The Valentine’s Day I wanted to stab a guy with a plastic fork

If you’re just here for the free goods the contest, scroll to the bottom. You totally don’t need to read my tale of woe to enter. You just need to have your own. 

First off, if you missed the post about  my trip to the firehouse, keep reading past this one. (If you want. That’s not really a command. I just posted it late in the day on a Sunday, so it was outside my regular schedule.)

Ha! I just said “regular schedule.”


I’m going to stretch the memory banks for this one, guys, because it was over ten years ago, and my description of the guy might be an amalgamation of several random guys from my early twenties.

But you won’t know the difference, so here we go.

So imagine Valentine’s Day 1999. I was single, young, a free spirit. Just like everyone else who was single on Valentine’s Day, I was not exactly feeling the love, if you catch my drift. So I did my two favorite things, alone.

I went to the movies, and afterward, I went to the bookstore.

There used to be this huge Borders bookstore in Towson, just north of Baltimore, and boy, that place was my stomping ground in the years following high school. It was three stories high, full of books and couches and even a cafe on the top floor.

So I found my book, and I went up to the cafe to have a coffee and a snack.

I’m sitting at the table, reading my book, eating, pretty content really. Yeah, I was single on Valentine’s Day, but life didn’t suck. It was okay.

Then a guy stopped by the table and said, “May I join you?”

I tend to remember things like they happened in a movie.  Kind of like: His hand would fall on the edge of the table, and I would look up slowly from my book to find this movie-star cute boy standing there, all blue eyes and dark hair (yeah, I have a type). End scene.

Now, in reality, he wasn’t movie-star cute. He was okay. I remember he had long hair (Hey, it was the nineties. Thank the grunge movement for that.), and a nice smile, and I think he was wearing glasses. I was just so startled that a guy was asking if he could join me. It’s not like there weren’t a dozen empty tables around. Bookstores aren’t what you’d call “hopping” on Valentine’s Day.

But I told him yes, he could sit down, and he did. Then he struck up a conversation.

Now I don’t remember everything we talked about. Our books, I’m sure. I think he was reading something completely outside my wheel house, like a biography or a book on migrant farmers or maybe something by John Steinbeck.

I do remember that he led of with a statement like, “I saw you were alone on Valentine’s Day, and I am too, and nobody should be alone on Valentine’s Day.”

I ate it up. Come on. You would too.

I remember he was in school, and very kind, and he kept leaning in against the table and making conspiratorial comments about the other people in the cafe. He was cute. Funny. Engaging. I was having a nice time.

Inside, I kept screaming to myself, “This could be fate! We’ll tell people we met on Valentine’s Day! What a cute story to tell our children one day!”

And then he took his last bite of pie, set down his fork, and said, “Well, it was really nice talking to you.”

And with that, he stood up and left.

Now, we didn’t have all these nifty acronyms when I was twenty-one. The only one we had was LOL, and I sure as hell wasn’t doing that.

My expression was more likely a combination of OMG and WTF.

I mean, seriously, he just stood up and left. It was like a complete 180. He’d been sitting there bantering, chatting, being flirty, the whole nine yards. And then he stood up and left.

More than ten years later, I’m still not sure what that was. A Valentine’s Day hit-and-run? Did he think he was being kind to the poor dorky girl? Because I’m sure I would have enjoyed another thirty minutes with my novel a lot more.

That’s my story. I’m sure you guys have some. Let’s hear ’em.

Wait! Let’s do a contest! I’ve never done a blog contest before.

In the comments section, tell me your worst Valentine’s Day story. I’ll pick the best three and post them on the blog tomorrow, and everyone can vote. 

Anna and the French KissWinner gets a $15 Amazon gift certificate. Use it to buy a copy of the incredible book Anna and the French Kiss. Or anything you want, really.

Deadline is whenever I wake up tomorrow! (Psst. That’s 5am EST Feb. 15, 2011) 

Let’s hear the anti-love! 

(I know some employers/schools block blog comments, so if you can’t comment on the blog from where you are, just send me an email at, or post it on my Facebook “Like” page, or write it on a Post-it and stick it to my windshield, or hire a plane to skywrite it…)

Please promote!

13 thoughts on “The Valentine’s Day I wanted to stab a guy with a plastic fork

  1. Lol – well you need to take that and use it. How…odd!

    Hmmm, worst Valentine’s…I think they kind of run into each other. Freshman year of college – A day or so before Valentine’s day I broke up with my boyfriend (over the phone, btw)who went to another school because I found out he’d been cheating on me with someone who I thought had been a friend (and who was on the same campus as me – like really, you can’t find someone at your own school to cheat with…although he probably had that as well..). Cut to Valentine’s Day he comes in trying to be valiant with one of those overpriced ginormous cards, flowers, probably some stuffed animal too – you know, the *college budget* works. Of course I eat it up because, I was a sucker, but I never felt really *in it* again. We broke up about a month or so later for real. So more of a beginning of an end story, than one succinct bad night, but I think I eventually used that card as kindling…really what else can you use a big card for??

    Fun post!!

  2. Aw, I don’t really have a story here. But that’s because I really can’t remember most of my life. I don’t try very hard, though. Your post made me laugh, Brigid. My children were giving me funny looks.

  3. I have one. My wife, who is wonderful btw, decided to hold a contest on her blog. The best story about valentine’s day would win a prize. Did she write about how I proposed to her or how romantic I could be at times? Nope, she wrote about yet another encounter with a strange man. Feel the love. 😛

  4. I will leave this anonymously because it contains several illegalities but it is still my favorite Valentine’s Day probably because there were no boys present.

    A group of single ladies wanting to go out but not anywhere they might by chance encounter happy couples decide to go to the bowling alley because any happy couples there will likely be white-trashy and not make them jealous.

    The bowling alley is known for its cheap pitchers of beer and blind eye to underrage drinking. Though some of them are over twenty-one, others are not, yet they all comsume the bounties of cheap beer.

    After several pitchers, they lose count, yet continue to order the pitchers, paying for them with loose change. Bowling balls fly all over the lane as they cannot tell which set of ten pins they are aiming for.

    Finally the money runs out along with the beer, but their night isn’t over yet. In a moment of drunken genius, they realize the shoe attendee had not taken their shoes as ransom for the bowling ones. As a Valentine’s Day gift to themselves, they decide to further bend the law and steal them.

    The plan is concocted, they will leave one at a time to avoid being suspicious though they stumble and giggle as they run. The last one will go through the side door, feigning a cigarette break.

    She walks past the counter staff, a cigarette dangling from her lips for realism, warily eyeing them with only one eye since she needs to keep the other closed for balance. Her pulse quickens, the spilled beer on her shirt clings to her skin. The door is within reach and no one has stopped her.

    When she pushes outside, her getaway car peels up with the door open. She dives in and they all laugh hysterically, and the next day they all wake up with horrible headaches and used bowling shoes as a reminder of their magical night.

  5. My worst Valentine’s Day story doesn’t really have anything to do with love. Last year, my senior year of high school, I flew out to KY for a college recruiting trip. I came out 2/11 and was supposed to fly back 2/15. Sunday, the 14th, I was passed amongst no less than 5 girls as they tried to juggle the recruit (me) and their dates. After that chaos, the coach called me up at around 4 PM and said a big snowstorm was supposed to hit that night and my flight tomorrow would probably be grounded. She checked flights and said she could get me in on one in an hour. We hurried to the airport. That’s when this turns into a airport nightmare: I got stopped in security, had a “too big” carry on, an obnoxious seatmate, and a really short layover.

    The only upside was a cute seatmate on the other side. Siiigh. That was my crazy 27 hour Valentine’s Day.

  6. My worst Valentine’s day happened when I was 20. It’s the only year I’ve ever been in a relationship on Feb. 14, and I was SUPER jazzed about it. The problem was that my boyfriend wasn’t all that SUPER jazzed. At first, he said that he wasn’t going to go out with me, so I got a group of friends together to go out. We all got dressed up in black (there’s just something about being anti-pink that makes me feel like I’m sticking it to the man) and planned to meet at Macaroni Grill then see the movie HITCH. My BF was fine with that until he saw how smokin’ I looked and how glowing my smile was. So while we were at Macaroni Grill, he called several times, and talked himself into meeting us for the movie.

    Problem: He decided to get completely wasted while he waited for us to finish eating.

    When he met up with us, he smelled pretty horrible. We found our seats, and he pulled a flask out and continued to smell horrible. Finally, he snuck out for a bathroom break and got kicked out of the theater.

    What I learned: being single is preferrable to being left alone by a drunken man – no matter how gorgeous and charming the man 🙁

  7. Your story is like a chapter from a YA novel. Only in the end they’re supposed to get together.

    Thankfully I don’t have a similar story. I was blessed with many single friends so most of my Valentine’s Days were spent doing single girl stuff.

  8. my worst valentine’s day…….my husband of 7 years got me a blue coffee mug. not a cute blue coffee mug but an ugly one from CVS. It was such a awful looking thing that the cashier told him “I can’t believe your buying someone this for Valentine’s Day!”. And yes my husband told me he said that and he still gave it to me.

    He now uses the coffee mug:)

  9. I can honestly say this is my worst Valentine’s Day ever. My little girl fell out of her bed at 2:30 a.m. yesterday and broke her collarbone (which just happened to be her third birthday).

    Something STINKY woke me up at 2:30 a.m. today. Because it hurt to push herself up on the toilet, she wouldn’t go potty. Apparently she could only hold it so long, pulled the No. 2 out, wiped it on her bed and then tried to go back to sleep.

    So that’s how the day started.

    When I REALLY woke up for the day, I realized that we both have pink eye. Great right? Which would be fine if we could just hang out at home. No dice.

    We had to visit the orthopaedic surgeon this afternoon who a) didn’t do anything for her but pin her sling shut and b) happened to be totally gorgeous.

    Now I’m waiting for a call from the pediatrician and baking the cake she didn’t get to have yesterday.

    No love story here. Just real life.

  10. Today? Starting Valentine’s Day with a (relatively simple) biopsy and having them nick a vein?

    But my seriously bad date story starts with him asking me out in front of his friends–rookie mistake. Or did he know that I wouldn’t want to make him look bad in front of his mates and say yes anyway?

    So I said yes, although the only things he had in his favor were an accent (sucker for those accents every time) and a nice car (come on, I was 15–I hadn’t learned that cars were not the most important part of the date).

    He took me out to a restaurant and ordered veal (me: vegetarian) which I found distasteful but not a deal-breaker. BUT he was so nervous that he really couldn’t eat it, and then didn’t want to take it in a box–so they threw it away. Come on, if you’re going to order the veal, at least don’t waste it!

    He tried to mack all over my neck during the movie, and it was not appreciated. I ended up flirting with passing jarheads in other cars on the way home.


  11. I suppose my worst Valentine’s day story isn’t really that bad, all things considered, but it’s several years later, and for some reason, the memory still annoys me. My boyfriend of a little over a year had taken me out to dinner and a movie, and when we got back to my house, he said he’d gotten me some presents. Sweet, right? The first two gifts were traditional Valentine’s things, candy and a CD, but for the third present, he told me I had to close my eyes and hold out my hands because this gift was an extra special surprise. So I held them out because I was feeling all warm and happy and trusting and in love, and when I opened my eyes, I looked down to see that he’d dropped a live toad into my cupped palms. I’m not especially squeamish about toads, but I’m not a big fan either, and the boyfriend KNEW that, so seeing it there in my hands, all gray and bumpy, was enough to make me scream and jump around like a total girl, while he laughed like it was the funniest thing he’d seen in years. Then I just stood there, staring at him, thinking, “Dude, are you for real?” Had the night been going too well or something? Maybe it was his way of reminding me that no matter how sweet they can be on days like Valentine’s Day, 17-year-old boys can still be colossal jackasses.

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