Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

What’s Your 13-Word Love Story?


Brian Rea for The New York Times

It’s been 13 years since The New York Times debuted its hit column, Modern Love, which covers all the angst and wonder, joy and despair, of modern day relationships. The essays in the column generally reach about 1500 words. In honor of the column’s 13th birthday, the editors wanted to see what kind of love stories could emerge in 13 words, so they presented the challenge to their readers. Here are a few of my favorite, plus my own 13-word love story:

I have two former fiancés. One, sadly, is dead. The other should be. — Sara, New York

I thought I was straight. She thought she was straight. We were wrong. — Rachael Ní Chonchúir, Ireland

I was sad. He sent me dinosaur erotica. I knew it was love. — Meredith Schwartz, Atlanta

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

We both love craft beer and public radio. So we’re insufferable, but together. — Laura Fluty, Saint Peters, Mo.

Smile, though your heart is breaking. Then key his new BMW. It helps. — Sheila, Los Angeles

And this one’s about a pet cat:

Golda: Gold (Yiddish). Suits her; she’s like a pot of gold (after divorce). — Amy Schreibman Walter, London

And here are my 13-word love stories for my husband, kids, and cats:

Blind date, eleven years ago: “Are you crazy?” We married in Central Park.

Giving birth without an epidural was the easy part. Oh, but my heart.

All joy, except: over two and you don’t sleep through the night? WTF.

I’ve had her for 18 years (my entire adulthood so far!). She bites.

I resisted every other kitten at the shelter for two years. He’s cute!

11 comments… add one
  • TheLadyE

    TheLadyE November 14, 2017, 2:13 pm

    “We got you a puppy!” Never knew I could feel such unconditional love.

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    Northern Star November 14, 2017, 3:14 pm

    I lived small; then, you came. Now we happily explore our world—together.

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  • juliecatharine

    Juliecatharine November 14, 2017, 4:13 pm

    One night stand, now stands by my side. I love you so much.

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  • Miel

    Miel November 14, 2017, 6:05 pm

    Will soon live in the same time zone for the first time. Yay!

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  • avatar

    Ange November 14, 2017, 6:48 pm

    You followed me around at fitness class, now I follow you around everywhere.

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  • avatar

    SpaceySteph November 15, 2017, 1:03 am

    Met in the outfield. Married 4 years. I’m not even good at softball.

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    • avatar

      SpaceySteph November 15, 2017, 1:07 am

      Also, even though I have a kid I can tell I’m more of a pet person because my favorite of these stories are the ones about the pets! Here’s mine:

      Rescued a pound puppy who was afraid to bark. He’s not afraid anymore.

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  • avatar

    Jenn November 15, 2017, 7:07 am

    He beat me love and love on the court, but I won love.
    Or maybe:
    They all once guffawed at our ages, now none notice as we age.

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  • avatar

    Sara November 15, 2017, 8:44 am

    Just friends, then long-distance dating. Married, then long-distance marriage. Now together, plus baby.

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  • avatar

    TheHizzy November 15, 2017, 10:30 am

    He loved me first, can’t imagine life without him anymore.

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  • avatar

    Woman of words November 15, 2017, 9:54 pm

    Became friends online, dated long-distance five years, together now, married next March. <3

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