On page 48, you’ll find our ideas for ten great Charlotte dates. There’s nary a dinner-and-a-movie among them. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Since you asked, here’s the story of a first date that didn’t make the list. But it worked for me. (Well, first official date, anyhow. Our first unofficial date was to a taping of The Dom Capers Show, Dom Capers being the first head coach for the Carolina Panthers. But that’s another story.)
The plan was, yes, dinner and a movie. I made reservations at La Paz, back when it was next to the Manor Theater, on the ritzy stretch of Providence Road that separates Myers Park from Eastover. I must have been a little nervous, because after dinner I tried to walk out of the restaurant A) with a half-full bottle of Negra Modelo beer and B) without signing the check. That required the hostess to call me back inside not once but twice.
I had purchased tickets to The Full Monty earlier that day, which saved us from having to battle the other fifteen people in the theater for good seats. Early in the movie, when Robert Carlyle’s face loomed large on the big screen, I leaned over to my future wife and whispered, "He has really bad teeth." Later, Ashley told me it relaxed her that I felt comfortable enough to share such a shallow, odd observation with her. Of course, that’s exactly why I said it. All part of the plan.
I don’t remember much of the rest of the date, and I promise that’s not a coverup. OK, so it wasn’t as imaginative as skydiving over North Carolina wine country, which is one of the options in our package. But at least we didn’t start our relationship by texting each other, which associate editor Sarah Crosland deems a "terrible idea" in her story this month about her adventures in dating. (For the record, I am not as mean as she makes me sound in her story. Also for the record, I was not one of her dates. Just her editor. You’ll just have to read it. It starts on page 41.)
Coming next month
Where to Go to Get Away from Everything • Spring Fashion • The Little Theater That Can