Dear Malin Reese,
This weekend I’m partaking in my first official Bachelor Party down in Portland, Oregon. Portland was chosen because apparently it has a seedy side to it that Seattle can’t offer. Essentially I’ve been told that Portland is Seattle’s dirty, morally-ambiguous stepbrother. I’ll be roaming the city’s undercarriage with 25-30 other guys. I’m fairly certain that I’ve lived the most PG existence out of anyone who will be there. After all, I’m thirty-years old and have never been to a Bachelor Party. To boot, I never went through a phase of heavy drinking, carousing or gambling. In regards to drinking, I’ve grown to really enjoy craft beer and red wine but do not drink heavily because two beers or two glasses of wine knocks me on my lightweight ass. In regards to carousing, as a rule, I’ve only had eyes for your Mom. Her allure has kept me in check since I was 13-years-old so I’ve never felt the need to frequent strip clubs. Funny story about strip clubs; your Mom has been to more strip clubs than I have. Luckily, she’s only been as a patron. TMI, but maybe one day I’ll convince her to install a pole in our bedroom. She’ll likely say no but I say that’s her loss. I think I could eventually become a master dancer.
Why am I writing you a letter about Bachelor Parties, strip clubs, carousing, gambling, drinking and my PG-rated life? The upcoming weekend got me thinking about people’s token perception of me when they get to know the life I’ve lived up to now. Most people’s first impression of me is that I’m tentative, buttoned-up and super-duper religious. Why have you been drunk only a handful of times in your life? What are you, super religious? No, I just refused to drink piss-water like Coors Light in High School and College and then when I began to like beer and wine, I decided to drink in moderation because I like my liver more than I like alcohol. Pretty simple, right? Wait, you’ve never been to a strip club? What are you, super religious? No, I’m just not bored by my wife, I respect the women in my life and I’m not particularly turned on by the thought of wiping stripper sweat from my face. Pretty simple, right? Wait, you’ve only been with one person your whole life? What are you, super religious? No, I just wanted to make sure if I’m committing to a person on that level that it’s based on love and love alone. Also, the thought of Herpes stresses me out. Pretty simple, right?
Malin, I’ve made so many boneheaded mistakes in my life. I’m the furthest thing from perfect. There have been countless times when the people I love unconditionally have deserved better from me. I say and think some of the most inappropriate things you can imagine. But as a whole, I’ve done my best to lead a good life by being kind and respectful and humble. I’ve been lucky enough to have some exemplary examples to follow. I’m not writing this letter to cast judgment on people who have lived their lives differently from me. I think my central point is that you can live a good life and be a good person who makes good decisions without having to be super-duper religious. You can live this way simply because it’s the right thing to do. I hope that your Mom and I can stand proud and be examples for you. You can also look to our amazing group of family members for guidance. And if one day, you look to the teachings of Jesus or Buddha to help light your path, that’s okay too.
Dad of a beautiful little girl. Husband to an amazing woman. Son and sibling of a perfectly weird and wonderful family.