Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day ~ Kisses and candy are good, but fake luggage is hard to beat

Another 365 days have passed, and the Holiday of Love is upon us once again. It’s Valentine’s Day – a date which, depending on the gender and relationship predicament of the person you ask, is generally nestled somewhere betwixt beloved and bedreaded.

Among our office pool, we’ve been sharing the highs and (some abysmal) lows of our dating adventures. Yes, some of our dates were a lot more tragedy than comedy, but even the sad ones get funny as the years go by. I don’t mean the truly tragic, mind you – I mean those moments of dating just traumatic enough to make us look really pathetic, or in a moment of tender mercy, wreak havoc on someone else’s ego.

I’ve had plenty of these moments myself. In high school my date nights always had a back-up plan. If the guy didn’t show up, I’d move on to Plan B. Plan B and I went out a lot.

For high-action (mis)adventure, however, consider the case of my friend “Emily.” Her date showed up in a stolen car. I don’t think they even got dinner before he landed in the pokey.

Actually I’ve heard several woeful date stories with a vehicle antagonist. Another friend – “Amy” – went out with a guy whose vehicle was in such a dilapidated state, the passenger seat actually rusted through and dumped her in the floorboard. That was right before the motor blew up and the tow truck hauled the rubbish away.

One of my favorite awkward moments comes from a coworker recently out of a seven-year relationship, only to be set up on a blind date with the very same person. It didn’t have the happy “Pina Colada Song” ending, though. I think there was profanity.

Most of the guys I’ve interviewed have been relatively mum on the subject of their bad date experiences, probably out of their own miserable guilt. Kudos to the one guy honest enough to tell me I’d probably get some good stories from the women he’d been out with, but strangely, he didn’t offer to put me in touch with any of them.

I hate to say it, but girls are bad too. Once we ran into my date’s ex-girlfriend at dinner. She sat her brazen self right down at our table; our cozy venue made the perfect setting to tell me details from their romantic escapades. But as low-rent as she was, she had nuttin’ on the girl who gave my boyfriend a hickey while I was looking the other way.

Of all my own personal dating mishaps, there’s one that really stands out. It’s a real crowd favorite, and I enjoy telling it at parties when I have nothing else to talk about. It loosens people up, and makes them feel better about themselves.

It goes like this. A few years ago I was out with a guy who traveled a lot for his job. The company was out of Chicago, so I didn’t question it when he got a call from his superiors to take the next plane out. He packed his bags; I dropped him off at the airport and wished him a safe flight.

Only later did I find out this guy didn’t fly to Chicago. He didn’t fly anywhere. I’d taken him to the airport to meet another girl he had flying in for the weekend!!! It was an evil scheme, dang it, but brilliant. It was the perfect plot to get rid of one girl, and get a ride to the airport to get another one. The man packed fake luggage. That’s hard to beat.

How to wake her up on the WRONG side of the bed
It might be a little late for Valentine’s Day shopping today, but I’ll share some good advice I read yesterday for you last-minute guys. Avoid any gift with an electrical cord. It’s a valuable lesson. Women want ro-mance, not appli-ance. It’s better to learn this before making a major milestone birthday blunder or other holiday gift-giving gaffe. (Just ask my ex.) You can’t go wrong with a simple, sincere holiday card, or even better, make your own Valentine photo greeting card.

We’ve all got some cringe-worthy moments in our dating history. But it’s Valentine’s Day, and we’re here to celebrate love in all its wonderful, imperfect forms. Real love, without motive, always makes the world better. If we keep on sending it, it’ll come back to find us. This year, Plan A is to make someone else’s Valentine’s Day special, and I love it.

Happy Valentine’s Day, Crinkled Friends!


  1. I giggled a lot in this post... On several different occasions. I have had my fair share of crazy date experiences. As for Valentines Day gifts, if an appliane is what I'm dreamin of (I am trying to renovate my house) than by all means please give me one! But I am a girl and romance is sweet and fun if you have TIME and MONEY.

    To all those dating to find the "perfect guy" to marry, don't get to used to those romantic dates and sparkly jewelry. Once the "Honeymoon is over", it's the wonderful bond that you share everyday of the year that is special, not the expensive restaurant or diamond earings.

  2. You're right, Stacy. Sometimes Waffle House does rock. But an appliance could get an electrical cord wrapped around somebody's neck... ;)

  3. "Major milestone birthday blunder or other holiday gift-giving gaffe". I shudder at the thought....
    This year I hope everyone @ crinklednose had a fantastic V'Day!