SPEECH

SPEECH

So I’m now mere hours away from my friend Eric’s wedding rehearsal, and I have no idea what I’m going to say if called upon to give some kind of speech.

I’m bad at speaking publicly, worse at speaking off-the-cuff and, I can only assume, extremely bad at being the gay guy at a wedding full of conservative Christians from Oklahoma. Maybe I’m wrong to assume that some of these people have never seen a real-live homosexual before, but I feel a strong burden, on behalf of the entire gay population of Earth, to get them to like me. I gotta represent.

The pressure doesn’t help.

The backstory is this: Eric asked me to be in his wedding party — an usher or groomsmen or whatever you’d call it. So, okay, just a groomsmen — I should be able to blend nicely into the background and let the Best Man do all the hard stuff, right? Well, it turns out Eric has no Best Man, and the other two groomsmen are his sister’s husband and his fiancee’s brother. I’m the only “friend” in the group, thus when the crowd is waiting for the Best Man speech, I feel like, rather than face the awkward silence, I should probably step in with a few words. I’ve checked with at least ten people on this. Everyone agrees it’s my job.

Eric, while a fairly liberal-minded guy — liberal enough to have a gay guy in his wedding party, at least — is pretty religious. He goes to church and, unlike a lot of other “religious” people I know, he actually, you know, believes the things they say there. He doesn’t drink alcohol, and he doesn’t believe in premarital sex, a fact I thought of having some fun with in my speech. “I’ve never given a speech like this before,” I’d say. “So I’m kind of on virgin terrotory here. But in this case, I guess that’s appropriate.” Subtle wink to Eric. I thought about saying that, but I don’t know how well it would play in a room full of people who may have had the same policy themselves, and I don’t want to be the Big City Gay Guy Who Sees Something Wrong With Abstinence. I gotta represent.

I guess I’m just worried because I don’t know my audience, and I don’t know how I’m going to score at this thing if I can’t use humor. Ah, humor, which has saved me from so many awkward moments over the years… please don’t abandon me now! Seriously, what’s the alternative to humor? I can’t go goopy and sentimental. It’s not really my style, and it’s not really Eric’s either. Oh, I’ll toss a little of that stuff in there. You know: “Eric’s a great guy.” “I know you two will be really happy together.” That kind of thing. But if anyone’s expecting tears, I don’t think I’m up to the task.

There’s only one thing I know for sure right now: posting to my blog is a good way of procrastinating. What I really need to do is come up with something to say in my damn speech.

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