Charlotte’s ultimate meet cute: Love on the light rail

Charlotte’s ultimate meet cute: Love on the light rail

Pam and George in the spot where they first met. Paige Hopkins/Axios

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If ever a rom-com were set in Charlotte, it would tell the story of Pamela Birlet and George Dortche.

What happened: The two Bank of America employees met on the Blue Line on a July morning in 2016. They were both on the way to work in Uptown. Pamela was seated first with her book on the crowded train. She gestured that it would be okay for George to sit down.

Ten minutes into the ride Pamela closed her book, turned to the then-stranger next to her, “and I said to him, ‘are you just going to sit there the entire ride up and not say a word to me?'”

The conversation flowed from there.

The couple grabbed lunch at Vapianos later that week. After that they’d wait for each other at the 485/South Blvd light rail stop and sit together for their rides to work, and do the same for the ride home.

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The two say they both found the other attractive, and just clicked right away.

Now, many light rail rides later, the two are enjoying life as newlyweds.

Why it matters: It’s cute, and love stories like these are always worth telling. More than that, these kinds of interactions are harder to facilitate during a global pandemic where people have gotten used to social distancing. And I wonder, has COVID killed the “meet cute?”

Pamela and George don’t think so. They say interactions like theirs are still possible, especially on public transportation.

“To meet people it’s a matter of getting out of your own way, I think. You got to get out of your own head. And hopefully not be too aggressive with your initial approach,” Pamela said, as she laughed about whether her initial approach with her now-husband was too aggressive.

Pam and George, blue line, light rail, lynx, uptown, Charlotte, meet cute

Pamela and George at the photo booth at their wedding. Photo by Carolina Social Booth

Their wedding, similar to so many others, was interrupted by COVID. They officially got married in November, but got to have the big bash with family and friends this month.

They’re both still working from home, but plan to resume their light rail rides Uptown eventually.

“Today, I still enjoy being with her,” George tells me. “We try to make time for each other and make sure that we get time away from work.”

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