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Valentine's Day horror stories: Readers share their tales

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Last week Patrick Strait shared his tales of Valentine's Day woes and we invited you to share your worst experiences with us. And share you did. We received letters of bodily injury, misinterpreted presents, players, and, surprisingly, love. If anything is to be taken from these tales of romantic train wrecks, it's that a bad V-Day date isn't a deal breaker.  

We hope your Valentine's Day this year is better than these six tales of disaster.

[jump] Sometimes it isn't love that is messing with your head

A very pretty girl asked me to our freshman Valentine's Day dance, but when the night came it was sleeting out and her mother never arrived to drive us (this was long before cell phones). So, my mother drove me 10 miles to the rural high school I had just entered after moving to Minnesota from New Jersey. I waited by the front doors, but the girl never arrived. As it turned out, her mother's car has slid off the road, and she was knee-deep in slush and mud in her fancy dress helping to push it out.

After a while I saw another friend duck down a hallway, and I followed him to say hello. As I turned the corner, something whirled out of the darkness and shattered on my forehead--a whiskey bottle! Someone had thrown it at my friend, missed him, and hit me.

Bleeding copiously from this head wound, I was led right across the dance floor to the nurse's office by the English teacher, to the shocked stares of everyone in my new school. An older friend and his girlfriend offered to drive me home, and he tore through the sleet and the dark while I bled on his girlfriend's blouse, trying not be sick from the motion and the headache.

It's not always the date who is insensitive

Married for just three months, my husband planned an excellent dinner at a popular Minneapolis restaurant on Nicollet Mall (now closed). Despite our reservations, they seemed to not have a table for us. After a wait, they squeezed us in. The three-course special sounded great except for the rabbit appetizer, but I was advised no substitutions. So we ordered off the menu. Another couple was seated adjacent to us (so close that it was uncomfortable) and the wait staff devoted most of the attention to them. The whole meal service was weird, rushed, and uncomfortable. We gently inquired about the lack of service--we had previously been to the establishment during the holidays with no reservation and had had wonderful service. We were offered a free dessert as a balm for our hurt feelings. But at about that moment the strong stench of a cigar fouled the air, giving me a massive headache. I declined, expressing my wish to depart immediately as I was feeling ill. I was offered a loaf of french bread as a "parting gift." I declined, dashing for the fresh air outdoors, as I left my husband to pay the bill. Honestly, I felt worse for husband as he had tried to plan a perfectly delightful evening and felt doomed by the whole situation. We no longer go out for Valentines day.

This Valentine's Day fail actually lasted an entire week

February 13: I see and buy a cute little stuffed bear holding a box. Said box being just about the right size for an item of jewelry. Being a fool, I didn't notice that the box actually opened until I was about to place it on my girlfriend's car where she would find it after work. So thinking myself witty, I put a note in the box stating, "What are you looking in here for?"I worked the next evening, and she came by to give me a hard time for not giving her something with the bear. I shrugged. We made plans to go out the next afternoon when she was done with classes. So we wandered the mall, as one does, and we played chicken with the jewelry stores. I "owed" her for not putting something in the box, she said, so we looked in every jewelry store in the mall. At the last one, she found her perfect ring: an emerald with diamonds on either side.  She dared me, I dared her. We went into the store, filled out the paperwork, and I bought the ring.As we left the parking lot of the mall she asked me, "You do know what this means, don't you?""Well, you did want to marry me, didn't you?" I replied.Twenty-one years later, she still reminds me of this at least once a week. In public. In front of witnesses...But it doesn't end there: Her mother and mom's friend came up for dinner that weekend, and in front of God and everyone, I had to go down on one knee and do it again. When it came time to pay for dinner, I discovered that the bill was more than I'd brought with me (I didn't use credit cards then, still don't now). So, I had to duck out and get cash. Fortunately, the bank had a branch across the street.Unfortunately, the table was next to a window, overlooking the bank...
Here's one that is a little like a date within a date
In high school I had a crush on a really big player. When I decided to invite him to the Valentine's Day dance my friends had their reservations, but he said yes and they seemed happy for me. So I was optimistic. It was our first school dance, so my friends and I had a fun time picking out dresses and getting ready. We met at our friend's house and waited for the guys to show. When my date showed up it became apparent that he hadn't brought me the requisite carnation for my dress--he had brought another date! Suddenly, I had become the odd wheel.Well, since the group of people were my friends and not his, he got a lot of stank-eye as we posed for pictures for my friend's Dad. I can still see the hilarious look of shock and panic in my eyes in those photos to this day.As we headed out for dinner, we told my "date" and his girlfriend that we had planned to eat at a fancy restaurant down the street. He said he would follow us there. In the parking lot, my friend came up with a great solution to my problem. Two of us walked in and pretended to be waiting for a table. But while my player date was making out/groping his date (seriously) we took the opportunity to run from the restaurant, peel out of the parking lot, and haul ass to a fast-food Chinese restaurant (which was better anyway since we were all broke).At the dance, player dude and his date didn't miss a beat, and acted like we hadn't ditched them at the restaurant. At one point he actually tried to break into our dance circle and booty hump/fondle the other girls. Fortunately the guys in our group eventually managed to block him out.My date may have turned out to be an epic dud, but it was nice that my friends and their dates were supportive, and at least I didn't turn into one of those sobbing girls in the bathroom that every dance has.
No money, more problems
I was single and casually dating at the time. I had a blind date for Valentine's Day. He called as I was getting ready to tell me that his car had broken down, and that he would cab it to my suburban location, and asked if I could drive. We ended up (I don't recall why) at the Marie Callendar's in Burnsville. Following a somewhat uneventful dinner, the bill came. He pulled out his wallet and then advised me he was $10 short for the bill. I scrounged the cash, but hadn't brought much since I was expecting it to be his treat. So the poor server got no tip. For some reason, he had also arranged for the cab to meet him at the restaurant, so if I had been smart I would have suggested he make arrangements to wash dishes and left him behind. I never heard from him again, thank goodness.
Sometimes Valentine's Days just goes down the toilet
The first Valentine's Day my boyfriend (now hubs) and I were dating he went all out. He got a reservation at a fancy place (I can't remember the name, but I think it went out of a business anyways). The night before I went out with some coworkers. Apparently I drank way way too much. I was so hungover the next day (V-Day), that I had to call in sick to work. But I was able to at least get showered and looking okay for dinner, so away we went. It was at one of those places where you had to give them a credit card to reserve the spot and there was at least a $75 minimum whether you showed up or not, so there was no canceling dinner. I didn't even attempt to drink anything other then water, but I did try to eat some dinner. I made it through about two bites (it was something expensive, I can't remember what though), and then made a mad dash for the porcelain god. Of course, this was one of those restaurants that had an "older" crowd so needless to say the other patrons in the bathroom were not impressed. Not only did I mess up a well planned romantic dinner but if I remember correctly the BF didn't get any that night either. Bottom line: I ruined V-Day that year. That was 7 years ago, we haven't gone out since.