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Summer coming to a close 

Weddings, Pop Life winding down; new events sure to fall into place

I have something we can toast to -- wedding season is finally over! My total tally of summer nuptials attended is five weddings, three bachelorette parties and two bridal showers. Holy matrimony!

With that said, when my friends suggested we check out the "Always a Bridesmaid, Never a Bride" event at Loft 1523, I shouted, "I wanna come!" ... (awkward silence) ... "To the party that is!" I had to specify c-o-m-e.

Single people deserve a celebration too, you know. How about a non-bridal shower for not marrying the wrong guy or a bachelor party for remaining a bachelor? I mean, why can't I register for stupid shit like place settings when I buy a three bedroom home?

The bridesmaid brouhaha at Loft was further evidence marriage is an epidemic; the attendance was low for a hump day. Perhaps everyone was at home cozied up with their spouse, while singles were at Coyote Ugly for their three-year anniversary. Sadly, there weren't enough people to fill the dance floor. But it was a cool, little, themed party nonetheless; they had wedding cake martinis and a rack of donated bridesmaid dresses accumulated over the summer.

I'm relieved wedding season is over, but I am pissed that it correlates to the end of summer. As it concludes, so does Pop Life, my position as a professional sun bather and Alive After Five.

Charlotte's massive happy hour had a roster of bands more sundry than a mix tape, including Chicken Fried Rock and a Michael Jackson cover band. Recent heat wave aside, Alive After Five is a clusterfuck of people, filling both Mimosa and the Wachovia Atrium to the brim. Even a guy dressed as a Storm Trooper blended in. And when the colossal crowd dispersed at 9 p.m., it was like a parade going down Tryon, usually headed for Buckhead Salon, Alley Cat or Cans.

Buckhead's After Five afterparty typically features the highly entertaining Scott & Woody. But the last time I went to go dance on their peanut-shell-coated floor, they had a Bon Jovi cover band in bizarre costuming. One guitarist was dressed like the devil in pajamas, and the other one was some sort of bird creature that looked as though Toucan Sam mated with the Cookie Monster.

Meanwhile, at Alley Cat they have Judson harmonizing the outdoor patio with his Dave-Matthews-slash-Jack-Johnson stylings, and inside, they're hosting this summer's Hawaiian Tropic Bikini Contest, for which I'm a judge. The summer season may be over, but at least the summer sun hasn't set.

You may kiss the bride ... nah, they can kiss my ass ... just kidding!

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