A few weeks ago we invited you, loyal readers, to send us your Valentine's Day messages to your loved (or hated) ones - we encouraged you to get creative and send us your most heartfelt wishes, bawdy sketches, even your ugliest breakup stories. Most of you, though, wanted to keep it simple. And we can respect that: Who needs to pen a sonnet when three simple words can express your deepest feelings in the most direct and meaningful way?
In the pages that follow, we've compiled and printed your messages. Mostly Valentines, with a peppering of breakup stories to spice things up. We've also compiled a list of dos and don'ts that could come in handy if you've managed to score yourself a hot date this weekend, as well as a list of Valentine's Day-related events where you can take said hot date if you've got no game and need a gimmick to show your guy (or girl) a good time. We've even included a few events for those of you who really got no game - that is, if you need a place to spend the foulest of foul holidays all alone.
Anyone: I'm lurking in the shadows of love -Misty Rheus
For every musician: I once met a boy from France/ He said his mother did dance. I was overcome/ In Florida's filthy slums/ To have met such a million-in-one chance!
He hadn't a penny nor cent for lent/ But his body like candy I thought might be handy/ So for love or for scandal, I lit romance red candle/ And fell into a great trance.
Told me in Venice he sold antiquarian books/ I thought my mind 'well done' cooked/ A bachelors degree, with nowhere to be/ A romance novel couldn't be overlooked!
The personification of a crucified Jesus he was/ Naked, of-course, sprawled out/ swarthy with curled peach fuzz/ I knew him biblically up, down and front/ From his piano sonnets to his great hanging shunt/ But, sadly so, as musicians go/ They entertain on skid row/ So back to my maroon beige dark bedroom I return/ Wishing I hadn't left my Miami beachside condo/ Off of Fern.
Maybe next time I'll learn/ Although cause for concern/ Haven't stopped pulling guitar picks out of old purses yet though you see/ Maybe I'm a wandering minstrel's muse/ Yet just only 'to be.'
But that's not the end/ My heart I will mend/ After all he's got friends/ Not as hot, well, I guess it depends/ However, I'm not too shy when it comes to these guys/ They come and they go and they often have no flow/ But I will be here/ Artist to the rear/ But as far as it's concerned, For all my work is earned, I try to inspire by whimsy or fire, The hobbits out the shire/ And would you believe he told his drummer I was a Cunt, that bastard liar!/ I was think'n that guy my next hire. -The forgotten ArTiSt!
I know that we are over, and we said mean things to each other. I'm sorry. I still love you and I always will. Pop rocks and coke will always be for you. -L.P.
You see, David? I'm not the frigid, energy-sucking, modern-day succubus with kiss kiss friends and capitalist lackey job that you reported me to be. Nick loves me. How's YOUR life? -Margot
I fell for this Mexican not long ago, He had the crooked cock, n' liked to lick toes.
He wrote beats for a mad good rapper, even kept toilet paper in his men's only crapper. He did the dishes, we drank like fishes, I was matched for sure. Never thought of where we were, Just kept the party going, Til he started throwing, He threw cups plates me n' my mixed tapes. He tore down the curtains, In the morning who did it? he was uncertain. I didn't want to leave! I didn't want to go! I didn't wanna break tha' flow! But when the dealers started callin' the cops, My ass hopped, On probation, bitch u cant move! I showed him! I left that groove! Although i wish i knew him still, Black eyes don't get blue pillz -n da name a da rose
Daniel: We've been together nearly two years now, and I love you more and more each day. I love you and look forward to every day with you. -David
Now I wear a necklace with a simple charm that says "Daddy's Little Girl." A symbol of love, respect, honor and Valentine's Day. As a child from a divorced family, my biological father didn't have anything to do with me since I was a preteen.
At the age of 16, I was the oldest of five children; my mom began dating a wonderful man who had a son. This man came into our lives and scooped us all up as if we were his flesh and blood. I tried one last time to beg my biological father for his love. When I realized that wasn't going to work, I made a big decision. I was going to ask my mom's boyfriend to adopt me.
I didn't tell my mom I was going to ask him. I called him outside to the front stoop. When I sat him down I asked him the biggest question of my life, "Will you be my dad and adopt me?" The 6-foot-6, 300-pound man burst into tears and said yes. I was finally going to have a dad!
A few years went by and everyone was busy. Mom and my not-legal dad got married, had two more little girls, moved from New York to Pennsylvania to North Carolina. In North Carolina we did it … you could say we tied the knot. On Valentine's Day 2009 we sat in front of a judge in a small room. I was very nervous, I felt like this judge had my life in his hands. He had to grant me an Adult Adoption since at this point, I was 21 years old. This is rarely done, and it's all I wanted.
Without hesitation the judge granted my adoption, changed my last name, and gave me a dad. Feb. 14, 2009, is a day I will never forget, and neither will my dad. Now I am expecting my first baby, his first grandson. I am so thankful my special day (that we celebrate each year, like a birthday) was given to me on Valentine's Day. -A daughter too many miles from her daddy, on a special day
Rob Cravatta: I love you so much and so far we have definitely had the time of our lives. This Valentine's Day I want to say thank you for all the love you share and give to me. Love always and forever. -Jennifer Giusti
B: Diapers, tantrums and toy cars underfoot. Dora the Explorer and Fresh Beat Bands. Tiny socks and Velcro sneakers that light up with every stomp. Court dates and DCF. Uncertainty and worry. The biggest brown eyes you have ever seen. Love, Love and Love. This has been a hell of a year for our family but the way you have 110 percent embraced our foster son as your own makes my heart three sizes too big. I don't think it's possible to love you more. Thank you for being an amazing Dad, a kick-ass husband and the best Valentine ever. xoxo -L
Never think you hold me back. In truth, you push me forward. -A.S.
Sugar Britches: Happy Valentines, Baby. It's been an awesome four years together. Looking forward to our future together. I Love You!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Smooches … -Moho
Daddy Bird: Bleep Blop, love you hug lover. Me wants it on the Ab Circle.-Mamma Bird
Izzy: 1999. I walked into the studio and met the man who was my soul mate. Though I didn't know it then, I know it now. No matter where life takes us, you are a part of me and that will never change. I breathe you in. I feel you. I see you. Always. I'm all in love and sh!t. Happy Valentine's Day, my love. -Rose
Potato Chip Smith: Dear Potato Chip, My valentine for you is simple. You make my life so much better. -Love, Puddin Cup
My Alfred: Before we met, I made a promise to myself. I promised myself to not settle in life & in love. I looked at myself in the mirror and accepted myself for all that I am. I told myself when I look into my lover's eyes I want to see this ... acceptance, love & adoration. I sure got what I wanted! You fill me with wonder, with pride, with fulfillment. You shower me with adoration and most of all with unconditional love! With you by my side, I am protected, cared for, cherished and accepted. You are an incredible friend & father. Call it fate or whatever ... I am so friggin' grateful to call you my husband! Thank you for finding me ... for choosing me and making me believe in dreams! You're one hell of a man & I am so proud you're mine! -Jo
My love and best friend Jevon: In high school I loved the way you danced, kissed and made me laugh. After high school, I loved your compassion for me, your motivation to become a better man and that you are always there for me no matter the situation. After nine years together I can truly say I love who we are together, and I know that in the years ahead I will not only have a best friend, but also a great man in my life. Happy Valentines, Baby! -Your beautiful artist Tiffani
Sean (blarbies, sharnels), my love: My dear. It's hard to believe that it's already been a year since we started our engagement. Now we have 32 days until we are married and nothing in life makes me happier. I am marrying my best friend! Thank you for everything you have given me thus far in our lives together. You are my shining star, my confidant, my true, sweet one. Cheers to many years to come! -Your Ash (blarbels-frumpkins)
A Singer for Revenge: OK, so it hadn't been all that good for the last year, but the previous seven were, I thought, OK. We had gone through a lot. I had a business, so I could help while he went to college. I paid bills. He was on my health insurance plan. We even got a dog together.
It was great when we moved to Florida to our new home (thank God I didn't put his name on the deed <<= that's called foreshadowing). I'd expand my business from New England. New start, new state. It'd be a good thing.
After a few months, he got a job and I even bought him a couple of nice suits for work. I'd get the drinks at Buckets, a nice meal at Pebbles on Fridays … we were "together." As he got established, I'd help.
Within two months, he wanted out. He hadn't been happy "for years?" I thought, "OK, OK. I'm not all that good at relationships; maybe we could work it out." I really did think that. Then I found letters from some old flame in South Florida. Somehow they'd "found" each other again? Oh wait … the correspondence had been going on SINCE OUR FIRST DATE! I was mentioned frequently. I emptied the joint bank accounts and canceled joint credit cards. I went ballistic. Made him go sleep in a motel and said be gone by the weekend. That night he stayed who-the-hell-cared where. A phone message said he'd be there the next day to get "his stuff." I figured I could help by putting "his stuff" on the porch. I moved a few boxes. Then I remembered. His stuff? His stuff? I paid for all "his stuff." I flipped open the trusty Singer One Touch sewing machine mom had given me when I was 16. I've made curtains and clothes and toys and fixed countless hems and sleeves. I got skills.
I took the pants from the suits and sewed the inseams together. I rehung them on their hangers. I double stitched the linings of the sleeves closed at the wrist. They looked so nice back on the hanger. The dog approved. I replaced them in their plastic dry cleaner's bags and laid them on top of the pile. The next morning a white van came and went.
He was gone. -Song Weasel
Jack: Love … it does your heart good. Thank you so much for allowing me to do the things I love to do every day. You give freely of your time, your money and your love - know it does not go unnoticed. Thank you for putting me on the pedestal! I love you so much. -Stephanie
my sexy stebby: I waited all my life to meet someone as special as you. You are my best friend and my forever lovin partner, I would have no life without you, you made me become the person I am today, and I thank you so much for bringin good to someone like me. I love you more and more each day and this 2011 valentine's day I want you to know you are every woman or man's dream come true, and i thank you for pickin me. I love you so much with much more love to come. Happy Valentine's Day 2011! -your lovin tibby 11/13/07
tanner jonhack: hey you - don't know how i'd be thinking and living without a nice, hot man with woozy smarts and pillow particularism - aka you. you're my favorite. loves for as long as i can think of! -bee
Shallan: 3 wonderful years together and a lifetime's more to go. Happy Anniversary! I love you! -Dale
Clint: As time passes and life progresses, you remain constant. I look forward to many more experiences together. I love you. -Dali
Nikorc: It's been an amazing 11 years with you! Time flies when you are having fun! I love you forever my love. -Lydiavc
Kenny: Happy Lovers Day, Lover. XOXOXOXO -nina
Daddy: We miss you. -Love Sadie and Molly
May Wong: Dear baby, will you be my Valentine? You are the light of my life, the song to my soul, the frosting to my cupcake. If I could ask God to give me a limit to our time together, I would ask him to give us a lifetime so that we can grow old together and see our family grow one day. Let's travel the world together, you and I, experience the tastes, sights, sounds and wonders of life. The world is our oyster and I am ready to shuck it together with you. If I could, I would eat you up, like a hot sundae on a cool summer night, the sweetness of vanilla ice cream melting down the passageways to our tummies, comfort. I would shower you with chocolate kisses and rose petals and gently whisper in your ear "I love you." So, baby, will you be mine? -Ricky Ly
Avi: I'm always great with words until the moment I try to describe how much I love you. Out of all the adjectives, I know I can't find the right ones to properly communicate the intense truth of our connection. Best friend, Lover, Hero, Partner in Crime, and finally HUSBAND! This year is going to be amazing for us and it will only get better. I lose my breath thinking about the adventures you and I have ahead of us. "We have taken the Seven Steps. Yes, we have become partners. Let us share the joys. We are word and meaning, united. You are thought and I am sound. May the night be honey-sweet for us. May the morning be honey-sweet for us. May the earth be honey-sweet for us ... As the heavens are stable, as the earth is stable, as the mountains are stable, as the whole universe is stable, so may our union be permanently settled." -Halls
People with dates: I hope you choke. Well, not really. OK, maybe. Happy Valentine's Day! -Andrew D
Tim: To my Superman. Life is sweeter with you in it. I love you baby. -Your Spanish Lois Lane
Butternuts: I loved you before I knew you. You are the one constant in my life. You have given me life. You have loved unconditionally and irrevocably. With great patience and loyalty you have supported me through my darkest of times and loved me more in the end. I love you now, as I will always love you, with great passion, undying affection and with every beat of my heart. -Forever yours, Lisa
Clients, friends & family of GGMA: Thanks for another year of loving what we do at Green Grass Marketing & Advertising! Fall in love with your Ad agency with Green Grass Marketing & Advertising! Find us on Facebook and on the web. -Green Grass Gretchen
Someone I haven't met yet: Hey, stranger. We don't know each other yet, but at some point, we probably will. I'd figure we're around the same age right now, which means you're probably just as awkward and insecure about romance as I am. But hey, that's OK — at least take solace in the fact that, one day, we'll have each other as valentines forever more: we can force-feed each other Russell Stover variety boxes as the sun rises, letting our feelings for each other be known through Hallmark cards made of saccharine niceties while a Pulp record plays softly in the background. I know you're out there somewhere. Even if that somewhere is just in my mind. -Casey
Brian Miracle: You saved my life and helped me discover who I am. I love you so much and always will. -Edgar Jr.
Marcus (my crazy party dog): ...because I'll be loving you always. -Alicia
Tara Lynn Vrsalovich: Team Aletara forever! I love you! -Alex Hluch
Mr. Compere: This you already know, but i thought I'd also tell all of Orlando. I LOVE YOU! Happy Valentine's Day. -Munchkin
Jason: Too bad you're a thief, you woulda made a cute Valentine for 2010. -Jenn
Ed Skeegyrockmoneygrip: Sure, you make my bed smell like cake batter and you're a major cynical ass but you are funny, squeezy, devastatingly handsome and a bedroom gangsta! More importantly, I love your face more than words and I'm so glad you are mine. -Your smoochy lil Muslos
Anthony: I hope you never remember your Starbuck's drink order so you'll always need me around. I love you, my moose. -Dana
Muffin: I'm the luckiest woman in the world to be married to my best friend. Thank you for standing by me even when I'm wrong. "Even though we ain't got money, I'm so in love with you, honey." -Puddin'
Wes: Forget fancy dinners, flowers and jewelry. Year two of Power Hour and Pizza with you? Yes, please. Yet another reason why I love you! xoxo -Jenna
Nelson: Thank you very much for being my husband. I wouldn't have been able to get through these past few months without you (and Scooter)! Very much looking forward to our trip. I love you! -Christina
Ken: I love you to the moon ... and back. -April
Daniel: Meeting you has been the best thing that has happened to me in a long time. The more I get to know you the more I fall in love with you. Happy Valentine's Day ... Thank you for filling my heart with so much love! -Christy
Melissa: Love You Pookie! Pookie! Pookie! My 1 and only Pookie! -Harold
Jennifer Bush: Another Valentine's Day is here and I could not help but express how much I love you! You are an amazing wife, you inspire and motivate me every day. I would not be half the man I am today if you had not come along. I owe you the most extreme happiness that anyone could ever receive. I am, yet again, looking forward to another great year with you in 2011. Every day I wake up next to you will be even better than the one before it. I could not ask for anything more, I have all I will ever need, your love. Happy Valentine's Day, pumpkin. I love you! -Ben Bush