By: Shannon Ralph
Reason #13: She sees me.
I have a huge zit on my chin today. I don’t know where it came from or why it suddenly popped up on my forty-year-old face. It’s probably related to stress. Or the crap I’ve been eating lately. Or the fact that I’ve fallen in bed so exhausted every night since Ruanita has gone back to working evenings that I don’t always have the strength to wash my face first. Whatever the reason for its sudden appearance, it is ugly. It is quite hideous. I wish I could have worked from home today to shield this monstrosity from the world, but unfortunately, I needed to go into the office.
In addition to the zit on my face, I also made the rather dire mistake recently of coloring my hair at home. See, I have these persistent gray hairs that simply do not want to hold color. I can spend a fortune at the salon coloring my hair and three days later a silver stripe magically appears at my temple. It’s really annoying. As a result, in the interest of saving money, I decided to color my hair at home. After forty years on this Earth, you would think I would understand that this is a bad idea. Coloring one’s hair at home is always a bad idea. I spent a good fifteen minutes standing in the hair color aisle at Target selecting the perfect color. I settled on “Medium Chestnut Brown.” Little did I know that “Medium Chestnut Brown” was actually Clairol code for “Fifteen-Year-Old Goth Girl.” Or at least one shade shy of reddish-black gothic grotesqueness.
So here I sit. Fifty pounds heavier than I was two years ago. With a zit large enough to have its own atmosphere growing from my chin. Looking like some sort of freak with my nice slacks, 1990s-era brown paisley shirt (did I mention that I’ve gained 50 pounds, which has shrunken my wardrobe considerably, as I refuse to buy clothing in the size that I now require?), and hair that is 25 years too young for me. It is not my finest day.
You would think that Ruanita would look at me and recoil in fear. You would think that she would say, “Girl, get a hold of yourself!” Or at the very minimum go into some sort of wailing, self-flagellating mourning period over her partner’s complete disregard for her appearance. But she has done none of these things. She even kissed me goodbye this morning. She told me she loves me. She hugged me. She said she would miss me today.
What in the hell!?
Oh yea…we’re married. That’s what spouses do. They see past the zits. They see past the paisley. They see past the extra pounds and the hair color that is not found in nature. Ruanita doesn’t see any of these things.
She sees the woman she loves. The woman she committed her life to. The woman who makes her smile and holds her hand. The woman who cooks her homemade potato soup on cold, rainy days. The woman who takes her daughter to Girl Scouts and kisses her sons’ boo-boos. The woman who is fiercely committed to her family and would do absolutely anything for her inner circle.
In short, she sees me.
Seeing one another is one more way that my marriage is just like your marriage.