Story Submitted by Kevin:
My first date with Betsy, who I met online, was on Valentine's Day. This was just by coincidence, and we agreed ahead of time that neither of us needed to do anything special for the other, as it was just a first date after all. Still, I'd have felt weird not doing anything, and I already liked her a lot, so I picked up a small bouquet of flowers and a DVD of a movie she wanted. Both, together, cost me less than $20.
We met in front of a restaurant and I gave her the flowers. She said, "Thanks... but I thought we agreed that we weren't going to give each other anything."
I replied, "I'm sorry. I just thought it would be a nice thing to do."
She nodded. "Meaning that the fact that I didn't bring you anything was shallow and bitchy. I got it."
"We had a deal."
I said, "I wanted to do something nice, and I didn't expect anything in return. If you want me to, I'll take them back."
She raised her voice, "You didn't expect anything? So you're saying that you don't think I'm the type of person to give you a gift?"
"Did you ask me out tonight just to insult me?"
I pulled out the DVD. "No! I just brought you flowers and this DVD because I wanted to do something nice!"
"Meaning that I'm not nice by not bringing you a gift. I see. And why the hell would you buy me that DVD?"
"It was just seven dollars. I saw it in a bargain bin. I know you said you wanted it, so it seemed silly to walk past it and not grab it for you. It's really just a DVD."
"I'll say," she said, and took it from me. "This is going to go in the trash, and if I have to buy a version that costs twice as much, I will. I can't believe you!"
I asked, "What about the flowers?"
She replied, "I'm keeping them. Flowers in the trash make me sad."
She seemed to be coming down off of her anger, and we stood there for a few moments in silence. She asked, "Kevin, have you learned your lesson?"
I said, "I don't know if it's a question of learning a lesson. I just wanted to give you a nice gesture. If it makes you feel any better, you can pay for part of dinner, but you don't have to."
I thought it was a reasonable compromise, but of course, I only made things worse. She said, "Now you're saying I'm too cheap to reciprocate? The hell with this."
She turned around with the flowers and DVD, threw the DVD on the ground in front of her, and walked off, taking special pains to stomp onto the DVD with her foot as she did.
After she was gone, I picked it up and brought it home. She called me up and I answered. She asked, "You didn't grab that DVD, did you?"
Thinking that she was going to apologize and ask for it back, I said, "Yes. Do you want it?"
She yelled, "Why the hell did you pick it up? I told you it was trash! I went back to look for it and wasn't sure if you took it, if someone else took it, or–or–"
I hung up on her and ignored her future calls. What good would they have done at that point?
Story Submitted by Kevin: