Jamie Reidy recalls an egregious violation of Guy Code, as he prepares for his pilgrimage to Vegas for the first round of March Madness.
I hadn’t thought of the story in a while.
But then, on the phone today with my coeditor Joanna, the details came flooding back, horrifying me like the next day recall of the ugly woman you kissed last night. (Note: the author knows nothing about that. But he takes his buddies’ word for it.)
I told Joanna I’d be heading to Vegas early Friday morning. She asked for what. I explained to gamble on games.
“Oh, right, the playoffs are on.”
(Cue walkie-talkie screech) “Uh, we’ve got an Extreme Mom Alert! I say again, Extreme Mom Alert in progress!”
Like my intelligent, confident, beautiful mother, my coeditor has mastered the inability to decode any sport.
But, as Joanna and I chuckled over her lack of knowledge/care – Madre Madness? – my brain’s long term storage kicked out the memory of 2002.
Since ’98, my close friend and former roommate “Stephan” (Note: names have been changed to protect those who will be shamed later) and I had sojourned to Vegas for the first round of the men’s NCAA basketball tournament. Our initial trip celebrated his bachelor party.
Over the subsequent five years, a core group of six – interspersed with fun randoms – reconvened in mid-March.
Do I need to specify that these attendees all have penises? No, I probably don’t need to do that.
Except, in 2003, Stephan brought his wife “Michaela.” He didn’t ambush us with that information in the casino lobby, or anything. He did the manly thing and warned us that he was bringing his spouse to a Guy’s Weekend.
Michaela is the 1% of cooler wives, so this could have been a lot worse. Still.
Aside from Stephan having to ditch his buddies to see “O” and get a mani-pedi, nothing seemed out of whack due to his better half’s presence. (Note: I’m kidding about the show.)
Then, on Friday morning, Michaela stood next to me as we watched games in the Caesar’s Palace sportsbook. Her hubby was elsewhere. Unhappy with the developments in my athletic investment, I screamed at 20-year olds to accept defeat gracefully, i.e. stop fouling late in the game when trailing by an insurmountable deficit. See, I’d bet on the “under,” meaning I needed the combined score of both teams to fall under a certain number.
“Lose with class you fucking scumbags!”
Michaela stared at me with something less than pride that I had been a member of her wedding party.
Pointing at the beer in my hand, she jokingly asked, “How many Coronas have you had, Jamie?!”
Only, it didn’t seem jokey. It seemed shrew-y. It seemed wife-y and mommy-y. I did not react well.
“This is why we don’t let wives come to Vegas!”
Michaela, offended, went to look for her husband. He returned, solo but with an attitude, a short while later.
“Really?” Stephan asked. “You just had to say that?” Yes, I did.
Last year, I read in “Variety” that Reese Witherspoon had signed onto the film WHO INVITED HER?, a comedy about a wife who crashes a Guy’s Weekend in Las Vegas.
As a wannabe screenwriter, this news angered me. Instantly, I emailed Stephan and Michaela. “Did you two sell me out?!”
No, they had not. But, they pointed out that I would’ve deserved it if they had. True dat.
So, as I pack for a return trip to Vegas for the first weekend of March Madness, I am thinking of what might have been: what if I’d realized that my conversation with Michaela formed the basis of movie gold? What if I’d written a script about that, as opposed to another topic with which I am quite familiar: a late-thirties woman dying to get married before turning forty?
If I had, I’d be paying for Stephan and Michaela’s Rainman suite in Vegas this weekend. Hell, I might even have invited Joanna and her husband.
What wife-related violations of Guy Code have your buddies committed?