Tiny Love Stories: ‘We Kissed Behind the Clothing Donation Bin’

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Finding a Date in Divorce Group

In Massachusetts, if you’re divorcing and have children under 18, you must complete a parenting program. For five Wednesday nights, my friend and I were buzzed into the local middle school, where we sat at small desks among other newly single parents: the crying blonde in scrubs, the angry landscaper, the excited executive. I brought gin in an orange Nalgene bottle. He hadn’t eaten for days. On the night I saw my son’s geography project propped up on the classroom radiator, we kissed behind the clothing donation bin, and I thought I would die of grief and hope. — Bethany Dorau

Regaining Her Words

My 85-year-old mother was trying to regain her ability to speak after a stroke. I brought family photographs to the hospital. I’d say the names of loved ones, and she would attempt to repeat them. After days of frustration, she began to correctly, proudly and loudly say the names when the photographs were produced. One day she started humming the tune of an old nursery rhyme, and I joined her in recalling the words. A nurse came to the door and asked what we were doing. My mother smiled and said, “We … are doing … love.” Tracy Siani

The Prairie Dog of My Dreams

When I was young, my dreams often featured snippets of prairie dogs; they would appear intermittently, like commercial breaks. It was strange, but that’s how my dreams played. In my 20s, I found myself talking until dawn with my roommate, Ken. One night, a silly question came up: “If you could be any animal, what would you be?” “A prairie dog,” Ken said. After that conversation, the commercial breaks went dark. Thirty years later, I’m still married to the man (or prairie dog) of my dreams. — Ava Chinn

A Flicker Becomes a Flame

It was a classic boy-meets-girl-meets-candles scenario: We met in a bar, and the bar had a lot of candles. “Pretty dark in here,” I said. “Mind if I grab a candle?” “Sure,” she said. I put one on our table. A minute passed. Then she said, “Hmm, still pretty dark, isn’t it?” I nodded. She grabbed another. More time passed. I said, “Gosh, it’s still pretty dark in here, right?” She nodded, sagely. By midnight, our table had 14 candles. Then we kissed. — Daniel Caprera

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