We’re just under a week away from national date night, also known as Valentine’s Day. But before we can celebrate with that special someone, we have pre Valentine’s stuff to deal with, make reservations, order flowers, cancel the mistress, and get the heart shape boxed of chocolates. And to make sure all that stuff doesn’t kill your spirit we have a whole Valentine’s themed week for you, complete with a special guest column. We’re start this love-dovey week with a look back at past dates. So we wanted to know: What was something unexpectedly awesome that happened to you on a date? The lights are dim, the music is sultry, and the champagne is on ice now let’s get this date started.

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Hart: As the only non-married person to respond this week, I don’t have any “How I Met Your Mother” type date stories. Most of mine involve awful girls who I get angry thinking about, except the one chick who I went ice skating with. But the extent of that story is I was 24 and it was my first time ice skating. I’m surprised I can walk without falling over, so blades on my feet and then ice is a recipe for disaster. But she went with me and taught me and even fell with me a few times, never once making fun of me.

But I think the one I want to talk about was with one of the worst people I ever met in my life. This would be our first date, so I wasn’t aware of how truly terrible she was. I was going to a hockey game with two friends and I had an extra ticket so I thought I would invite the cute new girl at work. We were chatting and I had mentioned my previous weekend activities which involved boozing like a college student, because that’s what I was. She apparently wasn’t a drinker. So she only agreed to come with me to the game if I didn’t drink. She was cute and I was lonely so I ignored that red flag and agreed to her term. My friends did not think that was ok and immediately took a huge disliking to her, so I had to play buffer zone all night.

I started out not having too much fun, for one I was at a hockey game and didn’t have beer, but also I was becoming something I hated and mocked: the dude who brings a chick to a sporting event and has to explain everything to her. But then during intermission we started acting like it was more of a real date, sort of. I had no real idea what this chick wanted or what was really happening between us.

But the best part, and the reason this was my choice, came after the hockey game. When we got back to my house she and I hung out some more. We sat on my bed just talking. I still wasn’t sure of how she felt. Then she laid back on the bed and pulled me to her. I did not expect this from her at all and I was enjoying it. It was nothing more than some light spooning, but it still felt nice, and she smelled so pretty. As we laid there holding each other, my hand started wandering and caressing her then she did that chick thing and asked, “What are you thinking about?” I told her nothing or made something up because I wasn’t sure how she would react if I said, “Just running through the Colorado Rockies starting lineup in order to keep a boner down and not scare you off.” We had two more dates that went nowhere before I came to my senses. But a hockey game and some cuddling was a good night.

Dagger: Like many of our readers, I could tell any of a hundred stories about my wife, but since I write about Lady E all the time, but I’ll refrain and only mention that before I got into another serious relationship, I had a checklist of criteria my new potential mate had to fulfill before we could move forward. So, when Lady E and I went out the first time and she had big… uh, shoulders (check!), offered to drive in her car that was standard transmission (“has to know how to drive stick” – check!), to the punk show we were seeing (“has to like punk rock” – check!), after making a joke that she wanted to steal Tron’s Tenacious D’s jizz towel (“has to like my friends,” “has to be funny,” and “not afraid to be crass” - check! check! check!), I had a good feeling this was my girl. And although a gentleman should never kiss and tell, let’s just say we capped off the evening in grand style too. If we could go to a rathole club like The Starlight, rock out to a barely-known local band, drink Rolling Rock all night, and she’s still down for the hibbity dibbity, I might as well have proposed right there.

But for now, I’ll revisit my Senior Prom. You know how anytime you spend an extended amount of time with a group of people; inevitably you’ll develop romantic feelings for someone in the group? You always hear about someone’s “camp” girlfriend, and it’s the reason those idiots from the Real World/Road Rules Challenges always hook up with each other. I went to Spain for three weeks senior year, and despite a couple interludes with some Spanish chicas at the “discotecas,” me and another girl hit it off. Since it was Spring, Prom was right around the corner, so I asked her. Unfortunately, once camp is over, the spark often dies as this one did. Before Prom rolled around, I was already dating someone else, but didn’t want to drop this poor girl two weeks before the event without a date. I should have really just chosen one or the other and dealt with someone’s heartbreak instead of what I ultimately chose (pissing both of them off on Prom night), but you’re 18. Your knowledge about the world could barely fill a thimble.

So we still went together, and when she showed up at the door, damn if she didn’t look FINE with a capital “Holy crap!” I suddenly was reconsidering my new relationship, and that only intensified when at the restaurant she ordered a prime rib rare. Wow! Now this was a woman! As I saw my new girlfriend at the dance, I ended up having to come clean to my date, and despite my idiocy, at the end of the night, she still invited me to a hotel room she and her friends had reserved. Never in my life had I been so conflicted. Angry new girlfriend or cool hot chick who’s ready to take my v-card?

I ultimately chose the sap route, and although that choice was questionable, I still think back on that date fondly. A hot blonde who eats her prime rib rare wanting to get freaky on Prom night will always have a special place in my memory. Even if nothing ultimately came of it.

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Hockey games and prom nights, both potential for great dates and heart aches. But we are not the only ones who have some awesome dates. We have a few more from married folks early in their courtship.

Deuce: I’m sure there are some things that have surprised me but I’m getting old and can’t remember all of them.
One I do remember is actually the first Valentine’s Day I shared with Mrs. Deuce. We had been dating for only a few weeks and Valentine’s Day rolled around. I hand made her a dozen construction paper flowers (read: poor college student without job needs romantic gift that won’t die after a week). When the day rolled around we went out to dinner, which actually was our first dinner outing alone together, to Texas Roadhouse. Dinner was delicious, as it usually is when I eat there, and when the bill came, my future wife, who was working at Safeway at the time picked up the tab for our dinner together. It was wonderful

Flickerbock: During the beginning of my sophomore year of college, I was introduced to this girl through a friend of mine. After repeatedly meeting her when I was hammered, I finally managed to convince her to go on a date with me. She had some formal thing to attend, but was willing to grab a bite to eat and go check out a movie after her thing was done. I picked her up and took her to a fancy dinner at Applebee’s (hey, we were in college and I was broke!). After dinner, we headed back to her place so that she could change out of the incredible black dress she was wearing before we went to the movie theater. As she left the room to change clothes, she told me that I could turn the TV on. It was October and the Twins were in the playoffs. As she disappeared, I flew over to the TV to check the score of the Twins game. She finished changing and wandered back to where I was. Knowing a little bit of my love for both baseball and the Twins and seeing that the game was on she said, “Instead of going to see a movie, do you want to just hang out here and watch the Twins game?” Instead of sitting next to her in a dark movie theater watching some crap chick flick hating life, I spent the rest of the evening talking with this gorgeous girl about baseball, softball, life, and whatever else while we watched my favorite team play in the playoffs. Is anyone surprised that I married this girl?

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There’s some proof that romance isn’t dead and date night can still bring about some great surprises. Now it’s time to prepare for the next date and try to top these ones. We wish you the best of luck, and if something totally awesome happens, we want to hear about it.

A couple of these dating stories revolved about sports and one of the greatest sporting events is about to begin in the Great White North. That’s right ladies and gentlemen; it’s Olympics time once again. And this time it’s in the cold. During the last summer games we brought you a bunch of articles directly related to the events, and we plan on giving the same treatment to these winter games. But for our opening ceremonies we want help from you. We want to know: What event of the Winter Olympics are you most looking forward to and why? Send us your responses and we’ll light the torch and start the games!

We want to know more about all our readers. So don’t hold back. If you haven’t confessed, or it’s been awhile, or even if you did it last week, we want to hear from you. Don’t be shy and send us your response, along with your posting name to staff@crujonessociety.com and we’ll put them up next week.

Hart and Dagger