OnLove: Lawrence Jacobs and Steven Snapp Make Union Official in Connecticut

By Ellen McCarthy
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, September 27, 2009

After 10 years, two renovated homes, one canceled wedding and more hours in lighting stores than either of them cares to remember, Lawrence Jacobs and Steven Snapp finally got married.

A week later, on Sept. 6, they had 100 friends over to celebrate -- and, in all honesty, to show off house No. 2. (Almost finished now, after five years of work.)

"There's plenty of vanity involved here," admits Snapp, 56. "That we're not ashamed of."

The two, who lob punch lines to each other's jokes with comic timing that deserves a stage and spotlight, met in 1999 on that earliest of Internet dating sites: the AOL chat room.

Jacobs, who had a son from a marriage that ended in divorce in 1983 and a subsequent 13-year relationship with a man, had logged on with a screen name that included the word "cute" -- "which was only a slight stretch," the 60-year-old says.

"Well, it was a long time ago," deadpans Snapp, who had just gotten out of a 21-year relationship with a man.

Snapp, a writer and creative director, was living in a house on the Delaware River in Pennsylvania at the time, having spent the previous two decades in New York City. Intrigued by their online chat -- and without any pressing weekend plans -- he hopped on a Friday afternoon train to visit Jacobs, a lawyer with a townhouse in Rockville.

Though they had a pleasant enough time, by Sunday, Snapp recalls, Jacobs said something along the lines of, "Well, I need to go to the office. Maybe you need to go home."

So Snapp left, thinking he'd probably never see Jacobs again. But Jacobs was headed to New York the next weekend and invited Snapp to a cabaret show. Sitting together there, Jacobs recalls, "I started thinking, 'Well, he's nice, he's tall, he's smart, he's successful -- I could do worse.' "

"And I was thinking, 'He's not all that tall. He's nice enough,' " quips Snapp.

The two fell into an easy weekend rhythm that started overlapping into the workweek and within six months Snapp, a freelancer, was basically living with Jacobs. But the townhouse didn't feel quite right to Jacobs, so the two began looking for a house they could buy together.

They settled on a Colonial in need of an overhaul "because," as Snapp says, "what's the point of buying a house if it doesn't need to be massively renovated?"

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