Plus One

A couple of years into our marriage, my wife and I struck a bargain. 

As a collector of young people of the marrying age, Jackie gets invited to weddings allatime. During the span of our marriage (15 years this winter) we’ve been invited to a couple hundred.

All things being equal, Jackie would attend them all.

As was my wont, I'd have just as soon RSVP'd sorry can’t make it, gone to the online bridal registry, shipped the

Gravy Boat

, (my caps) and spent the wedding afternoon following my own heart’s desire.

But in life and wedding season weekend time management, all things are rarely equal, so we’d get to as many as we could. As Jackie’s ‘plus one,’ I would clothe myself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, a suit and tie, suck it up and go to the wedding.

Here’s the bargain: I would accompany her to any wedding to which she was invited – provided it was in Manhattan, Kansas.

Jackie’s also been known at times to try her hand at matchmaking.

Whether through group dates, blind dates or just getting two people in a room and then inconspicuously removing herself to run down the hall to make sure the ice cream machine’s still working, my wife has a knack for fixing people up.

“I don’t make a match, I just introduce people,” says she.

Last February, she’d pulled together a group of a dozen or so warm bodies, clad in our tuxedos and evening gowns to celebrate K-State’s 150th Anniversary Gala. To this collection were invited two singles, Annarose Hart and Phil White.

She’d worked it all out pre-game, so each knew what to expect.

This system of hers is not rocket surgery. Phil, meet Annarose. Annarose, this is my friend, Phil. Knock yerselves out.

By their very nature, these setups are a crap shoot at best. If it takes, it takes. If it doesn’t, no harm, no foul. Dickinson said the heart wants what it wants or else it does not care. Matson said send the Gravy Boat and call it good.

O

r at least he used to.

Invariably, at many of these weddings, we hear St. Paul’s advice to the Corinthians. The part about love being patient, kind and not self-seeking.

As I stand on the precipice of middle age, my view of wedding ceremonies has evolved. I’ve long since abandoned the bargain. I try not to act like a Corinthian. Love is kind and not self-seeking. The words have meaning, genius.

Phil and Annarose were engaged to be married last night. We had the privilege of being the first with whom they dined as an officially engaged couple. Over New Mexican brunch in Aggieville this morning, they beamed as they recounted their engagement and shared their hopes and dreams for the future.

We could not be happier for them.

What God (and Jackie) have joined together, let no man put asunder.