What Are Your Valentine's Day Dealbreakers? Share Your Bad Dates from V-day's Past

Surprise! I booked us a table for two with a view of the Shell gas station!
Surprise! I booked us a table for two with a view of the Shell gas station!

Is everyone aware that White Castle, the fast food chain sometimes found in college canteens and the freezer aisle of the grocery store, is a place couples go for Valentine's Day? Once a year, medieval burger joints around the country throw down tablecloths and a vase of fake flowers in honor of lovers.

Make no mistake: A slider with chopped onions fills that massive hole in my heart when I'm alone, but when I'm in a relationship I don't need to be burping up beef on that annual Hallmark holiday.

I'm not going to point the finger at men, but I will stare them down and slowly raise my left eyebrow, when I say a lot of guys are easily taken in by the holiday's marketing tactics. Two weeks before Valentine's day, every checkout counter and eating establishment in site has advice on what a girl wants. That's why so many women end up with bears holding balloons and boxes of melted cherry-filled chocolates from 1974.

What many of us really want is an answer to this question: "Why do you love me?"

I know, it's a booby-trapped riddle. But there are some right answers: a surprise plan, an unearthed artifact from our past, a thoughtful gift-bought or handmade-that says 'I was listening,' and maybe a nice card. Those will satisfy 'Insecuretorius Rex', the inner-beast that goes hunting for validation every February.

Some guys skirt the whole question by regurgiating the old "Valentines's day is a marketing ploy." Sorry buddy, single women own the trademark for that phrase. Find your own excuse.

Other guys just panic and purchase anything that suggests "I'm the thing you buy for Valentine's day." It could be a heart shaped Keilbasa or a battery-operated gorilla that sings Temptations songs. Things with hearts are minefields.

Then there are guys who are resentful of all the implied pressure and turn to self-sabotage. I once got a musician boyfriend a series of rare songbooks he'd been hoping to learn. He got me a cactus left behind from an elementary school classroom where he was teaching. Then he tried to make it seem like he bought it and didn't snatch it from kids. Great guy, bad valentine.

I wasn't any better. That night, I turned into a passive-aggressive hell demon who closes cabinets and drawers forcefully and only speaks three English words: "It's fine. Everything's fine."

Complaining about a disappointing Valentine's date only makes you feel like a high-maintenance jerk. But holding it in isn't healthy either. That's what comments sections are for.

Share time: What are the worst Valentine's day dates/gifts/mistakes you've experienced? (Also if there's any guys out there who want to chime in women's V-day crimes, feel free. But be gentle.)

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