Tragic Tales of 20-Something “Love:” The Story of Captain Romantic

Or: Happy Valentine’s Week, Y’All

Lots of people hate Valentine’s Day. They say it’s silly and commercial, and obviously just another cog in the capitalist, consumerist machine. Not me, though. I’ve always liked Valentine’s Day*.
*And it’s glorious follow-up holiday, 75% Off Heart-Shaped-Chocolate Day. It comes every February 15, and I celebrate it religiously.


I confess to my hopeless romanticism. And also I like to hug big plush hearts.

I think it’s nice that we set aside a day to show the ones we love that they’re appreciated – whether it’s a significant other, friends or family members. It’s like celebrating someone on their birthday. Once you strip out all the materialistic expectations, it’s all about designating one day to be aware of the one you love, romantically.** And that’s sweet.
**Or the ones you love platonically. Or familial-ly. It’s all about love, people.

But it’s never really been a day that’s gone right for me. On that note, I’d like to introduce you to Captain Romantic. We were together through the senior year of college, and for two years after.

This is not stated with much enthusiasm.


We were together for two years when this particular Valentine’s Day came around. I knew, of course, that he wasn’t a terribly romantic guy. So this time, our second Valentine’s Day together, I decided that if I wanted romance, I could make it happen myself. I hurried home from work, rescued the present I’d wrapped, and set to work making his favorite meal for dinner.

The Romance! The Sweetness!

Check out all that enthusiasm! Romance is in the air! For sure!

I was excited – it was the first time I’d gone out of my way to try something romantic.

It was steak,. I made steak

Ok, I may have let him unwrap the present BEFORE I declared what it was.

Things seemed to be going well. I was still in my domesticated phase of life***, and nothing had burned – not even the dessert. The place was pretty, and everything fit in my budget. I felt like the master of romance and was so happy to see Captain Romance smile at everything I’d done.
***That point in time when I cooked dinners and washed dishes and didn’t have all the local delivery numbers memorized. It was a tough time.

Real women cook in aprons

Everything is more romantic in an apron.

After dinner, he pulled out a gift for me.

Dun dun duuuunnn...

With these exact words. Please keep these words in mind.

I was excited. A token of his feelings? That was possibly the most romantic thing Captain Romantic had ever said to me. The packaging didn’t stand a chance. I had that thing open in a blink.


I am not making this up, people.

It was a toaster.

For toasting bread.

Say it with me: I feel toaster for you

Seriously. I’m good at reading between the lines and all, but toasters and feelings together in the same present is just confusing.

I did not regularly complain of my lack of toaster. My roommate had a toaster oven, enabling all of my bread-toasting needs. But Captain Romantic was so pleased – my kitchen did not have a toaster, and he had noticed, and he gave me one to remedy the situation.

Because that is the type of romance I enjoy in my life.

True story, guys.

It’s a real toaster. This is a real story

I don’t make these things up, people.

An end-of-post apology:

This post is very late in coming, mostly because I am out of my mind on cold medicine today.

I am such a plague-bearer

Did you know that if you wave tissues in the air while marching around, it’s like you’re having your VERY OWN PARADE?!
This changes everything.

51 thoughts on “Tragic Tales of 20-Something “Love:” The Story of Captain Romantic

  1. Did you ever see “Everybody Loves Raymond” where they get the grandparents a toaster for Christmas? That is the first thing I thought of, though I feel for you getting that on Valentine’s Day no less.

      • Until I saw “Wal-Mart” I was going to comment, “Wow, it’s Cuisineart!” and be all impressed-like. Maybe he was trying to express he had the “hots” for you? Or perhaps you made him feel all toasty inside … ? No? What about you made him “pop”? I know, I’m reaching here…

      • Oh, I reached too. I was all “Aww. I make him feel all toasty and warm!” and “maybe he wants to make me breakfast in bed!”

        Nope. It was just a toaster. He noticed, and he liked toast, so me having a toaster was helpful for his comfort level. Romantical.

  2. Oh no! A toaster! Get well soon, honey bunches of oats, I was actually wondering what was taking you so long… *I am a true addict*

    On the second note, you do know how MUCH I looooooove you & your blog *I can’t possibly get tired of repeating this over and over again*. So when I got nominated for Liebster Award & had to choose 11 nominees, you were the first ne that came to my mind. Check this out here:

    So I was trying to come up with some interesting questions & now can’t wait to here your smarty-pants answers!!!!

    Drink some warm milk with honey & think of some confetti, this should cure your cold. WORD!


  3. Not gonna lie, a toaster, especially a high quality one, would be a great valentines day present for me. I’m a little too practical. I asked the last guy I was with for a heated blanket for Christmas and got earrings instead. I was secretly a little disappointed. They were pretty but wouldn’t keep me warm!

    • Heehee. Ok, I admit it – I wouldn’t have argued with a fancy toaster. But in your early 20s, for the second Valentine’s Day in a two-year ongoing relationship…It was a tempting target for sarcasm.

      Mostly because of his whole “token of my feelings” thing. Because that was very silly.

      Heated blankets are super romantic. I have a heated mattress pad and sometimes I consider asking it to marry me because it makes me so happy. 🙂

  4. 🙂 hehehe

    This made me laugh…but not in my silent office this time…this time I am at home with my husband who looks just like your captain romantic…which is odd because I have never thought he looked like a stick man…

    He did buy me a kitchen aid mixer for Christmas though….which was awesome 😀

    • I think fun is what counts – it’s not really gifts or anything, it’s having a good time with each other. So basically, I think your plan is the best plan ever, and now I want heart shaped pizza.

      Seriously – do you order that from somewhere, or do you make it? Because that’s genius.

      • I have to agree with you. We are all about enjoying each other.

        I’m not sure where you’re from but we have a place called Papa Murphy’s. It’s a take and bake pizza place. They do the heart-shaped one every Valentine’s Day. It rocks! Highly recommended 🙂

        I’d love to see a stick figure eating a heart shaped pizza!

  5. This reminds me of the film “Father of the Bride” with Steve Martin. The culprit there was a blender, I believe. I had a guy once who would give me nothing for Valentine’s Day (for 13 years). I traded up for a guy who brings home flowers for no reason. Score!!

  6. Wow. I am trying to process this. Look, I am a dude and under no torture would I ever pretend I know how you weirdo-human-beings-with-different-chromosomes work, but there is one advise on the matter my mother gave me that I’ll always keep in mind (which is remarkable as she wasn’t the greatest teacher regarding anything romance-related): “Son!”, she said “under no circumstance shall you make PRACTICAL gifts for people you love!” Okay, maybe it wasn’t that dramatic, but that’s what she meant. It’s the only advise I adhered to and now I am single….wait, hang on a second… anyways, a toaster?!??! :)))))

    • Dan, your comments make me so seriously happy I can’t even articulate it.

      Your mother shared some wise, wise advice that day. I mean, don’t get me wrong. Practical gifts can be great. From my parents. From my brother. From friends. But a practical gift on a romantic holiday? It’s a little off-topic of the whole romance thing. And since that’s really good advice, I’m surprised that you’re single. Clearly you must also have a hoard of tragic love tales involving crazy people.

      And yep. A toaster. It toasts bread.

      It’s so practical I can’t bear to get rid of it. Which can’t be said about Captain Romantic 😉

      • Tragic love stories? I could start a blog about it and maquerade it as a blog about pop music. 😉 (I never even got a toaster *sob*)

      • I would totally read that blog. It’d be like a country music opus, full of tragedy and evil women who probably steal tractors and stuff. I’m just assuming here, since you say you’ve got enough fodder for a full blog. I don’t even like country music, but I’d totally read that.

        Awwww. You can have my toaster. I’d gladly replace mine.

        I want one of those ones that glows maliciously when you make toast. Because toast should always be mildly threatening. …Maybe that’s just me…

      • *tries compiling some witty answer with country, evil women and a pact with a toaster on a god-forsaken crossroad in Southwest Wales* … *realises it’s post-workday and brain is fried* Oh look! A baby rabbit!

      • Yeah. Somewhere along the lines of satanic (?) toasters we lost the romance. Woooooot??!!?! Baby bunnays!!!!111oneoneeleven

  7. HAHAHA! Did you keep a straight face when you opened this oh-so-meaningful token?

    I’m pretty sure I would have just burst out laughing both because of the ridiculousness of the whole situation and also because it might shame the giver into playing off the whole thing as an elaborate prank and coming up with a better “token,” even if it was just some nice words that did not revolve around breakfast problem solving.

    Also, Captain Romantic should be referenced for the rest of your life as “that dude who gave me a toaster for Valentine’s Day,” because I feel like that probably sums up everything about him.

  8. O_o Does the ginja need to hunt someone down for you and shove a bunch of roses down his throat? She would do so gladly. Free of charge. Er, she could accept a burn-free meal…the oven hates her. The pans hate her. But apparently fire…loves her. And her food.

    • Well, fire IS a life necessity, so that’s a pretty solid love affair. I’ll make you dinner any time, and I mostly promise not to burn it…though my skills have gone downhill, I confess 🙂

      Don’t worry. Captain Romantic did not remain a permanent fixture. The toaster has outlasted him by a long shot.

  9. Pingback: I Am Trying to Write a Blog Post While Working from Home* | Perpetual Plot Hole

  10. Pingback: Happy Valentines Day, Internet | Perpetual Plot Hole

  11. Generally, I wouldn’t feel all too bad about a toaster as a gift. If it was in pink or mint color, and had a really nice shape. But as a token of how someone feels about me? That’s just plain weird. >.<

    • Exactly. Hey, a toaster for Christmas? Jim Dandy. Especially if it’s something unique, matches my style, or is reflective of all the things that are fun about toast. Or if it had a Calvin and Hobbes sticker on it…because Calvin marveling about how bread turns into toast sticks with me to this day.

      But as a token of affection, it lacks.

      • Maybe he tried to be really deep, like: “When I’m with you, I feel warm as the inside of a toaster” or something like that? Maybe he’s a really DEEP GUY and shit like that, and we just don’t understand his sensitive sides? Just… maybe. But, then again… probably not. I guess.

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