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1989

Our first computer was a Swan PC that cost a thousand dollars, which seemed like a good deal because it had a 30 MB hard drive, rather than the 20 MB that was common at the time. It came with a tiny black-and-white monitor that died and had to be replaced under warranty several times. To back it up, a big stack of floppy disks was needed. We thought it was great anyway.

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1988

Settling into life as a young married couple had its ups and downs, but mostly ups. This year we moved from a small apartment into a nicer townhouse, with plans to buy a house and start a family in the near future.

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1987

One of the things our friends found amusing about us in college was that we gave each other stuffed animals, often in pairs. We also had a stuffed dog, affectionately known as “the Mutt,” which was a gift from a relative. Before the Internet, it wasn’t easy to search for things like that; but just by chance, a mate for the Mutt turned up at an odd-lots store and became the She-Mutt. We still have both of them decorating our home entertainment center.

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1986

Our first new car was a 1986 Chevrolet Cavalier. It had a few quirks, such as that this was the first year for which a center brake light was required, so it hadn’t been integrated into the design. Instead, a separate light was added on that stuck up behind the back seat, nicknamed the Cyclops light because it was so ugly. But overall, the car gave good service.

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1985

The most memorable event of this year was our engagement at Christmas. Instead of a conventional proposal, the ring was wrapped up in a Christmas gift box, which gave the impression that it would be a bracelet or necklace. Unexpectedly finding an engagement ring in the box was quite a surprise indeed, and a welcome one!

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1984

Automated teller machines were just coming into use while we were in college. To encourage people to use them more often, our bank had a contest in which some ATM receipts were marked as prize-winners. Most of the prizes were small promotional items like this bag, but we also had the good fortune to win a 19-inch color TV. That was a fabulous luxury for students in those days, replacing the black-and-white TV we’d been using.

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1983

Screenshot from a Mr. Do! video game.We met in the video arcade on campus, where our favorite game was Mr. Do!

Featuring a clown that threw a power-ball to disintegrate hungry monsters or dropped apples to squish them, this game had enough quirky twists to keep it interesting. An apple might break to reveal a lucky diamond inside, which was worth a free game if the clown could get to the diamond before it vanished. We felt as if we had “won the diamond” by being lucky enough to find each other!