“The gift of chocolate”


It was Christmas and our first time exchanging gifts. He gave me a tin of Ghirardelli Chocolates. He had opened the tin earlier, took out all the dark chocolate (which I hate) and replaced them with extra milk chocolate. Although it was a small gesture, the fact that he knew those insignificant details about me made me feel so special. It was the tiniest things he did that made me fall in love with him.


Postscript: I never told him I loved him, because I wasn’t sure I did. Looking back, it was definitely love. I still consider him my first love. We are just friends now, but one day I think I will let him know how I really felt.

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“Finding my religion”

surprising sweet

It was a Friday after work and we went out for famous chicken burritos. I am a practicing Catholic, and remembered it was Lent and I should not be eating meat on Fridays. I quietly said to myself, “oh no it’s Friday.” I didn’t even think he heard me. He did, and immediately spit out his food. I didn’t realize exactly how much my religion meant to me, but having someone share that connection made me realize we had a bond that was deeper than I thought.


Postscript: We have been married for 23 years.

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“I wanted to hold his hand”


I’ve always been shy. But for some reason at a summer concert I really wanted to hold his hand. He didn’t even know I liked him. As the show ended, I slid my hand into his. He didn’t shake me off. I knew at that moment that any guy who got me to step out of my comfort zone like that was someone special.


Postscript: We dated for almost a year and he was the sweetest most genuine boy I have ever been with. After almost a year of dating, I broke it off when we went to separate colleges. I still wonder if I made the right decision.

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“The birth of our child brought us together”


Everyone thought that he needed practice being a father.  He was 43 years old, what experience would he have. Plus, he never did show interest.  I was never worried. When the time came, he was there ready and was there through it all.  And when a little girl was delivered, he looked up with the biggest smile on his face and excitement in his eyes and said, “It’s a girl!  You knew how much I wanted a girl!  She’s the most beautiful baby I have ever seen!”


Postscript: I always loved him, but that day I knew I was such a lucky woman. He still an amazing husband and father.

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“Library liaisons”


“Do you need me to explain that?” he asked me in the study lounge after statistics one day. Decked out in sweatpants and glasses with unwashed hair, I accepted his offer, assuming sexual chemistry was out of the question for this new study buddy. Two months later, I walked away with a boyfriend and a C- in statistics. While he certainly couldn’t save my grade, he taught me that an “A” relationship is based on personal connection, patience, and perseverance.


Postscript: Still very much in love two years later. Still failing all math classes.

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“The Mama’s boy”


We were in the early stages of dating when his mother came to town. He invited me to his family dinner at the last minute. I saw that he could be completely himself around her— happy, rebellious, and just the right amount mortified by her gushing. I fell asleep that night thinking about how families are crazy, and if I was to ever start one, it would have to be with someone like him.


Postscript: Circumstantial breakup when I moved to a new city. We still keep in touch. I move back in six months.

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“Baby it’s cold outside”


The relationship was long distance, and he’d come to visit me during my freshman year of college in Chicago. It was February and quite literally freezing, I warned him. He must not have heard me correctly because his “winter” clothes consisted of a windbreaker and jeans. Given no choice, I acquired clothes from the girls in my all-girls dorm hallway and clothed him in a woman’s coat, socks, scarf and hat. We spent an amazing weekend in the city together and I was generous with my mockery of his outfit. I could tell he was just happy we could be together and could care less about having to wear women’s clothing. That was the first time he said “I love you.”


Postscript: I was traded in for a girl closer to his home, who is enthusiastic about belly button rings and mesh clothing. He goes to school in California, so for better or worse, I don’t think he’ll need to borrow more women’s clothing anytime soon.

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