Legitimized by corporate America's efforts to take advantage of consumers' cold hearts, Valentine's Day has been cemented as a pop culture phenomenon and an unofficial U.S. holiday. For the past couple hundred years, the Hallmark holiday has placed pressure on budding romances, made singles feel inadequate, and raised hopes high enough just to crush them, to say nothing of what the day has done to bank accounts. Though there are some success stories, more often than not, the high-stakes, cringe-worthy so-called day of love sets the stage for some of the most embarrassing and horrific encounters anyone has had the misfortune of enduring. In honor of the impending day and all the disquieting moments associated with it, New Times put out an APB to gather some of Miami’s worst tales of V-Days past.
Dine and Dash
Bartender, age 33: I’ve been a bartender in Miami for the past eight years, so, yeah, I’ve got some horror stories. The first that comes to mind happened when I was working at 27 Restaurant & Bar. It was Valentine's Day, and this couple came in together. She was beautiful, and he was paying for everything. At some point, this other guy starts talking to her. I couldn’t really make out their conversation, but as soon as her date goes to the bathroom, she dips with this stranger. She leaves the flowers her date got her and everything sitting on the bar. I didn't know what to do when the poor guy came back. I ended up having to buy the dude drinks for the rest of the night because I felt so bad.
Don't Call Me by Your Name
Chef, age 25: I was seeing this guy Alex casually for a few months and just adored him. He went to my college, he was a senior when I was a freshman, and he was just very hot and cool. He was an actor — SMH. A couple of dates in, he was like, “I don't want to make assumptions, and I really want to take you on a date, but I’m not looking for a relationship.” Of course, I was like, OMG, totally, whatever. A couple of weeks later, we have this seriously emo date night where we see Call Me by Your Name. We then go back to his place and talk, among other things. Later that night, I offered to go home and sleep in my own bed, and he was like, “No way!” I leave the next day, but then I don’t hear from him for two weeks — until Valentine’s Day morning at 8:17 a.m. He sends me a text saying, “Hey, hope we can continue to be friends but stop being lovers. I’ll be around whenever to talk about it.” We set two dates to talk, and he bailed on each one. Needless to say, it took a while to get over that one.
My Bloody Valentine
Server, age 29: This guy and I had been dating for a while, so naturally we would be one another’s Valentine’s date. So we do the dinner-and-a-movie combo, which is really just making out. Obviously, things got hot and heavy, and we went back to his place. As things started getting heated, he goes down on me. When he lifts his head to look at me, I notice all this blood all over his face. Turns out I had just gotten my period, and this poor guy was definitely not into it. He ran to the bathroom to wash up, and when he came back in, he ripped the sheets off his bed, and as kindly as possible, he told me to “go to sleep and not worry about it.”
Oh My God, They Were Roommates
Marketer, age 27: I was running an hour late for my date, and once I finally got to the bar, she had run into a friend. It turns out the friend she ran into was the same girl I had brought to the same bar the previous week. To make things worse, I had never called her back after leaving first thing in the morning. Turns out they were roommates.
Les Fleurs du Mal
Writer, age 35: It started so well. When a beautiful bouquet of flowers was delivered at work for me, I had to find out who they were from. There was no name on the card, but I didn't take this lying down. I was freaking out. As I aws running through a shortlist of potential senders with my friends — or anyone who was even mildly curious — someone suggested I call the florist and ask whose name was on the credit card. I sprang into action. Initially, and not surprisingly, the florist was hesitant to tell me, saying, “We aren’t supposed to give out personal information.” But I persisted, and she finally relented. “His name is Pete,” she said. There was a terrible pause as I digested this news. Pete was not only a guy I had absolutely no romantic interest in, but he was also a colleague who was sitting two desks away and listening to the entire conversation. I immediately started blushing and quickly said, “Oh, OK, you can’t tell me. I understand. Thank you,” and I hung up the phone. I then spent the rest of the day trying to avoid him as he repeatedly tried to catch my eye, until he finally and inevitably cornered me to “surprise” me with the news that he was the mystery man. Excruciating.
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Musician, age 29: My date Jake and I decided we wanted to go for a late-night swim on Ocean Drive. While we were in the water, someone stole his car keys, his phone, and all his clothes. He only had his underwear, but they left my dress, and at the time I didn’t have a phone (this was like ten years ago). We were stranded on the beach all night trying to make calls on weird phones in late-night hotels, but it was too late. We ended up running into some random people that had a pair of really ugly bathing suit bottoms and a Ron Jon T-shirt, so he wore that. At first, we tried to embrace being stranded and started to make out on the beach. After five minutes, he whips out his dick, but I was a virgin and said no. Then it got awkward as hell. Finally, hours later, we made one last call — to my stepdad. Tensest drive home of my life. They had never met him, and he had to call his dad to pick him up from my parents' house. We never talked again.
Manager, age 29: There’s this guy I’ve been on and off with. My friends continued to tell me to stay away from the trash, but like all masochists, I found it difficult. So Valentine's Day was approaching, and I asked him to go on a date with me. We ended up eating at Lost & Found (when it was open) and then headed toward Wood Tavern for a few drinks. After our first drink, he told me he had a bad stomachache. He said the food hit him badly and he had to go home, which I believed. I was not ready for my night to end, so I called my girls and they told me they are at Brick House next door and to come over. So I walked over, and we were dancing, shaking our asses all over the place. I went to take a pee, and while I was standing in the line, I caught the guy I was just on a date with tonguing down someone else. I was in complete shock, and instead of cursing him out, I sent him a text saying, “I guess you are feeling better,” with a photo of him tonguing down that girl.