The Gents, that’s an apt title for my groomsmen. Not too pretentious, not too descriptive, able to be interpreted in any number of different ways. After all, there are certainly gentlemen in
this bunch. Some may be gentlemen of fortune. At least one is a gentleman and a scholar. Several would on various occasions scorn to be called gentlemen at all (as indeed there is little ‘gentle’ about them), whereas others embrace that title in deed… if not necessarily in word. Heck, you should just meet them. That will make everything clearer.
Matt Marovich – the Duelist
I’ve known Matt for a dozen years; by the time the wedding rolls around it will be a baker’s dozen almost precisely. I met him in college, connected over geekiness (this may become a theme), and bonded thereafter over all the tumultuous travails of everyday life, both in college and during that confusing period after. He’s among my fastest friends, it’s been a sincere honor to know him and watch, over the years, as he became first a man, then a husband, and most recently a father. I doubt anyone who knows him these days would debate that he excels at all of these pursuits. I have decided he will be my First Sword, if such a thing is ever required
Tyler Hayes – the Writer
I’ve known Tyler for either twelve years or nearly twenty, depending on how you look at it. I first met him in my hometown of Fort Bragg. We were children, he was a friend of a friend, and we had a loose association over the years, chatting here and there but never what you might call close… until I learned by happenstance that he was going to the same university I was. Whereupon, I marched across the street (because he lived, of all places, across the street, and I never realized it til then) and reintroduced myself. Since then, we have been through too many tales for this quick introduction to even scratch the surface, so let’s congratulate him on being a published author (!) and keep on truckin’.
Jared Cummings – the Ogre
Yes, you read that right. It’s a favored descriptor of him, and evokes a great deal. I admit, he doesn’t pull people’s heads off and eat them (that I know of, anyway), but if your immediate guess is that Jared is the one with nothing gentle about him, you’d be right. Keep in mind, though: that means his loyalty and caring are also not gentle, but fierce and powerful. Jared and I met while I was in college. He has been with me through some rough times, and has never failed to come through for me when I needed him, earning my loyalty in return, pale though it sometimes is compared to his. He’s hit people on my behalf, and once or twice hit me when I needed it… which is the sort of thing only a true friend really does for you.
Ralph Lacy – the Mentor
Ralph, I’ve known for a bit less time than the others; nigh on seven years now. We met under unusual circumstances that I won’t get into at the moment, and he immediately impressed me as among the more humorous, even-keeled, and easygoing men I had ever met. A year or so later, he offered me a job, at which I would learn the skills that have become my current career, catapulting him into the elite heading of ‘most influential people in my life’. In the time since, he has taught me a very great deal, both practical and not. And my initial impressions of him – unflappable, intelligent, and amazingly affable – have been proven true again and again.
So, there they are in their panoply; the men who have honored me by agreeing to stand with me while I do this crazy marriage thing. Eventually I’ll get pictures of the handsome lads up here, but for now, let them bask in your approbation.