When adults talk babytalk to each other, it is precisely to avoid having real conversations and experiencing real moments with each other. People almost never discuss babytalk in public. This American Life producer Nancy Updike and her boyfriend—Chicago journalist Adam Davidson—agreed to step forward and speak the truth on the subject.
When Anne Staggs started to fall for an inmate named Charles in the Texas prison system, she was up against odds as daunting as they ever get for two people. It was against the rules, possibly dangerous, and could have gotten her fired.
A man in Amsterdam and a woman in Cuba fall in love, even though their governments don't want them to live together. This story was produced by Chris Brookes and Michele Ernsting for the World Views series of first person narratives, from Homeland Productions.
The story of The Arabian Nights is actually 350 or 400 stories, depending on how you count them. Many of the stories are stories of impossible love, including the very last story in the whole epic tale—the story of Jasmine and Almond.
Viola disguises herself as a man, takes a job working for this guy with whom she promptly falls in love. He believes the pretense: He thinks Viola is a man, so he never gives her a second look.
Los Angeles writer Sandra Tsing Loh on the first day of a relationship. A failing relationship.
Ira talks with Maria, who took out a personals ad in the Chicago Reader advertising herself as "wacky and warm." (5 minutes)
In the early stages of the Monica Lewinsky scandal, there was a period when one of the questions raised by the whole affair had to do with monogamy. Around that time, Roy Romer, the Governor of Colorado and Chair of the Democratic Party, admitted that for 16 years he'd had a relationship with an aide that his wife and family knew about.
Chris and Sylvere, and how they tried to contain a marriage-threatening crush, and how difficult that is.
Writer and nationally syndicated sex columnist Dan Savage explains what actually happens in non-monogamous couples, how they make it work, and whether they're happy.
Ian Brown of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation on the normal struggle most people experience when they try to stay monogamous.
A how-to by Junot Diaz, from his book Drown.
Richard Klein of Cornell University explains that the way we view love really began with love poems in the 13th century — an illusion.
Linda Howard and Richard Bloom, in Boca Raton Florida, had been married years when she started flirting with another man.
When she began working as a temp secretary in San Francisco, learning the computers, wasting time, Andrea put together a graph with Microsoft Excel. Its title: My Love Life: A Ten Year Span. It made her feel good.
D. Travers Scott and his boyfriend spent six months gathering data on their own relationship and put together a report on it in the form of a corporate annual report.
A man tries to calculate what love costs. From Lydia Davis's book Break It Down, read by actor Matt Malloy.
Writer Tim Melley.
John Perry Barlow, a founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and former rancher and Grateful Dead lyricist, on an experience that began at the boundary of two conventions. (20 minutes)
Mark O'Brien is a writer in California, who lives most of each day in an iron lung, thanks to a childhood case of polio. It's an excerpt from Jessica Yu's Oscar-winning documentary.
Pete found a bag of maybe a hundred letters in a dumpster and found himself completely wrapped up in the lives of the two people in the letters.
Ron Carlson's short story.
A story by Larry Doyle.
Singles in Agriculture. By reporter Liz Weil and Alix Spiegel.