Help! I'm planning a friend's bachelorette in NYC this spring (I'm the maid of honor) and am desperately trying to avoid any and all clichés — strippers, pole dancing lessons, matching T-shirts — while taking into consideration the bride's preferences: not drawing attention to herself, not particularly enjoying dancing.

What's a person to do in this city of over-priced commercialism (or, indeed, anywhere that you don't feel like shelling out for a pink sash and some Cosmos) to avoid bowing to the patriarchy? Any chance of running an article/open thread on the pitfalls of bachelorette party planning?

I fancy myself a bachelorette party/bridal shower aficionado, but you'd have to ask the brides if I'm right about that. No, actually, no. As an attendee of all the parties I've thrown, I decree they were all amazing. And here's how yours can be too:

1. You must do something cheesy.

No matter where you go, you have to bring a dick tiara, dick straws, dick cake, or at least a silly old traditional shower game of some sort. My favorite is the one where you ask the other spouse-to-be (not the one you're throwing the party for) a bunch of personal questions about their relationship and then Newlywed Game your victim and see if they can match answers. Examples: Where was the hottest place you've boned? What was the name of the first person your betrothed ever kissed? Here are a bunch more games to choose from. And don't forget to pick up door prizes. The dollar store is the place to go for these — just grab any old junk. People love gifts, even if they are half-broken flammable-smelling NYE 2014 snow globes.

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"But whyyy?," you ask. Because you have to do something to differentiate this party from your lame book club and you already shat all over the stripper idea, so you are left with dick pencils. One of my personal pet peeves is a party thrown by and for people who hate parties. Guess what? No one is forcing you to throw one, so if you're going to do it, try to make it *special* or just stay home and watch a movie.

2. Stay home and watch a movie.

Seriously. Find four dumb movies about marriage on Netflix and queue that shit up. Buy a case of sparkling rosé and some frozen pizzas. Only invite people you actually like. BUT HERE'S THE RUB: Everyone has to bring the bride-to-be a sexy gift. Haha, you thought you were gonna get away with throwing a boring, unmemorable soiree, if you could even call it that, sucker!

3. Go out for an incredible and incredibly long dinner.

I'm talking like a chef's menu; something with multiple courses and many bottles of wine. Tell everyone working at the restaurant that this is happening — you're likely to get free drinks and tasty treats sent your way. Sure, this'll cost everyone $100-200 but if you all chip in and buy her dinner, this will suffice as her gift as well. And bring one of those dumb games I was talking about.

Now let's hear at least 600 other ideas in the comments. At least.

Image by Tara Jacoby.