Small Modern Love Stories: “Mine Her Soft To Clean Her Leg”

1969. Me, an American Girl Who Wants a Girl Scout Merit Badge. She, a Scottish boarding school girl, is asked by a teacher to get a “pen-friend”. Both of them are ten years old. I asked a French boy. “Anything but an American girl,” Liz asked. Obviously, fate knows better. Our lives share striking similarities. We both lost one parent when he was kids, and the other in our twenties. She is a theater director. I am an actor. We both found our soul mate after 40. We’ve laughed, commiserated, traveled, and celebrated together, 54 and counting. Random text a friend for life. Best merit badge ever. – Mindy Steinman Show

When my Indian father immigrated to the United States in 1976, his first dream was to own a pair of blue jeans. Ever since he watched Michael Wadley’s 1970 documentary, “Woodstock” in a Mumbai cinema, my dad has adored denim and Jimi Hendrix. Selling fake IDs in Times Square for $3 an hour, he made enough money to buy blue jeans. He would wear them with pride, set aside money for rent, food, and of course, more denim. After I was born, he bought me my first little pair. I now wear blue jeans every day in honor of my dad. – Raj Towne

Her big blue eyes and messy curly hair weren’t what I first noticed. Her smooth leg was cleaning the back seat of my dad’s car in our church parking lot. “Is this your sister?” I asked my friend whenever I stopped by my high school in South Carolina. At the time, it was easier to say yes, this is my sister, not my first love. When she, 18, left me, 14, for college, I thought I’d never recover. I discovered my sexuality in the parking lot of a homophobic church. It took me two decades to release the shame. – Jessica Furness

It’s our usual morning routine: “How did you sleep?” Coffee, fruit and bread. Exchange divisions of the Houston Chronicle. The news seems to be getting worse every day. It’s hard not to despair. My husband, David, leaves the room with comics in hand. I could hear him all the way from the back of the house – his laugh so loud and drawn out, and completely unrestrained. It was and always has been one of my favorite things about him. If David can pull off the fun while the world is such a mess, there is still hope. – Anne Lewis