There’s always something to howl about

I Prefer Vera Wang

I am not a gay man but I’d play one on television if I thought there was a Golden Globe in it for me.  In fact, my wife insists that her next husband will indeed, be a gay man and I’m cool with that as long as I’m not still around to witness all the fabulous shopping thrown back  in my face.  And  just so you know that this Op-Ed is not coming from a squinted biased eye, I’m hereby going on cyber-record to announce to the entire Blogosphere that our bride’s maid was a male fashion designer, my best man was a lesbian, and we first encountered our bisexual ceremonial minister at a coffee shop in Boystown.  If you don’t believe me,  just ask our poor parents.  And perhaps this is why a certain Jason Wu recently ‘Requested’ my Friendship on Facebook.  (The fact that I even know who the man is serves as the premise for this piece.)

And thus, without doth protesting too much, if you ever met me in person you’d clearly see that I’m not physically fit enough to be gay—or at least, not the sort of gay I’d prefer if druthers were in order. I do know a little bit about fashion, though, and I have to declare that I am totally pissed that Michelle Obama did not wear Maria Pinto at the Inauguration. There, it’s out. I said it.

Allow me to digress.  Maria Pinto is a well known Chicago based fashion designer who studied under Geoffrey Beene.  She is the twin sister of my best friend and managing broker, Joe Pinto,  and a personal friend and designer-of-choice of my wife, Mona. For the past 18 months,  none other than the Michelle Obama, has been  frequenting  the Pinto showroom for complimentary couture and thus, dangling the possibility of  wearing Maria Pinto for The Inauguration.  There were nods and winks but I can say no more.  And since ‘ The Dress ‘  will ultimately hang in the Smithsonian alongside the likes of Jackie Kennedy and First Ladied others…well, needless to say…this was all a pretty big deal for a lot of people here.

And so, all collective eyes  in Chicago were glued to the television screen this past Tuesday.  Maria had been picked up in a limo and whisked away to DC  just one day earlier. The buzz in our social circle was ear numbing; the text messages, encoded and endless. We were all sworn to secrecy. I microwaved popcorn and took the entire day off.  Mona buried one of my Saint Joseph statues in the pocket of a Maria Pinto cape she paid $1800 for. I called my bookie and tried to get the over-under on a side bet. Evening finally fell and the first of a dozen fabulous Balls began. The cameras panned left and the First Lady appeared with something sparkly strapped across her back.  All at once, things did not look promising (on so many different levels).  “IT’S NOT HERS.”  my iPhone immediately pinged. And alas, it was ultimately a little known designer named Jason Wu, who got The Inaugural nod while the rest is,  and will forever be,  haute history.

So,  to say the least, I was a bit surprised that Mr Wu himself requested my FB Friendship when I checked my Text messages this morning. I logged-in and noticed that we also had 34 ‘Friends in Common’—all real estate bloggers and not one of them fashionistas from what I could tell from their pictures. Hmmm….the new ‘Request’ reeked of the same Donald Trump icon that I couldn’t shoo away from my BlogLog widget a few years back. I went to my Facebook Dashboard and searched for  ‘Jason Wu.’  500+ entries came back.  Duped again.

But still, I find myself  reticent to click ‘Deny’ although it seems like every time I  post one of these types of pieces,  a handful of soon-to-be ex-Friends promptly ‘Remove’ me from their rosters. (Unsubscribed, as it were.).  It’s not cool to shun those who identify with the fashion elite, I decide.  Anyway, I always welcome a hot tip on a truckload of Man’s Purses; COACH, preferably, if you’re taking notes.

:  My wife just walked into the room and asked me if I wanted to go for a Mani-Pedi.  Am I dead yet?


22 Comments so far

  1. Ken brand January 25th, 2009 2:33 pm

    What’s a Mani-Pedi?

    I figured out the rest, while laughing and smiling. Thanks.

  2. Geno Petro January 25th, 2009 2:37 pm

    Manicure/Pedicure, sorry to say.

  3. Sean Purcell January 25th, 2009 3:00 pm

    Hilarious Geno. I’d say you’re alright so long as you don’t know the name of that frilly thing that hangs over the box spring. I tried to look it up but all I got was divot, as in golf. I’m pretty sure it’s close to that though…

  4. Geno Petro January 25th, 2009 4:46 pm


    You mean a ‘divet’…with an E. But the frilly thing that hangs over a box spring is a ‘dust ruffle’…sorry to say.


  5. ryan January 25th, 2009 4:48 pm

    Great as always. You can get a mani/pedi and I will do the highlights. We can gay it out at the hands of Lady Petro. (As a side note, I have fully enjoyed a mani a couple times)

  6. Geno Petro January 25th, 2009 5:08 pm

    Thanks son.

  7. Sean Purcell January 25th, 2009 5:28 pm


    In comparison to you Geno, as usual, I have a long way to go… 🙂

  8. Geno Petro January 25th, 2009 5:30 pm

    Not if you read Vanity Fair…sorry to say.

  9. Joe January 25th, 2009 6:37 pm

    Well written Gino! Doesn’t surprise me as I’ve been to your Chicago blog lately and your writing is top notch.

    I’ve seen some video of Jason Wu recently, and his new found celebrity status his him a bit starstruck with all the interviews and such.

    With the Blagojevich drama unfolding, looks like you guys will have much to write about in the weeks or months to come.

  10. Geno Petro January 25th, 2009 7:00 pm

    Thanks Joe. And you’re right, there’s no shortage of subject matter in this democratic tundra.

  11. Don Reedy January 25th, 2009 7:11 pm


    I’d love to get all of us men together the next time we’re in the same town, do a group mani/pedi, and laugh our asses off while we simultaneously love it and swear we’ll rip the face off any guy who “squeals on us.”

  12. Geno Petro January 25th, 2009 7:25 pm

    Okay Don, my man. I’m in. Which color do you prefer?

  13. Jose Lopez January 25th, 2009 8:42 pm

    Joe, sorry your girl got dumped at the altar. Hey it happens. Michelle is going to come back crying after she sees the pictures of that dress. She will not make that mistake again.

  14. Laurie Manny January 25th, 2009 9:02 pm

    Hi Geno,

    I was going to tell you that your post had me cracking up, but watching Geno helping Bloodhound regulars get in touch with their “feminine side” in the comments has been priceless.

    Thank you, I will giggle myself to sleep tonight.


  15. Geno Petro January 26th, 2009 2:43 am

    Hey Laurie,

    Don’t believe those other regulars…they know what I’m talkin’ about. (but let’s keep it on the down low!)

    I’m sure all is well in LBC…ok, maybe not the C.


  16. Cheryl Johnson January 26th, 2009 4:54 am

    Well, Geno, you probably noticed that not only did I accept Jason’s invitation, I wrote on his wall. (Me, the epitome of Bag Lady Chic.)

    However, it occurs to me that there is a simple diplomatic solution that could be implemented by future first couples.

    The new first couple usually attends 10 (or more) different balls. Why not simply wear a different designer to each ball?

    With all the customization made to the presidential limo, why ~not~ a dressing room?


  17. Joe January 26th, 2009 5:28 am

    Cheryl wrote:

    "…Why not simply wear a different designer to each ball? With all the customization made to the presidential limo, why ~not~ a dressing room?"

    I’m thinking of Sarah Palin. But I guess Michelle Obama can get away with it! Uh oh, I just had to go there. <grins>

  18. Eric Blackwell January 26th, 2009 5:40 am

    Classic. Thanks Geno.

    For the record: Not gonna do it. (Mani / Pedi OR getting in touch with my feminine side-hehe) Wouldn’t be prudent.

    Not even if Don Reedy swears and scares them to secrecy.

    No matter how many times Sean asks me. (grin)

    Simply not how I roll…(puts on tough guy face)

    I think Cheryl has a great point about more than 1 dress although, you GOTTA think that would make it less special than THE dress…it would just be A dress…too funny.



  19. Geno Petro January 26th, 2009 6:14 am

    Eric: Man points well defended. Way to roll!

    Cheryl–you are indeed, one very smart cookie.


  20. Don Reedy January 26th, 2009 12:56 pm


    I want to say that the way I envision the Mani/Pedi is clearly NOT an attempt to get in touch with my feminine side.

    Au contraire, it’s to give all of us macho guys (putting on my tough guy face now) an opportunity to get in touch with a game of double dare ya, or kick the can, or any other significantly stupid “guy thing” we were able to do back in our twenties, but now find ourselves unable or unwilling to do now.

    By the way, I loved your Dana Carvey imitation…..

  21. Sean Purcell January 26th, 2009 3:39 pm

    Hey Eric! Now that I know you can’t keep a secret I won’t be asking again for a while (he said while stomping one foot and pouting…)

  22. James Boyer January 26th, 2009 3:52 pm

    Wow, I loved it, just loved it. Though I don’t follow fashion or all that, I don’t get my hair done at a fancy salon even though my good friend is a co-owner of one just a ordinary guy.