It was 103º in July and I was driving 300 miles to see the snowboarding mountain upstart with the smoldering gaze I’d met on the slopes a few months earlier. My heart was a restless puppy.
Forty miles into my drive, my 20-year-old Corolla’s temperature gauge was in the red, dangerously close to overheating. But I wasn’t going to be stopped, and at high noon, for the next 200 miles of desert, I kept the car heater on full-blast.
My peripheral vision dimmed, my cheeks flushed with heat-stroke and my seat was drenched in a goo of sweat and sunscreen. But I knew the heater was the only way to cool the engine enough to keep driving and get to the boy.
It’s no great wonder that I’ve been known to say, no matter what sort of alcoholic or drug addict you may be, none of it skews your judgment more than love. But to reassure myself that this assessment wasn’t solely applicable to me, I reached out to my friends and acquaintances with the following question:
What is the most outrageous thing you’ve endured and/or done for love?
The below results run the gamut from other weather-related hardships to reluctant threesomes. But perhaps more remarkable than accounts of what people do for love is our threshold for the many different brands of “outrageous.”
1- Betsy McIntyre doesn’t “put up with much” when it comes to men. But one winter during her upstate NY college days, she wasn’t above stalking a dude who inspired lust in her. “Alcohol was involved,” she says, as she climbed a tree to wait – and wait some more – to get a glimpse of him coming home.
“I ended up with frost bite on my fingertips and had to go to infirmary.”
2- Paul Curran took his high-maintenance girlfriend on a trip in a tractor-trailer across the continent, while hauling a load of frozen crab. She worked in television production, and the 7-day trip a week before Christmas was Paul’s idea of a vacation.
“24/7 within arm’s reach of another person while a snowstorm screamed outside taught me never to involve a new love in an activity liable to be unmodified for a week. We needed a month off from each other before we could even consider dating again.”
3- Anonymous Woman worshipped a man who wore a cowboy hat low on his forehead.
“I loved the way he made chlorine bombs and exploded them in our pool. The way in the mornings, shirtless and slumped at my kitchen table, he sipped mugs filled with vodka while my kids ate Cheerios. He loved that I stood 6’3 in heels, and was particularly fond of the American Express card I had issued in his name.”
He also loved going down on men – in her presence. On one such occasion, she accompanied him to a “pay-by-the-hour hot-tub motel” where “everything was dark and soggy” and male pick-ups du jour were aplenty. Cowboy proceeded to pay for the water room with the aforementioned Amex.
4- Will Rideau had a fling in San Diego with a girl who used a “pretty nasty ploy” to keep him around: She claimed she had cancer.
“She’d come over after ‘chemo’ and lie there going through bouts of convulsions and what seemed like asthma attacks, while I comforted her the best I could. What a show. It took two freaking months before I realized she never had cancer.”
5- In the 7th grade, Alfageeek was in love with Laura.
“I brought her a single violet that I picked on the way to the bus. Every. Single. Day. For months. She would thank me, and stuff them in her locker. By the end of the year, it was full of tiny little dried up purple violets.”
6- Beth says it took her two years to figure out the incredibly attentive, slightly kinky and super-fit long-haired man she fell for was actually “a super-clingy-insecure foot-fetishist with an eating disorder.” She got the long hair right though.
She also recalls being “the middle of a manwich.”
“I agreed to a threesome with a guy I was seeing and his best friend – a ballsy (four, to be exact) move for me since I wasn’t the threesome type.”
7- Cary didn’t have the heart to tell his boyfriend of two years that he was finally breaking up with him because of the way he kissed.
“He was handsome, tall, rich, and popular, but the first time we passionately kissed, I was taken aback by his tongue in my mouth like a Popsicle. I pushed away, telling him I suddenly didn’t feel well and went home.”
8- In her early 20s, Darcy was in sales and about to dump her boyfriend. But when he beat her to it, she felt compelled to write him “a heartfelt presentation” about why he had made a mistake.
“I’m talking pages. I put time and effort into that document and almost tossed in an Excel spreadsheet! But instead of being flattered by my passionate and detailed written rationale for why we should stay together, he was unconvinced and maybe even a little frightened…”
9- In the 5th grade, it was common knowledge that hopelessly shy John Dugan was in love with little blonde Margaret. This would continue for the next four years. One day, on the way home from school, he saw her and a friend walking across the street.
“A ten year old boy doesn’t have much of an arsenal of romantic maneuvers but I couldn’t let this opportunity to demonstrate my love slip by. I decided to throw rocks at her. Fortunately, I happened to be passing a house that had gravel instead of lawn in their front yard, so I had an endless supply.”
10- Lizzi: “I got married.”
What are your weird and outrageous stories in the name of love?
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