Not everyone meets the Harry to their Sally on the first try. Maybe not even on the 10th try. More often, dates end in a deeper appreciation for Fleetwood Mac's "Go Your Own Way." From getting called another woman's name to having a date throw a tantrum while grocery shopping and other nightmare-inducing date scenarios, local Chattanoogans have a lot to say about dates gone wrong.
Dating Can Drive You Batty
When Hannah Borstad went to Tupelo Honey for a date in college, she says it consisted of the usual sweet awkwardness of a first date but was overall a good time. As they were leaving the restaurant, she says the sky had gone dark, and suddenly, she and her date were getting rained on.
However, it was not clouds making the sky dark, and it wasn't raindrops coming down on them.
It was bat poop.
"It's like the climax of our nervousness was that the sky was black — I mean, just filled with bats. It was like a cloud over us, and they were just raining poop all over," Borstad says.
There was no second date, and both parties are happily married to other people now, according to Borstad. But she says that she will never forget the date that ended in a man trying to shield her from raining bat poop using a picnic blanket.
A Costco Commotion
Lizbeth Salvá decided to meet up with a first date at Costco. COVID-19 restrictions were still in effect, so she and other shoppers were wearing masks in the store.
When her date arrived, she says he put up a fight and refused to put on a mask when the Costco staff asked him to. Eventually, her date relented and put on the mask.
As the two meandered down the bulk-stocked aisles, Salvá says her date was complaining about the price of the items and only had negative things to say.
She offered to get him a deal on gas on her way out, as he was not a Costco member, and she was going to fill her tank before they left. But after her date backed his truck into the pump station in the wrong direction and got angry at an attendant when he found out he couldn't pay for his gas with cash, Salvá scratched the gas idea and said they should go get something to eat.
The date suggested they go to his house, and Salvá declined the innuendo and landed on the Cheesecake Factory. Again, he fought with the staff, who asked him to wear his mask while they waited to be seated. Instead of waiting, he decided they would go to a different restaurant and then tried to order food that Salvá didn't want upon their arrival, instead of letting her order for herself.
He undertipped the wait staff, after pulling $5 out of what she says was a large stack of cash.
"I'm not moved by a lot of cash. I'm moved by attitude and gratitude, and [he] had none," she says.
Mix and Match
Jill Fowler agreed to go on a date with someone she met on Match.com. She says she likes to be early to plans, so when her date didn't show up on the dot, she decided she'd wait about 10 minutes before texting him.
As time went on, she saw a man who didn't look like the photos of her date pacing back and forth outside the restaurant.
Fowler approached the man and asked if he was waiting on someone. He said yes, so she asked if he was the man in the photos from the dating site. This time, he said no, so she texted the man she was supposed to be on a date with, asking where he was.
A few minutes later, her date came running out of the restaurant, having been on a date with someone else and thinking it was her. It was the woman the pacing man had been waiting on.
After an awkward conversation with the hostess, the dates were swapped accordingly but seated only a few tables away from each other. Fowler turned her back to the other couple.
"My date was like, 'You're seriously going to make me have to look at her?'" she says. "And I said, 'Oh yeah, and how did you think that was me?'"
A Far Cry From a Love Connection
After Mackenzie Wallace went on an odd date along the Riverwalk that fizzled out after the man went on a trip shortly after, she thought that was the end of it. However, she says the small-town nature of Chattanooga resulted in multiple run-ins after he came back from his trip.
A few times when they ran into each other, he called her the wrong name.
During a later date with him, his crying ex-girlfriend called, and he proceeded to take the call in front of Wallace. After consoling his ex, he hung up the phone and said to Wallace:
"I just miss her, and I just want to know what she eats for breakfast. Like, I wish she would just call me like that all the time," he said.
Wallace says in a scene "like a movie," her date proceeded to cry on her shoulder about missing his ex-girlfriend.