A soon-to-be groom has recently taken to the Reddit forum Am I The A**hole looking for sympathy after telling his closest friend that he had to “man up” or not come to his wedding—only OP’s concept of “man up” may be a little different from yours!
The groom, thirty-one, and his friend Taylor, thirty, have been close friends since childhood—they’ve been through school and college together and been on vacations many times. OP describes Taylor as affectionate, kind, thoughtful, a jokester, and a thirty-year-old punk. He sounds like a great guy to us!
But for all that they’re apparently ‘best friends,’ OP does seem to have some problem with Taylor. And so might his fiance: “after a long and thoughtful conversation, my fiance voiced her concerns about inviting Taylor to our wedding,” OP says.
What are these concerns? First, he wouldn’t adhere to the dress code, a black tuxedo for guys. “He wore a dress to our prom,” OP says. The second? “Taylor is dating a guy, which is NOT the problem. But his partner is also very flamboyant,” OP continues.
Talking to Taylor the day after this conversation, OP told him about Anne’s ‘concerns.’ Unsurprisingly, Taylor laughed and asked, “Do you think I’m gonna show up in a white dress?”
Not comforted, OP kept pressing. Harshly. First, he told Taylor to “man up” and “act his age,” but then he went further—telling Taylor that “people laugh about you, you want to be a joke?”
An Unfair Request
For his part, Taylor brushed it off with a “sure, no problem” and declined the online wedding invite the next day. However, given how close they were for so many years, OP’s family group chat is confused over Taylor not attending, and their friends’ chat is entirely silent.
We wonder why OP even felt the need to make this post when it should be evident that he’s been a massive a**hole. And Reddit agrees: “This could have been really easy “hey, it’s important to my fiancé that everyone respects the dress code.” Telling him to “man up,” “act his age,” and “people laugh about you” is beyond rude and mean. It’s cruel,” says one user.
Many comments point out the apparent homophobia of OP’s attitude. For example, he may claim that Taylor dating a man “isn’t a problem” for him, but it clearly is. “No, no, you don’t understand! The problem isn’t that Taylor is gay; it’s just that he ACTS gay!” one comment succinctly points out.
OP doesn’t seem to realize that gay people are perfectly capable of adjusting their behavior and attire to suit different occasions—just like straight people do unless OP claims to wear a black tuxedo and behave quietly and respectfully in every aspect of his own life.
Wearing a dress to a high school event as a teen hardly means Taylor would be ‘disruptive’ at a close friend’s wedding, especially since his primary traits are apparently being kind and thoughtful. Affectionate—qualities that OP himself seems to lack, we point out.
Besides, what would be wrong with wearing a dress to a wedding? As long as it fits the formal dress code, we don’t see a problem with men in kilts or women in suits.
Then there’s the matter of OP’s fiance, Anne, who has struggled with anxiety and ADHD and wants a calm, quiet, minimalist wedding. All understandable, but we’re not sure how that translates into an excuse for OP to verbally batter his ‘friend’ like that.
Many Reddit users with anxiety and ADHD diagnoses have chimed in with a critique of this attitude. “As a queer person with ADHD and anxiety, I scream in terror whenever I see myself in a mirror. It’s a cruel existence,” says one user.
“It doesn’t take a mental health illness to want your wedding guests not to wear clothing that’s distracting, and her ADHD certainly has nothing to do with OP choosing to insult his friend,” says another.
Others point out that we can’t even know what OP’s fiance’s attitude is because everything is filtered through OP’s apparent homophobia. “I’m betting she probably was like “hey, I know your friend has done a lot of flamboyant stunts, and that’s great for him, but could you make sure he keeps things low-key for our wedding?” speculates one comment.
But whatever the fiance’s role, it’s pretty clear that OP was way out of line and may have just ruined a friendship that had been going strong for over a decade—although, with his attitude, we’re not sure how that happened. What do you think?