Growing up, and even in my 20s, I had very few straight guy friends. I spent most of my time in dance and theater, where guys are few and far between or, although it is a stereotype, gay. My heterosexual male friends were kept close and valued for the advice they gave and the offers they extended to pummel any guy who treated me poorly.
R. is one of those incredible, reliable guy friends that I’ve stuck close to since high school. He is a serial monogamist and, not surprisingly, proposed to his longtime girlfriend last year. They set a date for August and sent out ‘Save the Date’ cards soon after. I wrote the date in my planner: August 21. But something inside of me knew that I wouldn’t be attending.
R. is marrying B., who has a drinking problem. At one point, her problem got so bad, that R. and B. split up. “I can’t handle her when she gets blackout drunk,” R. said once. And every time B. drank, she binged to the point of blackout. During their split, she worked on “giving up hard liquor” and once she did, they got back together. “It’s only hard liquor that makes her black out,” R. said. This past January, on B.’s 25th birthday, she got blackout drunk off of beer (what happened to that hard liquor rule?) and kissed another guy. She never told R.
Up until this point, I have been elated for all of my friends who have gotten married or engaged. Everyone has seemed to fit so perfectly together, to complement each other, and really benefit from their unions. Except for R. and B. I can not go to a wedding and pretend to be happy for my dear friend and the woman he is settling for.
That little RSVP card sits on my dresser, asking far bigger questions than “Yes” or “No.”