The most depressing tale wins dinner for two at and tickets to Ladysmith Black Mambazo's Valentine's night performance at the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall (7:30 p.m.; tickets courtesy of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra).
We'll post some of the better stories here -- don't worry, no names. The winner will be notified on Feb. 12. Go on, get it all out.
From Jack in Columbia:
This may not be much of a horror story -- after all, I have a friend who ditched his fiancee the day before Valentine's Day -- but to me it was devastating. Late in 1994, I fell hard for someone, harder than I'd ever fallen before. I couldn't do anything about it -- she was seeing someone and hardly knew who I was. I would stop in to see her in her office every chance I got. I'd even find myself making up stupid reasons to see her, and the more I saw her and talked to her, the harder I fell. Some weeks before Valentine's Day, I found out that she wasn't exactly happy with things and that the guy wasn't the nicest, so I knew it was time to tell her how I felt. I'd let her know on Valentine's Day. I went overboard, ordering yellow roses and preparing exactly what I would say. I knew I probably wasn't her type, but I knew I had to try. As Valentine's Day approached, I happened to bump into her a few days prior. She had big news for me: She'd found a job in another state and was moving away. She left days before Valentine's Day, and that conversation was the last we would everhave ....
From Sherri in Baltimore:
It all started about a week before Valentine's Day. My husband of seven years and I were having an argument about trash. He was complaining because he said I stuffed too much trash in the kitchencan. This made it difficult for him to get the trash bag out in onepiece. He just went on and on and on. On Wednesday morning I couldn'ttake it anymore and I left him a note telling him what he could do withthe trash. He was livid. This man was raised in East Baltimore, and he claimedthat no one had ever said anything like that to him. He stoppedspeaking to me.
For the first time since we had been together, we had plans to celebrateValentine's Day. We were having dinner with another couple on Saturday.We had already made reservations at a restaurant at Harborplace anddecided that we would go ahead with our plans. Well, we had a greattime, at least individually. Our dinner companions were lots of fun,the food was great ? we had a good time. My husband still wasn'tspeaking to me, though.
On Sunday, my husband went out to work and never came back. I guess thetrash just undid him. I haven't seen or heard from him in 4 years. Butyou know what they say, "Good riddance to bad rubbish."
From Maura in Baltimore:
Yes, I've been dumped on Valentine's Day. And I traveled 300 miles to let him do it!
I had a vacation romance with a former professor during a group trip to Europe. Of course, the whole thing was terribly romantic, and I knew it was destined to end when we got back to Baltimore.
But no, he wouldn't hear of it. We only lived a few hundred miles apart, and we could take turns visiting. Our first rendezvous coincided with a reunion of the travelers. I drove to the restaurant where he met me in the lobby, away from the other 35 celebrants, and told me he had reconsidered, and was sorry, but I wouldn't be coming home with him. Then he proceeded to chat up our fellow travelers, while I desperately looked for lodging.
I spent the night with the woman I roomed with on the trip, and awoke on Valentine's Day not, as I had expected, in the arms of my sweetie, but instead pinned by my hostess's enormous Doberman pinscher, who was stretched out from my chest to my feet, and wiping his eye goo on my shirt.
When he tired of that, he left, and I discovered that he had eaten all my clean underwear and all my money.
I still considered him less of a dog than the professor.
From Kate in Baltimore:
OK, I have a good one for you, and best of all it's happening right now! This Valentine's Day! Here's the scoop. I've been living with this man for four years now. Planning a life together. All that good stuff. So a few months ago, he suddenly decides he needs "freedom" and starts looking around to buy a house and move out. He settled on the house at the end of '98, and was supposed to be moving out this week (which is the week of our four-year anniversary). Instead, he has changed his move date to Feb. 14 -- Valentine's Day! Not much better, eh? Needless to say, I've been doing my best to tune out all the Valentine's Day hype this year!
From Emily in Washington, D.C.:
It was my last year of college. My boyfriend of about two years (now an EX) asked me if I could take Presidents Day weekend off from my job at a bar in Fells Point. He told me that we were going somewhere but wouldn't tell me where, just for me to take a four-day weekend. Well, the time comes and he takes me to New Orleans, where I have been dying to go. We stay in this gorgeous bed and breakfast that was straight out of Southern Living. It gets better: He had made reservations to go to Emeril Lagasse's (that crazy guy on the TV Food Network, which I am addicted to) restaurant. I was really bowled over by this. The town was decorated for Mardi Gras and Valentine's Day, the weather was in the 60s and theSouthern hospitality runneth over. Well, of course this story has to turn bad, right?
Valentine's night, after dinner we go out on Bourbon Street. It is very close to the final week of Mardi Gras, so it's pretty happening, and yes, the beads and breast shots are going on. In Pat O'Brian's bar, there is this chick who, shall we say, had enough strands of beads to put Mr. Tout of business. Although she was supposedly there with her boyfriend, she took a strange interest in me and my boyfriend. Well, I go to the bathroom, and I come back and find this little hussy making out with my boyfriend on Valentine's Day. Because we were on vacation and I didn't know anyone there, what the hell was I supposed to do? So, I spent the rest of the weekend sleeping in the day bed in our bed and breakfast suite, not speaking to him. A break-up in Baltimore was soon to follow when he started kissing another girl in front of my face on Fat Tuesday while I was bartending for a fundraiser.
Nice guy, huh?
From Molly in Baltimore:
I was going out with this guy for about four months and Valentine's Day was approaching, so I figured that I would do something really nice for him to show him how much I cared. He lived in a one-bedroom apartment, and let's just say he wasn't the neatest person in the world. I decided to surprise him by giving his apartment a good cleaning. Needless to say, I got the surprise, because what I found while I was cleaning was not what I had expected. While I was dusting one of his tables, I lifted up a mat and found about 100 phone numbers of other women! We got into a huge fight and he said that I shouldn't have been "snooping around"! I ended that relationship real fast after that! From what I understand, he is still a slob.
From Ruby in Catonsville:
My boyfriend and I hadn't been going out long and it was our first Valentine's Day as a couple. We sort of agreed we weren't going to do a whole lot because neither of us had much money. I decorated a little box with a collage of pictures of things he liked cut from magazines. I put Hershey's Kisses and a note inside and some other things -- I don't remember exactly what -- just little things that were nice and cute. Maybe a figurine. And I left it outside his dorm room door. I actually knocked on his door and ran away. The next day, I didn't even get a "thank you" from him. That evening he came by and shoved a packet of, like, Little Debbie coffee cakes in my hands and said, "Uhh, happy Valentine's Day." He at least could have gone to Wal Mart and gotten, I don't know, Entemann's or something, but no; he just got the campus store ones. I wasn't real happy; I was like, "Gee, thanks." We're still going out. He's gotten better.