Friday, 4 February 2011
This man wants to buy you a burrito...
When Richard Fitzgerald won a year's supply of free burritos he decided to be generous (and a little bit amorous to boot) and use his Mexican stash to entice the laydeez. For 52 weeks he would take a different girl on a burrito date and then blog about his experience in the hope of finding true love (or maybe just someone hungry) I was date number 41. So how did our evening go? Here's my side....
18:55 Richard was standing outside and we shared a slightly uncomfortable hug and kiss on the cheek. Greeting people on a date is always a social minefield and we ended up being its first landmine victims. He was shorter than I'd pictured but he was cute and had a lovely smile. His Irish accent was also pretty dreamy.
18:57 He led me inside with a confidence that suggested Chilango had become a second home to him, and we ordered. He went for a pork burrito with all the trimmings except guacamole because he wanted to see what it would taste like. He later declared it to be lacking something. I went for a chicken burrito with guac, black beans, peppers, cheese, mild salsa and sour cream, washed down with an ice cold margarita. Richard had a beer. There were no seats inside and so we retired to the pavement which felt a bit conspicuous. And bloody cold.
19:02 One of his friends walked past and came over to say hello which was pretty awkward. I prayed that no one from work would stroll past. My face went a little red as I thought about it.
19:06 The usual questions followed one after another. University, life, jobs, families, where we were living. I've never been very good at this kind of stuff and while it wasn't uncomfortable, things didn't flow too well. I found myself babbling a bit about Spoonfed and how “it's so hard for bands to get their big break”. Halfway through I realised I sounded like a douche but I couldn't shut myself up.
19:09 Richard seemed distracted and admitted that he was under pressure at work. With me feeling anxious and him feeling knackered we weren't really clicking. The good news was that I didn't spill sour cream all over myself. In fact I managed to eat the burrito extremely neatly which was quite a feat. He seemed impressed and I was glad. Trying to be erudite with a face full of salsa is pretty hard.
19:25 Richard is originally from Ireland and works in a marketing company doing various social media things. He did German and economics at Uni and was really into art. He'd recently had an oil painting commissioned and he was trying to learn more about art history by wandering around galleries and listening to podcasts. He's a sporty guy who enjoys squash and has run marathons in the past. This made me feel a little uneasy. Eating the burrito had been workout enough for me. He claimed that he was not sick of burritos and that he could remember every date. He reeled off some and it was my turn to be impressed. He presented me with this neat t-shirt which lightened the mood.
19:35 Things picked up even more when we headed to the Camden Head for a drink. Formalities out of the way we were able to talk about more interesting things. We discussed dancing and films we'd seen. We both agreed that we wished we had more time to do things – learn languages, read the piles of books we'd accumulated, take up tango. He told me about his obsession with new media and showed me how to 'check in' on foursquare. We both made each other laugh and I, for one, felt more relaxed. He's clearly a guy who lives a lot of his life online and he bemoaned the fact that someone has 'checked in' to Chilangos more than him.
20:06 It started to drizzle. Once again we were outside, pushed from the pub by the assembled hoardes. I considered the possibility that we may well suffer frostbite and drunk quickly so that I could warm myself with alcohol.
20:25 Richard seemed tired and though the conversation had picked up, we hadn't planned anything else to do and, feeling cold, it felt natural that the date was beginning to wind down. I felt we had been a little rushed and it would have been nice to have a little more focus. Perhaps if we'd taken in a show or something there would have been more of a focal point to the night.
20:34 Another slightly awkward peck on the cheek and we went our separate ways – him on his bike to Shoreditch, me on the tube to London Bridge and eventually home.
20:39 On the tube I mused that it had been a very pleasant evening but had lacked spice. A bit like Richard's guacamole-bereft burrito, there was something missing and that something was the spark. Despite this Richard was a sweet and interesting guy and I would definitely meet him again without the pressure of a date. While I don't feel we're going to be eating a wedding buffet of burritos any time soon, it was nice to meet someone new. This could be the start of a beautiful friendship.
Read Richard's thoughts on our date (and request your own) at: www.52burritodates.com