This year my husband and I will celebrate 30 years together. I pause writing this.

30 years.

We have been together longer than the time we didn’t know one another. We have done practically everything together since 1993. We came together through our band’s playing a Pro Choice concert in Baltimore, David standing with the “grunge dudes” in his band, them eyeing us Riot Grrrls up, and stating that he liked me the best as my band Womyn of Destruction played headliner at the 8x10 Club.

Three months later we are a couple. 2 years later we start a band. 28 years later we never stopped playing and touring together.

We opened a business up together creating a Record Store Cafe, the three things we love the most. Food, Coffee and Music.

We finish each others sentences at this point. We jokingly like to yell, “GET OUT OF MY HEAD” when I say that I want Sushi for dinner right before he was about to say the same thing.

We are also very role reversed in our duties in our marriage. He likes doing dishes and the laundry, which I hate doing laundry. He can’t use a power tool to save his life, but I love problem solving and fixing things with my hands around the house or the shop. He’s absolutely amazing at attending to our finances (which I absolutely am NOT and silently worry about a future (universe forbid!) without him). I love grocery shopping and cooking. He detests the super market.

He loves holding hands and snuggling. I sometimes forget that these things are important to him. Me, the dude.

So I write him random love notes on his salad dressing containers. He randomly asks me, while doing the bills, “ Did you know you are cool, Tiny?” To which I always reply, “Nope.”

These little things we say and do are the daily little valentines we have given one another for 30 years.

Here’s to 30 more.

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Feb 13Liked by M Tamara Cutler

New romance in your fifties is a little different from twenty or thirty years previous. For us, there were no illusions about what we were going to be when we grew up, because we were grown up. Yes, dinners, flowers, and wine, but we talked about our successes and failures, families, values, finances, and health. Yes, he gave me a diamond ring, which left me speechless, and kisses... "It's in His Kiss - that's where it is!" But what made me say yes? He cooked meals with me; one weekend he helped me put up a bookcase in my basement; he gave me a power washer for Mother's Day, so I could clean the green slim off the north side of my house and terrace. Just what I'd asked for. He listened, pitched in, and gave me "Atta girls!" Now that's romantic!

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Feb 14Liked by M Tamara Cutler

In 2015, I was helping friends empty their attic. Generations of furniture, china, and ephemera. Unwanted bits were donated to the village hall for their fundraiser. After my third delivery of some rather nice antiques, a grateful volunteer suggested that I fill a bag with whatever I'd like. My 6 month visit had just begun and I had just one little case of clothing, so I picked out some basics to mix and match – and one slinky, full length amethyst velvet dress with a plunging neckline that revealed a scarlet satin lining. It was gorgeous and so unlike me. That evening, I told the upstanding chap I'd been seeing that I fancied a twentieth anniversary weekend, as I had a fabulous new frock and I'd never had an anniversary. The staff at the historic Spread Eagle Hotel of Midhurst kindly ignored the giggling whenever calling us Mr. & Mrs. My date was impressed with his anniversary gifts – a pair of cufflinks made of US dimes minted the year we were married and a CD of cherished songs with a hand drawn cover of a mix tape labelled “MBH Mix – Just Like When We Were High School Sweethearts”. I remember his delight with my attention to detail. The following year, Make Believe Husband made it official.

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If we reasonably conclude Love is the Law, responsible for ordering the Universe, let’s assume Romance as Love’s Lawyer, offering case after case to Life’s Judge, convincing The Jury that yes, in fact, we do understand.

The surprise was nearly blown. Two postcards had arrived too early, at least earlier than instructed by Her. Luckily, Partner was none-the-wiser and simply remarked, “Huh, funny. Jeez, that’s awfully nice of them. But why would they go out of their way to write, physically go to the post office, and mail me a birthday postcard? I mean we’re friends, but I didn’t think we knew each other like that.”

The real surprise came two days later. The case was made and the verdict in. The Jury declared Her’s “Birthday Postcard Case” a resounding success.

Romance is a mailbox full of Birthday Postcard Love from a lifetime of friends, all organized by Her, the One I Love.

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There were a lot of things he wasn’t good at. Putting his socks in the hamper. Getting the kids ready for school. Understanding the difference between want and need.

Eventually the things I couldn’t stand outweighed the ones I could, and I left.

But there were things no one could do as well as him. Like making a fantastic dinner out of whatever was lingering in the back of the cupboards and the depths of the crisper drawer. Or hosting a themed party with some serious labor involved: roasting a whole pig, making 50 gallons of cider.

It’s easy to forget the good things. Apparently we’re wired to notice the awful and the terrifying.

I was in an art class he’d bought me for Christmas. The teacher asked if anyone had received a terrific Valentine’s Day gift. I had - he’d given me hiking boots. I’m not sure I ever noticed how good he was at gifts.

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Feb 15Liked by M Tamara Cutler

The sun looks amazing tonight, I said, sitting up from the embrace on the reclined front seat of the car parked at the lookout point where local teens went to make out. It was a warm summer night, and my sophomoric self decided to test this new love interest. What, it’s the moon, he answered perplexed.

Insisting it was the sun, I embarked on a series of pseudo-philosophical backbends to explain why. I was fishing for a response that would meet that ideal blend of open-minded creativity and unfettered adoration. He failed the test.

Later, as a tourist in a tropical land, I suffered from a terrible case of dysentery. The bathroom adjoined the room I shared with my new European flame and, being a body-issues-ridden American, I was mortified.

Yet, throughout that miserable week-and-a-half he acted as if all was fine and comforted me back to health. Now that was love.

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Feb 16Liked by M Tamara Cutler

It was New Year’s Eve. I had turned down the invitation to a party as I was mourning the abrupt end of a romantic period in my life, but I decided to attend at the last minute. I felt at home with the spirited group of poets and artists. As I glanced about, I noticed a guest who seemed to be from a different world. Just then my host took my arm and introduced us. I realized this person was someone my host was anxious for me to meet. He was charming, urbane and had a deep Italian accent; enter Alfonso, physicist, poet, and chef.

We were called to the table for dinner and at midnight we toasted each other. It was then my host suggested we go around the table and share our wishes for the New Year. When it was Alfonso’s turn, he looked up with pain and sadness in his eyes and said in his thick accent “I just want someone to love.”

Touched by this I blurted out “why not try me?” And so began our romance, which we managed to sustain during our time together by nurturing the aura of romance each day.

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