Today, in the inaugural edition of a series I'd like to call "I Read This Terrible Thing Today, so Now You Have to, Too" (I'm kidding, mostly), I discovered the story of a guy who cut off his own fingertip as a surprise for his girlfriend on Valentine's Day. I have not been able to stop thinking about this story, so please—share in this horror with me. It'll be fun. Probably.
My story begins with r/relationships, a Reddit community where people anonymously ask for advice about their relationships. The only markers of identity accepted are gender and age—I, for example, would be 28/F. Notorious past posts on r/relationships include "My [29/F] BF[32 M] “gave” away my Hamilton tickets, am I being selfish for just wanting to break up over this?" and "Me (34F) with my BF (41M) of 2 years. Got mad at me because I took my cat (16M) to a park for the cat’s birthday. Am I really a crazy cat lady?" Normally, r/relationships is a fairly entertaining place, but not today, dear reader. Not today.
Using what's called a "throwaway account"—an account made specifically for the purpose of posting a certain story to ensure absolute anonymity—one Reddit user posted a story under the following tagline: "My [22F] boyfriend [24M] cut the tip of his finger OFF as a “joke” for my Valentine’s Day gift."
Yes, it got my attention, too.
According to the story, the 22-year-old's boyfriend, 24, "surprised" her on Valentine's Day by cutting off the tip of his finger in tribute to one of her favorite characters, Chandler from Friends. Chandler is played by Matthew Perry, who himself lost the tip of the middle finger on his right hand after getting it caught in a door when he was a toddler. (The character of Chandler also lost the tip of his toe on Thanksgiving in the fifth season, but that's unrelated to this story. I think?)
Wrote the anonymous Redditor: "Guys, there were 0 red flags. He was SO normal. He was a fricking chess player. He liked going out for bar trivia. He’s studying to be a paralegal."
Without further ado, here's the story:
I don’t know what to do. I am terrified to tell my friends or family about this. I’ve been dating Grey for 4-ish months. He’s hilarious, smart, and treats me very well. I’m finishing up my last semester before I graduate, so I’ve been away at school (3 hours away from home, where we met) and I haven’t had a weekend to spare to come home, I have two majors and a minor and work part time at my school. I was finally able to move some things around and come home this weekend to celebrate with him.
An important tidbit: I love Friends. It’s my favorite show. I know it’s kinda silly, but I just do. I have posters, I named my hamsters Chick and Duck (a thing from the show) and Phoebe inspired me to dye my hair and go vegetarian. Grey knows this, of course, and teased that one of my valentines gifts was friends themed. Not romantic, but whatever, cool! I get to his house holding a teddy bear, a bag full of chocolates, an expensive tie he had pointed out when we were shopping, and a card.
So. Grey holds his hand out, and says, “HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!” It took me a second. But then I noticed. The tip of his index finger was gone. I obviously asked what happened and he rolled his eyes and said “guess someone’s not that big of a fan” or something. It really didn’t click. I just asked him again how he got hurt. I was so worried and trying to grab his hand and he kept shooing me away saying it was still sensitive.
He grabbed the gifts from me, kissed my cheek, and told me to come to his room. I did, and he pulled up his laptop and went to his bookmarks. There was a zoomed in picture of Chandler(one of the main characters) and his hand. And he was missing a finger tip.
It clicked. The actor who plays Chandler cut off his fingertip insome sort of accident before he got famous. There were several moments of quiet before he put his hand in my face again and smirked. I asked Grey what the f*** he did that for. He said he knew I loved the show and thought it would be a funny story about how for Valentine’s Day, he literally cut off part of a limb for me (???)
The wound was still... kinda fresh? It looked stitched up, I think, I really didn’t get a great look at it. But he is definitely missing a literal FINGER. TIP. I went quiet. He asked why I wasn’t happy, and seemed very confused, so I told him I forgot I had to call my mom, and pretended like I was going to the bathroom. Instead I booked it.
It’s been a day, he’s called me about a dozen times, left me texts saying it didn’t even hurt and he’s okay, and asking us to talk about this. Guys, there were 0 red flags. He was SO normal. He was a fricking chess player. He liked going out for bar trivia. He’s studying to be a paralegal. I don’t know what to do. I feel like any romantic inclinations I had toward him are extinct. I feel really, really afraid to be honest. He told me he loved me a few weeks ago and I was working up the confidence to say it back and now I feel sick. Can I break up with someone for this?? I literally can’t even imagine telling anyone. I feel so embarrassed.
W.H.A.T. I repeat: W.H.A.T.
Reddit actually removed the post because they thought the story must be fake, but I got in touch with the original poster, who asked to be named only as Heather (not her real name), and who says, nope, it really is true. "I really had no idea what to think when it all happened," she said. (Would you??) She says she's from a small town, and by this time everybody's heard what happened. "It felt like it had to be a joke, but he has definitely lost part of his finger." She added: "I have since learned from a friend that he actually cut off the wrong fingertip."
If you ever had zero faith in Reddit (so, everyone, all the time), know that the community did come through for Heather—agreeing, in rare unison, that Heather needed to break up with this guy, block his number, and never, ever go near him again. The top comments? "I don’t know what the f*** I just read but never talk to this psycho ever again." Also: "Run. I have never been so serious. Block his number, block any form of communication and run. That’s...scary."
Yes. Please, Heather. Please do that.
This has been your dispatch from "I Read This Terrible Thing Today, so Now You Have to, Too."
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