Love and rockets

I don't know what it is about Valentine's Day that makes life seem dreary and unromantic. It's not like it's a high-pressure holiday like Christmas that has people stressed out and broke for weeks afterward. Don't get me wrong, I like exchanging goofy presents with heart-shaped motifs as much as the next person, but none of the truly romantic moments in my life have ever fallen on February 14.

Since everyone else will be giving romance tips, I decided to do something different and poll a few friends on what their least romantic Valentine's Day experience has been.

My least romantic VD moment is every Valentine's Day, because I do not celebrate it.—Sean "Bah-Humbug" Bradford

I was in college, and this guy who physically revolted me kept following me around. On Valentine's Day, he showed up at my door, holding a wilted rose. It was practically dead. It was the first rose I'd ever gotten, so it was pretty depressing. Another similarly bad V-Day was in high school; we were in homeroom, and these two popular girls got so many bouquets. I was sitting next to them feeling dorky and ugly because no one gave me a flower. Then the teacher came in and said in front of everyone, "Beth, where are your flowers?" He then ran out, and a few minutes later, some kid came in and delivered three wilted daisies to me (obviously sent by the teacher).—Beth "Next Time Call FTD" Evans

Um, probably the worst was when I gave myself a hand-job. But I'll tell you, the most interesting Valentine's Day I had was when a woman came into my piercing business and wanted her boyfriend's nipples pierced while she beat him with a riding crop. This woman's a CEO downtown. —Steve "Piercings Are for Everyone" Kim

To be honest, I can't think of a bad Valentine's Day. It tends to be like my birthdays: For some strange reason, I usually end up getting laid. New Year's Eve is the crap holiday for me.—Daniel "Spread 'Em Wide" Lopez

For me, the worst V-Day happened when I was dating Mark, a tall environmental activist. We were both in school, and, as usual, I was stressed out about my homework but procrastinating the actual doing of it. Come Valentine's Day, all I could think about was having to read 200 pages of a book by the next morning for a history class. Mark had tickets to the symphony, and I declined to go. I told him to go with someone else. What was I thinking?

We'd been going out for six months, and although I adored him, even told him that I loved him, I was a bit put off by his seriousness. Once in a while after sex, he'd ask me if I wanted to have children some day, and I was like, Whoa-oh! So when I told him that I was too busy on V-Day, it was a roundabout way of saying, "I don't want to make babies, and if I did, I don't know if I'd want to make them with you."

As bidden, he asked someone else to go to the symphony, and none of his crunchy, granola, poncho-wearing buddies, but the prettiest girl in our history class—which made me furious. They were barely acquainted; it was so obviously a date and not a good-friends-hanging-out-together kind of evening.

I had Mark come over before the concert. We ended up fucking. And as soon as we were done, he rushed to get dressed and go pick up the other girl. Alone and wiping off his juices from my thighs, I felt dirty and jaded.

To his credit, Mark showed up the next day with a bouquet of flowers. He also provided a year of juicy sex columns, endless debates about monogamy and three-ways, and my figuring out how to have an orgasm every time. Amazing what little surprises the future holds for us, ain't it?

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