This article originally appeared on VICE Canada.
When I was 16, I thought the way to a man's heart was through my stomach. As in, I thought that guys liked girls who surprised them with large, rebellious appetites. Clearly, I was trying on a version of cool girl, a trope characterized in part by her ability to eat and drink "like a man." As I knew it, cool girls said "fuck you" to salad-eaters like Gwyneth Paltrow and "hell yeah" to "fries with that?" Impossibly, these women remained in perfect, Kate Hudson shape. I wanted desperately to be that fiction.
My opportunity to make a boy swoon over my gluttony came on a hot summer day when my brother, his best friend (my crush), and I decided to stop off at Marble Slab, the ice cream shop, on our way to a camping trip out of town. Looking over the menu, there was a clear front-runner for the dessert that would win me a man.
"I will take the Banana Split," I said, shelling out eleven dollars. I watched a woman carve three jumbo scoops of ice cream out of various tubs and plunk them into the plastic serving boat. She flanked the sundae with two halves of a banana, then topped it with a traffic cone of whipped cream, some nuts, and a cherry. It looked like a mountain range with a warning light on top. My crush's eyes grew wide. Fuck, I thought.
Half an hour later I'd consumed everything but the plastic boat. I felt a rising tide in my stomach. I made the boys pull over at the nearest rest stop. I got out immediately.
Adjacent the roadside bathroom was a large metal garbage can, into which I chucked the plastic shell before leaning over the edge like a rag doll about to burst. I was determined to free myself from the dairy hell I'd created but unfortunately, I've been blessed and cursed with an iron stomach. Nothing came up. I stared at the plastic boat and the tiny puddle of sundae soup in its hull. What is love, anyway? I slunk back inside the vehicle, a bloated loser. My crush looked at me like, well, what did you expect?
In homage to the misguided, delusional behavior above, VICE decided to asks folks to tell us the dumbest things they've ever done to impress a crush. There are stories of bizarre gifts, magicians, serenades, and DIY body modification, all of which raise the following question: Is it a credit to, or a strike against, our species that we're willing to do such outrageous things for love? I'll let you make the call.