DANVILLE, IL—People fall in love every day, but self-proclaimed "Goth for life" Danielle Richardson, 24, and avid metal-music fan Rick Halloway, 26, faced bigger obstacles than most couples. In spite of having come from vastly different subcultural groups, the unlikely couple celebrated their three-month anniversary Monday.
"It hasn't been easy dating someone so totally different," said Halloway, wearing faded black jeans and a Mastodon T-shirt. "There have been times, like when Dani asked who Phil Anselmo was, that I almost wanted to say 'forget this bullshit.' But then I reminded myself that nothing good is ever easy. That's why I chose the path of metal—living fast and rocking hard. I never in my craziest dreams thought that path would lead me to Dani, but I'm so glad it did."
Added Halloway: "Fuckin' A, she totally rocks."
Richardson said that, although she has lived her whole life in the same small, largely middle-class Midwestern town as Halloway, the two couldn't be more different. While Halloway spends his free time fixing his car or plugging the jukebox at T.J.'s Tap, Richardson spends her free time shopping at thrift stores and reading poetry at The Black Cat, a red-velvet-curtained bar nearly 10 blocks away from T. J.'s.
"No one is more surprised by our union than I," Richardson said. "When we met, there was a strong attraction, but so much more is required for lasting love. I never believed one such as Rick could touch my shadowed heart, but touch it he has."
Halloway admitted that the relationship got off to a shaky start.
"Me and some of my friends were hanging out in front of the Midas when Dani walked by with a big, black umbrella," Halloway said. "Well, it wasn't raining, so my friends started making fun of her. But when she looked over, our eyes locked. I was like, 'Whoa.'"
A few days later, Halloway ran into Richardson at the Danville Cineplex.
"I asked her what she was going to see—I think it was that gay-ass Blade: Trinity movie," Halloway said. "Danielle was wearing this weird black lacy thing. I like women who wear black, but usually it's leather with studs. But something about her made me wait for her after my movie got out. I'm so glad I did."
Richardson said she began dating Halloway with serious reservations.
"Our first date was positively chilling—Rick's soul seemed to be crying out to me," Richardson said. "Still, it brought me much pain to realize that we would have no future together—we were so very different."
"But at the end of the night, when I reached out to take Rick's hand, I noticed that his fingernails were painted black," Richardson added. "I told him how sexy it was, and he told me he got the idea from a Danzig video. That was the first time I realized we had something deep and eternal in common."
Although he had similar doubts, Halloway said he "decided to say 'fuck it' and go for it."
"On our next date, Danielle took me to this place where a house had burned to the ground—the whole place was all scorched and shit," Halloway said. "It looked like a Sepultura video. It was such a kickass spot that we started making out like animals."
Continued Halloway: "For a girl who writes poetry, Danielle is a totally crazed hell-demon in the sack. She tears the shit out of my back. She's a righteous chick, even if she doesn't like me calling her that."
Although the couple overcame subcultural differences, their friends have not been so open-minded.
"I thought Danielle was just trying to get a reaction from us by going out with some loser," said Valerie Brasher, a longtime Goth. "I could see how our outrage might be delicious to her, but now, she actually seems serious about Rick. This lunacy makes my mind swim with sadness."
"Danielle will always be very dear to me, but I can't support that relationship," Brasher added. "Once, I suggested that Rick wax his goatee into a tapered, devilish point and he told me to keep my pale-ass freak hands to myself. I mean, talk about your typical close-minded metalhead vulgarian behavior."
Halloway's friends have similarly disparaged the union.
"I told Rick that there's a reason why, when we were all in high school, our friends would hang out under the bleachers and the Goths would hang out in the atrium," Mike Kryzinski said. "It was because our kinds don't get along. What's gonna happen at their wedding when Danielle starts playing Sisters Of Mercy or some shit like that? What kind of music are their kids gonna listen to? Hasn't he ever stopped and thought about the future?"