The Uncommon Life

Valentine’s Day Contest: #UncommonDate? Do tell!

February 5, 2016

UncommonGoods Valentine's Day Gifts

Dinner and a movie is nice, but it’s not exactly the most original romantic outing. When it comes to Valentine’s Day, the same old date just doesn’t cut it–so we put together a collection of Uncommon Gifts for the Perfect Date Night. This got us thinking about some of the truly unusual date stories we’ve heard in the past and a social media contest was born!

Maybe your own most bizarre date ended up being a total disaster, but left you with a hilarious story. Maybe the tale of your most interesting date was just the start of a great love story. We want to know about the good, the bad, and totally off-the-wall. Tell us about your most #UncommonDate in the comments below or use the #UncommonDate hashtag on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram for your chance to win one of the uncommon date packages featured in our Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

Uncommon Valentine's Day Gifts | UncommonGoods

Share your #UncommonDate story for a chance to win lovely goods like these!

Since Valentine’s Day seems to be all about terrific twosomes, we’ll choose two winners after Feb. 14, 2016 to take home the prizes. Of course, we certainly encourage everyone from singles to “old married couples” to enter, regardless of their exact location on the road to the intersection of love.


  • Reply Amanda Light February 5, 2016 at 11:50 am

    It was the third date that my now husband took me on. I thought we were going to see a movie but he insisted that we go to a theater 45 minutes away. I thought this was strange until we got there, where it got a little stranger. In the basement of this movie theater in Somerville, MA is the Museum of Bad Art and it’s exactly what you’d expect it to be… lots of crappy but really oddly thought provoking art. It’s right next to the men’s bathroom LOL and was actually a really funny date that we still talk about. Who knows what movie we saw that day (well, I know, it was I Love You, Man) but the bad art was what was memorable.

  • Reply LINDA ELDER February 8, 2016 at 9:01 am

    Our uncommon date started 63 years ago. We were neighbors, and grew up through high school and through no fault of our own the Vietnam War came between us. Because of the war we went our separate ways. We married, had children, who are grown now. divorced and widowed. After 48 years we found each other. This was a very long awaited date. We still have so much in common it’s as though it was yesterday.

  • Reply Jen B February 8, 2016 at 12:20 pm

    Ugh. I had a first date on Valentine’s Day, which was awkward and awful. At the restaurant we were surrounded by romantic couples. I think my date had forgotten it was Valentine’s Day because it was just a Tuesday night or something? Anyway, we never went on another one.

    My husband and I just had “date night” at the grocery. Which is not romantic, but it’s teamwork, and that’s what seems to make a marriage last for the long term (married 18 years so far!)

  • Reply ina February 8, 2016 at 1:08 pm

    It was a clear February night in 1965. The love of my life told me to be ready at 7, to wear something that made me feel like I owned New York City and to be waiting in the lobby of my building.

    When an antique chauffeur driven Rolls Royce pulled up, Bill opened the passenger door and invited me in for the first part of our date.

    As we drove up Park Avenue toward The Leopard, I could barely breathe except that Aretha Franklin’s music was too compelling to not join in.

    I had never seen such a place – except in the movies – and had never felt more glamorous.

    When the Maitre ‘d brought the pre-ordered bottle of wine to the table and performed the magic ritual of ‘the opening’ – which I had only seen in the movies – I almost swooned.

    Bill examined the cork, slowly moved it under his nose, set it down and tasted the wine. Pronouncing it all to his liking, I had my very first ‘grown-up’ glass of wine. I was 22.

    Alas, the man is gone but that cork lives among my treasured items.

  • Reply Alison February 8, 2016 at 1:20 pm

    My husband Bill and I met on Jury Duty. We actually met on the street while walking to the courthouse. All prospective jurors were sent canary yellow pieces of paper with directions to the courthouse. Being relatively new to San Diego, I wasn’t quite sure where to go. I saw a tall, handsome man waiting to cross the street, with the yellow sheet in his hand. I waved my paper at him and told him I wasn’t quite sure where to go, and would he mind if I tagged along with him to jury duty. Upon entering the building, we were shuffled along with the hundreds of other prospective jurors and lost sight of each other. Throughout the morning, they were calling groups of jurors to go off to different courts to determine if they were going to be selected. If you weren’t picked by noon, you’d be released and wouldn’t get called back again. As the crowd was culled through the morning, I noticed Bill in the auditorium-style waiting room, and sure enough, we were both called in the last group of the day. It was important to stay in the order you were called, and I was called as #23 and Bill was called as #24. We proceeded to the courtroom and went through the voire dire process, where the attorneys and judge ask questions to determine if they want you on the jury. At this point, sitting next to Bill, and getting all his key facts (under oath) — he was single, professional, had an adult child and from the Midwest — just like me — I was more and more wanting to be selected for that trial. Lo and behold, we were both selected — and better yet, I was juror #7 and Bill was juror #8. We sat on the jury together for an entire week. I was smitten, but given our civic duty to be completely committed to the process, we maintained a 100% appropriate and cordial relationship during that time. When we were sent off for deliberations, Bill nominated me to be the jury foreperson, but I still wasn’t sure if he liked me as much as I liked him. On the final day, after we rendered our verdict and the process was complete, a few of us on the jury who’d made friends that week went out for a glass of wine to celebrate the process being completed, and promised each other we’d stay in touch. I asked one of my fellow jurors to invite Bill, telling her (reminiscent of high school) that I had a “crush” on him. She invited Bill and when I left our table to use the ladies room, she quizzed Bill about whether he was interested in me or not. He was! Let the flirting begin! Bill and I had our very first date that evening, December 17, 2012. On December 10, 2014 (the 2nd anniversary of the first day of the trial), Bill asked me to marry him. We were standing on the exact spot on the sidewalk in downtown San Diego where I’d first asked him if he new how to get to the courthouse. We were married this year on 1/1/16 and are now living our happily ever after.

  • Reply Allison February 8, 2016 at 2:21 pm

    Pierce and I were introduced through a mutual friend about ten years ago. We started talking on MySpace at first to see if we had similar interests and decided to meet on a semi-blind date. The plan was to meet for lunch and then catch an afternoon movie except things didn’t turned out as planned. I arrived at our predetermined meeting place a few minutes early and waited. And waited. And waited. I tried calling him twice to see if he was running late to no avail. I called our mutual friend Mike to see if he’d heard from him, no luck. Thinking that I was being stood up, I figured I would call him one more time and if I didn’t get ahold of him, I was going to leave. A groggy, “Hellooo….?” came through on the other end of the line. I reminded him about our lunch plans and he snapped to attention, apologizing profusely and offering to make it up to me some how. He had just returned from his first deployment overseas about 3 weeks prior and was living in the barracks, where cell phone reception was terrible (hence the missed calls), and he and his bunkmates had been partying a little bit since they were still celebrating the fact that they’d made it safely home from Iraq.
    I told him that we should at least get something to eat since I was hungry and I was sure he was too after a night filled with alcohol, debauchery, and tomfoolery. He quickly got dressed, but didn’t shower, so he smelled like the night he’d had, of vodka and bad decisions. Needless to say, I was less than impressed. He nearly inhaled his lunch when it finally arrived, meanwhile I’m thinking that this was a huge mistake and I should have just stayed home. Hoping a movie might improve things, we went to watch a matinee, but he spent the entire time leaned against the opposite arm rest. Years later he told me that he kept burping from eating so quickly at lunch and was trying not to be “gross.” haha
    As the credits rolled we awkwardly left the theatre. I got in my car to leave, thinking that I would never see this guy again, but after I closed the door he tapped on the window. I rolled it down and he apologized again, saying that he would really like it if I would let him take me out on a proper date where he wasn’t sick with “brown bottle flu.” I reluctantly agreed, but in the end I am happy I did because the second date was MUCH better, and we’ve been married for just over 9 years and just welcomed our first child into the world.
    It just goes to show you, first impressions aren’t always spot on. <3

  • Reply Steve February 8, 2016 at 11:59 pm

    I never married this girl. My bride now is wonderful and we will log in 40 years this summer. The nightmare date I am reflecting on was out in the country. I thought I would impress her showing off my motor bike. I did not know that she had a pile of farm dogs that hated motor bikes. They are loud and their cattle had been pesteded by villians on motor bikes. Low and behold you can imagine the greeting I got from the honory mean shelties when I drove up to the front door to take her out for a date. I was lucky to leave with all my clothes. I liked the girl but her dogs came first. That was my last date with her. Thank God I did not have to impress my present wife showing her I had a Honda 450 dirt bike.

  • Reply Rebecca Willemstein February 9, 2016 at 9:15 am

    My boyfriend, Kaleb and I actually met overseas on deployment. He is from Ohio and I am from Oklahoma.
    I remember the night exactly. It was Jan. 17, 2014, I was hanging out with my friends after work and he was on his off night. He got a day off every few days and I was on a similar rotation, so the fact that our days off even lined up is amazing.
    Anyways, my friends and I were out in the pavilion area, watching Captain Phillips on the projector screen because it was movie night. My best friend Michelle and I were sitting on the bleachers and up walks this tall, muscular handsome man (Kaleb). He asks if he can sit down, I say “sure.” Now I was kind of rude this first night, we were being extremely loud and paying no mind to weather or not Kaleb actually was trying to pay attention to the movie. So a little bit later, he gets up and walks away and all I can think is “I hope he comes back.” Well he did and then the movie ended and we all went back to our respective rooms.
    Fast forward a week or so and we are all back out in the pavilion again, sitting at the tables chit chatting. Well I spot Kaleb walking around the pavilion, so we called him over and told him that if he is ever on his off day and we are out, “that he has to sit with us.”
    That is the exact moment that is started… the rest of his days off, we spent hanging out and really any off time that we got together. Our “dates” if you will, were spent hanging out with our friends because the environment we were in. All of them were uncommon, but here we are 2 years later and going strong. He is moving home on the 20th of Feb. By home I mean, to Oklahoma, to be with me so we can continue this crazy thing that we have started all because he wanted to try long distance dating.

  • Reply Tianna February 9, 2016 at 10:58 am

    Back when I was single and around 18, I went on a blind date with a guy from LA off this website called Hot or Not (you may remember it, if you’re old like me LOL). Over the phone, we seemed to have a lot in common. He was funny, witty, and enjoyable to chat with so we agreed to meet up for dinner. I met up with him at his apartment because we agreed to hang out before dinner and then he would drive us to the restaurant. This is where things get weird. He proceeded to brag all over the place and attempt to impress me with his belongings. First, he went on and on about his TV and how much each piece in his apartment cost. We had some time to kill before our date so he suggested we scope out Melrose. On the way there, he got his jam on to some Beyoncé (the fuck?). Maybe I’m just a punk girl at heart, but it was a huge turn-off for me. I’m sure we looked seriously out of place. Me, in my ripped black skinny jeans and hoodie – him in his designer jeans and shirt. It was seriously awkward.

    On Melrose, he asked me to pick out some clothes for him in Abercrombie & Fitch, a place I don’t shop on principle (because they’re racist…). I don’t think I was very amicable toward this end so we left Melrose and went back to his house to change before dinner. I thought maybe dinner would be different, but once we got to the restaurant (the only redeemable factor – the sushi was DELICIOUS), he began to belittle and tease me about how I was a country girl who didn’t know how to use chopsticks. I felt like Kanye with the “I’mma let you finish, but…”

    You can see my complete horror date story here:

  • Reply Sharon February 9, 2016 at 11:13 am

    When my boyfriend and I first began dating, we were looking for something different to do and decided to try dinner at an Indian hookah bar downtown. After a fabulous meal and conversation we were ready to try our first hookah experience. The restaurant offered a casual seating area with plush low sitting sofas and love seats. It was a Tuesday night in Febtuary so we happened to be the only people there. Since the privacy presented itself, we proceeded to get a little “friendly” with each other. A couple minutes into the make out session, I smelled smoke and turned to find we had bumped the hookah over and the ember was now burning itself into the cushion next to me! Talk about losing the mood!! My boyfriend jumps up and starts yelling for the waiter while I’m laughing hysterically at the craziness of the situation! Luckily, a water pitcher was nearby and only one cushion was affected. We did have to pay $125 to replace it but joked that we had bought our first piece of furniture together. That was two years ago and our love’s been on fire ever since! <3

  • Reply Melissa A February 9, 2016 at 2:47 pm

    I was 15 and a sophomore in high school in Gainesville, Texas. Picture a small, totally-Texas town in 1975. It was only my 2nd date ever, and my 1st date with Sam, a senior. A double date; his best friend Ira and one of my closest friend Bonnie were the other couple. We all went to a Halloween dance for the DeMolay boys at the Masonic Lodge. The only reason Dad let me go out with a senior was because Sam was my partner on the debating team, and we were going on a double date to a group event. What neither Dad nor I knew was that the four of us were not staying at the event. Probably a half hour of dancing, and the boys decided that going out to the house in the country done up as a haunted version of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre house would be a sterling idea. From the time it was mentioned and Bonnie said yes to the idea, I knew Dad would kill me if he ever found out. Once we were on our way, this was confirmed. I think the fellas were taking us the long way out there so they could hit the Thrill Hills 3 or 4 times. Each time we went airborne, Sam held me close to comfort me. By the time we got to the pseudo-Texas Chainsaw Massacre house, I wasn’t entirely sure we hadn’t actually become ghosts ourselves. Nothing particular exciting was downstairs. As we headed upstairs, someone dropped a dead baby in our faces. It was actually dangling in our faces, and as it dropped, someone laughed manically, and we could hear their footsteps running away. I snuggled close to Sam and trembled. Bonnie was mad at the boys, declaring they surely had this all planned in order to scare the dickens out of us. Both boys swore over and over again this was not planned, and someone they didn’t know was in the house too. They must have been scared, too, because they hurried us through the house, and we all ran for the car and locked the doors immediately after getting in. Ira drove fast, and when Bonnie and I both were upset because he was driving dangerously, Ira said he would slow down when we got back to the safety of city limits. Sam held me protectively and kissed me tenderly on the top of my head. My goodness, I had never felt this way before! Warm and wonderful, scared sure, but not wanting this to end. Bonnie wanted the boys to take us home, and it was getting close to curfew for us. Ira dropped me off first. Sam walked me to the door and paused. I thanked him for the evening and reached for the door. He put his hand on the door to stop me. Then his head lowered, his eyes closed, and I knew this was going to be “it”, my first kiss. As I was closing my eyes, I saw something horrifying. A big, wet tongue coming toward me. It was too late. Sam slowly, tenderly, slobbered on my face, on my lips and generously around them. When Sam stopped the torrential kiss and I dared breathe again, I felt slobber rolling down my chin. I was embarrassed. Surely I had done something wrong to cause this to be so drastically different and immensely more yucky than I had always thought it would be. I smiled as Sam pecked me on the forehead and opened the door for me, and we said goodbye. Before my parents could see the running mess on my face, I quickly dipped my head onto my arm to quickly dab the moisture away from face. Sam and I never went out again. He didn’t ask me, and his reluctance only confirmed to me that I had, indeed, kissed badly. That one date had become a lifelong memory. Dad never knew anything about it except I was, indeed, at the dance. And in college I finally learned kissing didn’t involved copious amounts of spittle, and I was, in fact, quite good at it.

  • Reply Victoria VonHeeder February 11, 2016 at 6:31 am

    My wonderful husband and I met 27 years ago when my family had moved around the country as my mother was a traveling nurse. We never stayed any place longer than a year and usually most of her assignments were 6 months at a time. The place we met was in Alaska in 1988 in High School in a small town my mother was working in. He was a sweet, kind and loving man even as a teenager. The 6 months we were in Alaska went so fast and before I knew it, we were packing up and off to the next state. Obviously we lost touch and time distanced our hearts. Then came social media. We reconnected and visited one another in the state I was living in at the time. As soon as I saw him it was love at first sight! We were married only 6 months later after our first visit. My husband works in a remote area and is away from home A LOT! We have yet to actually spend Valentines Day together in person since we’ve been married, but we still have a Valentines Day date! I might cook something he likes or grab some takeout and when he’s finished with his 12 hour work day he’ll grab dinner and we will have our date via Skype or FaceTime. Last year, I sat on the beach as the sun was setting and he sat at his “man camp” in the northern most part of Alaska and we started our date by having dinner, lovely conversation and some tears from missing each other like crazy! It was the most “unique” date I had ever been on in my life! Thank goodness for technology! He would have been home this year but his boss changed his schedule last minute so We will be having our Valentines Day date via FaceTime / Skype again this year! I think I’ll make Michigan Pastys and take him to the car wash. Our truck is filthy and in desperate need of a scrub down!

  • Reply Jenny Rohr February 12, 2016 at 1:47 pm

    The idea floated around in my head for a while: surprise my husband-to-be with a wedding gift that would rise above the rest. Therefore, I planned an uncommon present. We would enjoy a romantic champagne brunch while in a hot air balloon! Ah, the thought of seeing the sunrise, sipping champagne, and gazing into my beloved’s eyes thrilled us both. However . . .
    The balloon company was bought by another before our anticipated date arrived. Not being able to receive a refund, we were given an alternative option, which we accepted. On the assigned morning, we newlyweds found ourselves amid a group of seniors – 14 of them – who were also eager to fly high (though without brunch or champagne). Incredibly, we were all to fly in one balloon. The pilot asked for help in tethering the basket, unfolding the l-o-n-g fabric, and holding the balloon steady as it filled. No one was more fit than my husband, who seemed to be everywhere at once. It took a long time for that balloon to heat. After it filled, we each needed to climb over the basket’s side to embark for our journey. This was no small feat and again, my hero helped out as each senior struggled into the basket. Finally, though, we lifted off and soared over the green fields of Wisconsin. It was an incredible experience, uncommon and unequaled, and my love for my husband still flies high, and he continues to be a willing helper, as we’ve reached 20 years of marriage.

  • Reply Alison K February 14, 2016 at 8:28 pm

    My #UncommonDate wasn’t too complicated. Met an online person I was chatting with. Thought we were doing well so decided to get together to see if the spark transferred in person. Unfortunately I happen to mention that his dog was “funny looking”. I guess he didn’t think it was as adorable as calling her cute ‘cos I asked him if we were going to eat & instead he dropped me off at home & I never heard from him again – I thought the dog liked me (:P)

  • Reply Cassie February 14, 2016 at 11:35 pm

    Preamble: I was a nanny for a family and became fast friends with the mom (because who doesn’t become best friends with your boss). Soon I was invited to family parties where I met her brother in law.

    Story: For our first date I drove three hours to Michigan (I live in Ohio). When I got there (around 2pm) we didn’t know how to greet eachother since it was a first date but we had an intense make out session previously. We went to an apple orchard, picked our own apples, found out we had a ten year age difference, played mini golf, had drinks on the patio, talked about whether or not we wanted to get married or have kids, went to dinner at a Hibachi restaurant, and lucky strike where we were going to bowl until he realized it was $50 for a game of bowling.

    Summary: After a 10 hour first date (the longest I’ve ever been on), we started seeing eachother just for fun (which turned serious) and now I’ve been dating him longer than anyone I’ve ever seen!

    My #uncommondate led to an #uncommonadventure which led me to an #uncommonrelationship that I am loving!

  • Reply Patrick February 15, 2016 at 2:46 pm

    I went hiking with a girl I had just started seeing, 3rd or 4th date, and we had her dog along with us. It was late in the day when we finally started but we didn’t think we would be out very long. I thought we were going to be able to keep following the trail we were on and it would loop around and end near where we parked, but the longer we hiked, the less sure either of us were about it heading back near the parking lot.

    We finally decided to turn around and head back the way we came. Fortunately, we had her dog with us because it got too dark for us to see the trail (neither of us had a light), and we had to let the dog follow our scent back to the truck.

    By the time we made it to the truck, the girl I was with needed to pee very badly but has Raynaud’s syndrome which restricts the flow of blood to her fingers and toes when she gets cold. She could not use her numb fingers to unbutton her button-fly and had to ask me to do it for her, quickly.

    Now, after 12 years of marriage, we do still go hiking together, always with a dog and normally better prepared. But not always.

  • Reply Cassie February 15, 2016 at 4:27 pm

    Thanks for sharing your #UncommonDate stories, everyone! We’ll announce the winners in a blog post later this week.

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