pair of panties so we can play the “Guess who’s panties” game. All panties will be placed in a seperate bag and bridesname will have to guess who brought what pair! (sic)

I’m not a prude. Really. But, I thought the notion of bringing a pair of my panties to a party in a bowling alley was a little bit strange. Considering the fact that the bride’s mother, her future mother-in-law, my 15 and 19 year-old nieces, my 17-year-old daughter, and I were all going to be there, I was torn between being game and not playing along. In the end, we all brought panties. I picked a pair that were clean and didn’t say much about my real panty preference. When it came to the party game time, after bowling, we gathered at a table in the snack section of the bowling alley and the bride began to guess who brought what pair.

She was spot on with a few of them, and she kept track of which pairs she had guessed correctly and which she had not. With a different crowd, this can be a drinking game where the bride takes a shot for each missed guess. Fortunately for this bride, she was downing water instead of booze, or I don’t think she’d have lasted very long. Just a couple of shots would put her under the table.

When she pulled out this tiny g-string and calls it for her very pregnant Matron-of-Honor, I simply thought “That’s a pre-preggo pair.” Several pairs still had tags on them, and I thought that people must have wimped out on bringing their own panties. When, at the end of the party, I asked for mine (and my daughter’s) back, I did get a rather strange look from the hostess. It wasn’t until the next day when my nieces had figured it out and explained it to me. The invitation should have read:

Buy a pair of panties for bridesname so we can play the “Guess whose panties” game. All panties will be placed in a separate bag and bridesname will have to guess who brought which pair!

A simple mistake, but just a couple of words could have made it so much more clear. Only half of us brought our own panties. The other half purchased theirs. I’m still not sure what it was about the first quote that made it clear to those who purchased them to buy panties when it didn’t make it clear to me or my nieces or my sister-in-law. Was it that those who had purchased theirs had been part of the planning? Or is it an age thing? I’m old enough that I haven’t been to a bachelorette party for a long time. My nieces and daughter are too young to have been to any.

Maybe it’s just the vague nature of the English language. When I re-read the initial party invitation, I can see how, if you know the game already, that it’s obvious that you buy the panties. And, in a way, it makes a lot more sense than a bunch of women showing up with their own panties crumpled in their pocket or hidden in purses. The experience did give us all a memorable story and a lot of much-needed laughter.

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