Keeping it Real – Valentine’s Edition

Keeping It Real panel collage

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Ahh Valentine’s Day: an entire day dedicated to the commercialization of romance. The candy, the overpriced restaurant menus, the cards that remind us of middle school slights – what’s not to love? I’ve always been a little “meh” about Valentine’s Day, but I wanted to find out how everyone else feels about this sugar soaked celebration of romance. I turned to the Experts to get their thoughts on Valentine’s Day, dating, and all that yucky love stuff.

What’s the weirdest/most pitiful/most hilarious pick up line you’ve ever gotten?

Nicole
“Are you a campfire? Cause you’re hot and I want s’more”
“Baby are you tired? Because you’ve been running through my mind all day.”

Alyssa K.
He said, “You look like a good kisser.” To which I responded, “Wanna find out?” So kudos to him.

Maggie
When my (now) husband and I got back together after a year or so of dating other people, he did the old “let me walk out of the bar and walk back in to play like we’re meeting each other for the first time” thing. It was so incredibly dumb and cheesy. I’m lucky my eyeballs didn’t get stuck in the back of my head. That being said, we made out at my car for 45 minutes that night, and he ended up marrying me…so who is really the dummy here?

Editor’s Note: Maggie and her husband are the kind of couple that makes you believe in love. For real.

Ashley
One summer, with my family, we were at Flip Flopz in North Wildwood. This one guy across the bar pulled my cousin aside and said “I like her, the one with the face.” He then proceeded to throw coasters at me. I thought it was a joke until he finally did come over and start talking to me and then I got the whole “you would be more pretty if you smiled more…” I used to get that line all the time. I actually still do. It’s infuriating.

Alyssa S.
“You dropped something… [look of confusion on my face] your smile.”

Heather
“Do you work out? Looks like you do” from a creepy trucker at a diner when I was seventeen.

Marissa
“Hey girl, do you want to go the the pool today?” Pronounced: “Do you wanto go to da poodooday?” It was winter and I was at the mall. Very strange.

Kristen B.
I sat down at an empty seat at a bar and a man tried to tell me that I stole his seat, when clearly he and his friend were sitting at a nearby table.

Amara
“Are you a fart? ‘Cause I’d love to smell you later.”

Editor’s Note: Dudes can be so weird.

Best Date Ever/Worst Date Ever?

Nicole
Worst: Dinner. Never do dinner on a first date! Best one I can remember, the guy hid behind a menu for literally 30-minutes, too nervous to even talk. Then he was the slowest eater on earth. I was literally stuck there with awkward silence for almost two hours.

Alyssa K.
Best: Actually a first date with someone from Tinder. We met for drinks in Park Slope one night, and after leaving the bar we just walked around the park for hours before going back to my apartment and sitting on the stoop continuing to talk until the sun came up the next morning.

Editor’s Note: See! Tinder isn’t all bad!

Maggie
Best: Not my husband (sorry, Love). Pumpkin picking in October. We followed it up with a stop at a local vineyard for two bottles of fruit wine (blueberry is the one I remember). Then we went back to my apartment and made pizza from scratch, carved the pumpkins, and drank the wine with horror movies playing in the background. It was the perfect cheesy Halloween-y third date.

Ashley
Worst: Before I met my husband, I did a lot of online dating. And I think in a span of about two years I went on about 15 first dates…they were fun. I remember once going on a date with a guy who I had NOTHING in common with. He didn’t know who Claude Giroux was…and if you are a Flyers fan like myself, that’s a huge red flag.

Editor’s Note: Philly sports fans are a whole other breed, y’all. Also, GO BIRDS!!! (Still celebrating over here.)

Alyssa S.
Worst: I lied to a guy and send I was really into hiking, when I’m only moderately into hiking. We went on this crazy mostly uphill hike, I was winded after about 20 minutes and then got stung by 3 bees all at the same time.

Heather
Worst: Once a date had a Philly cheese steak on our date, and kept burping up the taste and smell of onions the entire time we were making out. Nothing is sexier than beef & onion burps.

Marissa
Best: My husband and I have been on countless dates and they all stack up. He’s so dreamy. Anyway, our most recent date was at a dessert restaurant called Better Than Sex. It was hard not to laugh in the waitresses face when she said things like, “Would you like your glass of wine with a rim job?” The menu sparked some interesting conversations that started with, “Hmm, we’ve never tried that…”. I’d recommend finding a similar place near you. It was just the right amount of sexy and funny for us.

Editor’s Note: I will forever maintain the opinion that sex is hilarious. 

Kristen
Best: I was traveling and connected with someone on Tinder. We chatted for a few days and met up for a drink. My first date rule is usually 2 hours, 2 drinks max for a first date. Well we hit it off, and he showed me a secret local pub down a long staircase where a traveling quartet of grey haired men were singing a love song which of course will forever be our song. From there we went to another local haunt to find a jukebox and the entire upstairs was empty so we played songs and danced. There was romance and midnight fried food. It’s still our joke that we had the world’s best date, and it could never be planned or replicated. We will probably never see each other again if only to never mar that perfect memory.

Stephanie
Best: I won Phillies tickets at work and my then boyfriend (now husband) and I went, cheered, drank beers, and just had the best time. We bet “the next round” on everything – which train would win, red or blue? Over/under on how long until that really drunk guy falls over or spills his beer on the child next to him? The list goes on… we had an absolute blast – well, until I checked my wallet the next day. I did not win many bets.

Maeghan
Worst: I’ve blocked them all out of my memory.

Liz
Worst: I once went on a 30 minute lunch date with a friend of mine who asked me out. It was the most awkward interaction we ever had and obviously it didn’t work out. He is happily married now to an incredible lady and we were able to keep our friendship intact.

Editor’s Note: While I didn’t publish every best/worst, the friend trying to be more than a friend came up more than once as a worst. Is this a thing?

Amara
Worst: My worst date was when the guy brought his parents with him… Yup. It was our first date.

And the big question of the day, Valentine’s Day. Love it? Hate it? Why?

Nicole
Eh. Depends on the year! I used to celebrate ‘Singles Awareness Day’ on V-Day with my Cali girls. Who needs romance when you have Halo Top and red wine anyway? But actually, the last few years were pretty nice. My son made me cute Valentine’s cards and we shared all of the candy that he got at school. So you can’t beat that. 🙂 I say it’s a day to celebrate love if you have it, to celebrate with your kids if you’re a parent, or to spend a day on self-love and get yourself a nice massage or something if you’re spending it alone. We all deserve a little TLC!

Editor’s Note: Be my guru, Nicole. So positive!

Alyssa K.
Despite not having been in a relationship on Valentine’s Day since high school, I love it! I think it’s wonderful to spend a day letting important people know you love them, even if it’s just your best girlfriends. Plus, the number of #shesaidyes posts I get to swoon over on Instagram goes up exponentially!

Maggie
Hate it. It never feels organic; always forced and fake. Romance needs spontaneity to work. Bottling your affection into an arbitrary date on the calendar, while everyone else is doing the same thing, feels like the opposite of romance to me. It makes me feel like a sheep. It’s lazy and insincere. Surprise me with a romantic dinner on, like, May 17 or “flowers” on a random Wednesday. THAT’s romance.

Ashley
Eh. I go back and forth. In college, my valentine got me a Love Voodoo Doll! He’s gay and it was the best gift. I’ve had some great Valentine’s Days when I was single and some great ones with significant others. Honestly, if my husband comes home with Chick Fil A this year and a card, I’d be happy (even though if he read this, he’d tell you I’m lying). I’m a huge card person…and my husband is not.

Alyssa S.
Indifferent to it. I’ve never celebrated it or dated anyone who wanted to celebrate it. So its always just been another day that ends in y, and I’m ok with that. The people I love know how I feel everyday because I tell them that I love them, and that actually is enough.

Heather
Don’t mind it. Who doesn’t love the half off candy on February 15?

Marissa
IT IS MY FAVORITE HOLIDAY! Did I type that loud enough? I love to prove my love! It’s not possible to love your hardest every day so having a special day to focus on it makes me giddy. This year I decided to extend the holiday from February 1-14th. Candy, gifts. Special outings etc. FOR A FULL 14 DAYS! Get in on this.

Editor’s Note: Sorry to have not alerted readers to this in advance. I guess you just have today…

Kristen B.
I hate any holiday that has had its roots erased and been transformed into a Hallmark/consumer driven day that make people feel inferior. I do, however celebrate Van Halenstine’s Day which falls on Feb 15th and is observed by enjoying discounted candy, housewares and clothing decorated with hearts and/or red glitter.

Stephanie
I used to absolutely hate it. I worked at a flower shop for 9 years, so was always working til the wee hours of the morning the whole week of, so by the time Valentine’s Day actually came around, I was cranky and exhausted. I also dated terrible people back in the day, and didn’t really want to acknowledge Valentine’s Day at all. These days, I’m kinda into it. I don’t want gifts, but you better get me a card and put the mushiest stuff you can muster up (my husband’s favorite pastime). The past few years, I have gotten a card, some flowers (but he knows not to spend a fortune or I might drop kick him), and some takeout. Happy as a clam. I guess it’s not so bad when you are with the right person! How lame and cliche – but it’s true.

Maeghan
Pretty neutral. Although, it’s a nice excuse to go out to an overly priced dinner.

Amara
I actually kind of love it. Growing up, my family celebrated Valentine’s Day together. It was always a nice reminder that we loved each other and we always made the day a little extra special. So, as I grew up, I always celebrated my family and friends, not just my boyfriends. I still do!

Editor’s Note: Honestly, I love all of the awesome perspectives the Experts gave us on Valentine’s Day. Whether you’re single or in a relationship; whether you love it or hate it; it’s here. Have a great day whatever you do!

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I'm Aubrie - nonprofit professional / triathlete / adventurer / blogger / currently on a frugal design journey as a new homeowner. Irreverent with good intentions.

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