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May 25, 2004

A Seduction


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Speaking of Mitt Romney's underwear , I am entering Brian McGrory's column in full here, because newspaper clickies have a way of vaporizing over time. This clarifies my confusion over the threat that gay marriages pose to some of us.

Civilization in ruins
By Brian McGrory, Globe Columnist | May 18, 2004

Back in the old days, which now count as every day before yesterday, I used to look at Mitt Romney as a governor with a lot of unfulfilled potential.

Now, I look at him as a guy with a gorgeous head of hair. For that matter, check out those deep-set eyes, that almost unnaturally trim waist, the incredibly muscled gams. All you Bobbys, Billys, and Brads of the world, you're honestly going to tell me you've never noticed how his exquisitely tailored suits fall just perfectly so?

While we're at it, why do I keep thinking about the old campaign ad in which he strides bare-chested from the surf? Or his manicured hands? I'm sorry, did someone turn on a light or did Mitt flash another smile?

All of which might explain how I came to be standing in the marble corridors of the State House yesterday nervously contemplating the one question I had climbed Beacon Hill to ask: Governor, would you marry me?

Oh, don't get me wrong. I'm not gay. At least I don't think so. I mean, I have 42 years of avowed heterosexuality behind me, and enough women who would gladly testify to my physical incompetence and emotional detachment to prove it.

But now, with the advent of gay marriage in Massachusetts, I have these strange feelings, sensations really. Let's call them, for lack of a better word, emotions. I'm confused.

First and foremost, I'm confused as to how to pop the big question. How about, "Mitt, we've grown beyond the usual governor/columnist relationship, and it's time for us to accept the fate that is inexorably ours?" Or, "Mitt, I'd like to invite you to a gay wedding, and you're in it." Or maybe, "Mitt, I know you already have a wife, but how about a husband?"

I was weighing those exact issues when -- holy moley, check it out! -- Tom Finneran, the speaker of the House, sauntered past. I mean, you normally need a zoning variance to have shoulders that broad, but he's got his on unabashed display.

Tommy has returned not one of my calls in my entire career, and it suddenly strikes me that maybe he's just bashful. Or playing hard to get. Could he be combating the same deep desires that I've suddenly found I have?

What's it mean that I'm actually starting to think that Bob Travaglini is cute?

And then it occurs to me that Mitt and Tommy and all those other equally handsome chaps who keep railing on about the sanctity of heterosexual marriage, the undermining of family values, and the bedlam that such a profound social change will cause, they're right. Every one of them. On every point.

One day into a new, threatening reality, everything's changed. I think I saw Bert and Ernie holding hands yesterday morning outside of Cambridge City Hall, and was that Gilligan and the Skipper publicly necking in Provincetown?

I mean, it's all crashing down now, isn't it? Lions and tigers are suddenly eyeing each other in a much different way. Male bonding will soon be taken to unthinkable extremes among otherwise perfectly red-blooded men. Girls' night out will lead to something entirely too permanent. And then what?

Emotions will undoubtedly fray. Families will invariably crumble. This whole marriage thing -- one big house of cards? And yesterday, the whole thing just came crashing down.

Or did it? Did anything really change? Did strong marriages between men and women suddenly weaken, and the weak ones collapse? Did straights suddenly think gay? Has heterosexual commitment become cheap all because a bunch of people of the same gender were finally granted a legal, public, and equal expression of their love?

Actually, you know what, Mitt? Never mind about that little proposal. I think I got caught up in the emotion of the day. It's true, you look great. But given where you are on issues of basic human decency, I'm starting to think you might not wear well over time.

Brian McGrory is a Globe columnist. He can be reached at mcgrory@globe.com.

© Copyright 2004 Globe Newspaper Company.

Photo note: There may be a seduction taking place on the bridge, look carefully.

Posted by Dakota at May 25, 2004 06:09 AM