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Valentine’s Day is often reviled as a smug, exclusionary, and soullessly corporate holiday. But no matter how much we rail against it, we always find ourselves buying roses and chocolates on Feb. 14.
Well, not all of us succumb to the clichés of the season. Quite a few romantics try to break the Valentine paradigm with outside-the-box gifts, cards, and poetry, hoping to score big with the element of surprise.
Too bad it literally never works—as these people know all too well:
1) This ticketmaster
2) This morbid son
3) And this subtly threatening one
4) This infected person
5) This rather forward employee
My fiancé, a guy, and I, a girl, wanted to go see Fifty Shades of Grey on Valentine’s Day with another couple, good friends of ours who told us a few days ago that they might want to go see it with us. Anyway, this morning I texted the girl, who is listed in my phone as Ashley R., “Do you want to go see Fifty Shades of Grey on Valentine’s Day?” in order to figure out our plans. The response: “I’m going to [city across the state] to visit my mom for her birthday.” …Ashley’s mom’s birthday is not this weekend.
I looked at the contact name I had texted–Adam R.–and realized that I had just asked my boss to go with me to see Fifty Shades of Grey on Valentine’s Day.
6) This self-styled poet
7) And this one
8) This bizarrely optimistic dude
9) This would-be mystery man
Now I’m a chivalrous fella who believes in loving a woman every day of the year so I always played off Valentine’s as the consumerist BS that it really is. Still, deep down I could see my girlfriend was into it and wanted something to mark the day.
So I ordered some flowers with a card to be delivered on the morning and booked a table at an awesome little restaurant. On the card I simply asked for “From ?” to be written, going along with the idea that I wasn’t interested in Valentine’s Day so it couldn’t possibly be from me. This is where I fucked up.
When the package arrived and I playfully asked “Wonder who those could be from?” I did not expect to be met with the response, “Probably Steven from work.” Who the fuck is Steven from work?!
Echoing that thought, I said, “No they’re from me. Who the fuck is Steven from work?!”
My girlfriend explained Steven from work had been hitting on her for about 4 months and recently asked what her favourite flowers were (lilies – like I had ordered).
We spent the rest of the day going through Steven from work’s attempts to pick up my girlfriend, had an uncomfortable meal at the restaurant then returned home to find a Valentine’s card had been popped through our letter box.
It didn’t say who it was from.
11) The city of Leeds, U.K.
Contender for worst Valentine’s Day promotional email – half price parking in Leeds city centre
— Damon Green (@damongreenITV) February 8, 2016
12) Anyone who falls for this
13) This gag gifter
It all started because my girlfriend wanted a few books for Valentine’s Day. I looked for them in the local bookstore and could not find them, I got the brilliant idea of asking my Mom if I could use her Amazon Prime account so I could get the free 2nd day shipping. So I log in and curiosity got the better of me and I decided I was going to order a vibrator as a gag gift for my girlfriend. I found one and when I went to place it in my shopping cart I evidently hit “One Click Shopping”. Not only was the order placed, it was billed to my Mom’s Credit Card and sent to her house in her name. I tried to cancel the order and it wouldn’t let me. I called customer service and they said since it was ordered in my Mom’s name she would have to cancel the order. So I just check UPS’s tracking and it’s been delivered. After giving much thought and a few sleepless nights I’ve decided I am just going to play dumb and pretend I don’t know anything about it. Happy Valentine’s Day! I’m a nervous wreck. Ok, added info it was a 10″ realistic vibrator with balls, and yes it was the black one.
14) This unromantic spouse
15) This future historian
16) This nerd
17) The marketing genius who came up with this
18) This amateur meteorologist
Illustration via Max Fleishman
Miles Klee is a novelist and web culture reporter. The former editor of the Daily Dot’s Unclick section, Klee’s essays, satire, and fiction have appeared in Lapham’s Quarterly, Vanity Fair, 3:AM, Salon, the Awl, the New York Observer, the Millions, and the Village Voice. He's the author of two odd books of fiction, 'Ivyland' and 'True False.'