Monitor readers share their dating sagas
There are few pursuits in life like the pursuit of romance. In honor of Valentine's Day, we asked Monitor readers to share some of their best - and worst - dates. Due to the volume of letters, we are able to publish only an edited sampling. But clearly, Cupid's arrow strikes - or goes astray - when we least expect it.Skip to next paragraph
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Key ring to my heart One day, I returned from lunch to my job at a nursery and met a man who stood out to me as the most handsome customer I'd ever assisted. We chatted briefly as I helped him load compost into his truck, quickly discovering many common interests. Uncharacteristically for both of us, we agreed to get to know each other better over dinner the next evening.
When I got off work the next day, I hadn't had enough time to change out of my dirty work clothes before he came to pick me up. Normally I'd have felt embarrassed by my appearance for a first date, but I just chuckled to myself that I felt so comfortable with this man.
We went to a nearby beach to take in the last rays of light before going to dinner and could not have planned more romantic surroundings. We strolled along the water's edge while a stunning sunset painted enormous brush strokes of pinks and orange across the sky.
That night at the restaurant, they were giving out little plastic heart-shaped key rings to commemorate Valentine's Day, an observance that had previously held little significance for either of us.
We both still have those little heart key rings; my husband's is still on the dashboard of his truck, where he put his that night, four years ago. - Jennifer Iams-McGuire
Got the ex-boyfriend blues I was a senior in high school, on a first date with a girl I really liked. No need to identify her. Let's just call her Medusa.
We went to a cozy Italian restaurant that set me back $40. I had a small (cheap) pasta, she ate a 10-ounce filet mignon. It was lovely. She seemed pleased. Later, we stopped for a video to watch at her house. She suggested "When Harry Met Sally." I hinted for James Bond. We settled on "The Blues Brothers."
At her house, we popped in the movie and snuggled on the couch. Things were going well.
Then, the phone rang.
"Hi Briiiiiian," she cooed as though Brad Pitt were on the line. "Oh, nothing . . . Just watching a dumb movie. I'm sooooo glad you called."
Brian was her ex-boyfriend. Then Medusa proceeded to wound me for the rest of my adolescent life: She disappeared into her bedroom and talked to him long distance for two hours. TWO HOURS. I should have left, but I didn't. I watched the movie - alone.
When Medusa finally reappeared, she said it was getting late and that I should be getting home. I left. Not even a good-night peck on the cheek. Walking to my car, I spotted a rock in her driveway. Still fuming, I kicked it, slipped, and fell in some mud. I was wearing white jeans.
The moral: Never wear white on a first date. - John Christian Hoyle
Airing his feelings On Wednesday, Nov. 20, 1985, my boyfriend and I were going to celebrate our first anniversary of dating by going to lunch at the Chicago Yacht Club. He called me just before noon and told me to look out the window of my office suite on the 37th floor.
There was an airplane flying over the Chicago lakefront with a 200-foot banner waving proudly, "Dear Linda, I adore you. Love always, Michael."
I hurried down the elevator to meet Michael (who became my husband seven months later) and to share this special moment with him. On the street, dozens of people stopped to see his airborne profession of love.
Our gaze was interrupted by a cranky Chicago cop who gave Michael a parking ticket, and called the FAA to report a plane flying too close to shore.
Determined not to let this spoil our day, we went as planned to the Yacht Club and had a wonderfully romantic lunch, basking in the glory of the message flying over us.
But because of the cop's call to the FAA, it somehow got broadcast over the AP wire. An FAA agent questioned the pilot when he landed. He did not, in fact, violate any FAA regulations. But it created a lot of ruckus!
We were pictured on the front page of the Chicago Sun Times with an article entitled, "Love plane swoops Loop" and in The Chicago Tribune with another article called, "Love takes a flyer and stirs cop's ire."
People still come up to us and say, "Aren't you the guy who flew an airplane in the Loop for your girlfriend?" - Linda Fine
My parents, the stalkers When I was 13 I met a boy for a date in London. He thought I was very strange, because I made him walk such a long and winding route to the cinema - but it took me all the back alleys I could find just to shake off my parents, who were shuffling close behind.