Tiny Love Stories: ‘I Wish You Were a Little Thinner’


The camera can add 10 pounds. It can also take off 10 if you angle it right. “Honestly? I wish you were a little thinner,” one Craigslist date said. “You’re attractive, but I’m not attracted to you,” said another. I felt like giving up. I could resign myself to the company of dogs, getting a new one every 13 years or so until I —— Unwilling to finish that thought, I looked directly into the lens and ventured online one last time. She saw beauty. I see it, too. — Caitlin O’Toole

Ann and I would meet at the Persian rug shop in Tam Junction, five miles north of San Francisco. We would hitchhike to Stinson Beach, where we’d hide behind dunes, make out and touch. We were 15. After dinner at Ann’s house, her stepfather would race me home in his metallic blue Porsche, passing cars as fast as they appeared. One trip to the beach, we were picked up by stoned New Yorkers. Mesmerized by the windy mountain road, we sat in their old Impala with no seats, just pillows in the back. We had days of hands, and sun. — Mark Rice

Tired, we decided to lie down in Chicago’s gorgeous Graceland Cemetery. I rested my head on his chest, relaxing into his breath. I tried my best to ignore the itchiness of the grass, the itch to explore the what ifs of someone else. This is it now. How long will it last? Till death? — Hannah Davis Atkinson

Before our wedding, we took our parents to a restaurant to introduce them. We had worried about this meeting. It wasn’t just the religious and cultural divide (one Mexican Southern Baptist parent, two American secular Jews). It was that my father-in-law didn’t speak English, and my parents didn’t speak Spanish. Or so we thought. Once we were seated, my father-in-law started speaking in English; my mother replied in Spanish. We hadn’t considered the English my father-in-law picked up while living in Texas, or my mother’s affinity for language textbooks. My husband and I sat speechless as our parents chatted through lunch. — Catherine Komisaruk

In the 1980s, when we were newly married and living in Tokyo, Kuniharu and I used to look at the elderly people sitting in the “Silver Seats” on the Japanese trains and wonder if they would be us someday. We moved to South Carolina 30 years ago. On an airport shuttle last week, I started to sit in a bench reserved for seniors when Kuniharu stopped me. “Those are for seniors,” he said. I told him that, technically, we were seniors. He smiled, remembering that we had grown old. Together. — Barbara Kubodera


Tiny Love Stories: ‘I Wish You Were a Little Thinner’