Hollywood, MD – In what could become an annual tradition, TheBayNet.com has once again delved into the seemingly endless documentation that confirms Valentine’s Day may not be all it’s cracked up to be. Sometimes instead of blissful romance and tender precious memories, lovers receive tacky gifts, unexpected—and unwanted—surprises and ambulance rides to the emergency room. Red is the color of Valentine’s Day and sometimes that red shows up on people’s faces. Here is a sampling of the other side of Valentine’s Day.

Thought Catalog’s Jessica Winters documented this fiery tale in a January 2016 compilation of bad dates. “We were out to dinner, and my fiancé leaned across the table to romantically feed me a piece of dessert. But in the process, he knocked the candle over and onto my freshly gelled hair. I ended up in the hospital after my hair caught fire. However, we did get a free meal out of the deal—and I only had to endure a minor burn on my neck. I guess there’s literally too much fire in our relationship!”

Another story had a bloody ending to it. “During the second date the man in question invited me to his house. After a semi-pleasant evening I was sitting on the couch and he was sat on the floor and we were watching a film. Without encouragement or warning he launched himself at me and thrust his face into my cleavage. I screamed and jumped up only to leave him in a heap on the floor with blood gushing from his face. Turns out the wire had protruded from my bra and got caught under his chin!”

In a February 2016 edition of USA Today College, Morgan Buckley of University of Southern California submitted this story from “Sarah A.,” who wrote she “couldn’t wait to receive her mail on Valentine’s Day last year. She says she had put a lot of thought into the elaborate gifts she had mailed her long-distance boyfriend: a special-edition pair of Nike running shoes and board shorts from a local Florida surf store. She had spent more than $200. But when she opened the letter her boyfriend had sent her—no package —the University of Southern California student read: ‘I would’ve spent more, but it’s not like you’re going to use it anyway.’ Enclosed was a Krispy Kreme gift card worth $5. Talk about crushing.” Sarah went on to say, ‘we are no longer dating.’ ”

Cosmopolitan magazine documented a series of embarrassing Valentine’s stories last year, including Christina’s humiliating tale. “After secretly dating two guys—Dan and Joe—for a few months, I told Joe I didn’t want a relationship, so that I could get serious with Dan. On Valentine’s Day, Dan took me out to dinner, and I almost choked on my drink when our waiter arrived. It was Joe! To make matters worse, Dan ordered a dish with béchamel sauce, which he loved. He gushed to the waiter, a.k.a. my ex, ‘If she could cook like this I’d marry her.’ I wanted to die.”

A teenager named Adrienne provided Cosmo with this story that sort of blends in American History. “After a long dry spell, I was psyched to finally have a new guy in my life so we could spend Valentine’s Day together. Call me corny, but I was hoping I’d get flowers or chocolate—you know, what every girl wants! Instead, he gave me an old Abe Lincoln bobblehead that looked like it came from the bottom of his closet. I honestly didn’t even know what to say, so I just mumbled “thank you.” After a few more bad dates, I pulled off Abe’s head, and kicked that boy to the curb.”

Reader’s Digest tries to keep things upbeat, so a few years ago they compiled “amusing” Valentine’s Day stories. A woman named Ruth submitted this one. “I met my husband while I was working in a science library. He came in every week to read the latest journals and eventually decided to take out the librarian instead of the books. After a year and a half of dating, he showed up at the library and started rummaging through my desk. I asked what he was looking for, but he didn’t answer. Finally he unearthed one of the rubber stamps I used to identify reference books. ‘Since I couldn’t find the right engagement ring,’ he said, ‘this will have to do,’ and he firmly stamped my hand. Across my knuckles, in capital letters, it read ‘NOT FOR CIRCULATION.’ ”

Another story from Reader’s Digest with an amusing finish was submitted by a divorced woman trying to get back into circulation. “About a year had passed since my amicable divorce, and I decided it was time to start dating again. Unsure how to begin, I thought I’d scan the personals column of my local newspaper. I came across three men who seemed like they’d be promising candidates. A couple of days later, I was checking my answering machine and discovered a message from my ex-husband. “I was over visiting the kids yesterday,” he said. “While I was there I happened to notice you had circled some ads in the paper. Don’t bother calling the guy in the second column. I can tell you right now it won’t work out. That guy is me.” 

Finally, this strange story featured in 2016 by Buzz Feed for which a set-up is not possible. “When I was 16, I stayed at my aunt and uncle’s house over Valentine’s Day weekend. He’s very interested in theater and I love dance so on Valentine’s Day night, they took me to a burlesque show. They didn’t know what a burlesque show was until the women started stripping naked. So I spent Valentine’s Day sitting next to drunk old men yelling profanities while uncomfortably watching women strip down to pasties and thongs, all while my conservative aunt and uncle whispered that my parents didn’t have to know about this.”

Now, everybody knows. TheBayNet.com hopes all of its readers have a nice, routine Valentine’s Day.

Contact Marty Madden at marty.madden@thebaynet.com