Amy Dickinson is a general advice columnist.
DEAR AMY: I am a man who has just been invited to a bachelorette party. The bride-to-be is a close friend of mine from graduate school. We've known each other for several years.
I plan to attend this bachelorette party, but I have a couple of concerns. I'm not sure if I should ask the host if I can bring my boyfriend along. My boyfriend and I have been together for more than eight years, and he is a friend of the bride's as well. Though I'm sure she would love to see him, I'm not sure if these parties are usually not meant to include couples. I'm also not sure what to bring as a gift. My boss, who is female, told me I cannot go wrong with lingerie, but I neither feel comfortable giving this gift nor do I know what women want in this area. I, personally, prefer not to give gift certificates. Have you got any other suggestions? Thank you for your help.Her Best Man
DEAR BEST MAN: First of all, my condolences. I can think of no worse way to spend an evening than at a bachelorette party.
I'm sure there is a wide range in terms of what people plan for these parties, but generally they seem to involve lots of squealing and the wearing of novelty wigs.
Bachelorette parties are for the bride-to-be and her friends alone (spouses, partners and boyfriends are not included). You could ask the bride-to-be (or her maid of honor, who might be organizing it) if your boyfriend is included -- but you should assume not. If he is not invited, do not ask if you can bring him.
And you can go wrong with lingerie. So, so wrong.
If you can manage to overcome your aversion to gift certificates, a certificate to your friend's favorite spa would be a thoughtful and appropriate gift.
Otherwise, a bottle of nice Champagne that she can share with her fiance (along with a DVD of the movie "Bridesmaids") would be welcome.