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DAVIS COLUMN: Love in the time of Corona: Fishing and first dates

on Tuesday, 05 May 2020. Posted in Letters to the Editor, Opinions

DAVIS COLUMN: Love in the time of Corona: Fishing and first dates

Courting in the midst of COVID-19. Dating during disaster. Loving in lockdown. These are hard times for all, but singles struggle more than most as they look for love in the time of Corona.

My single friends have gotten very creative with their dating adventures the last six weeks. Dinner’s out, unless you want to sit in the Sonic parking lot in separate cars.

Cocktails and concerts? Canceled.

You can only play so many rounds of Scrabble before somebody gets upset.

What’s a couple (that’s not quite a couple yet) to do? Boats may be best. Fishing and first dates? Why not? Fresh air and sunshine are natural disinfectants; most boats allow room for social distancing, and almost all men love to fish.

My father loved fishing as much as he loved us. It wasn’t unusual to catch sight of a cricket cage on the floor of my mama’s kitchen or a tackle box beside Daddy’s chair. My father made sure I knew how to bait my own line and take a fish off the hook, so I was surprised and a little embarrassed by how loudly I shrieked when I opened the cooler and saw little minnows swimming around. Men, if you invite a woman on your boat, pack two coolers clearly labeled: bait and beverage.

Food plays an important role in all social gatherings. My date scored big points for picking up my favorite dessert. I reached into the boat bag to grab what I thought were brownies and popped the top off the container faster than you can say “dark chocolate with walnuts.” I squealed again (this time even louder than the first) when I saw nightcrawlers instead of my favorite fudgy treat. Let my latest dating disaster be a lesson to all single men: never bring nightcrawlers on a date.

Men love their tackle and favorite fishing spots. Women love cute napkins and koozies that say things like “Lake Hair, Don’t Care.” Wise women go ahead and rock a ponytail or a ball cap; otherwise, it won’t take long before those tresses get tangled. Men, do not, under any circumstance, ask your date if she packed a hairbrush. Do not ask her if she wants to borrow one of your caps. Simply avert your eyes and mind your facial expressions. She’ll fix it soon as she can.

Many say that life is better on the lake. I don’t disagree, but I’m not so sure about first dates and fishing anymore. Tight quarters can cause tension. Sometimes what seems like a perfect solution doesn’t work out so well.

Quarantine is hard. Dating during a disaster is almost impossible. Before Corona, I had a checklist of 10 topics to cover on a first date. I’ve added one more: can you see yourself in quarantine with this person for a very long time?

Some of my single friends continue dating in this disaster. They are FaceTiming and visiting in front yards and eating take out on back decks. They desperately want to set that hook and catch themselves a mate. But, Corona has caused some to re-think their goals. They are thinking twice before getting tangled up in a relationship net. Some just want to put on a pretty dress and have a lovely evening. Since nobody’s going anywhere any time soon, we’ve got plenty of time to decide exactly what we want.

For now, if fishing and first dates continue, marinas might want to stock up on a new line of koozies that say, “I’m sorry for what I said when we were docking the boat.”

Tammy Davis is a columnist/blogger based in Columbia. Visit her online at

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