Tell me about a time when you were on the receiving end of a truly romantic act.
September 16, 2009 6:34 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for stories from folks, especially ladyfolks, who have been on the receiving end of random acts of romance. Tell me, when were you surprised by a romantic act? What was it? What were the circumstances?

I'll take just about any story, but I'm most interested in every day, random, spur of the moment romantic acts.

Birthdays, anniversaries, and Valentine's are great too, but stories that start along the lines of "It was a Thursday at 5:13pm..." are what I hope to see the most.
posted by stuboo to Human Relations (39 answers total) 228 users marked this as a favorite
...I've kind of got a doozy, but -- does it count if the actual originator OF the romantic act was not actually pursuing a romantic GOAL?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:54 PM on September 16, 2009

Response by poster: EmpressCallipygos It doesn't matter in the least. You've got me on pins and needles.
posted by stuboo at 7:00 PM on September 16, 2009

We'd just graduated from college, and my amazing boyfriend of a year was about to move back home across the country. Although we were really happy, we were too poor to afford even one cross-country flight and decided to break up rather than attempt a very long-distance relationship of indefinite length.

Due to some unfortunate circumstances, I ended up getting all four wisdom teeth removed during his last week in-state. Since I'd moved out of my college housing, I recovered from the surgery at my mom's house. The percocet made me vomit up all the blood I'd swallowed (apparently quite a lot), and I was basically just in pain, disgusting, and miserable. Boyfriend left work and took a two hour train ride just to sit on the couch next to me for the night and pet my stinky unwashed hair as I struggled to keep jello down and drooled blood.

He left a few days later, and we broke up as planned. I think we made the right choice for now, but I can't pinpoint another time when I've felt as loved.
posted by oinopaponton at 7:04 PM on September 16, 2009 [11 favorites]

To preface this story, lest you think I'm a pretty pretty princess who requires my love be bought with gifts, my boyfriend was a poor student when we first started dating and there had been many months of drinking PBR and eating dollar store noodles leading up to this.

I came home from work, all sweaty and slightly cranky from my walk from the bus stop, and he kissed me and sounded all super-ashamed and said "Baby, I'm sorry, I think I spilled some shit all over Owlsford."

Owlsford is a backpack shaped like an owl and my constant companion throughout bike rides, acid trips, and all night dance parties. I went straight to him like a mother goes to an injured child, puzzled when he seemed to be unstained. I opened him up and inside the backpack was a soft package wrapped in brown paper with "Simply Because I Love You" and a little cupcake* drawn on in Sharpie.

Inside was the perfect little yellow cardigan, that he'd watched me sigh over every morning as it shone in the front window of a little boutique on our bus route. He waited until he got paid, called the store to make sure they had it in stock, and bought it for me, for no reason. We're not the kind of people who have a lot of extra money laying around for things like cute cardigans and surprise gifts, so it meant even more to me. I think of him everytime I wear it.

Also, once he cut a circle out of cardstock, decorated it to look like a button, wrote "I Love You My Little Button" on it, and hid it in my purse. He patiently waited for me to find it weeks later, and I've carried it ever since. Every once in a while I pull it out of my purse and hold it in my hand and sigh and think about how much I love him.

*my middle name is Cupcake
posted by Juliet Banana at 7:13 PM on September 16, 2009 [41 favorites]


I was an ugly-duckling kind of kid when I was a freshman in high school; wallflowery, shy, awkward. And depressed that boys didn't seem to be paying attention to me. My friends (a few of whom did have boyfriends) tried to cheer me up, to no avail.

but then suddenly I got pulled to the principals' office during French class one day -- because a secret admirer had delivered a pair of longstemmed roses to the school for me. The card was signed only "A.N." They gave them to me, and I went back to class in an absolute daze. Class ground to a halt when I got back -- even the teacher was intrigued. The whole damn rest of the day everyone was asking me about the flowers -- did I know who they were from? No. Did I see who brought them? No. Did I have any clue? Really? No. I took them home, kept them in a vase for a week, dried them after that, and kept the card, and thought, well, that was cool, and that was that.

Then a few weeks later it happened again. Same M.O. - anonymous delivery, I got called to the office to pick it up. Same "A.N." on the card -- this time A.N. quoted a lyric from The Doors -- same delivery, two longstemmed roses. Same excited gossip from everyone in the school.

And then it happened again a couple weeks after that.

For the entire rest of my freshman year of high school, I would periodically get flowers from this secret admirer, and it was the Big Intriguing Mystery in my class. Every time I got called to the principal's office, everyone in class would laugh knowingly, and some people would grin and say, "again???" Every time people saw me in the halls with the flowers they'd grin. One of my friends snuck a copy of the student registry out of the principal's office one day to find out if that could tell us who "A.N." was, but no luck. My best friend Sue -- who's a huge Springsteen fan -- would burst out singing his song "I'm on Fire' when she saw me with the lyrics, to tease me -- "Hey little girl is your daddy home/did he go and leave you all alone..."

The flowers kept going through the whole year, then we all went home for the summer. Sometime that august, I woke up to get the mail, and when I went out to the lawn that morning I saw a boquet left on the grass -- it was a dozen roses this time, eleven red and one pink. "You're one of a kind," the card read. "Love forever, A.N."

And that was the last I heard from A.N.

I spent YEARS trying to track down who this was -- throughout the entire rest of my high school years, I would try to uncover this. Gradually doing so less and less towards senior year, though, until I moved away to college and life took over.

Still, over the next 15 years I would keep telling the story to people, and I'd still think of it when I heard "I'm On Fire." People would always incredulously ask me "and you never found out who it was???" "No," I'd say.

Then in about 2003, about when my class was talking about a 15th reunion and when Classmates and similar sites were starting up, I signed onto one -- and figured 'what the hell," and posted a notice on the discussion board asking: did everyone remember me getting the flowers back in Freshman year? Did anyone know anything about who delivered them?

That night, I got a call from Sue - whom I stayed in touch with after we graduated. "I...saw your ad on today," she said. "and....I have something to tell you."

She told me everything. How she'd just really wanted to cheer me up and make me feel like I was the center of attention. How she got the initials A.N. from a couple of E-Street band members' middle names. How she took on an extra shift at work to pay for the flowers and that's why they came with the frequency they did. How she always had wanted desperately to tell me it was her every time she saw how happy I was, because she was so excited, but she had sworn to herself she would never tell me -- and so that's why she actually was singing, because if she was singing then she couldn't talk.

She said that this wasn't a romantic gesture (this wasn't some long-standing "I've always wanted to be more than friends" thing), and she was terrified that I'd be mad at her now that I knew it wasn't a real secret admirer. I instead told her that it was possibly the most wonderful thing anyone had ever done -- because it had given me and my confidence an enormous shot in the arm.

I still have the scrapbook with all of "A.N."'s cards and I still think about this when I hear "I'm On Fire."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:15 PM on September 16, 2009 [392 favorites]

This may not seem romantic to anyone else, but it really is to me.

My husband and I don't have a lot of money right now and I wanted to get my brother a sunlamp as a graduation present (as per this AskMe). I e-mailed him with some of the options and asked if he thought they looked good and what he thought about them, the real question being "are these too expensive?". He wrote back to me saying basically "those look good. As for the money, I know he's your little brother and you love him so you get whatever you think is best." There are other things he's done that are amazing, but that understanding and willing to prioritize my love for my brother over our financial issues always stands out to me. He's made some big ridiculous gestures but the actual romance comes from his consistent thoughtfulness and understanding.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 7:31 PM on September 16, 2009 [13 favorites]

When I was 17, I was standing in the park across from my highschool in a group of about 5 or 6 people, including "the cutest boy in school" (really, such a doll). Conversation's going on, and he just leans over and kisses me on the lips, really sweetly. Then he said, you just looked like you needed to be kissed.

I have never forgotten that, and it puts a smile on my face every time. Thanks for triggering the memory. Double fave.
posted by nax at 7:31 PM on September 16, 2009 [8 favorites]

I dated/lived with/was deeply in love with a man who really raised the bar for me on everyday romantic gestures. There were many of them. My favorite was that for three years he made me a ring every month, usually based on something we had done together. Like if we went to a museum, he made me a ring out of the little button you get when you pay admission. We went to a taxidermy convention and he made me a ring out of a fake deer eye. We went on a vacation and he found some coated wire on the ground and made a ring of that. These rings were beautiful and meant a great deal to me because he made them rather than bought them.

Sadly, though, it didn't end well. But that's not what this question is about.
posted by fiery.hogue at 8:03 PM on September 16, 2009 [8 favorites]

My first college boyfriend was in danger of flunking out of school, and I was helping him study for a science test with flashcards that had a word on the front and a definition on the back.

We went through about a dozen cards, and then I came to one that said "Love."

The back of the card said "You."

Now, here's the part where I spoiled it:

I was so overwhelmed and flustered by the sight of the card that, instead of letting the moment play out, I passed over it and continued with the study work... for reasons I still don't exactly understand. I loved him too, in the world-altering way you fall in love at 18, and I still remember the night when he finally did tell me he loved me, but for some reason that gesture was too much - too sweet and wonderful, corny and cringe-worthy all wrapped up in one.

I did sneak that card out of the deck, though, and I still have it in a box with a thousand other tiny treasures.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 8:11 PM on September 16, 2009 [6 favorites]

I was getting to know someone at work and we were both pretty smitten.. he would often turn up at my desk with a coffee when he'd gone to grab his or pop by through the day to say hi.. pretty usual stuff for that early crush stage.

There was one day I remember though, when I got to work and sat down at the computer to start work for the day the mouse wasn't working ...I shook it a bit clicked it over and over.. then I turned it over to see what was going on with it. There stuck to the bottom of the mouse was a post it note that said 'hi pretty girl xo ' ..It was so unexpected and lovely!

Might not seem like much but it was the sweetest gesture - I smiled forever and in fact still do when I think of it... and I still have the post it note of course.
posted by Weaslegirl at 8:54 PM on September 16, 2009 [5 favorites]

We were 16-17, in the eleventh grade, and it was the first relationship for both of us. We were in awe of each other and were constantly amazed by every little thing about the other. She sat in the row in front of me in class, and at that point we were in the closet so we didn't want anyone to know about us. Sometimes her hand would just make its way onto my desk, where my hand would lightly come to rest upon it, and we'd feel the electricity. Sometimes when she moved her hand from my desk she'd leave a little note, just something she'd drawn with lyrics from some Beatles song or other or just with an "I love you". It just showed me that just like I felt about her, she also couldn't stop thinking about me. And even though she couldn't show it straight up, it didn't stop her from showing it all the time.
posted by alon at 9:12 PM on September 16, 2009 [4 favorites]

Two similar stories:

The summer between junior and senior year of college, I was missing my boyfriend a lot. We had basically lived in one dorm room for the past two years, taken vacations together, and had both spent the previous summer on campus, so when I went home to Toronto and he went back to our New Jersey campus for the summer, it was by far the longest separation we'd had to deal with. I was having fun with my friends, but moped a bunch because I wasn't going to get to see him for two months. Three weeks later, I was having a bad day - coughing, low blood sugar, generally feeling bad. I dragged myself out of the house and went downtown to a friend's party. I was starting to feel better when I heard a friend open the door and say, "Where's Ilana?" I looked up and observed that the guy who had just entered looked a LOT like my boyfriend. Then I realized that he WAS my boyfriend.

It was extremely romantic, and the only thing that entered my mind to say, while hugging him, was "holy crap!"

He'd planned it with a couple of friends and my parents and had gotten me a couple of days off work, as well. It was a lovely four days, because I was really starting to go nuts.

He pulled the same thing the next summer, right before my family went on vacation, but this time I woke up, whining about how it was too early to go to work, and was greeted by a kiss and the news that I didn't have to go to work that day at all. Glorious. I was totally surprised both times. He drove my family to the airport a few days later, went on a family vacation himself, and we sent each other postcards from every single town we visited.

Five years in and we're still together; these are some of the reasons why.
posted by ilana at 9:28 PM on September 16, 2009 [10 favorites]

i'm not a big fan of the traditional flowers/teddy bears/chocolates routine. i mentioned this once to someone i was dating, not as advice or anything but just as part of a conversation. after a minor disagreement escalated into a larger fight, we decided to take a day or two to cool off before discussing things. i was sort of feeling like he didn't really know me very well and maybe i was more interested than he was - just having doubts, really.

i was doing homework in my room when one of my housemates shouted that there was a delivery at the door for me. thinking it was flowers, i was sort of bummed that he really didn't know me all that well.

then i got to the door and saw that it was a delivery of balloons. an embarrassingly large cluster of balloons. the delivery guy was sort of chuckling to himself as i pulled them inside. the card attached to the strings read, "flowers are lame. fights are too. dinner?"

i still have the card and one or two pieces of deflated balloon.
posted by gursky at 9:42 PM on September 16, 2009 [7 favorites]

I have been extraordinarily lucky, because I have several of these.

In high school, the Thursday before the homecoming football game, when other girls were receiving these enormously tacky mum rigs (if you didn't grow up in Texas it's impossible to explain, but it is the norm to buy one's homecoming date one of these massive synthetic "corsages" to wear on game day and then to the dance that night), which weren't my style nor my then-boyfriend's... and yet, to go without a mum would suggest to my friends that he didn't know or care what Was Done... he had five dozen roses in my school colors delivered to me at the school in the morning. The bouquet was too big for my locker, so I had no choice but to carry it all day from class to class -- conveniently, insuring that every student and teacher knew that I had a boyfriend who did care, and did acknowledge the Texas homecoming rigamarole, but still managed to let me stand out with something unusual and special.

Once during college, when we were dirt-poor and had a big anniversary approaching but couldn't afford to celebrate, my then-boyfriend appeared in the foyer of my dorm with dozens of red and orange helium balloons. The "you could float away carrying that many" kind. It was all I could do to hang on to the bunch of them. Word spread quickly and girls came pouring out into the foyer to gawk.

In 2001-2002, when I was mid-20-something, I had an extraordinarily good run of bad luck. There was a jail visit, a pink slip, ongoing unemployment, a family estrangement, a roommate ditch necessitating breaking a lease, 9-11... it was a year of total and complete suck. The jail incident required a follow-up court date, one I was particularly dreading. I sat in the courtroom all day long, and didn't get the outcome I wanted, AND it cost more than I could afford, and I got a parking ticket.

Then-boyfriend (long distance, several hundred miles away and feeling guilty that he couldn't be there to provide support) left me a voice mail to call him when I left the courthouse. I pulled the parking ticket off the windshield and called from the car, weepy. He gave me driving directions, and led me by phone to the nearest liquor store -- where he had purchased a couple bottles of really good hooch, over the phone via credit card, to be delivered to me upon presenting my ID at the cash register, so I could at least drive home and get a nice house-drunk on to drown my sorrows after the hearing.

These were all different boys, and I have another bunch of stories like this that don't come to mind at the moment. I say again, in case the universe missed my gratitude: I have been extremely, extremely lucky, in connecting with the partners with a knack for romantic gestures.
posted by pineapple at 10:13 PM on September 16, 2009 [1 favorite]

My senior year in highschool, I took a road trip up north with some of my classmates, to whom I was not particularly close, to see The Grateful Dead. I wasn't a huge Deadhead (was pretty unfamiliar with their music, actually), and my best friend had been unable to attend at the last minute. I discovered I didn't really like the Dead that much, and I felt pretty isolated and lonely. I struggled throughout highschool with feeling like an outsider, misunderstood and sort of invisible. I meandered around the parking lot, separated from my friends, seeing groups of friends milling about enjoying themselves, and was feeling generally lonely and unseen.

At that very moment, a very cute, tall young guy, maybe a year or two older than me, flew by me on a skateboard. He yelled "DRIVE BY KISS!" and planted a sweet kiss on my cheek, and then skated off, yelling "I JUST KISSED A PRETTY GIRL, WOOHOO!"

I'll never forget it.
posted by pazazygeek at 10:25 PM on September 16, 2009 [44 favorites]

Once I fell in love with a man. We started out as friends, and as we fell, one of the sweet things we would do was to send each other old photographs of couples that could have been us whatever number of years ago. There were pictures of us having picnics, looking cross with each other, and in one in particular, posing for a photograph sitting together on one of those corny old moon photo sets from the earlier part of the last century, like they used to have on Coney Island.

After awhile, he gave me a tiny box. And inside the box, there was an equally tiny brass compass, just big enough to fit into the palm of your hand. On the inside of the compass lid, where north ought to be, he had glued in the picture of us sitting on the moon together eighty or ninety years ago. At the time, it was meant to be a reminder where true north was in case I needed to find my way home--north was wherever we were.

This man went on to break my heart, very badly. There were many things from the relationship that were too painful to keep, and even though the compass is probably the most painful thing of all, it's still hidden somewhere in the bottom of a box in the back of a closet, and I don't know if or when I'll ever be able to throw or give it away.
posted by teamparka at 10:27 PM on September 16, 2009 [12 favorites]

I had met this person who I fell in love with just about immediately. We were in the first month or so of dating, and I had dragged him to a stupid hipster bar to see a band I really, really liked. It was so uncomfortably loud inside that we could barely talk to each other, and he asked me if I had anything to write on. He ended up writing me a note that said he was falling in love with me and detailed why he appreciated our conversations. I carry that note around with me in my wallet, 5 years and multitudes of love later. :)
posted by so_gracefully at 12:11 AM on September 17, 2009 [4 favorites]

By my door, I have a checklist of things to remind myself about. Usually, I'm grumpy and discombobulated in the morning, and lists keep me from burning down the house.

Lock the back door
Make sure the stove is off
Do you have your wallet?
Take your cell phone
Turn off the heat
Close the windows

And there, one day, at the bottom of the list, was one more reminder, in my husband's squiggly handwriting.

Remember your lovin' man loves you.
posted by anitanita at 1:35 AM on September 17, 2009 [25 favorites]

Well, this is pretty small and everyday. Not the sort of thing one might consider romantic, but it is to me.

I had a new bike, that was still fairly unmodified and unadorned. One day, while I was at work and the bike was locked up outside, my boyfriend bought a rear bumper, came to my work, and installed it. Not flowers or jewelery, but very, very thoughtful.

He later told me that while he was taking out the seat post, a couple of guys came up and demanded to know if the bike he was messing with was his. He explained that it was my bike, and he was putting a bumper on to surprise me. One of them said, "Wow, my last gilfriend broke up with me because I never did stuff like that."
posted by louche mustachio at 2:19 AM on September 17, 2009 [12 favorites]

My then-boyfriend had just given me a pair of antique earrings for Christmas, and I lost one of them that same night on our walk home. I tried not to show how crushed I felt, but he watched my face for a minute, gave me a kiss, and told me he'd be right back. Then he took a flashlight and painstakingly retraced our entire route -- two miles through the snow, late at night, in single-digit temperatures with a serious windchill -- to find my earring for me. He did, too.

Reader, I married him.
posted by timeo danaos at 2:41 AM on September 17, 2009 [31 favorites]

Response by poster: These are fantastic. Keep 'em coming!
posted by stuboo at 4:20 AM on September 17, 2009

I had a most wonderful boyfriend in my junior year of high school - a nerdy, brainy type who would write me letters with drawings on them such as a scale with his heart on one side and his calculus book on the other with the words "but you know that my true love for you outweighs anything else ..." (melt)

But the one gesture I remember most is the night he called during a big fight I was having with my mom. I cried and cried to him about it and he said "okay, I have to go. Bye" and hung up. I was stunned. Not only was my mother mean to me (I was 16, come on!) but then he just about hangs up on me. Twenty minutes later, he appears at my front door saying "I just wanted to give you a hug." Then he said "Gotta go, I snuck out of the house to come here." and he left. It remains one of my sweetest memories (definitely trumping the time we were making out at his house when his parents came back a bit too early and he made me hide in a closet so he could distract them while I made a break for the door. Ah! Good times!)
posted by Mysticalchick at 8:44 AM on September 17, 2009 [5 favorites]

When my fella was in his last year of grad school, we lived in a poky, little apartment, and a twist of fate brought my younger brother and his two college roommates living across the hall from us. We went from a cozy little couple to a full on party of five. I didn't mind, but sometimes it would get a little overwhelming playing mom to four dudes. I was working full time, and the Boyfriend was crazy busy trying to wrap up his degree early, so we were both a little frazzled, and domestic chores would sometimes fall to the wayside.

Once, after a very long day at work, I came home to an unusually empty apartment and was confronted by a sink practically overflowing with dirty dishes, most of them from the charming troglodytes across the hall. I remember thinking "Oh, God, is this really what my life has come to? Cleaning up after everybody?" and I was so disheartened and exhausted, I just collapsed into bed.

A couple hours later, I woke up a little disoriented and tottered out of the bedroom to the sound of water. I thought I'd left the sink on accidentally, but no, that wasn't the case at all. Standing at the sink, elbow-deep in suds, was my wonderful fella, diligently scrubbing away.

"You looked so peaceful, I didn't want to wake you, so I figured I'd get the dishes done while you were resting."

It was not a grand gesture, by any means; I doubt he even thought he was being romantic. Even so, it was still one of the most touching and thoughtful moments of our relationship. I know it doesn't hold a candle to most of the stories here, but I know how grateful I was that day to realize I had a partner in the truest sense of the word, someone who had my back, even when things got tough or, even worse, mundane. He's done the big über-romantic act too, for holidays and stuff, but it's the little everyday things that have always left the biggest impression on my heart.
posted by Diagonalize at 8:48 AM on September 17, 2009 [20 favorites]

We were just out of high school and moved in together in a strange city. We had no money to go out. One night after work I came home and my girlfriend had decorated our room as if it were restaurant and made me a great romantic dinner.

Another is that in college I was involved in a long distance relationship where we wrote each other every day and would send each other drawings along with the letters.
posted by xammerboy at 8:52 AM on September 17, 2009 [1 favorite]

Tuesday morning I came in to work only to find my office half-emptied. The racks which hold spare keyboards, mice, phones, etc., had been moved out of my office to the warehouse and replaced with a table and chair. After the regular morning meeting, my boss informed me that he'd hired the consultant I'd advised against hiring (a friend of his wife's, who is lacking experience in the particular area in which we need assistance), that I'd be sharing my office with him for the next 2-3 months, AND I'd be reporting to him.

Additionally, my boss has a history of delaying my annual review if I have any big projects going at the time it's supposed to happen (my hire date anniversary, October 1), so it's likely now my review (and pay increase) will be delayed as well.

I work best alone and don't like sharing my office. I am already having to share it with my daughter as she works here part time and spends the rest of the workday in my office taking online classes, so now there are 3 of us in my office and I'm not exactly delighted.

I texted my honey and told her what was going on, and she surprised me by driving up here to give me a long hug and opportunity to vent (outside), then put together a sexy romantic evening with her roommate out of the house, refreshing adult beverages, massage, and various other touches geared to help me relax and forget work and such for a while.
posted by notashroom at 8:54 AM on September 17, 2009 [1 favorite]

When I was in college I went through a tough few months of getting my ulcerative colitis diagnosed. As a side effect of the condition I was severely anemic, so much so that my doctor said he was about to recommend a hospital stay with an IV if the iron supplements didn't start working. I forget now what the target healthy level of hemoglobin is, but let's say normal is something like 14, and I was at 7. The next day my boyfriend showed up at my house with a cake with 7 iron nails stuck in the top like candles. I still have them in the bottom of a box in my closet close to 15 years later. The relationship ended when I moved away after college, but I've always felt incredibly lucky to have had him as my first love.
posted by MsMolly at 9:34 AM on September 17, 2009 [2 favorites]

I'm sort of the Drive-by Kiss Guy.

This was many years ago, when I was in college. I don't remember exactly how old I was, but it couldn't have been more than 20, as I dropped out at that age. I was walking to my car after a late afternoon class, on a rather chilly day. I passed a girl I didn't know, sitting on the grass outside one of the campus buildings, looking very morose and sad. Easy to see she wasn't having a good day.

I don't know what posessed me, but I continued on to my car, took out a blanket I kept in the back, and returned to where she was sitting. I draped it over her shoulders and said, "At least keep warm."

A broad smile bloomed on her face, along with a look of gratitude that just lifted me into the clouds. I went back to my car and drove away, feeling like the king of the world.

I never saw her again.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 9:35 AM on September 17, 2009 [35 favorites]

When my sister was in highschool, she started dating this guy who seemed like trouble -- he was four years older than her, had long hair and an earring, didn't have any career prospects, and refused to set foot in the house if my parents were around.

But when my sister had her tonsils out, he stopped by the house and brought her two ice cream sandwiches: "one for each tonsil". That's probably the moment that she fell for him; nine years later they were married.
posted by cider at 10:51 AM on September 17, 2009 [9 favorites]

What a great question! I’ve enjoyed reading others’ stories and reliving my own.

We were in college, and had JUST started getting to know each other. We had been speaking for about a week, both on the phone and at school, but hadn’t yet gone out on a date. There was tons of chemistry and we were at that crazy beginning stage where you’re basically trying to see or talk to each other whenever possible. One evening I couldn’t call him as I’d promised I would. This was before cell phones and email, so he couldn’t reach me any other way, and I basically “stood him up” for our phone date. He had a locker at college and I happened to know his combination, so the next morning I left him a note and a small pack of candy. In the note I apologized and said I was looking forward to 2 pm, when we’d previously planned to meet up. Because of our class schedules, I wasn’t expecting to see him before then.

A few hours later, I was hurrying through a crowded, busy hallway on my way to class, turned a corner and ran right into him. We were both taken by surprise, but he recovered much more quickly than I did. I barely got out “oh hi!” before he pulled me toward him and kissed me. Then he said “I loved the surprise in my locker. Can’t wait till 2” and went on his way. Talk about butterflies in the stomach! Just to see him at all had been a surprise, but to share our first kiss like a crowded hallway, out of the blue...was totally unexpected, romantic, and unforgettable.
posted by yawper at 10:51 AM on September 17, 2009 [7 favorites]

My university has an annual crawfish festival where each student gets a free pound of boiled crawfish to peel and eat. I love, love, love crawfish. I had to work. My boyfriend, who I had been dating for about 6 months, brought me a pound of hot, messy, oozey, goozey crawfish. Then he spent the rest of the day with icky rashes on his hands. He knew how badly I wanted to go and eat crawfish, but since I couldn't he wanted to bring some to me. Even though he has been allergic to shellfish since he was a kid. I always brag to both his friends and mine about how great he was for that.
posted by Night_owl at 12:37 PM on September 17, 2009 [3 favorites]

A few years ago, I moved to a new city to begin my first post-grad school job. Christmas was coming up, but I didn’t feel like putting up a Christmas tree, unlike in years past. I was miserable being hours away from home trapped in an apartment with noisy neighbors living above me and depressed about my job. To make matters worse, my fiancé lived six long hours away, and I missed him. I was, needless to say, feeling like the Grinch.

As Christmas grew closer, one evening I came home, opened the door, and found a small artificial Christmas tree decorated in colored lights glowing in the dark with neatly wrapped presents scattered around it. My fiancé had driven the six hours to my apartment to surprise me and made sure that I had a tree. The best gift of all, though, was the big bear hug I got as soon as I made it through the door.

Out of all of the wonderful things he’s done for me, this one jumps out at me the most.
posted by Coyote at the Dog Show at 2:33 PM on September 17, 2009 [7 favorites]

Eight or nine years ago, I went out of town to visit my folks and asked my then boyfriend to feed my cat, check the mail, etc. When I came home, I noticed immediately when I walked into my apartment that he had straightened up (I was a complete slob) and rearranged the furniture (I couldn't ever figure out the best way to arrange it). It took me a few minutes to notice the post-it notes on a couple of walls on which he had written "I love you!" Then I went in the kitchen and saw another "I love you!" post-it on the refrigerator door. And one on the bathroom mirror, and on my pillow, and on the back of a lamp, and so on and so on. For days/weeks/months I kept finding "I love you!" notes in bizarre places - inside the silverware drawer, on a shirt hung in my closet, inside a book . . . everywhere.

Earlier this year I pulled out a cd for our six-year-old daughter to listen to and inside the case stuck on the liner notes was a post-it note that said "I love you!"
posted by Dojie at 8:00 PM on September 17, 2009 [40 favorites]

Mr. Robocop is Bleeding does a ridiculous number of awesome little things all the time, but my all time favorite moment was a few years ago, a couple of days before my 27th birthday. It was a regular Friday night, and we didn't have any plans, so he suggested we go to my favorite bar (the now sadly defunct Tiki Room in Boston). I emailed another friend, and we set up an impromptu night of after-dinner drinks.

As the three of us sat drinking tiki cocktails, another friend showed up, I think they said they just happened to be in the area. Then more friends showed up, and more, until almost everyone we knew was gathered.

He had set up a surprise birthday party for me, and it was a total and complete surprise. Best birthday party ever!
posted by banjo_and_the_pork at 10:20 AM on September 18, 2009 [9 favorites]

When we were dating my wife brought me an Easter basket with gardening supplies in it. No girl had ever brought me a gift before.
posted by mecran01 at 6:52 AM on September 19, 2009 [3 favorites]

Again, kind of on the other side, but.. I'm a very shy person, to the point where I almost never make the first move and don't often take crazy leaps of faith. But early in my current relationship, we were getting to the point where there was every reason and feeling to kiss, but it hadn't happened yet. So, we make a date at my house just to hang out and watch TV, and one of my housemates, who I love to death but is a complete and utter fool, sat on the other couch and talked to us. For two hours. And then the rest of my friends got home, and also talked and talked, and started to do their party-thing (loud Pavement, college-drinks) all around us.

The time came that she was about to go, and so I drove her home, mentioning that I wish that I had less of my housemates around and more of her, but I didn't find that moment to kiss her during that ride.

So, I drive home, seething, angry, etc., jump in bed, get pissed, call her and ask if I could stop by for a second, walk back out of the house through confused housemates, borrow the car, drive over, knock on her door, and kiss her, thank her, smile, drive back, and on the way back, she texts me with 'Thank you so much. That was wonderful,' and when I walk in the door of my house, I just keep laughing giddily for about an hour or two.

(disclosure: I am not prince charming, I am actually quite awkward, quiet, and weird most of the time, and this was the first time I prompted the first kiss ever)
posted by tmcw at 5:00 PM on September 20, 2009 [12 favorites]

Okay, so I don't exactly fit the ladyfolk category, but I had a couple of things happen in my past that might qualify as 'romantic'. One of them stands out in my mind right now:

When I was in my early 20s, I had a longtime on-again off-again relationship with a girl who lived three or four hours away in another city. For that reason, we rarely saw each other, and the relationship was mostly physical, although we were very close friends through it all. One day, I was visiting my sister in the same city, and was just getting off the train there, and boarding that same train was this girl. Our eyes met before the doors opened, we both knew there wasn't time to talk before she had to get on the train, and we just intantly got the same idea: As soon as the doors opened and people started walking out, we walked straight into each others arms, kissed passionately for maybe a second and a half, then each went on as if nothing had happened, all of it without speaking a word. It was such a bizarre moment, I'm sure it must have looked like the most improbable display of love at first sight. Needless to say, I smiled all the way to my sister's flat.
posted by JensR at 3:06 AM on September 21, 2009 [10 favorites]

Since non-romantic goals count, here's mine. Also, author is a dude.

It is now time to talk about the bad day.

The best worst day of my life (so far, I think) happened in college. I remember it pretty clearly. In fact, most of the stories I remember pretty clearly happened in college. I don't remember a lot before that very clearly, for various reasons, but that's a story for another time, or perhaps not.

It was the second half of my junior year and I was rooming with both Dave and Steve (brothers) and one other guy that I won't get into just yet. He wasn't around much anyway. Dave was my year, Steve was 2 years behind us. Dave dated all kinds of cute girls, I wasn't dating anyone at the moment (though that would soon change for the worse), and Steve was dating this girl who I think was a sophomore at the time. Her name was Carrie.

Carrie was awesome, which was only enhanced by the fact that her family lived on a boat, which I think is cool and would totally consider doing myself someday. Why invest in real estate when you can make the world your oyster? So yeah, Carrie had that I-grew-up-around-the-ocean coolness that I think is hard for people to recognize for what it is unless they know it for themselves. Plus, she was just a really nice person (Steve later married her, smart boy that he was).

I only ever flunked one test in college, it was my second Accounting 201 test. I studied just like normal but my brain must have been turned off that day. I remember taking it, like any other test, and thinking I probably did fine, like any other test. I remember getting it back, too. The teacher looked at me kind of odd. I looked at it and the first thing I did was check the name because I didn't believe it was mine. I had literally flunked the test (I got A's on every other test in that class, and the rat fink of a man STILL wouldn't give me a re-take on that section).

So that set me up to just have a really nasty day. I was dead set on it. There I was, angrily riding my BMX bike way too fast to my job (background investigations for high security positions, pretty sweet job for a college kid, but landing that is another story for another time), and next thing I know I'm in mid air, the bike somewhere back behind and below me. My return to Terra Firma netted me exactly one torn-up left hand, one ruined pear of jeans, and one knee bleeding through a fresh hole in said pair of jeans.

So I show up at work all angry and bloody and fuming. I wash myself off, tape up with what's left in the shabby first aid kit, and spend the afternoon scowling at my workstation. I didn't touch a case file that day, which was probably for the best as I'm fairly certain I would have made some stranger's life that much worse, in my foul mood.

Later that evening I'm back in the college cafeteria having dinner. I always ate in the Map cafeteria (in the girls' dorm) - I hated Hicks (men's dorm) because it was out of the way from where I lived, and all the Greeks (read: frat, not nat) ate there. Plus Map always had more girls, which made the food taste better, somehow. Anyway, I'm in Map and I'm pissed off at the world and sitting there by myself entertaining thoughts about setting things on fire. I had noted on my way in that they had Rice Krispies treats on the dessert table and had a distinct pause to appreciate the fact that at least something had gone right in my day of days.

So I finish my less-than-mediocre dinner, and I sulk over to the dessert table.

Somewhere, fate chuckled.

They're gone - cleaned out. The lunch lady is packing up the remains of cookies and whatnot.

"Where...are...the...Rice Krispies treats...?"

"All gone!"


"Nope! None!" she was happy to tell me.

I storm back to my tray and sit down and stare blankly across the cafeteria waiting for lightning to strike me right through the roof. Then Carrie walks up and just sits across from me with her tray and doesn't say anything (I think maybe she wisely perceived a problem). She just smiles at me in that "What's up?" kinda way, so I launch right into my tirade about the Worst Day Ever. I give her all the terrible details, complete with a show-and-tell of my bloody stump of a hand, and then wrap it up with the topper - no Rice Krispies treats. TOP. THAT.

Carrie sits there the whole time without saying a word, and then she just gets up and leaves. She left her tray there so I figured she must have forgot something. I wasn't really expecting her to say anything in return, I was just happy to have someone to unload on. I sat there feeling only slightly better. It dawned on me at that point that I didn't want to go anywhere or talk to anyone for the rest of the day for fear of things getting worse.

And then, the next thing I know, Carrie comes back holding a bowl, and she's stirring something in it.

She sits down, nonchalantly slides said bowl across the table, and I look down into it.

Its freshly microwaved Rice Krispies, butter, and marshmallows, shining up into my face from that bowl in all its warm, gooey glory, and it was the best thing I had ever tasted. (I previously had no idea you could do that. In retrospect it seems pretty simple but on that day it was nothing short of a mystery of the universe, unraveled before my greedy eyes.)

We ate the rest of the meal in silence.

And that was pretty much my best worst day.
posted by allkindsoftime at 7:00 AM on September 22, 2009 [14 favorites]

I was another one of those middle school girls who never really had anything good, romantically, happen to her-- nerdy, glasses, penchant for hanging around geeky boys playing dungeons and dragons, glasses.

I hated Valentine's Day because I never got anything from anyone, and I always hoped that I would.

This year they were doing balloons for something-- you could send Valentine balloons to other people-- and we got the balloons in 7th period, the last one of the day. Mine was gym. And when I came out of the locker room, all the balloons for all the kids with gym that period were there, and I had 3.

They were from a friend of mine who told me recently that he just thought that Nora deserved balloons, and that it wasn't an attempt at a grand romantic gesture or anything. I was too young and stupid to, you know, date him or something, 'cause we were good friends and 13 and we'd known each other since we were 7.

He always gave me the sweetest presents back then-- for my birthday he gave me a porcelain box with a bracelet inside. I still have the box somewhere, though I lost the bracelet in math class.

I glowed all the way home as I walked with the balloons.

I'm still friends with the guy. We never became romantically involved. I still sort of love him, in a guy-who-got-away-at-13 way.
posted by NoraReed at 1:38 PM on December 27, 2009 [3 favorites]

This thread is so old, but I kinda want to add to it anyway...

I (a girl) rather love computer and video games, although I really don't play many of them. One of my old favourites is Zelda: Ocarina of Time on my old N64.

Anyway, I had played OoT on my old N64 for a bit one spring. Shortly thereafter I met my now-boyfriend and obviously all thoughts of video games left my head for a while. Then school started, then then then...

It wasn't until I played some Ocarina of Time: Master Quest at said boyfriend's place that I remembered my old game and went, "oh yeah, I wanna play again!"

...except my entire system had disappeared. I lived with my parents, and I literally went through every. single. room of the house, pantries, cupboards, bathrooms... Literally, everywhere. Nope. Parents had no idea. No one I asked remembered that I lent it to them. My brother swore up and down he didn't take it or lend it out. The whole thing just went 'poof'.

Needless to say, I was rather upset, especially since I had a bloody perfect file on that Zelda game. Arrgh. So I whined and grouched to my parents, my boyfriend, and everyone that'd listen...and then forgot about it for a while.

I went to visit my boyfriend at his place some months later. I met up with him on the way to his place because he had been Doing Something but wouldn't tell me what it was. Upon arrival, he told me to go take an extended bathroom break while he set something up.

Some minutes later...I knocked on his bedroom door and he let me in...and the title music of Majora's Mask greeted me.

Turned out he ran around two cities to 1) pull out his old N64 and controller from his storage place, 2) grab his games (Ocarina of Time, and Majora's Mask--because he knew I had never played that before) and 3) Upon realizing that his old N64 didn't work for some reason, ran to a third city to a game shop he knew and bought me another N64 console. And tossed his Player's Guide for MM to sweeten the deal. (Which was why I ran into him on my way to his place.)

Once I picked my jaw off from the floor, I asked him "What's the occasion?"

He shrugged. "Just because."
posted by Hakaisha at 12:43 PM on May 30, 2010 [2 favorites]

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