Tiny Love Stories: ‘Now That We’re Married, What’s Your Name?’

Solitary on my postage stamp porch, I wear Chanel No. 5 and wait, a glass of ruby Beaujolais in hand. A plate with cold green grapes and fat slices of Fontina rests next to me. A soft ocean breeze touches my cheek, carrying the scent of clean salt water. I sip. I wait. I watch. Azure blue fades to delicate gold, chased by a blushing pink horizon. One year ago, I insisted again on a divorce. Now, I revel in a glorious summer sunset. Alone, complete, at peace. — Wendy Maldonado D’Amico

In July 2000, San Diego Pride held a mass commitment ceremony for several dozen same-sex couples. Single, I attended to witness all the love. “Please turn to your partner and repeat these vows,” the minister said. On a whim, I turned to the handsome stranger next to me. “You wanna do this?” I asked. He said yes. We held hands and repeated the vows. The last one was: “I promise to support you to your highest potential.” Afterward, we kissed and Eli asked: “Now that we’re married, what’s your name?” It’s now been 23 wonderful years of fulfilling our promise. — Joseph Bennett

Young and insecure when we first married in 1978, I said to my husband during an argument, “You only stay married to me because I’m convenient.” He looked at me — with patience, love and a hint of a smile — and said, “Honey, you aren’t all that convenient.” — Donna Rochester

When my mother started chemo, I swore we’d watch every movie ever made. For a while, we tried. Really tried. But she got so sick that she needed earlier nights. Days of sleep. Simpler leisure. She traded film for YouTube videos of the Philippines — just a man with a camera, walking through her village, caressing mango in a market. We watched crowds in Baguio and Cebu City. Listened to the hum of her home. Something in her knew she wouldn’t make it back. But I sat with her, full of hope, whispering, “I’ll take you there. I will.” — Ashley Jeffalone

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