By Jesse Marx
By Chris Parker
By Jake Rossen
By Jesse Marx
By Michelle LeBow
By Alleen Brown
By Maggie LaMaack
By CP Staff
Seven: So I said eff it. I walked up to her and introduced myself. It was just a blur at that point; she lit up and smiled and I smiled back. I offered to buy her a drink and all that [and] we sat for a second, but she had to do the cast call. So she got up, did the cast call, took a bow, and then she had to go downstairs.
Sweetpea: I couldn't handle talking to her so closely when I was so geeked out.
Seven: And in full drag. —Jeff Gage
E. KATIE HOLM
RACHEL EGGERT — better known by her popular Twitter handle, @MNCapitolGirl — is engaged to marry Todd Dombrock on June 14, two years and one day after their first date. Dombrock, who works at Cub Foods, discovered Eggert just before New Year's in 2011, when he saw her on WCCO news, and decided to send her a message on Facebook. After communicating online for six months, they met at the Mall of America. Eggert is deaf, and Dombrock didn't speak sign language at the time, so communication was a challenge.
Rachel: He saw me on TV. I was on WCCO, and there was a story, and he saw me. And then he looked me up on Facebook. He was like, "Oh, she's a cute girl, and I'd like to meet her, and I'm going to add her on Facebook."
Todd: I thought she looked kinda cute, so I sent an invite to her to see if she wanted to be friends. It took a while until we actually met.
Rachel: We went to the Mall of America. I was kind of nervous because we met online and you never know. I thought he looked nice, but I was a little awkward, you know, I wasn't sure. And he was awkward, too, because he knew I was deaf, and he wasn't sure how to communicate.
Todd: She had a notebook along and she wrote down what she was saying to me. That made it a little easier. Then I would write down what I was saying to her. That was an easy way to communicate, because I didn't know sign language at that time. I'm slowly learning sign language right now. —Andy Mannix
E. KATIE HOLM
KYRRA AND JEROME RANKINE work together at Teach for America, where she does talent placement and community engagement and he works in communications. Jerome is also a musician and freelance sound designer. They met while attending Northwestern University in Illinois.
Jerome: At Northwestern every year they have a charity philanthropic event called Dance Marathon. There's a whole bunch of ancillary events that happen, and one of those events was a date auction. My fraternity at the time nominated me as the person to represent us.
Kyrra: He was one of their sexy eligible bachelors. I think he forgot to put that in.
Jerome: I wasn't going to throw that in myself, but if you want to be accurate, yes, I was extremely eligible, I was extremely bachelor. I was the second person to go for this date auction. Going up on stage at like 9 p.m. was probably not the best-case scenario for me to raise a lot of money. But I do remember trying really hard — I think I did like a freestyle rap onstage.
Kyrra: In college Jerome was in a rap group — the only rap group at Northwestern probably ever. They were called the Ill Logic.
Jerome: The emcee was like, "How low can we start? 10 dollars? How about a dollar? How about 50 cents?" He kept lowering the number.
Kyrra: My hand just sort of involuntarily shot up into the air. And it kept doing that. I was like, "Oh no, what's happening?" It got up to 40 dollars and, I'm not even joking, I didn't have 40 dollars. I had to borrow from my friend.
Jerome: For context, the person after me had a package that included Bulls tickets, and this is 1999 when the Bulls were winning like everything. He went for like $150.
Kyra: I felt stupid. I figured this guy would never call me. Then we ran into each other a few weeks later at an event. He called my name out and said, "I think you owe me a date!" He was wearing a toga, because naturally.
Jerome: It was college.... —Jeff Gage
E. KATIE HOLM
VENUS DEMARS is a performance artist and musician best known for leading the dark-glam band All the Pretty Horses. Lynette Reini-Grandell is a poet and English professor. They were only middle-schoolers in Duluth when they were paired to create a commercial for an insect repellent called "Bug-B-Gone."
Lynette: I played the bug. I crawled across the ground, and he had to spray me until I dramatically died. I found that very attractive for some reason.
Venus: I liked her eyes. But I was also untangling my being transgender. I still didn't understand who I was. So even though I was attracted to Lynette, I wasn't getting involved with anybody.
Lynette: I went to college in Northfield. Venus had a cousin down there. We would see each other in the summers.