If beer commercials have taught us anything, it's that for some reason guys hate the company of all women and like to get together to reminisce about college, watch sports, and use fictional words like "drinkability." And while most of these commercials are horribly offensive to both genders, there are some truths about the male ritual known as "Guys Weekend." In this edition of 5 Things, I will take you behind the scenes of a real "Guys Weekend" that I recently took part in, where a few non-female hating guys got together to relax, reminisce, and remember why we only have Guys Weekend once a year.
Guy #1 - Jason
Codename - "The Married Guy"
Current Status - Lives in big house in Indiana with wife and 3 kids
Strengths - Fiscally responsible, the voice of reason, and an uncanny ability to know exactly how much gas is needed to travel from city to city
Weaknesses - Wakes up way too damn early, acts as the voice of reason, owns minivan
Guy #2 - Chad
Codename - "The Well Adjusted Single Guy"
Current Status - Manages local bank and lives by himself in Chicago
Strengths - Ability to be single without being creepy (no small feat), up for random adventures, makes good cheeseburgers
Weaknesses - Wakes up way too damn early (seriously guys, let's practice sleeping in before next year's Guys Weekend), has trouble answering serious questions without extreme sarcasm, doesn't fill up gas tank before letting married friends drive his car...thus leading to unnecessary tension
Guy #3 - Me
Codename - "The Narrator"
Current Status - Lives in studio apartment in NYC where bed folds out from the wall
Strengths - The razor sharp wit of an autistic 6 year old, persistent in making sure that Guys Weekend isn't cancelled like the last 5 attempts
Weaknesses - Likes to sleep in, appears to be attempting to live the life of Tom Hanks character in the movie Big, which is proving to be impossible
*Please note that names have not been changed to protect the innocent because that takes too much effort
5 Tips for a Successful Guys Weekend
Tip 1 - Pick a Sports Team to Follow with Very Low Expectations
All of our Guys Weekends have been centered around sporting events in various locations, whether it's an Indiana University football game or a Detroit Tigers baseball game. It's important that the sporting event not dominate the weekend, so picking a team with low expectations ensures that there will be other activities and conversation topics. For this particular weekend, we chose the team with the lowest expectations of all - the Chicago Cubs? If you don't know why, I apologize that I won't be able to help you understand because every time I start talking about them, I end up rocking back and forth in the fetal position. I'm sure if you ask your nearest Cubs fan about why they have low expectations, they will light up like a Christmas tree..... an extremely angry and bitter tree that shouts profanities and punches inanimate objects. On second thought, you probably shouldn't ask a Cubs fan about that.
Tip 2 - Schedule Non-drinking Activities
It is very important to schedule both non-drinking and non-masculine activities scattered throughout the weekend. Odds are, your normal day to day life doesn't consist of trying to keep up with the terrible things you used to do to your body in college, so it's good to ease back into that lifestyle over the course of Guys Weekend. To maintain the proper amount of masculinity, you can balance out the activities with masculine/hazardous eating. Our weekend included pretzels with cheese sauce, burgers, pizza, and a ham & cheese wedge from Dunkin Doughnuts, and that was just the first day. There's no punchline for that, I really ate all that on the first day.
Tip 3 - Don't be Too Proud to Ask Assistance from the Fairer Sex
This was pretty much the underlying theme of Guys Weekend. The first day included help getting Cubs tickets from my friend Ilyse, the second day included food and shelter from Mrs. Steinke (Chad's mom), and the third day included my friend Colleen leaving her VIP suite to save me from a crowd of modern day hippies at Lollapallooza. From the short time I spent with these kids, they were much less focused on world peace and much more focused on texting their friends to meet them at the iPhone charging station. To be fair though, I think they were equally dedicated to the cause of charging their phone as their parents had been to ending war.
Tip 4 - Schedule Non-Sporting Events to Distract From How Terrible The Cubs Are
After watching the lifeless Cubs fall to the Cincinnati Reds 3-0 on Friday, Guys Weekend left Chicago to travel to Michigan City, Indiana for some much needed relaxation and some of the best people watching in modern history. After a day relaxing at the beach on Lake Michigan (for all you east coasters - yes, there's a real beach in Indiana), we decided to hit the nightlife of Michigan City. And let me tell you, the cast of the Jersey Shore has nothing on whatever was happening on the dance floor of the club named "It's Vegas Baby", which was located within the Blue Chip Casino. Please reread the previous sentence and give it a couple minutes to truly sink in.
As the Guys Weekend crew has matured, our focus has shifted from ogling women to people-watching. And "It's Vegas Baby" took people-watching to a level none of us had seen before, and there's a pretty good chance that many of the club patron's parents put mercury in their milk bottles as kids. Unfortunately (or fortunately, if we were worried about our livers), our night was cut short at 2am when a fight broke out and someone was knocked unconscious with a beer bottle, and the club was immediately shut down. As they say in Indiana, you can't spell "classy" without some of the letters in "It's Vegas Baby".
Tip 5 - Remember that You Are No Longer Good At Any Sports
To make sure that the weekend is focused on creating lasting memories instead of lasting injuries, it's very important to realize that no one involved in the weekend is good at any sports. I know this sounds like a gross generalization, but it is very true. After throwing the football at the beach and playing a couple games of basketball, we were quickly reminded that our current workout regiment of playing in two fantasy football leagues and complaining about Lebron James did not prepare us for a full day of exercise.
So, for you women out there who were worried about what happens when guys go out of town for their own Guys Weekend, this story should show how harmless these weekends really are*. And for the two people out there who were wondering why I haven't written anything in a year, it's because after my big break writing an advice column for Glamour, my co-writer Dan and I never received the movie or sitcom deal we assumed would immediately follow. So, if anyone knows a movie or TV producer interested in the hilarious "fish out of water" adventures of two guys trying to explain to New Yorkers that both Indiana and Mississippi are real states, please let us know. We will be waiting by our rotary phones.
* Lameness of Guys Weekend may vary based on actual lameness of guys involved