Valentine's Day is not always the most romantic night of the year. For a lot of people, it can be a real horror show and very often, servers have a front row seat to the disaster. Check out these crazy stories about Valentine's Day dates gone very wrong!
(Content edited for clarity)
Nope, It’s Not His Night
“Couple comes in on Valentine’s Day – no reservation. They get seated at the bar, order some drinks and apps, and are sitting there chatting and laughing. Seems pretty normal.
After finishing their apps, the guy drops to one knee and pulls out a ring. The girl immediately shuts him down. He didn’t so much as get a word out before she’s saying, ‘Nope. Nope. Nope,’ grabs her coat off the back of her chair, and is putting it on, still saying ‘Nope’ over and over. Practically RUNS out of the place, does not look back.
He looks gutted. Pays the bill, walks out, staring at the floor the whole time.”
One Jerk Down
“My wife was a server at an upscale restaurant and I’ll never forget this story she told me.
It’s Valentine’s Day so the place is booked for the entire night and this guy shows up looking to get a table without a reservation. The hostess tells him that they are booked solid and unless there was a cancellation he wouldn’t be able to get a table soon. The guy seems to accept this ok and goes to the bar to have a drink and wait for his date. The girl shows up and this guy is on his third drink and getting loud. She meets him at the bar and looks disappointed about the table. As they are discussing what to do next things go sideways as the guy screams about, ‘how that dumb hostess lost his reservation that he made a week ago and he isn’t leaving until they’ve got a table blah blah blah.’ The poor hostess is a basket case and trying not to break down as the guy’s date goes as pale as a ghost. The manager obviously comes out to see what the problem is and the guy repeats his loud tirade against the 17-year-old hostess. Luckily, the manager had a spine and told the man to immediately leave before he calls the police. He refuses, so the manager calls the cops and the guy decides he has made his point and tries to run, neglecting to pay for his drinks. The manager runs out, gets his plate number and almost gets hit by the wasted idiot as he is trying to flee. The guy gets pulled over by the cops, fails a sobriety test, the manager presses charges for assault and theft. This guy’s poor date is now comforting the hostess, who by all accounts did her job and got lambasted for it.”
From Romance To Attempted Murder
.”This is about 7 years ago in Columbia, South Carolina. Just a little backstory for everyone…So the restaurant I used to work at fired all management because they were ultimately stealing from the restaurant. It was a sore time for everyone because everyone really liked all of our managers and the new guy they brought in was a total nutcase (you will see why in just a minute).
So on this lovely first Valentine’s Day with new management, we were having some issues with the audio system that night in the restaurant so there were some awkward silence moments throughout the night, even being Valentine’s Day and being pretty packed. Because there was no music playing you could pretty much hear anything throughout the restaurant. I started serving this couple and everything seemed to be going fine until the entire restaurant got silent because the wife or girlfriend burst out something outta nowhere. Everyone obviously turned and focused all of their attention on this table. This lady is freaking huge. And by freaking huge, I mean she was realistically around 400lbs or so. One of the servers there is this guy named Herman that is freaking jacked. Luckily for the husband at the table, Herman was about 4 or 5 feet from the table and was able to see this lady ‘dart’ towards her husband with a freaking steak knife. Never in a million years would I have expected to see Herman tackle a woman that was trying to stab her husband with a steak knife but there I was, lucky enough to see all of that.
Back to management. Our new manager was witnessing all of this and decided it would be a great idea to take things into his own hands. He went into the kitchen and grabbed a giant metal stirring spoon for giant batches of soup, then called the cops and told them what had happened really quickly – this is where his awesome management skills came into play. This guy walks to the front of the restaurant and stands in front of the door with this giant metal stirring spoon and screams at the top of his lungs ‘NOBODY IS GOING ANYWHERE!’ People were obviously freaked out by the whole thing and a lot of people had darted towards the front door. All of this would have been way less awkward had the music actually been working that night.
The cops showed up and arrested the lady and literally everyone in the entire restaurant left in a hurry. Pretty sure that manager got fired shortly after.”
Awkward Chinese Dinner
“A couple of years ago I worked at PF Chang’s. Valentine’s Day. The guy comes in hours earlier to request we keep his huge bouquet in our refrigerator until he comes in with his girlfriend for their date. We do. We bring it out, the server takes their order, brings out a bottle of the most expensive vino, and they had just gotten their lettuce wraps when he proposes. Every server and host knows what’s going on, so we’re all excited. APPARENTLY, the girl said ‘NO,’ and instead of just leaving, they both stayed there and finished their meal. They sat there opposite each other (were originally cuddling in the middle of the booth) with the giant bouquet blocking their view of the other for half an hour. They could have taken the food home, but NO! It was so awkward and sad.”
Ghosted On Their Anniversary
“Once had a guy on Valentine’s Day come in with his date. I asked how long they were together. She said 2 years (it was their anniversary), She seemed very excited but the guy was very blah. They were eating their dinners when I came by to check on them. The guy was complaining about everything the entire time, but I gave him excellent service. The girl was very polite to me, but she was very comforting to the guy, she was rubbing his neck and kissing his cheek, but he seemed uninterested. Sometime in between dinner and dessert, the guy got up and went to the ‘bathroom.’ The girl sat there for 2 hours, crying hysterically for the last half an hour. After trying repeatedly to try to calm her down, I paid for some of her tab and sat down and listened to her vent before offering to get her a cab. She kept saying that she hated when he did stuff like this (implying he had done it before). I told her she should probably move on. She looked offended, and said, ‘No you don’t know what you’re talking about, he’ll come back for me. He’s just mad because he doesn’t like spending money.’ She got up and went outside to wait on a bench in front of a restaurant. She waited there for an additional 2 hours. He never came.
That was some cold behavior.”
A Waitress Really Feels For Him
“I once waited on a guy on Valentine’s Day who was obviously waiting for his date to show-up. He had to be middle-aged, 40s perhaps, and this was in the days before cellphones (1997 maybe?). This was an Old Spaghetti Factory in Minneapolis, so not exactly an expensive place.
Anyway, it was a busy night, and he kept checking his watch and he had a rose sitting on the opposite plate – and he kept waiting, and waiting, and waiting. He got sadder and sadder as the night went on.
He eventually ordered a meal, by himself, and it looked like he may cry by the end of the night. I may have been a jaded industry idiot and wasted most of my early-20s, but I paid for his meal out of my own tips that night. It was one of the saddest meals I ever waited on.”
Dine And Ditch (Each Other)
“First time I was ever a waitress was at this fancy restaurant. You know, folded napkins, two glasses on the table, two forks, all that smush.
Valentine’s Day, this couple somehow decided that the 14th would be a great time for a first date. Appetizers roll around, they’re chatting about what they do for a living, which was the dead giveaway that they were just getting to know each other.
I deliver their main course and these two bozos are pretty much on their phones until dessert.
Man gets up to go to the bathroom, takes his jacket. Woman pays for the meal, which I overheard them discussing beforehand anyway because she didn’t want to take advantage of him and was a bit of a nontraditional gal, from what I caught eavesdropping from my other tables.
The guy comes back from the bathroom, I thought he had left, he was gone for a REALLY long time, and sits down at the table on his phone. Eventually realizes that the lady’s coat isn’t there and leaves too.
I cringed when he asked for the bill and I had to tell him it was already paid for and that the lady wasn’t in the bathroom.
I don’t really know what happened that day. Maybe they both thought they got ditched.”
The Story Of The Grumpy Valentine
“This is the story of the grumpy valentine. It was Valentine’s Day and we were running reservations for specific seatings. A woman comes in for the 9 o’clock seating. She explains to the hostess that she will be joined by someone but he’s running late. The hostess walks her to her table and a waiter goes to the table to bring water and asked her I’d she’d like to order a drink while she waits, she orders some kind of drink. Meanwhile, I am waiting on the most AWESOME gay couple ever! They would make stories about the other couples in the restaurant, they told me some of the stories throughout the night (it was a multi-course meal, so I saw them at least 6 times).
Grumpy Valentine’s Day lady is getting aggravated, she keeps looking at her watch and texting someone. She orders another drink as her date is still MIA. Finally her, I’m assuming, husband (they both had wedding bands on) comes in with flowers and a card and joins his her. There is major tension! You could see it just by the body language. The lady was pissed that she had to wait for him.
AWESOME gay couple asks me some questions about the grumpy lady and her date. ‘Are they married?’ They tell me that they were curious cause they concocted a story about this couple. They decided that this couple was married – just not to each other. He was late because he was finishing up Valentine’s Day with his wife and couldn’t get away. The grumpy lady was his mistress but also married to someone else.
The tension between grumpy lady and her husband/lover lasts the whole evening. They have their meal and leave right away, they didn’t even sit around and enjoy each other’s company, which is what most people do on Valentine’s Day. They just scarfed down their food and left. Anyway, I go to help their waiter clear the table and ask him about it. He says it was the most awkward Valentine’s Day date ever. Apparently, they (she) were very impatient about getting their new courses immediately after they’d finished each course. Upon clearing the table we find the card he got for her, she left it on the table. I felt so bad for the guy, what a grump! She didn’t want to keep the card he got her for Valentine’s Day!
I update AWESOME gay couple about the recon I did about this mysterious couple. I told them about the card she left behind (hadn’t read it at that point). They started laughing and said that she probably left it behind cause it was evidence! She didn’t want her husband to find it so she left it behind.
So we actually ended up reading the card after closing. Turns out they were married to each other. And the saddest part is the card was really really sweet! I can’t imagine why this lady didn’t want to hang on to such a sentimental item. We all felt bad for the husband.”
Getting Sick All Over The Place
“It was Valentine’s Day. I was bussing in a nice romantic Italian restaurant. I noticed this couple showing up and the girl looked tipsy already upon their entrance. She continues drinking until the entrees come out. Me and another coworker noticed she looked pale and uneasy when the food showed up. So we continue to watch how she handles her food. A minute later she looks like she can’t swallow her pasta, and has a look of pure panic. Just then, she turns sideways to stand up from the table and doesn’t even make it…Yep, she vomited all over the floor in the middle of a candle lit restaurant, pretty much ruining dinner for every couple celebrating their Valentine’s Day. Not to mention the look of her mortified date as she left him to sit there alone after that to go clean up in the bathroom.”
A Demanding Jerk
“I had been a waiter at this particular chain restaurant for 4 years and thought I’d seen it all on holidays. There is one particular Valentine’s Day I had to work about 5 years ago that really stands out. The night was slammed, I worked a double, hadn’t seen too much in terms of dates gone bad throughout the day and early evening. I want to say it was around 8:45 pm and a couple came in and were seated in my section.
The guy was a smaller guy and his date was much larger. From the moment I got to the table it was this demand, that demand, extra this, extra that and not a ‘thank you’ in sight. Luckily this was literally my last table for the night because we had started to slow down. After getting a shrimp appetizer and I believe THREE loaves of bread at this point, they finally order. The guy orders for the girl and himself. He ordered the Lafayette Chicken and was informed in detail of what it consisted of. While waiting for their food, he got pretty impatient. The restaurant had died down, but PLENTY of tickets were still hanging. After about maybe 20 minutes of waiting, I finally got the food out to their table. Checked to make sure everything LOOKED acceptable and ran off to grab some refills for them. By the time I got back, chaos ensued.
Throughout their stay, I would randomly overhear chit chat about what seemed to be tiny disagreements and the guy seemed as though he was not about to back down from being ‘right.’ A classy fellow on Valentine’s Day. When I had gotten back to their table with their refills, apparently everything about his dish was wrong. It was chicken with sauteed onions, Monterey, cheddar, and swiss cheeses melted over and underneath that was BBQ sauce that is made by the restaurant. Looking at the dish, it was all where it was supposed to be and looked like one of the better dishes I had served that night… but apparently not. After about 45 seconds of hearing the complaints, I got the old-fashioned ‘I want to speak to your manager.’ Sure thing. While all this is going on, his date was trying to tell him to calm down and everything would be fixed, etc, but the look in his eyes was more along the lines of ‘Woman, don’t even.’
The manager comes out, tells him he’ll take care of the dish, get a new one made and comps it. I go back to the kitchen, get some things settled with other tables’ checks while I’m back there, come back to check on refills at this table, the dude is gone. I’m thinking, he’s in the bathroom, I’ll drop these off. But wait, the date is in tears. Apparently, while I had been in the back, the dude flips out, cusses out his date for trying to butt in, and LEAVES HER THERE. We had to call a taxi for her and she had to pay the remainder of the bill (appetizer, drinks, and her entree).
I hate people sometimes.”
Mixing Up The Proposal!
“A few years ago now, on Valentine’s Day…
Two couples booked in, both with the same surname: ‘Perry.’ One of the guys asks if we can bring bubbly out to them (with a conveniently submerged ring) just after the meal so he could propose. After one waiter asked the young waitress for the bubbly to the Perry table with a wink, she proceeded to take the glasses to the other table (who had just arrived, so this made no sense as to why she’d done this), massive mix-up ensues. I was working on the bar so was far enough away to find it privately hilarious.”
He’s Not Missing A Meal, Despite The Awkwardness
“The couple that came out to eat on Valentine’s Day, dude broke up with her while I was getting them drinks. He ordered an appetizer and a meal, she said she wasn’t hungry. She cried, he ate, they hardly argued much and then left. Dude barely left me five bucks – he was kinda a jerk.”
The Embarrassment Of A Card Decline
“It wasn’t a first date, but I had a guy’s card decline on Valentine’s Day. After yelling at me like it was my fault, he left to go to an ATM (only 1 block away) while his date sat at the table glaring at me.”
Not Ready To Let Go
“I was a server at a crappy Italian place that was only open for a year and had 3 owners. One owner lost his wife to cancer a few years ago and was trying to get out there again. He had been seeing this one lady recently and decided to reserve a table at the restaurant for Valentine’s Day. They sat in my section that night. Instead of it being just the two of them, they brought her two kids (from a previous marriage) with them. They were between 8 and 12. He began crying during service. It was incredibly awkward for everyone. They left early.”
Fighting Til The End
“Worked at a nice Italian Restaurant. Valentine’s Day it was my last couple of a very busy night, it was past closing (by like more than an hour) and this couple was still sitting at their table. Fighting. Loudly. The girl was crying, and I just wanted to give them their bill so I could go home. very awkward.”