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The romantic comedy always ends when the couple finally gets together. But anyone who’s been married for even a month knows those fledgling days aren’t a true harbinger of what’s to come. When we were first married, the stark contrast between the romantic days of dating and the everyday-ness of marriage quickly came to light. I didn’t yet grasp that the beauty that lies in the ordinary. The quiet Tuesday on the tail end of illness, a conversation by the stove, a simple meal at the kitchen table. These moments build a life together, piece by piece.

There we stood
he…unshaven, tired, slightly disheveled
I…vulnerable, lonely, slightly radioactive
Really, what could be more desirable?

We hugged briefly (in accordance with the RA131 guidelines)
Chatted over leftovers about the pressures of the day
Deadlines, meetings, bills for him
Phone calls, books, solitude for me

That’s what 19 years earns you
The right to be ordinary, unspectacular, unadorned

The right to be with.