Love Stories

May Valentine’s Day never, ever end: 50 Great American Love Stories, one for each state of the country. And here are a few additional, not-great love stories.

A man and a woman saw each other regularly at a bar and both thought the other was attractive, but they were too shy to say anything, and they worried a little that if things didn’t work out they’d have to give up the bar. But then one day the man did go up to the woman, and it turned out they did get along, so they traded information, and later he asked her out to dinner. It went well, and then they went out again after that, and they eventually slept together. Then it fizzled, and she ended things. He was upset, because he’d liked her, but what are you going to do. They didn’t talk about who would “keep” the bar, though, but then a couple weeks later they were both there again. She was talking with a friend, and the man went up to say hi. He didn’t know what to say afterward, though, and neither did she, and he didn’t go back to the bar for a few years.

There once was a mermaid who fell in love with a fisherman. She’d gotten caught in his nets, and then they hit it off. After a while, though, it became clear that things could only go so far, physically. So one night on his boat he broke up with her, citing the physical limitations. She understood, but also felt like it wasn’t fair because they’d both agreed their connection was unusually good. She didn’t have much sensation below her waist (because it was the fish half), so when he excused himself to go to the bathroom, she took one of his knives and cut a hole in herself where a human woman’s vagina might be, and when he came back she suggested they try it that way. They did, but he threw up, and she rolled back into the sea. She healed, but she never met anyone like him again.

There once were two earrings — small gold hoops — that were very much in love. They lived for a long time together in a velvet-lined box, but then a woman bought them and put them in her ears. Because this woman was a not very stylistically adventurous woman, she almost never took them out. In fact, stretches of five or six years would go by in which she wouldn’t take them out at all. So the earrings almost never saw each other again, and were lonely, but they also never forgot about the time they’d shared. On the off nights when the woman went to a wedding or otherwise took them out for the night, though, they never knew what to say to each other, they were overwhelmed.

A man bought some hideous flowers for a woman he really liked, thinking he’d surprise her with them on Valentine’s Day. She’d had no idea that he liked her, so it really was a surprise. But she liked him, too, and things went well, and they got married. They had a kid and then they got divorced, and he married someone else, but she never did. And then he died, and she did, too.