Despite taking a shockingly and unacceptable long time, Australia finally acknowledged marriage equality, allowing Aussie’s to marry the person they love commencing from December 9, 2017. Since then I have been privileged and honoured to have attended two same-sex weddings and have been invited to a third.
In High School, I had a best friend named Ritz who I met when we were both 14 years of age. I started to tell people I was gay at the age of 17 and Ritz from the age of 18 (after we graduated High School and he fled our small-minded country town to the city). Fastford to the present and we’re both 34 years of age, live in the same city and Ritz is getting married to his long term boyfriend, Jatz, and they have invited me to their special day. I hesitated but decided to accept the invitation.
Why did I hesitate? The truth is, I didn’t know that Ritz and I were still friends and I was surprised to receive an invitation. Why did I think that we were no longer friends? See, Ritz and I don’t only live in the same city, we live about 2 miles from each other, with only one suburb between us. It’s about an eight-minute drive with traffic. Back in 2016 I started hosting games night at my place and each time would invite Ritz and Jatz to join, and each time they would decline. Games aren’t really their thing, which is absolutely fine. So, during 2017 I took a different approach and extended invitations to go out for dinner and drinks, which was something we had done dozens of times over the years. Ritz still declined. Fair enough!
Soon 2018 arrived, and a new opportunity arose where Ritz and I could catch up. I started a new job working in the City Centre (Downtown) literally in the same block as Ritz, with only three office buildings between us. My job was a contract that was restricted to just a few months before it came to an end. So again, I extend the invitation to meet for lunch or a drink after work, advising that we would only be working neighbours for a few months. You can probably guess what the answer was… I’m busy; I don’t have time blah blah blah. A month after my contract ends a good friend we have in common visits from interstate and is staying for five weeks. And, once again, no effort made by Ritz. Not to see our visiting friend or me. At this point, I feel like I’m being treated the same as a Grindr/Scruff “date”. It’s now early 2019 as I write this and Ritz and I have not caught up for 1.5 to 2 years and have more or less stopped communicating.
A wedding invitation recently arrived, and after some hesitation and persuasion from my sister, I accepted. Her words were “just go and be happy for them”. I have since cancelled my acceptance. I am sincerely happy for Ritz and Jatz and am confident they will have a wonderful life together. But I can’t, in good conscience, pretend that everything is okay and we’re close friends like we once were, because it’s simply not true, and I’ve now accepted that and moved on.
The truth is, I feel that Ritz knew many years ago that our friendship was dissolving (or he chose to gradually dissolve it) and I didn’t notice or didn’t want to notice. Since becoming adults (in comparison from our time in school together), I realised that we don’t actually have much in common and slowly and surely Ritz pulled further away, continuously declining to catch-up. Which, I am now entirely on board with and agree with him.
So why the wedding invitation? Am I being a dick by accepting and then cancelling it? The reason I gave was “unforeseen circumstances”, which we all know is a bit of a cop out, but honestly, I don’t think Ritz could handle the truth. Am I being a total a-hole?! Let me know your thoughts!
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March 20th, 2019