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February 9, 2011

LEO is for lovers

On a recent, frigid Friday afternoon, I ventured out in search of couples willing to shed light on their love lives. A few hours later, I returned to the office, dejected and cold, empty notebook in hand.

As it turns out, unsuspecting strangers aren’t too keen on divulging intimate details about themselves for publication.

I was sitting at my desk, trying to determine where I might find a less bashful pool of potential interviewees, when it struck me: The LEO staff has a respectable contingent of fools in love. That’s right, we’re not all jaded when it comes to romance, at least not at the moment.

And so rather than brave the cold and face further rejection, this intrepid journalist embarked on a journey inside the confines of LEO’s heated offices to learn more about what makes my colleagues’ hearts go pitter patter.

Britany Baker, Creative Director

LEO: How’d you meet?

BB: He interviewed me for a job at FOX-41.

LEO: How long have you been together?

BB: A little over 10 years.

LEO: Most romantic encounter?

BB: After we got married, we were heading on our honeymoon, flying from Atlanta to Amsterdam. But because of a hurricane, we were redirected to Paris with two hours’ notice. We ended up unexpectedly staying in Paris for a few days.

LEO: Why do you fight?

BB: We don’t fight that much. When we do, I would say it’s usually because we move at different speeds.

LEO: What’s your mate’s most attractive quality?

BB: I feel like we’re from the same planet. He makes sense to me, and somehow, I make sense to him.

LEO: What seemingly insignificant thing does he do that makes you smile?

BB: He always makes it a point to tuck me in and kiss me goodnight, even though we rarely go to bed at the same time.

Jonathan Meador, Staff Writer

LEO: How’d you meet?

JM: We met through a mutual friend whom we’d both known independently for years.

LEO: How long have you been together?

JM: One and a half years.

LEO: Most romantic encounter?

JM: It was the Fourth of July. We were on the beach in Boston, and we were having a drunken dance party with friends. As the fireworks erupted, we talked about how we felt about each other.

LEO: Why do you fight?

JM: We don’t really fight so much. If we do, it’s usually due to petty miscommunication. The best thing about this relationship is that whenever there’s a point of conflict, we can talk through things. We are pulling our ox-cart in the same direction, to quote the Bible.

LEO: What’s your mate’s most attractive quality?

JM: Her eyes. And her intelligence — I’ve never been able to hold a conversation with someone like I can with her.

LEO: What seemingly insignificant thing does she do that makes you smile?

JM: Before she goes in for a kiss, she has a distinct smile that she doesn’t deploy for any other situation.

Jon Beazlie, Production Coordinator

LEO: How’d you meet?

JB: The LEO Christmas party.

LEO: How long have you been together?

JB: Four years.

LEO: Most romantic encounter?

JB: Our engagement: We were in Nashville, and I totally surprised her. It was a Sunday afternoon, and afterwards, we went for a beer and a shot at a country rock bar.

LEO: Why do you fight?

JB: We don’t fight that often — just the occasional tiff.

LEO: What’s your mate’s most attractive quality?

JB: She’s beautiful. But aside from being smoking hot and super smart, she lets me be me.

LEO: What seemingly insignificant thing does she do that makes you smile?

JB: Because Czech is her first language, the occasional language barrier is funny and cute … like the time I overheard her singing “Walkin’ Around the Christmas Tree.” But her English is much better than my Czech.

Wes Liles, Account Executive

LEO: How’d you meet?

WL: She was a cheerleader at Ballard and was a year younger than me. I noticed her at a football game and asked my friend about her; my friend said it would never work. I got her number anyway.

LEO: How long have you been together?

WL: Ten years.

LEO: Most romantic encounter?

WL: I ended up proposing in the driveway, but that was because she ruined my plan. I guess I should do more romantic things …

LEO: Why do you fight?

WL: We fight over my chore list. We fight over how she always takes all the blankets at night. We fight because she’s a huge UK fan, and I’m a North Carolina fan — that causes some problems. And money — she saves and is very frugal, and I’m the opposite.

LEO: What’s your mate’s most attractive quality?

WL: Her pure honesty and how much she cares about those around her. She is very loyal and honest.

LEO: What seemingly insignificant thing does she do that makes you smile?

WL: She always makes coffee in the morning. And when she smiles, she has one dimple.

Mat Herron, Music Editor

LEO: How’d you meet?

MH: We met online.

LEO: How long have you been together?

MH: Since May 11.

LEO: Most romantic encounter?

MH: Two and a half weeks after we met, we went camping outside Nashville, Ind., near Brown County. We spent four days together outdoors.

LEO: Why do you fight?

MH: He is 17 years older than I am. I think when we argue, it’s because we’re still getting comfortable with the age difference. Plus, we’re both Cancers, and we both have fierce independent streaks. I have my own way of doing things, and so does he.

LEO: What’s your mate’s most attractive quality?

MH: Honesty. And despite the age disparity, he doesn’t treat me like a kid.

LEO: What seemingly insignificant thing does he do that makes you smile?

MH: We go to Goodwill. He’s like the Goodwill connoisseur. I’ve turned into a Goodwill disciple because of it.

Pam Brooks, Publisher

LEO: How’d you meet?

PB: We met through business: He called on me to sell graphic arts equipment and supplies.

LEO: How long have you been together?

PB: Married 21 years.

LEO: Most romantic encounter?

PB: When we went camping out West for two weeks in our little “mouse house” camper. We camped in the mountains of Colorado, spending time in nature and evenings by a campfire.

LEO: Why do you fight?

PB: Kids. That’s the only thing we’ve ever fought about, ever.

LEO: What’s your mate’s most attractive quality?

PB: His sense of humor and his compassion.

LEO: What seemingly insignificant thing does he do that makes you smile?

PB: He does random, goofy stuff that makes me smile. He has very clownish behavior sometimes.

James Hewett, Senior Account Executive

LEO: How’d you meet?

JH: We met for the first time in 1996 while we both went to UK. Then we saw each other a few times over the years, and we’d say hello. I was at a bachelor party last year, and we ran into each other at the Monkey Wrench. I asked her out after that.

LEO: How long have you been together?

JH: Eight months.

LEO: Most romantic encounter?

JH: Our trip to New York to see My Morning Jacket … being in Central Park in the fall and touring the city.

LEO: Why do you fight?

JH: We don’t really fight, other than simple differences of opinion. I don’t think we’re to the fighting stage yet.

LEO: What’s your mate’s most attractive quality?

JH: There’s so much to be attracted to: her compassion for others, the fact that she gives me a hard time and doesn’t let me take things too seriously. And she lets me eat ice cream on a regular basis.

LEO: What seemingly insignificant thing does she do that makes you smile?

JH: The way she talks to the dogs in a funny cartoon dog voice. And the fact that she can laugh with me even after I’ve done something dumb like wash and dry her expensive down comforter.

*Sarah Kelley, Editor

LEO: How’d you meet?

SK: At my eighth-grade science fair — he was going out with a friend of mine. We became close friends over the years, but didn’t start dating until after college.

LEO: How long have you been together?

SK: Dating since 2001; married since 2005.

LEO: Most romantic encounter?

SK: When we got engaged atop a rock in Central Park, just minutes after I insisted we scarf down street hot dogs and ride the carousel. I was completely shocked and elated. We then went for beers to calm our nerves.

LEO: Why do you fight?

SK: He’s very laid-back, so we really don’t fight much. When we do, it’s usually because I’m being stubborn about something completely trivial, like resisting direction in the kitchen.

LEO: What’s your mate’s most attractive quality?

SK: (After giving the previous interviewees grief for providing more than one answer to this question, I now realize how difficult it is.) He makes me laugh every day, and we never run out of things to talk about.

LEO: What seemingly insignificant thing does he do that makes you smile?

SK: He leaves me notes, ranging from heartfelt to utterly ridiculous drawings of our dog.

*After succumbing to pressure from my co-workers, I agreed to participate in my own Q&A.