On February 11th, I received an E-Mail that started out like this:
Has anyone else noticed now that Jeff has been rocking the beard for a while - he looks like a middle aged Pavarotti? At times, he also has ventured into a bit of hipster phase. In addition to publicly questioning his fashion choices, his bachelor party will be a good time for us to celebrate him leading up to his wedding.
At first, when I first saw this in my Inbox, I didn't really know what to think. But the my next thought was, "I don't know anyone named Jeff that looks anything at all like Luchano Pavarotti"!
Curiousity now captured, I noticed there was quite a few people on the CC line - including my own E-Mail address. I studied each address, racking my brain for a number of minutes, but couldn't figure out who I knew or why I was invited.
Then, it dawned on me. I wasn't invited.
Except, I was. Just by mistake.
As the days and weeks went on, there would be periodic "Reply All" updates to everyone addressed in the original E-Mail, myself included. Over time I was able to piece together that this was occuring in Philadelphia (somewhere I've never been). The schedule of festivities would include things like enjoying some drinks / taking in some March Madness, a shuffleboard tournement (winner take all), and a bit of gambling at a local establishment for good measure. Kind of sounded like fun, actually.
At first I questioned if I should write back and ask to be removed from further ongoing E-Mails. But seeing as how many of the replies were generally entertaining to read, I thought that, perhaps, I'd just remain a "fly on the wall" for the time being. I even jokingly mentioned on Facebook a few times how I should totally "crash the party" and be "that dude that everyone has no idea who he is or why he's here".
Then, yesturday, the organizer of this bachelor's party decided to up the ante by sending out another follow-up and specifically called out all the people he hadn't yet heard from. Of course, my E-Mail address was on that list.
So, on a whim, I decided to reply back to everyone with the following:
So, I have no idea who any of you guys are, but I have been enjoying being a fly on the wall hearing about the plans for this bachelor party over the last few months.
I'm assuming my E-Mail address was added to the list by mistake (perhaps a typo of someone else?).
I live out in Seattle, WA and although for a moment I thought it might be funny to just show up and be that guy nobody knows but everyone wonders "who is that guy?", buying a plane ticket for a cross-country flight just to crash a bachelor's party might be a bit over the top (although it would be epic!).
Nonetheless, I do hope you guys have a great time and I'd like to take a moment to wish the best of luck in life to the groom!
To my surprise, fairly quickly I started getting replies back from the group like this:
I say everyone forks up an extra $20 and we get Joey a plane ticket to Philly!
I just facebooked Joey DiJulio in WA, and if this is you - you actually look like you could be related to groom. MIND BLOWN
Sure enough, the picture they dug up (re-used in the picture for this GoFundMe Account) was me. I replied back to confirm:
Haha... Yes, that is indeed me with my (now 2-year old, she was about 3-months there) daughter, Kaylee. Speaking of bachelor parties, weddings, and the like, that shot was actually taken at a wedding for a buddy of mine who also, coincidentally, happens to now live out on the east coast (Boston). Small world!
Indeed, I think I recall seeing a picture of the groom over the last few months, and noticed this as well. I'm of course glad to know he's a studly guy - His soon-to-be-wife is a lucky woman!
PS: Still kind of a mystery to me how I got on this thread, as I've never been to PA or anywhere in the NE part of our country for that matter. But, you guys seem like a cool bunch nonetheless. Perhaps I'll have to drop you folks a line if I ever make it out there for tips on tourist-type things to check out.
And then came a reply from the Groom, Jeff:
I'm overnighting you a wedding invite. You show up at the bachelor party and ill make you my best man.
You can give the toast even
As well as someone calling dibs on me being their shuffleboard partner for one of events for the evening:
I call Joey DiJulio as my shuffle board partner.
Joey, we’ll take down Minetti and the Golden Boy…make Kaylee proud. I’ll see you there!
So, what to do?
I posted a status update on Facebook to make light of the situation and the overwhelming response was pretty much summed up as follows:
They say in life, you only regret the things you don't do, not the things you do.
So, with that said, I'm going see if I can raise the funds here to go crash (well, kind of crash - I mean, I *was* invited) this party!
I've calculated the costs it will take to get me from my home town of Seattle, WA out to Philadelphia, PA to attend Jeff's bachelor's party - which is scheduled to take place on Saturday, March 28th.
The goal for this is currently $1264 which - at least as of tonight - should be able to cover round-trip airfare, hotel stay, cover charge for the event itself, and a bit of spending money for the shuffle board tourny and gambling.
Since it's under two (2) weeks away, the costs may shift a bit over the next few days, so I may have to update the goal depending on how that changes. Of course, the longer this goes, the higher the costs get, so I'm hoping if this thing actually has legs we can meet the goal in very short order!
I should also note that if I *don't* raise the goal amount, everyone's money goes back (i.e, if I don't get to the goal and don't end up going, I'm not just going to run off with people's pledges!)
A number of my buddies on Facebook have expressed a desire to throw $20 toward this. If 64 (or so) people are actually serious about that (and everything else logistically works out), I guess I'm heading to PA for a bachelor's party!
PS: If I happen to raise MORE than my goal, my pledge to you is use some of the overage to buy Jeff and his wife-to-be a nice wedding gift!
- Amy Enget
- Celine McElwee Carroll
- Leslie Moncada
- Shelby Laver