(The following is actually an addendum to this post at Bilerico, the link at the very end of which will get you back here.)
Picture yourself ringing the doorbell of a posh address. You've been invited to a fancy dinner party. Your host, whom you have known forever, graciously receives you. You mingle with the other guests until dinner is announced and everyone is ushered into the dining room where they find their place cards at table. Everyone except you. You are seated at a card table in an adjoining room where you can watch the dinner on closed circuit TV. You see the extravagant fare served to the other guests. On your plate is plain hamburger. You slip out the door unnoticed, but word gets back to your host that you were unhappy with the evening. He wants to make amends, and you accept another invitation. This time, you are ushered into the banquet with the other guests and are seated at the table. Something is still not quite right. You notice that the chair you've been given is a few inches shorter than all the others. You get up and leave. You complain to your friends about what happened, and again, word of this gets back to your host who proclaims his love and respect for you, inviting you back for another dinner. You give him another chance and when you are again seated at the table, you find that your chair is as high as all the rest, but when dinner is served, it becomes painfully obvious that the portions placed on your plate are deliberately smaller than those of the other guests. You begin to wonder why you wanted to come to this banquet in the first place. You consider the progress you've made and wonder if you ought to just sit back and enjoy the party. Why quibble? It's not your dining room. Not your house. Not your party. But it's comfortable here. These people are your friends. You feel connected with them on so many levels. Isn't it unreasonable to expect everyone to behave according to your own standards? So you stay, and everyone at table, including your beaming host, breathes a little easier knowing that you can see how much they all really really love you. you decide to keep complaining about your treatment but to do so politely.
One evening, you find yourself again a guest at that same home. You stand up with glass in hand and propose a toast to your host seated far away at the head of the opposite end of the long table. Before you proclaim your toast, you ask your host a question. "Why is it that you never invite my partner? I see many couples at this table who receive joint invitations. Why not me?" There is no answer. You consider grabbing the corner of the tablecloth and giving it a good yank but you don’t bother. You know you aren't coming back.
Years later, you walk by that house and find that it is for sale. It's owner is bankrupt and alone. Your life has been a great success full of happiness and prosperity and better banquets with better friends. But something inescapable hounds you, and draws you back to your earliest days, and so you buy the place. You renovate. You invite all your old friends and family as well as your new ones. One blank invitation left. Your pen in hand. Do you invite him, that man who meant well and kept inviting you back to his table?