Tiny Love Stories: ‘To the Skinny Girl with Sad Eyes’


To the skinny girl with sad eyes wearing a peacoat in the summer in New York City: You reminded me of my college days, when I was broken, living in my head, watching other students sing on the subway while I pinched my thighs. I bet you didn’t see me smile at you. I wouldn’t have noticed me either, back then. But I hope one day you too can take off that coat and slip into your heart, healed, thankful to your body, holding your daughters’ hands and humming songs with them as you skip to the train. — Katya Lidsky

Our story began when we locked eyes over a tiny tabletop golf set at a party. I soon learned that Elena shared my passion for all things miniature: objects, food, art. A few weeks into dating, I ordered a custom set of one-inch figurines that looked like us, just to make her smile. At the time, I didn’t realize the ways we had miniaturized ourselves: Both not open about our sexuality, we made our social media accounts private, blocking family members. We shrunk our joy for others’ comfort. But today, we’re done hiding. This is our coming out and celebration of love that is anything but small. — Prianka Kumar

As my father held my newborn first child, it finally occurred to me to ask the question, “Daddy, why did you decide to adopt me?” When I was not quite 3, a social worker walked me up the steps of Andre and June Robinson’s house for a test weekend. If they liked me, they could keep me. If not, I’d go back to the orphanage. His response was typical Daddy — direct and to the point. “You don’t try out a kid. You needed a home; we had one. You were mine the moment you walked through the door.” — Cecilia Robinson Edwards

After six years of living in small towns, I found myself in Chicago for a monthlong research fellowship. I had forgotten about the closed faces of people in big cities. Running along the lake, next to heavy traffic, amid so many blank stares, made me homesick. Then I saw the woman: once, twice, and then again and again. She rode her bicycle, hair streaming behind her, cheering on runners. “You’re awesome!” she would shout. Runners came to life, responding with waves and smiles and fist pumps. Spreading good cheer, she cracked open people’s faces, if only for a moment. — Kate Johnston


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