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  • Kristen Kehoe

Quarantine Kind of Love: For Old Man River

Updated: Dec 31, 2020

I'm a day late on this post, but, like most, I haven't had a lot of alone time to sit down and do something as simple as write a love letter to my beloved...if only because he's right next to me at all times during the day, and it seemed odd to separate myself from him yesterday on his actual birthday, only so I could write a post wishing him a happy birthday.

But now, we've taken to our corners for an hour, and it's time to say all of the things I sometimes forget when life gets moving.

Old Man River, it's been 84 days since we had any of our daily routines. For normal people, this has been difficult; for type A routined-robots like you and me, this has been horrifying. We've gone from a morning that was scheduled down to the second from the time we awoke to the time we took our first sip of coffee, to a morning that includes fighting over bandwidth and the bigger computer screen. It's no longer scheduling pick-up and drop-off for Liv, but nose-goes on who is going to Google whether or not she's doing her math homework correctly.

After the first two weeks, I remember standing in the kitchen, exhausted because there were no answers and ten million questions, irritated and snarky with you because you deigned to try and solve a problem I was complaining about (so rude), and you wrapped me up and said, "It's a good thing we like each other."

I don't know how you knew I needed that, especially because it felt like we'd been sniping at each other over small, meaningless things all week, but it made me laugh. And it also made me realize you were right: in a normal life where we were free to make decisions on how and where we spent our time, and where our days were very similar but also controlled chaos in which I felt secure and useful, like I had a purpose, I knew I loved you. But in a time when we were uncertain whether we would have jobs and what they would look like if we did, a time when we didn't know if our families were safe, and when everything normal had been removed, leaving us with only each other, I was really glad we liked each other, too. Just like I've been really glad to laugh with you in the past 84 days, no matter how much I've wanted to strangle you the hours before. This is the balance of our partnership I adore the most: the freedom you allow me to be angry and upset and, perhaps, irrational at one moment, only to find myself wrapped tight against you in the next, laughing.

Happy birthday, Old Man River. I know this isn't the spring and summer we imagined, but I can say with absolute certainty that you are, and always have been, the person I would choose to spend quarantine with, over and over again. Even when you take forever to count your cards in Cribbage...and your new router makes my computer slow af.

Love you always and forever. xoxo

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