I had a moment’s worth of ‘young again.’ It smiled awkwardly from the formal script of a ‘plus one’ wedding invitation. I grinned sheepishly in return.
I am not sure why being addressed as ‘Bettejean and guest’ amuses me. This is, after all, a tangible reminder I am no longer half of a taken-for-granted pair. My name is now a stand alone—a stark and solitary figure floundering in a landscape of dedicated twos. It could (and maybe should) make me feel the pain of being old and left alone, but in a peculiar way, it doesn’t.
I associate ‘plus one’ with young adults, although my recent sense of ‘young again’ is not a throwback to personal experience. ‘Bettejean and guest’ is uncharted territory, an alien landscape yet to be explored.
My name has always tagged along behind the ‘and,’ never once preceded it. I was eighteen when my name detached itself from the second line of invitations to my parents in order to round out the line ‘addressed to George and….’
Through years of events and parties, I always knew who was the better half. With him gone, I do not take new invitations for granted. I never thought until this one came along I might be invited simply for myself. And whomever I bring along. On the one hand, leaving the choice of guest to my judgment seems a little risky. On the other, I do have a proven track record of choosing only the best.
I am so glad my daughter will be home in time for this event. I hope she is willing to be my plus one.