a newspaper man adjusts his pen

Monday, June 30, 2008

Her best friend's wedding

By: Amanda Gillooly

My friend Ean Gensler is getting married Saturday. I’m happy for him and can’t wait to see him tie the knot with someone I know he loves very much.

He moved to Chicago a few years back to take a fantastic job, and admittedly, we don’t talk as much as we used to.

But through the wonder of social networking sites such as Myspace.com, we are able to keep up with one another’s lives via the Internet.

The other day I checked a new blog post, and it was plain old depressing.

Instead of checking the “I won’t be able to make it” box on the reservation, the aunt of his fiancé wrote a long, painful letter about how she would not be in attendance at the “event” because she just didn’t believe in their romance.

I took offense immediately. Who the hell is Aunt Bertha to judge Ean?

He was one of my best friends in college, and although we went out nearly every evening, there was never any attraction between the two of us.

Ours just wasn’t that sort of relationship.

But even though we never became intimate, I can see where someone could fall head over heels for the guy.

In addition to being a hottie, he’s hilarious; I don’t think I was ever in Ean’s presence without, at some point, laughing so hard I thought I was really going to wet myself.

Maybe Aunt Bertha just doesn’t see Ean the way I do. But then, we went on many outings. And every outing was an adventure.

She didn’t go to Pittsburgh Steelers games with the dude.

His father, who had the season tickets we gladly mooched, asked us earnestly if we’d like to take his “hollowed-out hoagie” to sneak in a bottle of liquor.

Of course we said no, even though said hoagie had been a reliable accessory for the family for years. But the seed was planted. If Ean’s dad could sneak in the hard stuff with a silly sandwich, what could we come up with?

Actually, nothing too creative. We just stuck a bottle of Southern Comfort in Ean’s boot and walked in, taking secret swigs between plays, and telling ourselves that it wasn’t exactly smuggling as much as trying to stay warm.

We went to Punxsutawney our senior year and ended up teaching the bloated white guy playing Elvis how to give the traditional “rock on” hand gesture. If you need proof, we have a picture.

When Ean walks down the aisle with his fiancé, John Hreha, next Saturday, I’ll surely shed a tear – I’m a closet romantic. I cry at every wedding.

Yes, my friend Ean is gay. And I’m sorry if I didn’t let you in on that tidbit earlier. I just wanted you to see him as I do: a dear friend, not simply “my gay friend.”

I wouldn’t want anyone to make the same mistake as Aunt Bertha.




A.J. said...

It's sad so many people still can't unfreeze their minds and hearts on this issue. People like Aunt Bertha are provincial fools. Go Ean.

Joe "Old Man" Geier said...

You know you are such an amazing writer. I miss our "adventures" in the Globe room. You're probably the ONLY person (male or female) whom I know would stand in a window and moon the mens' dorm of the YMCA across the street.

Amanda Gillooly said...

Great, Joe. Now I'll NEVER be able to run for office. And for the record, I was mooning Leroy, not the ENTIRE male dorm. I do have some class. Oh, and the compliment made me blush!

Scott Beveridge said...

Please keep your bloomers up in the newsroom.

Amanda Gillooly said...

You are no fun.

Scott Beveridge said...

You think so?
Well, bring your bowling ball to Alpine Lanes ...