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“Love at first whack”

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A racquetball-aholic, I asked my mom to find me a suitable adversary. She recruited this fella from her office. When I walked into the racquetball court at the local YMCA, he was already there practicing his moves. A sweatshirt hung by threads from his neckline. He wore Converse high-tops cut off at the ankle; his shoelaces were untied and flying loose with each whack of the racket. He was certainly a vision.

—Susie

Postscript: That was 26 years ago. This morning we woke up together from our cozy bed, in our old house. We retired the rackets to the basement some years ago due to our ancient knees.

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“Do you believe in greed as an inherent human value?”

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We had been on two dates. He liked Wilco and bikes and had a bunch of beautiful tattoos. We had made out, held hands, laughed. Then one night he called me up to chat, told me he had bought his housemates some pastries, and then asked me if I believed in greed as an inherent human value. We spoke for three hours, and I knew.

Postscript: We just signed the lease for a place with a punched-tin ceiling.

—Yana

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“Allie and Greg”

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After spotting a tall, cute guy at a bull-riding event, I walked up to him, doing my best to be cute and sexy, and promptly spilled my beer down the front of my shirt. It didn’t seem to matter, though—or maybe it was the spill that caught his interest. We went dancing afterward and haven’t been able to get enough of each other since.

—Kitasha

Postscript: We’re complete opposites, but it’s working for us!

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“Balloon Boy”

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I decided that I would wear a zebra cowboy hat and bring 20 balloons with me to my friend’s 21st birthday party. As I was walking to the party, she yelled from her fifth-story window “Hey, you with the balloons! Can I have one?” I told her she could have one only if she came down and talked to me.

—Balloon Boy

Postscript: I got her to come to the party with me, and we have been dating ever since.

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“My M&Ms”

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She brought me M&M’s while I was building my brother’s house. They fell down into the unfinished basement onto a pile of rocks, and I jumped down to pick them up. I had to get a ladder to climb back out.

—Alex

Postscript: Married for 26 years.

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“Breathing monitor”

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He had to pull me out of a pool because I got too drunk. Then he sat beside me on the couch while I slept and checked my breathing and pulse every five minutes until the early morning.

—Monica

Postscript: We’ve been dating for over two years now!

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“Those who blow together…”

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He gave me his less-than-hygienic habit of blowing one’s nose on a dirty T-shirt from the laundry pile. One day he was blowing his nose into an old gray tee when I felt my nose starting to run, and I grabbed the same shirt and started blowing, too. When I realized we were both standing in his room, unshowered, sick and blowing into the same snotty T-shirt, I knew.

—Brittney

Postscript: Nine months in!

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