Bad Dates, Good Friends, and Reflections on Valentine's Day
Written by Lulu Herring
Ah, February. The time of year where Spring is on the horizon and love is in the air. Stores are stocking up on hearts, arrows, and Valentine's, and pink and red candy are flooding shelves. But it's not all sweets and roses for everyone--in fact, more adults are reporting skipping the holiday outright than ever before. But some of us still persist in looking for love, and with that search comes the good, the bad, and the hilariously awful first dates.
We took a group of our favorite single-and-searching friends out to dinner to dish on their Valentine's dates. Over appetizers, drinks, entrees, and dessert, we saluted their bravery, and sometimes outright stupidity, for wading into the waters of romance on the highest stakes day of the year.
"I met Victor at a networking event and we spoke for a few minutes--honestly, I didn't think either of us made much of impression on the other, so I was surprised when he emailed me a few days later and asked me out for dinner. We'd planned to get together that weekend, but I ended up getting the flu. The only night we were both free was Valentine's Day, so with a bit of a shared laugh we decided to meet for Indian food after work. I was optimistic, since we worked in similar industries and had been exchanging some funny texts. He seemed smart, considerate...I was excited. The day of, he sent me a really sweet email letting me know he was getting out of work late, but that he'd be at the restaurant by 6pm. Well, 6pm came and went. My phone was silent. By 6:30, with my "You okay?" text unanswered, I decided to call him. It went directly to voicemail. I went ahead and ordered, since the waiter was giving me the stink eye and I was starving. My phone remained silent for the next forty five minutes, and I sadly paid the check. As I was outside waiting for my cab, my phone finally lit up. It was a picture message--of his, uh, unmentionables. 'Sry I got stuck at work, but come over and Ill make it up to you?' And then a stupid winking emoji. I deleted it, and his contact info, immediately." Angel, 36, architect
"Shermaine and I met on a dating site when I was out of town. I really liked her sharp wit and political stances, plus she was very cute. I was excited to go out with her, but I was stuck at a conference for another week. She suggested we meet for drinks on the 14th, two days after I got back, and after I agreed, we both realized it was Valentine's Day. She insisted it was a convenient date, and the holiday didn't mean anything. As long as I was comfortable with it, she said, but also offered another day. I liked how laid back she was, and agreed to the date. Flash forward a week later, and I showed up at the casual bar we'd chosen, looking forward to getting to know Shermaine. I wish I'd never gone. She was dressed to the nines, holding a huge bouquet of balloons, and a giant stuffed giraffe. She took one look at my cute jeans and top, which was perfect for our chosen location, and immediately set in. I'd barely sat down before she was asking if I'd brought her flowers (I hadn't), or if I'd made reservations for dinner after drinks (I didn't know I was supposed to), and started throwing the fact she'd gone all out in my face. I felt terrible, and told her I thought we'd miscommunicated, to which she replied that I was ruining her Valentine's Day. I tried to apologize, but she ran out in tears, leaving me with the giant giraffe and a massive handful of balloons. As I was paying the check, the bartender informed me she'd gotten there two hours ahead of time and was making a huge fuss over her 'anniversary' date with her girlfriend. I was totally stumped. I told the bartender it was our first date, and he shook his head and paid the check for me. I guess he felt bad for the craziness I'd endured, and I appreciated it." Nichole, 38, pharmacist
"Oh boy, I wish I'd stayed home. Long story short? I met Luke on Match, we both happened to have tickets to the same movie on Valentine's Day and decided to meet at the theater and have dinner afterwords. He texted during the movie, even though I asked him to stop. And then the usher asked him to stop. And then he got kicked out and insisted I come with him. When I declined, he kicked my table, spilling the bowl of popcorn all over me. Goodbye, buddy." Carmen, 33, set designer