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Flat tire, miserable date and true love

Today we hear from DEVON and SUZANNE, who opine on the nature of love and runny noses . . .

— DEVON: “Why is it that first loves die such a long, horrible death? I was 17 when we met; he was 20. We had a hot and heavy summer romance, then he went to back to school. He invited me down for a weekend, then called at 2 in the morning and told me not to come. He said he’d come up instead. I knew something was wrong. He had met another girl. When he walked into my house, he had a neck that looked like King Kong had been sucking on it for days. My father walked in the room and I said, ‘I didn’t do that.’

“We parted after a weekend of semi-dates, semi-hating, semi-loving and finally semi-parting. Just when I thought it was finished, he said, ‘You know it’s not irrevocably over.’ He came in and out of my life on an irregular basis for years. Even on my wedding day, when I was 22, I thought there was a fairly good chance he’d show up to remind me it wasn’t ‘irrevocably over.’ For years every June 19 the day we met — I’d think about him. I’ve been married now for 13 years and have three beautiful children and a wonderful husband, and I would rather die than give up what I have, but when you give your heart to your very first love, I don’t think you ever get it all back. A piece of me lives with him still.”

— SUZANNE: “It was a freezing winter night. My boyfriend of a few months picked me up in his sports car. We drove to Chinatown for some take-out and started to return to my apartment. We got a flat tire. My boyfriend had bought the car used and never had a flat before. We discovered that the jack was different and the tire iron was the wrong size.

After about half an hour of freezing frustration and two sets of skinned knuckles, the car limped to a cab-company garage. My boyfriend persuaded the mechanics to let us in. He proceeded to make calls to his relatives, friends and gas stations. During this time, in the warmth and the light of the garage, I was able to figure the jack out and find another tire iron hidden in the trunk. Crestfallen, my boyfriend walked over to announce that we would have to park the car until morning and take a cab home. When I showed him the changed tire, he couldn’t believe his eyes. He was elated, embarrassed and puzzled all at once.

When we finally arrived at my apartment with our ice-cold food, runny noses, bleeding knuckles and frozen feet, it was well past midnight. While I was trying to wash my dirty hands, my boyfriend stopped me and asked me to marry him while the water ran into the sink. We have been married for five years and countless flat tires since.”

Has your opinion about love changed as you’ve gotten older? Send your tale, along with your questions, problems and rants to And check out my new ebook, “Dear Cheryl: Advice from Tales from the Front.” COPYRIGHT 2014 CREATORS.COM

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