Modern Love: Your 13-Word Love Stories

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Most of the essays we publish in Modern Love are about 1,500 words, and most of their authors could probably wax on longer if space and time were infinite. We wanted to see how readers would fare with far fewer words — 13, to be precise. Here are their Modern Love stories, in miniature.

Always laugh, especially after learning your husband took Ecstasy on your first date.

Jamie, Dallas

Strictly avoids long walks on the beach. Lets me have all the covers.

Keira Mayock, Charlotte, N.C.

A farmer’s wife is lonely from April to October. But what a view.

Charlotte McMullen, Ashville, Pa.

No-strings-attached sex, except for two kids, a mortgage and a dog.

Rachel Engel, Derby, Kan.

Walmart, car service, she repairs my heart daily. She is my love balance.

Kat Harris, Charlotte N.C.

Smile, though your heart is breaking. Then key his new BMW. It helps.

Sheila, Los Angeles

We both love craft beer and public radio. So we’re insufferable, but together.

Laura Fluty, Saint Peters, Mo.

Grace Gardner’s parents, Duane and Catherine Gardner, with her brother, Michael Gardner.CreditGrace Gardner

My dad calls my mom Love, almost as if that is her name.

Grace Gardner, Atlanta

Subway commute. Missed connection. Craigslist ad. Reconnection. Could not spell burrito. Lost connection.

Stephanie Costa, Brooklyn, N.Y.

He now splurges on organic mac and cheese. He must seriously love me.

Jade Thurston, Bellingham, Wash.

When you accept his urge to fold both of your clothes after sex.

Luise Yang, London

He picked me up hitchhiking and I married him. It didn’t last long.

Connie Kuhns, Salt Spring Island, British Columbia

Friend with benefits eventually becomes ex-husband who pays less arousing, more satisfying benefits.

Sarah McKittrick, Baltimore

Our initial plan to be just friends lasted for less than a week.

Teresa Nield, West Hills, Calif.

Lisa Eng and Kristofer Eng in 1988.CreditLisa Eng

Fate = Joint baby shower at age 0, happily married 27 years later.

Lisa Eng, Menlo Park, Calif.

I regret lending you that book more than I regret the terrible sex.

Maria Martens, Berlin

How to find a partner: Secretly date while your friends are on vacation.

Sarah Ghoshal, East Brunswick, N.J.

I was sad. He sent me dinosaur erotica. I knew it was love.

Meredith Schwartz, Atlanta

Golda and her human, Amy Schreibman Walter.CreditAmy Schreibman Walter

Golda: Gold (Yiddish). Suits her; she’s like a pot of gold (after divorce).

Amy Schreibman Walter, London

Never bring up similarities between your spouse and your mother-in-law during a fight. [Editors’ note: We’re treating “mother-in-law” as one word here, because we couldn’t resist.]

Marlene Fischer, Armonk, N.Y.

She talks fast. She begins stories at their endings. Sorry, What? Sorry. Sorry.

Jack Ortiz, Madison, Wisc.

John Kafka and Leslie Dallas in August.CreditLeslie Dallas

How could you know Trader Joe’s parking lot would be our first kiss?

Leslie Dallas, Santa Monica, Calif.

I’m definitely allergic to this dog. How do you choose, asthma or sex?

Maisie Breit, Agadir, Morocco

Ukrainian village in Peace Corps, he offered me what I couldn’t resist: Wi-Fi.

Mary Offutt-Reagin, Terebovlya, Ukraine

My dog would hide his clothes. Should’ve been my first clue. Dogs know.

Litsa Dremousis, Seattle

I thought I was straight. She thought she was straight. We were wrong.

Rachael Ní Chonchúir, Ireland

Met on Internet. Left my girlfriend for him. He left his. No regrets.

Eve Fritz, France

A photo of Roger and Doris Cochrun, taken in 1947, appeared in the Ionia County Shoppers Guide this year to mark their wedding anniversary.CreditAngie Cochrun Hamlet

Wartime. She hated writing letters, did it anyway. 70 happy years this October.

Roger Cochrun, Saranac, Mich.

I have two former fiancés. One, sadly, is dead. The other should be.

Sara, New York

Supported my crazy ideas, listened to me ugly-cry, stole my heart forever.

Rachel Waldman, New York

Locked eyes with my baby nephew, he smiled. But maybe it was gas?

Rekha Mishra, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

They said “no dating” in your first year of sobriety. They were right.

Caroline Grand, San Antonio, Tex.

Age 5, when love means naming your pet goldfish after best friend Molly.

Melissa Rodman, New York

Boy meets boy. Sparks fly. Boy kisses boy. Boy, oh boy, oh boy.

Boyd Davis, Kansas City, Mo.

Sessions Says He Doesn’t Recall Talk of Russia Contacts

  • “I had no recollection.” Attorney General Jeff Sessions is testifying about Russian contacts.
  • But Mr. Sessions said he could recall that he rejected a proposed Trump-Putin meeting. Watch live and follow updates.

Analysis: A new investigation of Hillary Clinton would undermine longstanding norms.

If Attorney General Jeff Sessions or his deputy authorizes a new investigation of Hillary Clinton, it would undermine standards that have been in place since Watergate.

Spurned by ESPN, Barstool Sports Is Staying on Offense

The insurgent media company has built a devoted following of what it sees as “average” sports fans: unruly, occasionally toxic and aggressively male.

Michelle Goldberg

I Believe Juanita

Coming to terms with Bill Clinton and right-wing disinformation.

The Justice Department said it will consider an inquiry into the Clinton Foundation.

In a letter to Congress, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he planned to pursue the possibility of appointing a special counsel to investigate the Uranium One Deal.

Digital Pill Approval Leads to Worries of Ingesting Big Brother

  • The Food and Drug Administration has approved an antipsychotic drug that has a sensor that will show doctors whether and when patients are taking it. Other medicines will follow, experts say.
  • The approval marks a significant advance in the growing field of digital devices designed to monitor adherence.


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