Almost five years ago, a friend (we’ll call him Jason) I’ve known since high school asked me if I would be the best man in his wedding. I didn’t hesitate to accept. Because we’d been friends for so long, I knew him well enough to know I probably wasn’t his first choice (we’ll get to that in a second), but in any event, I was excited that he asked. His wedding signified a couple of firsts for my life at that point. It’d be the first time I ever attended a wedding that actually happened with someone I was friends with, while obviously being the first wedding I attended as someone’s best man.
Part of the reason I was puzzled about why Jason asked me to be the best man is because Jason and I had a mutual friend (we’ll call him Calvin) he could’ve asked. Jason and Calvin had known each other their entire lives. I mean, “playing in the sandbox, played football as young kids, whole families knew each other,” whole lives. Jason was also the godfather to Calvin’s daughter. Calvin seemed like an easy choice.
After Jason asked me to be the best man in his wedding, Calvin called me a week or so later and asked if I was attending Jason’s wedding. I, without even considering the weirdness of the random call or question, answered in the affirmative. I told Calvin that Jason had asked me to be the best man and I was trying to get everything together so that I’d be able to fly down and fulfill my duties. Calvin got noticeably quiet after I broke the news to him. It was at that moment he told me he wasn’t going to Jason’s wedding. In fact, he hadn’t even been invited. Apparently, Jason and Calvin had had a falling out, having to do with Jason’s fiance, and Calvin “wasn’t allowed” to come to the wedding. Instead of of Jason taking up for Calvin, apparently, he did nothing. Calvin took umbrage with Jason’s lack of action on his behalf.
Obviously I was taken aback by what Calvin told me. I immediately phoned Jason and told him what Calvin said. I told him I felt awkward, because they’d been friends since childbirth and all of us had been friends since high school. We all went to college in Tallahassee and were roommates for the three years I lived there. We’d carried each other during the worst times and celebrated way beyond any of our limits during our best times. I told Jason that whatever issue he’d had with Calvin he needed to settle up, because I didn’t want this to be something that got held against him or me based on a misunderstanding. Jason told me not to worry about it and that whatever Calvin had told me wasn’t really the issue. He wanted me to be the best man, that’s why he asked me. And that was the end of that.
Or, so I thought.
Fast forward to the day of Jason’s wedding and who shows up after the nuptials are said and the couples are joined together in holy matrimony? Calvin. In his work clothes. I watched Calvin walk past all the guests, up between the aisles, and damn near up to the podium to give me a dap. “Just wanted to say what’s up bruh. Hadn’t seen you in a while and I didn’t know the next time you were going to be in town.” I gave Calvin dap and asked if he was going to talk to Jason. I’m not sure if he did.
In short, the answer to the question is yes. Men care if they’re not invited to a close friend’s wedding and if the relationship warrants it, they care if they’re the best man or not, too.