Love is one of the most powerful emotions a person can experience. Sometimes feelings of affection grow so strong that folks want to express how they feel in a special or unique way. Enter the romantic gesture. Flowers and chocolates are too mundane for some hearts, but they’re safer than these five romantic gestures, which went awry in a very public way.
5 Action-Packed Proposal
Ryan Houston took his girlfriend to a beach resort in Cozumel, Mexico, in January 2009 with an elaborate plan to propose at sunset on an empty pier, but nothing went right from the moment they arrived on the beach. On the pier, they had a lovely view of a Speedo-clad man on a yacht. Houston’s girlfriend suggested they untie the yacht, but when they did, Speedo Man lost it. Houston helped tie the yacht up again and he and his girlfriend decided to leave the pier, but then Mexican police arrived. Houston was handcuffed and accused of damaging the yacht. He told his girlfriend to remove his valuables from his pockets. She found the ring, but accidentally dropped it into the ocean. Houston was escorted away with machine guns pointed at him, but in the end, police determined he didn’t damage the yacht. Once freed, Houston threw on some scuba gear and searched for the ring. He found it, and finally proposed to his girlfriend. At least this Romeo got a yes.
4 Love in a Dangerous Time
Airports are scary places nowadays, thanks to terrorism. Just ask the young man at Newark Liberty International Airport who wanted to give his girlfriend one last Christmas kiss. He crossed a security barrier, and that’s when it all hit the fan. The terminal was locked down, delaying or canceling about 200 flights. The man was later fined and sentenced to community service. His romantic gesture also got him a generous helping of hatred from the people inconvenienced by his impulsive lip-lock. According to Reuters, some of them were so ticked at what they considered a light punishment that a motion was passed to ensure tougher punishments for similar acts in the future. We’re talking up to 18 months’ imprisonment.
3 Balloon Busted
Florida man Anthony Brasfield loved his lady so much that in Dania Beach, near Fort Lauderdale, he released a dozen heart-shaped balloons into the sky in February 2013 so the couple could watch the symbol of their love float into the heavens. He was promptly arrested and charged by a Florida Highway Patrol officer. Releasing helium balloons is a third-degree felony under the Florida Air and Water Pollution Act. Seriously. Violation of this act is punishable by up to five years in prison.
2 Jumbo-Size Rejection
During halftime at a college basketball game between UCLA and Richmond on December 23, 2009, a fan popped the question to his girlfriend on the Jumbo-Tron. The young Romeo knelt and his girlfriend seemed impressed. She even reached for his face with a loving smile. When the UCLA host offered the young man the microphone, though, the girlfriend looked confused. He reached into his pocket and presented her with a ring, asking for her hand in marriage. She grabbed her bag and hightailed it out of there. Ouch.
1 Streak of Love
Nothing says love like public humiliation and partial nudity. James Miller of Accrington, Lancashire, England, wanted to wow his girlfriend on Valentine’s Day 2009, so he stripped to his underwear and streaked at a soccer game while shooting roses from a bow. Turns out the law doesn’t like half-naked men interrupting soccer games. In the end he was fined the equivalent of $300—and banned from all soccer games for the following three years. Oh, and his girlfriend dumped him.