It takes a lot of guts for a man (or boy) to declare his feelings to a woman (or girl) with whom he does not have a relationship already. After a long time planning and building up the nerve, it can be devastating when things don’t turn out like they do in the movies. The Concourse collected tales of grand romantic gestures gone wrong -or that were rejected- from readers. I just had to share this story from Scott:
I was in high school and was courting a girl that I was enamored with. Her birthday was coming up, and I had the best idea: I would set up a picnic at a nearby lake with a very nice home-cooked meal, and have my friends go out and set it up while I picked her up and took her out. I had balloons, flowers, and a delicious Italian meal, and my friends were all set to take it out to set it up. As they were leaving my house with all of the stuff, I had to run to a physical-therapy appointment, and then I was off to pick her up.
As we were both leaving, I was following behind my friend when I saw the balloons fly out the window. Fortunately, they were attached to the flowers, so I knew they weren't going anywhere, and I thought my friend was just fucking with me. Turns out, my buddy rolled his window down and the balloons flew out; he tried to reach out and grab them at the same time the window was automatically rolling up. To prevent his hand from getting messed up, he reached with his right hand to stop the window from rolling up ... thus leaving no hands on the wheel. My buddy wrecked his brand-new SUV into a tree at about 40 miles per hour with all of the stuff for my date inside.
I called and cancelled my PT appointment, called the cops, and made sure everybody was alright. My mom came and took all the stuff out to the lake for me while I got my friend home. I eventually went to pick up the girl and was pretty freaking shaken up about the whole thing. We finally got to the park right about sunset. Only problem was that the park closed at dark, so a park ranger came and made us leave after about 20 minutes. It was not a good day.
That one was a comedy of errors, but there are also stories of romantic declarations that are mortifying, funny, creepy, pathetic, tragic, and downright depressing -and they may remind you of something you once experienced on one side or the other when you were too young to know better.