Sunday, June 5, 2011

I Love My Friends

Everyone knows the expression "Ask and you shall receive". This week, my friends proved there is truth to the cliche.

Last Friday night, May 27th, Jimmi and I were having dinner with my friend Andi and her boyfriend, Eli. Somehow, the conversation turned to my bachelorette party, which hadn't been planned yet because the wedding is still three months away. Immediately, my brain went into overdrive and I started panicking. The thoughts were racing through my head trying not to crash into each other as they whizzed in and out of my mind.

"I think I want to have my bachelorette party before I get really sick. I want to do it before my hair falls out."

Andi looked at me and I knew she and I were thinking the same thing. Time. We really didn't have much of it.

"Ok, when were you thinking?" she asked with that I'll do whatever I can for you tone.

I flipped through the calendar in my head. Surgery is on June 14th. This is already the last weekend in May. I have my kids the weekend before the surgery. That only left two options.

"Next weekend. June 3rd or 4th." I suggested, knowing it would be nearly impossible to get a decent group together in time. "Oh, and I don't care what we do, as long as there are naked men," I grinned.

"Ok." And with that, Andi picked up her blackberry and immediately sent an e-mail to all of my bridesmaids and my mom. Within a few minutes, my mom wrote back. She was sure that Jen, my matron of honor, was already working on something, so maybe they should speak.

I wasn't included on any e-mails from that point on, but I knew my friends were hustling. The next night, I got a very cryptic Facebook message from my friend, Angel, who is an expert on all things naughty. Plus, she's worked as a special events planner, so the girl gets the job done! It said, "I'm cutting to the chase because we have a week. How many women we looking at here? Is Saturday better than Friday? You want a hot seat? I don't want to get you one if you're not gonna like it. I'm leaning towards yes, but you've been through a lot, so I wanted to make sure. I just need to know what you want. We can go from there. Hunkomania USA got the best reviews in City Search."

Wow! She's done her homework!

"Yes! I want it all!"

For the next few days, I found out bits and pieces of what was going on. Jen was the one sending the e-mails to get everyone together even though she wasn't going to be able to come down on such short notice from Massachusetts. Andi was in charge of finding a restaurant, and Angel was in charge of the naked men.

Friday, June 3rd seemed to work best for most people. Obviously, not everyone was able to make it because of the timeframe, but it looked like we'd have a pretty decent group of about 10 people.

The day came and it started out rough. It was one of those mornings that I couldn't force myself to get out of bed and face life. I wanted to hide under my covers and hope it would all go away. I called my mom.

Instant hysterics.

I bawled my eyes out while speaking incoherently to my mom as she listened. She did the soothing mom thing, telling me I'm allowed to cry. I have every right. Never once did she say, "Stop crying. You just need to deal with it." She just stayed on the phone and let me vent for as long as I needed. Right away, she offered to come over, but I wouldn't let her.

A text came through. It was my friend, Jean, asking how I was doing. "Not a good day. Can't get out of bed." Her response beeped back immediately, "I'll be right over to give you a hug." No! I wouldn't let her.

My mom and I finally ended the call and another text came though from my friend, Kris, apologizing for not being able to make it later and asking if I was still planning on meeting her for a pedicure. I told her I couldn't because I wasn't having a good day. She told me she'd be right over. No! I wouldn't let her.

I don't want anyone to come over! I don't want to talk about it! I don't want to deal with it!

But I had to get out of bed. I needed to get ready for my party. The party I had asked for. The party my friends went crazy to plan in just a few days. The party I wanted to bail on because I wasn't in the mood to see or talk anyone.

But I couldn't bail.

I got dressed, drove to pick Jean up, and we headed into the city. Traffic was horrendous, but we were only about 20 minutes late, thanks to NY Waterway! Angel and Andi were the only ones at the restaurant when we got there, so we went to our table upstairs and waited for the others.

As soon as we sat down, Angel reached into a bag, and pulled out a box with a large, red toy in it. She proceeded to open the box, whip out the member (which was complete with a scrotum) and put it on the table. "Very Berry" became our mascot for the night. He was the star of the majority of our photos, and he ended up in the oddest places. We only put him away when the hostess sat a table of 11 year old boys next to us.

"Excuse me!" I stopped the hostess, "I'm not sure it's appropriate to put them next to us." "It's the only table we have for a party that big!" She snapped and walked away.

Ok, I can't be held responsible for what will happen! The rest of our group showed up and food was ordered. Angel, who had requested food immediately when we sat down, left early to head over to Hunk-o-Mania before doors opened at 7:30 so she could get us the best table. She thinks of everything!

We had a great meal and a lot of fun. I almost forgot about the Hell my summer would be...almost.

When we finished, we trudged a few city blocks to the club. Following orders from a text from Angel, we went to the VIP line and gave her name. We were immediately brought in, and I was told to pick a gift from the wall. I looked up at my choices and giggled. There was a veil with a crown of tiny penises, I veil with devil horns, a paper penis headband, a headband with two small penises on long springs that bounced and a bachelorette sash, among other things. I chose the springy penis headband, stuck it on my head, and down the stairs we went.

We were immediately welcomed by some very muscular and very flirty men who brought us to a table right up front where Angel was waiting with the rest of our group who could only make it to the Hunk portion of the evening.

After some more photos with our red mascot, and a quick once over of the eye candy walking around to serve us, the show began.

There were a few other brides-to-be in the audience. We all gave each other the friendly smile and nod, and I couldn't help but think that they're not going through what I'm going through. They're all planning their weddings and having dress fittings. They're all happy and excited. I'm just trying to enjoy my last few weeks with a uterus. My last few weeks with ovaries. My last few weeks with hair. They're looking forward to their honeymoons and the main activity associated with honeymoons. I had to postpone my honeymoon until who knows when, and I don't even know if I'll ever be able to enjoy the main honeymoon activity again.

Why is this happening to me? I want to be like them. Why can't I just have the surgery, or just have the radiation, or just have the chemo? Why do I need to have all three?

STOP!!!!! There are half-naked men walking around! Enjoy it for next two hours!

And I did.

"Suzanne Paragano?" The host called out, "Come on up to the hot seat!"

I didn't hesitate. Up to the stage I went with a real smile on my face. I sat in the chair on stage next to another future Mrs. Someone, and laughed as the host explained that my friends would need to decorate me with dollar bills. The more money the men see, the better the dance will be.

Up came my posse with singles flying. They stuck money in my pockets, hanging out the top of my jeans, in my shoe strap, in my headband, and anywhere else they could. Then they flitted off the stage and I waited.

The lights went down, and out came three "sailors". I'm not usually fond of men in uniform, but it didn't matter since the uniforms didn't stay on too long! They danced for a few minutes and then two of them left the stage, leaving the "captain" to dance for the other bride and me.

It was nuts!

The man picked me up and flipped me around like a rag doll! I was up, I was down, I was spinning. And I was laughing. Laughing uncontrollably. Laughing more than I'd laughed in the last two months combined. And I wasn't thinking. At that moment, while I was being tossed like a salad, I didn't have cancer. I wasn't getting ready for surgery. There were no treatments. I was just a future bride having fun with my friends before I become Mrs. Kane.

I couldn't have asked for a better night.

For the next hour and a half there was nothing but real friends, real laughter and real happiness. I looked at each of my friends, and thought about the ones who wanted to be there, but couldn't. I felt loved. Real love. It's easier to see people for who they really are when faced with a tragedy. I am lucky to say that my friends have proven to me that they will always be there for me. They won't run away when times are tough. They will do whatever they can for me and I don't even need to ask.

When I got home, Jimmi asked me about my night. I gave him the instant replay and showed him pictures and I was still excited and happy. As I spoke, I reached up to scratch an itch on the back of my shoulder and felt something in my shirt. What's this? Did I forget to take a tag off of the shirt? I pulled it out and looked at it. Jimmi gave me a puzzled glance.

My lips curled into a smile. A dollar. It was a a dollar bill that was left from my stage decorations. A dollar that Mr. Muscles must have overlooked. A dollar that reminded me of a night that was put together in record time.

My friends did it all for me. And they did it just because I asked them to.


  1. Sounds penis-tactular! I wish I could have been there. Bravo to your girls for pulling it all together on short notice. :) xo

  2. I really enjoyed seeing you in the "hot seat". What a blast! Glad I got to be a part of it :)