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The good, the bad and the awkward: Locals reveal date stories
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Photo illustration with Seth Cordell. - photo by Austin Steele

Whether you’re married, single or in the “it’s complicated” club, you’ve probably tasted the sweet and often bitter outcomes of dating.

In light of Valentine’s Day — sometimes known as Singles Awareness Day — The Times has asked Hall County locals to share stories of their good, bad and just plain awkward dates.

Cameron Lucas, University of North Georgia student

Looking A.1. Steak Sauce

“When you go on a date there’s that expectation of making yourself look presentable. I had nicer shoes, a nice button-up and jeans to go with it. I was looking A.1. Steak Sauce. He rolls up in bedroom shoes, sweatpants and a hoodie. We went to go eat Chinese and he forgot his wallet, conveniently. After that he then proceeded to ask me if I was finished with my meal and wanted to eat the rest of my meal. That was a one-and-done.”

Scott McLendon, in Gainesville

Sneaking in St. Petersburg

“It was at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia. We were seeing ‘The Marriage of Figaro.’ My wife and I met because we got selected to be in a group study exchange program through the Rotary Club. We weren’t sure that we were allowed to be dating on this trip. Nobody knew that we were on a date, but that was the night that we realized that spark and that connection. We’ve always called that our first date. The funnier thing is that as we were leaving, this elderly woman or gentleman said, ‘Did you guys enjoy your date?’ They were from Savannah, Georgia. It was a group tour from Savannah, Georgia, that were sitting next to us in St. Petersburg, Russia.”

Alexandria Cowans, University of North Georgia student

Frozen courtship

“It was my first date ever. I didn't know it was a date, technically. He asked my dad if he could take me out, and I thought he meant hanging out. He bought my and my sister’s ticket, and we went to the movies. My sister came along because I like a chaperone, it keeps us honest. Since I’m a Christian I like courtships. He got me an Icee, and I thought he was being really nice. We were watching ‘Captain America’ and I was drinking my Icee and all of a sudden, I see him stick his straw in my Icee. I don’t even remember the movie, I just wanted to cry.”

DaShanay Brown, University of North Georgia student

Chickened out

“I’m not a gold digger, let me just say that. I worked in RaceTrac and this guy would come in all the time. Tall, dark and handsome — you know, every girl’s dream pretty much. He kept asking me about how I felt about Jesus Christ. He takes me on a date to Chick-fil-A because it’s a Christian company. There was no problem there. I was like, ‘OK, he seems really devoted.’ But the guy brings a Bible and a devotional book to Chick-fil-A, and then he talks about how he wants to be a missionary. He was driving a Mercedes when I saw him before, but when we got to Chick-fil-A he was driving a really beat-up white car. I was confused. The whole date he kept talking about how he wanted to be a missionary and how he wanted a stay-at-home wife. I enjoyed the free chicken sandwich and I said I’d call him back. And, I didn’t.”

Seth Cordell, Downtown Drafts staff

Ham breath breakup

“I went to the movies with this girl in high school, and she wanted to kiss me. But, I wouldn’t kiss her because her breath smelled like ham. It was, like, really bad. I told her, and that’s why she broke up with me.”

Matt Brady in Gainesville

Feeling the spark

“We met in the early ‘90s working at Unto These Hill in Cherokee, North Carolina, which is an outdoor drama on the reservation up there. It tells the story of the Trail of Tears. I was an actor in the show and she was a stage manager. After the first week of rehearsals there was a keg party at the director’s house. His house was up on the side of the theater, it’s a big 3,000-seat outdoor amphitheater — it’s awesome. We had already met before and we hit it off. We were at the party and dancing, and I remember we walked over to the theater and sat in a couple of the seats. We walked back up to the dorms, and I kissed her in her doorway, and we both had the same reaction. We pushed each other away, and were like, ‘Holy cow.’ Something inside me spun around and she had the same feeling. I didn’t know if it was good or bad. Seven years later, we got married.”

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