Letting Their Hair Down

Bachelorette party allows grown women to behave like bad girls. Truth be told, it was relatively mild. But the stories will get wilder with time.

June 19, 1999|By Tamara Ikenberg | Tamara Ikenberg,SUN STAFF

They ran blindly, clawing at locked windows, huddling breathlessly in corners, racing upstairs like horror movie heroines fleeing a psycho killer.

They ran from Vince the Cowboy Stripper.

The guests at this gathering were free to run.

Kristen Mrozinski, the bride-to-be, was not. She was trapped for the performance.

From beneath her mom-made, white bridal baseball cap, adorned with silk bows, flowers and a ponytail veil, her eyes pleaded "HELP ME!" Her face resembled a cherry tomato.

The bachelorette party -- that traditional sayonara to the single life -- was getting into the groove.

Mrozinski's rite of passage may seem passe and tasteless, or even like a weak attempt at mimicking the Neanderthal male ritual. But the bawdier side of female bonding is still kicking -- revealing itself right now to 14 squeamish women in a normally peaceful Cockeysville home.

It may not look like fun at the moment. But it's not the moment that matters. Years down the road, these naughty-girl antics will pay off in a surplus of tawdry photos and wild stories.

Remember the stripper? Remember the mango-flavored underwear? Remember how hard we partied?

So that all may be a little exaggerated ...

Who would ever know Mrozinski had enough pre-wedding problems without the prospect of a hangover?

Two days from now, Mrozinski, 28, would marry Paul Sayan, whom she met two years ago.

In the meantime, the reception tent that had been delivered was the wrong size. Several bridesmaids were ill. She had to unwrap chairs the next morning at 7.

Not to imply that she and the others whined through the evening.

Mrozinski, who lives in Sparks, was a sport, riding the bachelorette party wave. Her guests gleefully regressed into randy adolescents.

Jen Schwatka, 27, who flew in from California for the event, made it her mission to provide her friend with enough embarrassing memories for a lifetime -- whether she liked it or not.

She organized the party. She gave Mrozinski her only instructions: Wear a plain white T-shirt and an old bra. Schwatka promised to take care of the rest.

`You are being showered'

The festivities started with sexy hors d'oeuvres.

Schwatka had pierced the baked cheese puffs with toothpicks topped with tiny plastic people in various romantic positions.

"We can't understand what this one is doing," KarenAnn Barke said while holding a toothpick close to her face and squinting.

Nearby, Schwatka couldn't stand still. She mixed daiquiris, snapped pictures and picked up after people. Lips pursed, eyebrows raised, her expression screamed: "Hurry up and have fun."

"You are being showered," she announced, checking her watch. She was eager for Mrozinski to stop socializing and start opening her presents.

Mrozinski knew Schwatka's bossiness was laced with good intentions. They'd known each other since they were 5.

Opening the gifts -- including several battery-operated companions (and we're not talking Tamagotchi) -- was probably the most use Mrozinski would ever get out of them. As they were passed around, her friends blushed, flinched and offered commentary.

"This product is ozone friendly," Hope Birsh, 36, noted, skimming the contents of cherry whipped cream. "That's very important."

Surrounded by toys, lingerie and instructional books, Mrozinski smiled. "These are more fun than crystal and china," she said. "I so wanted these men's edible underwear."

Strip and run

"It's really big, so I'm going to bring it in. It's hard to lift," said Donaleigh Mrozinski, 33, the guest of honor's sister-in-law, who lives in Lutherville.

In walked Vince Ill, professional stripper. He was wearing a cowboy outfit and a George Hamilton-esque tan.

The bride-to-be pulled her hat over her face and clutched the recliner as if she was trying to disappear into the chair.

To a throbbing techno beat, Vince removed his pants with one sweeping rip, leaving nothing but a hat, boots and a neon-colored thong.

"Nothing like Velcro," Birsh quipped.

Vince descended upon the guest of honor, swiveling with little regard for the bachelorette's personal space.

"I would die!" said Michelle Vanisko, 26, a Gwyneth Paltrow look-alike who laughed so hard that tears rolled down her face. "I'm crying for you, Kristen!"

Shawn Ciocola, clad in solid black, looked somewhat irritated by the hyperactive women. "Relax!" the 30ish woman seemed to be thinking, "It's just a semi-naked, gyrating male."

Her friends could run away, but Mrozinski's only escape was in her mind. Twenty minutes into the stripper's performance, she looked like a bachelorette zombie, glassy-eyed and absent.

Soon the show was over, but Vince remained.

If he was looking for attention, he wasn't getting it. Instead of drooling at the nearly-naked cowboy, the women scavenged for what was left of the tortilla chip dip.

What's the recipe? someone asked. Is that fat-free sour cream?

Let's go already!

"You ran!" Mrozinski yelled at her friends, only half-joking.

She felt guilty for cringing through his performance.

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