I am writing this on behalf of my boyfriend, let’s call him Pete, who experienced a series of grave etiquette mishaps. His best friend from college, Tom, who also served as Best Man at his wedding, announced his engagement two weeks before Pete ended his marriage. During the two weeks after the announcement, Tom asked Pete to be his best man and Pete accepted.
Over the next couple months, Pete moved out of the home he shared with his ex-wife. Tom was fully aware that Pete no longer lived there. But every time he came to town he insisted on visiting the divorced couple’s old home with his fiance. He would call Pete, from his ex wife’s home, and inquire as to why he was not present. Pete thought this was strange but carried on preparing to be Tom’s best man. Pete was also friends with both the groom and bride-to-be on Facebook. He could see very plainly that they were very enthusiastically planning their wedding. As the months passed, Pete heard less and less from Tom.
A couple months before the wedding, Pete received a call from his ex-wife. She received an invitation addressed to Mr. and Mrs. Pete. She wanted to know how they should go about responding. Pete was floored that nearly a year after ending his marriage his best friend would send an invitation for both him and his ex-wife to his old house. Pete was never invited otherwise. He also never heard anything further about being in the bridal party – let alone being the best man.
Pete, still wanting to honor his relationship with Tom, found the couple’s registry information online. He bought the couple a gift and wrote a very sincere note of congratulations which he signed by himself. He drove the three hours to the wedding ceremony. He dropped his gift off on the gift table at the reception. He said his hellos and gave his congratulations to the newlyweds and left. He didn’t stay at the reception because (a) he had not technically been invited and therefore had not RSVPed and (b) his ex-wife was there and insisted on interacting with him as if everything was OK.
A few months later, the bride’s facebook status said that she was relieved to have completed all of her thank you cards. Predictably, Pete never received one. He is unsure if they simply didn’t send one or if they sent it to his ex-wife. It was also possible that the couple, who is staunchly religious and clearly disapproved of Pete having left his wife, decided not to accept the gift. Whatever the case, Pete never heard anything about it.
About six months after the wedding, Tom called and invited Pete to a luncheon for his birthday (which also happens to be Pete’s birthday). Pete and I drove three hours to attend this luncheon. Upon arrival, we quickly realized that it was a not a luncheon but Tom, his new wife and his parents having lunch at a chain restaurant. The lunch was awkward but Pete tried to make the best of it. Tom and his wife spent a deal of time talking about the get together they’d had at their house the day before with a group of their friends. As we were leaving, Tom was getting something out of his trunk and there, amongst a bunch of crap, was the gift Pete left at their wedding.
Furthering our dismay, the couple invited their parents back to their house to hang out since they’d driven half an hour to be there. Tom told Pete that he would invite him back to spend more time with him, but that there wasn’t any parking at their house. Pete has been to the couple’s apartment multiple times and there was plenty of parking. Tom also mentioned that their apartment was too small for company which was strange given that they’d just had a gathering there the day before. If they didn’t want us to come, they had no reason to invite Pete to make a 6 hour, round trip, drive in the first place.
I feel like there is more to this story than meets the eye because the actions of Tom and his wife are those of people purposely shunning someone from their social circle in response to behavior they cannot reconcile or condone as appropriate. Why? Did Pete end his marriage to his ex-wife in order to be with his mistress?
OP, you wrote that Tom “invited Pete” to a luncheon with no mention or indication that the invitation was extended to you as well. If you tagged along with Pete to a luncheon date you were not initially invited to attend, I can definitely see the hosts turning down the hospitality temperature to the freezing zone.